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Cruz-ing the mountains

Part 5 of a 2005 California travelogue

by Thor Iverson

15 November 2005 – Santa Cruz, California

Storrs – Just a quick drop-in at this real garagiste. The wines here are up and down, but there’s usually something interesting, and today’s no exception.

Storrs 2004 Chardonnay (Santa Cruz Mountains) – Spiced fig, tangerine and ripe peach. Sweet at first, though with nice balance. Good, simple New World chardonnay.

Storrs 2004 Chardonnay Christie (Santa Cruz Mountains) – Baked white plum, tangerine rind and honeysuckle, showing very ripe fruit and mild oak bitterness. There’s a touch of peanut on the finish. A “better” wine than the basic chardonnay, which means that it’s even less my preferred style, but fans thereof will like this one.

Storrs 2003 Chardonnay Meyley (Santa Cruz Mountains) – Buttery caramel and tons of wood. Ugh.

Storrs 2001 Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains) – Baked fig and sugary strawberry with papery tannin. There’s good balance here, with the caveat that that it might be a little on the sweet side, but this either needs more fruit or has been open too long (I try to ask, but the attention required by other tasters delays me long enough that I decide to simply move on with the tasting).

Storrs 2002 Pinot Noir Wildcat Ridge (Santa Cruz Mountains) – Very floral and fragrant (roses, certainly), with concentrated micro-berries dominated by wild blueberries and plum. Dark and slightly brooding. I like it.

Storrs 2002 Two Creek (Santa Clara County) – A blend of carignan, syrah and grenache, showing bubblegum, nuts and a sweet, slightly synthetic nature with soft structure. Honestly, it’s a little dead. The tannin solidifies with air, but the finish is very short.

Storrs 2001 Merlot (San Ysidro District) – Softly ripe blueberry jam infused with malic acid and juicy oak spice. Lingering tannin is somewhat green, and there’s dill on the finish.

Storrs 2002 Zinfandel Rusty Ridge (Santa Clara County) – 75 year-old vines, 15.5% alcohol. Cherry cola forms a sweet palate impact, with coconut, dusty granite and sweet basil on the palate. Despite a brief dalliance with geology, this is awfully tutti-frutti.

Storrs 2000 “BXR” (San Francisco Bay) – Oh, how I love the precision of this appellation. Anyway, there’s smoky wood and toast up top, strong strawberry seeds, ripe plums and black cherries down below, in a lush, full-bodied and mouthfilling wine. It is strongly wooded, and there’s a bit of a liqueur-like finish, but the balance here is pretty decent, overall. Definitely New World, though.

Storrs 2002 White Riesling Riverview (Monterey) – Petrol and mild crystalline lime with green apple and ginger form the nose of this rather exotic-smelling riesling. The palate shows green apple and crisp, ripe pear. Unfortunately, things turn ill from there: The finish is both soft and abrupt, and the sweetness…while light…eventually ends up tasting a little sickly.

Santa Cruz Wharf

[Santa Cruz Wharf sidewalk][boat]
[Santa Cruz Wharf & ocean][gull]

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Copyright ©2005 Thor Iverson.