Grapelive Wine of the Day
By Kerry Winslow
2008 Windy Oaks Estate Pinot Noir “Henry’s Block-Schultze Family Vineyard” Santa Cruz Mountains.
Jim and Judy Schultze has been making this Pinot Noir since 1999, and I have tried almost every vintage if not all and have loved to watch as the vineyard and the wine evolve, and I can say that both wine and vines seem to have reached the peak. I was blown away when Jim showed off his first release, that 1999 Windy Oaks Estate was a dead ringer for a fine Chambolle-Musigny and this new release, the 2008 Windy Oaks Estate Pinot Noir “Henry’s Block” from the original block of vines is very similar and has that Burgundian charm and perfume that sets it apart. The nose has loads of striking violets and rose petals, sweet tea spices and mineral tones before a lively palate of silky fruits and earthy contrast with black cherry, strawberry and blueberry layers. There is a nice chalky mineral steak along with a lifting acidity that is fresh, but elegantly smooth and creamy. The subtle French oak gives hints of smoke, vanilla and mocha, though it is never the focus, only the frame, making this stylish Pinot a thing of beauty and grace. As much as I have loved prior vintages, this might be my favorite, and people looking for a more detailed and delicate style Pinot would be hard pressed to find a better wine. While 2008 in Sonoma, Carneros and Anderson Valley was not a great year, the Santa Cruz Mountains killed it, I suggest you check them out. Honestly, while this wine does show its unique terroir and is a California wine through and through it does remind me of Vosne-Romanee and Chambolle-Musigny Burgundies, a high compliment in my book.
($55 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive