2012WindyOaksEstatePN2012 Windy Oaks, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee, Schultze Family Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains.
The Schultze family have opened a new tasting room in downtown Carmel by the Sea and it was a good rest stop offering a quiet space to enjoy their quality set of wines. While I really like visiting their vineyard site much better, this new tasting room is cozy and hopefully will attract a wine seeking crowd once they get established in town. It is amazing to see Carmel embracing so many tasting rooms, which have suddenly popped up like t-shirt shops did in the 90’s. It will certainly take teamwork to get the Carmel network of tasting rooms running smoothly, but the addition of Windy Oaks is a huge plus, and I hope people get in to taste their Pinot Noirs especially, as they are very lovely wines. I tasted through the 2012 Pinots and all offer distinction and take full advantage of near perfect vintage with ripe fruit and smooth tannins and juicy acidity, these are a quite a bit more rich than 2011, but still have cool climate character and you can still feel the closeness of the sea. The 2012 Estate Cuvee shows tangy raspberry, cherry, rose water and strawberry in lush layer with underlying zest, spice and earth tones along with soft cedar, vanilla, mineral and saline, like salted cranberry adds zing to this silky Pinot. Drink over the next few years, and be sure to visit the new Windy Oaks Estate tasting room on Dolores near 6th in Carmel.
($39 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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