Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets

A great write up regarding the Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon wineries was written by Alder Yarrow.

Full article can be found on Vinography.

The following text is from the article and refers to Left Bend.

Left Bend:  What do you get when you let a hydrogeologist loose in the Santa Cruz Mountains with a bicycle and a bottle of wine? A winery waiting to happen, apparently. Proprietor and winemaker Gary Robinson left a career dealing with groundwater for profit, for another career dealing with groundwater, but for a lot less profit. After planting a vineyard in his back yard in Los Gatos and making wine in his garage for a few seasons, he spent two harvests at Testarossa Winery before launching his brand Left Bend, which makes about 250 cases of wine from various vineyards around the Santa Cruz Mountains. In 2013, Robinson was joined by Richard Hanke, who left a career in high-tech marketing and product management to join Robinson’s venture.

2010 Left Bend “Black Ridge Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark garnet in color, this wine has a somewhat shy, compressed nose of licorice and black cherry. In the mouth tightly wound, fine-grained tannins clasp narrow flavors of fennel seeds, black cherry, and earth. Good acidity, but definitely not ready to drink. Unclear how much the wine will blossom with time. 13.9% alcohol. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $45.

2011 Left Bend “Camel Hill Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of almost entirely new oak and dusty road. In the mouth coconut and vanilla flavors suffuse cherry and earth, but stay constrained primarily to the zone of wood and more wood, letting cherry and a bit of cinnamon sneak through on the finish. Good acidity. 13.9% alcohol. Score: between 8 and 8.5. Cost: $45.

Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet tasting lineup photo