If you haven’t made it to VinoCruz yet, the new wine bar in Soquel, then you are in for a treat. My husband and I had a delightful visit there recently, for both wine-tasting and dinner.
VinoCruz has an abundance of interesting varietals, all local. One label caught my eye—a bright pink rose on a black background by DeVincenzi Cellars. But it’s the contents of the bottle that count, and this Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 is very fruit-forward and robust. With all of the distinctive aromas and flavors of a good Cab—black currant, tobacco and coffee notes, with some nuances of vanilla, toast and spice—it’s a hefty mouthful of red wine. VinoCruz describes it as “a big wine with notes of chocolate, leather and a long finish.” It sells for $13 a glass at VinoCruz, and it’s also available there by the bottle.
DeVincenzi Cellars is operated by Frank Virgil, and since it’s quite new, there is no tasting room or website, but you can follow them on Facebook, and taste their wines at VinoCruz. Virgil tells me he has now released the 2014 Cab, and it sells for around $20.
VinoCruz owners Matt Schofield and Jordan Iversen will happily help you with a flight of wines, and all wines are available for a 2-ounce taste. Wines sold in their bottle shop are 25 percent off the listed price.
DeVincenzi Cellars, 24572 Hutchinson Road, Los Gatos. 831-334-6083, [email protected].
VinoCruz, 4901 Soquel Drive, Soquel, 426-8466, vinocruz.com.
Passport Day is a great time to go wine tasting in the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region. Wine tasting is complimentary, providing you have a Passport, and it’s also a good opportunity to taste at wineries not usually open to the public. Passports are valid for one year and can be used all year round during winery hours. They can be purchased for $65 from the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA). The next Passport is noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20. Visit scmwa.com for more info. There is also a mine of information on SCMWA’s website regarding local wineries and upcoming events.