Pinot Noir 2012
This gorgeous Pinot, made with grapes harvested from Split Rail Vineyard in Corralitos, is a big bold beauty that, once tasted, will make you come back for more. And the man responsible for this nectar is John Benedetti, owner and winemaker at Sante Arcangeli.
Benedetti started making wine in 2008, and has come a long way since he started out in his teens and early 20s making beer and then switched over to wine in his 30s. His wines are becoming ever-more popular and his tasting room in Pescadero just gets busier. His commitment to making the best wines he can shows in the wine itself—starting out with the grapes he grows.
“You can’t make a great Pinot from an average vineyard. It just doesn’t work that way,” says Benedetti, obviously proud of quality grapes he grows and all the work he puts in to make his signature Pinot.
“The fruit is vibrant and fresh and there is an intriguing minerality to this wine under the fruit core,” Benedetti says. “This wine is vibrant now, but will gain complexity and depth.”
Bold flavors of strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate and spices add to the earthy minerality of this Pinot ($36). It gained 94 points and was the editor’s choice at Wine Enthusiast, saying “Sante Arcangeli made a 2012 Split Rail Vineyard [Pinot] from the Santa Cruz Mountains that knocked my sox off.” It knocks my socks off, too.
Although you can find Sante Arcangeli wines all over—New Leaf, Scotts Valley Market, Shopper’s Corner, Vinocruz and other stores as well as local restaurants such as Café Cruz and Costanoa Resort—my advice would be to take a trip up the coast to Pescadero. This lovely little town has a lot to offer, including the wonderful wines of Sante Arcangeli.
Sante Arcangeli Family Wines, 216-A Stage Road, Pescadero,
831-406-1262. Santewinery.com. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.-ish. Check ahead on the website and on Facebook when the winery is open to the public.
Dinner and a Movie
Most people heading for a night out at the movies also like to combine it with dinner as well. Ike Jablon, marketing manager at the Nickelodeon Theatres group, which includes The Nick, Del Mar Theatre and Aptos Cinema, came up with the Dinner and a Movie plan—which kicked in last December and is still going strong. It has also proved to be very successful. For $45-$50 you can have a nice dinner and see a movie—valid Monday through Thursday. What a deal! Participating restaurants include Gabriella Café, Laili, Hoffman’s Downtown, Hula’s Island Grill and Chocolate the Restaurant. Tickets are available at any of the participating restaurants or theaters. For more information visit thenick.com or call 426-7507.