The Hedonistic Taster | № 37 | Silver Mountain Vineyards

The Hedonistic Taster | № 37 | Silver Mountain Vineyards

The Hedonistic Taster | № 37 | Silver Mountains Vineyards – Santa Cruz Mountains, CA.

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne + Champagne  ML


“Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.” – Henri Jayer

Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster, an intimate showcase of artisan winemaker trade samples. The title “Hedonistic Taster” derives from the term ‘hedonistic tasting,’ coined by legendary Burgundian vigneron Henri Jayer.

These tasting notes focus upon Burgundy, bubbles and beyond, including emerging pinot noir and bubbles producers worldwide.

Today’s Tasting: Silver Mountain Vineyards – Santa Cruz Mountains, CA.

Jerold O’Brien is used to shaking things up on Silver Mountain Winery.

Nestled at 2,100 feet amidst a quietly spectacular redwood forest, Silver Mountain Vineyards sports vistas spanning Monterey Bay to San Francisco Bay.  The nonconformist and former air force pilot/silver speculator founded Silver Mountain Vineyards in 1979.

His winery sits atop the sandstone-laden San Andreas Fault, within view of the  North Pacific plate. O’Brien’s unfortunate proximity to both fault lines proved fateful when he lost the first winery and three years of production in the 1989 earthquake.

Rebuilding post-earthquake allowed O’Brien the opportunity to implement sustainable designs that support his tenant “to respect Mother Earth and set an example on how to save the planet.” Silver Mountain Vineyards now boasts one of the largest solar arrays in the Santa Cruz Mountains, an extensive rain water-collection system, shaded area to reduce storage, and an artificial cave for barrel storage. O’Brien contends it may be the most sustainable winery in the area.

O’Brien insists upon practicing organic farming, earning CCOF certification in 1991 for his efforts.

Today, Silver Mountain Vineyards produces award-winning estate and single-vineyard sourced, small-lot Burgundy-inspired wines – plus private, premium label winemaking for a few high-quality wine growers in the region.

Wine:  Silver Mountain Vineyards Tondrés Grapefield Chardonnay – Santa Lucia Highlands

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol:  13.5%

Suggested Retail: $34 (Link)

Link to Producer Specs


Robe:  Clear, gold robe.                                          

Nose:  Delicate melba toast, butterscotch aromas.

Palate: Medium body, lush, golden apple bouche.

Wine:  Silver Mountain Vineyards Tondrés Grapefield Pinot Noir – Santa Lucia Highlands

Vintage: 2010 

Alcohol:  14.1%

Suggested Retail: $44 (Link)

Link to Producer Specs


Robe:  Deep purple-raspberry robe.

Nose:  Bramble berry nose.

Palate: Light body, dark berry – raspberry, blackberry, blueberry bouche. Acids, tannins, finish +.

Wine: Silver Mountain Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir

Vintage: 2012

Alcohol:  13.3%

Suggested Retail: $44 (link)

Link to Producer Specs


Robe:  Deep garnet robe.

Nose:  Forest floor, dark berry, truffle, barnyard notes.

Palate: Black fruit, bramble, black cherry bouche. Light/medium body, acids, tannins, finish +.


Silver Mountain Vineyards 2010 Méthode Champenoise Pinot Noir Sparkling Wine.

Wine: Silver Mountain Vineyards 2010 Méthode Champenoise Pinot Noir Sparkling 

Vintage: 2010

Alcohol:  12.5%


Producer Specs: Once-in-a-decade wine, sourced from Mun’s Vineyard. The winemaker produces only enough to disgorge 20+ cases each year for 8 years, starting in 2015.


Robe:  Clear pêche robe, pinhead beading, diffuse mousse.

Nose:  Brioche, salmonberry, stone fruit on the nose.

Palate: Light body, bright acids, creamy bouche. Unicorn wine, representative of the Santa Cruz Mountains – complex, earthy, ethereal. A rare find, indeed.

More about Silver Mountain Vineyards here.

 402 Ingalls St, Ste. 29, Santa Cruz 95063
408-353-2278 (at the winery)
Friday 3:00-7:00 PM, and Saturday & Sunday, 12:00-5:00 PM.

More of The Hedonistic Taster here.

Always grateful to hear from you – please feel free to leave your comments below. Many thanks for your follows on social media – cheers!

Copyrighted 2018 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.

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