Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group’s annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green fundraiser is a wonderful opportunity to taste superb local wines and delicious food from local vendors and restaurants while raising money for a worthy cause. This year’s Oct. 9 event was a huge success.
One of the wines I tasted was Aptos Vineyard’s 2019 Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah ($36). This superb Syrah has three exciting things going for it: It’s produced and bottled by Aptos Vineyard, the grapes are from the esteemed Lester Estate and John Benedetti is the winemaker.
Benedetti, who also makes wine under his Sante Arcangeli label, is one of the best local winemakers. I can’t say enough about his expertise when it comes to turning grapes into wine.
“This wine is an aromatic, smooth delight,” the folks at Aptos Vineyard say. “This big-bodied Syrah boasts complex, true-to-varietal flavors from start to finish.” Swirling the wine invites long, lean legs, with aromas of herbs, eucalyptus, sage, smoked meats and graphite. Full-bodied black fruit and sweet tobacco along with plum, licorice and açaí berry add a wealth of lush flavors. Aptos Vineyard was started in the ’70s by the late Judge John Marlo, so the present-day wines are given judicial names. The 2019 Syrah is called Amicus Curiae.
A pop-up release of this Syrah will be held in the Sante Arcangeli tasting room in Aptos Village 1-4pm on Sunday, Nov. 7. Alexandra Baker, family member and manager of the newly revived Aptos Vineyard (now co-owned by James Baker and Tina Cacace), says that Aptos Vineyard will be pouring flights or by the glass at Sante Arcangeli’s tasting room.
“The idea behind the pop-up,” Baker says, “is that guests are encouraged to come and go, taste our wine and also enjoy Sante Arcangeli’s wine as well.”
Sante Arcangeli’s tasting room is at 154 Aptos Village Way Unit C1, Aptos. Santewinery.com. For more info, visit aptosvineyard.com or call 831-706-6090.