Photo by Maggie Pope
Just because it’s spring doesn’t mean you have to switch your wines to whites and rosés; take some inspiration from April’s showers and pour yourself an earthy pinot noir.
Lighter-bodied than most cabernets, pinots can be a good transitional wine. Booth Hardy, sommelier and owner of Barrel Thief Wine Shop, recently discovered Ghostwriter’s 2014 Amaya Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir ($30) while in Santa Cruz for a wine tasting competition. The verdict? This vineyard’s wines were his favorites from the trip. Santa Cruz is close to the ocean, but its terrain is mountainous and covered in redwoods and low-lying scrub, keeping the air damp. Winemaker/surfer/skateboarder extraordinaire Kenny Likitprakong is “an amazing horticulturalist” with a maverick spirit, Hardy says, and is skilled at farming different sites. Hardy has been buying his wine for years, but had never been to the vineyard.
“I think the flavor of the forest is delicious,” Hardy says. “It’s very distinctive. There’s a balance in the wine, an energy in the wine. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s a real thing.”