Jerold O’Brien has been in the wine business for a long time. As owner and winemaker at Silver Mountain Vineyards, the expertise he has garnered over the years shows in every bottle of wine he produces. His was probably the first certified organic vineyard in the county—back when hardly anybody knew the meaning of the term. O’Brien’s estate-grown Chardonnay grapes are all organic, and the wine produced from this quality fruit is simply superb.
But of all the varieties of wine that O’Brien makes, his Alloy is one of the most popular. A Bordeaux blend of red grapes, O’Brien makes this robust and delicious wine, which he has named Alloy, that is very drinkable and easy to pair with many different kinds of food. The 2006 Alloy is a blend of grapes from different vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Santa Clara Valley: 49 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 35 percent Merlot—each from three vineyards; 9 percent Cabernet Franc and 7 percent Petit Verdot from Mannstead Vineyard. And O’Brien always gets the blend just right. This particular mix is awash with ripe cherry and fig with a hint of bacon and cinnamon on the nose—with cassis, white pepper, cedar and tobacco on the finish. It’s a really delightful red wine ($26) with medium tannins that is drinkable now but will also age beautifully.
Right now many Silver Mountain Vineyards wines are on sale in three-packs, six-packs or by the case. The sampler case is a particularly good deal at only $184 (regularly $274). You can buy Silver Mountain wine at the tasting room off Old San Jose Road, or at the tasting room in the Surf City Vintners complex on the Westside—and all over town at various stores.
Silver Mountain Vineyards, P.O. Box 3636, Santa Cruz Mountains, (408) 353-2278 – open Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m., and at 402 Ingalls St., Suite 29, Santa Cruz, 466-0559, open Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. silvermtn.com.
Surf City Wine University:
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