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Wine News: Vintage Notes

A round-up of events at Wine Hill Winery and the Grapevine in Willow Glen

By Stett Holbrook

SANTA CRUZ'S Vine Hill Winery recently earned a fistful of accolades for its pinot noir. Vine Hill Winery, which produces the Cumbre of Vine Hill label of Santa Cruz Mountains pinot noir, received six top ratings for all three of its 2006 pinot noir releases. Three came in the July issue of Wine Enthusiast, and three came in the June issue of Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine.

The 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains pinot noir scored 92 points from Wine Enthusiast and 91 points from Connoisseur's Guide.

The 2006 Hicks Family Vineyard Pinot Noir received a 94-point score from Wine Enthusiast and 88 points from Connoisseurs' Guide. The wine "shows the dramatic way that this mountainous region south of San Francisco can ripen pinot noir to such perfection," enthused the Wine Enthusiast

Wine Enthusiast gave the 2006 Raffaelli Vineyard pinot noir 93 points while Connoisseurs' Guide gave the wine a grade of 90 and remarked that the wine "will appeal to fans of ripe, generous pinots rather than fans of restraint, this one has nicely formed, reasonably juicy black-cherry fruit as its central theme from first sniff." Check out Cumbre of Vine Hill at

B&C Update

Our annual bars and clubs issue published earlier this month listed dozens of great watering holes, cocktail lounges and bars. But shame on us for omitting The Grapevine in Willow Glen (1389 Lincoln Ave.; 408.293.7574), one of the South Bay's most appealing wine bars and wine shops. In addition to an eclectic selection of wine and a knowledgeable staff, the store has regular lineup of cool wine events. Here's what's on deck. (For more info go to

International Wine and Tapas: The food and wine event will feature a variety of internationally inspired small plates served alongside a trio of international wines. Twenty-five dollars gets you a selection of tapas, flight of wine, gratuity and tax. This is not an "all you can eat," dinner so conduct yourself accordingly. June 24; 7pm.

Fratello Di Li Blues: Listen to good tunes with wine and snacks in hand. The blues duo of Diamond Bob Perro and Diego Picetti will play live. A special wine, beer and small plates menus will be offered. All pricing is a la carte. No cover charge. No reservations needed. June 25; 7pm.

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