The story of Cru is both similar and different to ones we've heard before. In 2003 a couple of life-long friends with a taste for wine, Rich Spencer and Mike Conway, decide to give it a go and make wine. They bought some used equipment and established their operation in California's Central Valley. That was a financial move, as land is much cheaper there. But, they got their grapes elsewhere.
In this case, they purchased grapes from the Smith Family Winery in Santa Lucia Highlands. Their Sacramento Vineyard is in one of the coolest areas in Monterey and, thusly, one of the "coolest" areas to grow Pinot Noir.
Owner Jason Smith is a second-generation grape-grower with roots deeply planted, so to speak, in one of the most heralded addresses for Pinot Noir in the state. This area was the first place that the Spanish settlers planted grapes in California and, still today, it is considered one of California's finest appellations.
Our selection was aged in French oak barrels for nine months, 20% of which were new. Various clones of Pinot Noir were used for added complexity and depth. The primary goal was complexity, and they have nailed that beautifully.
Multi-dimensional fruit components are evident in the nose with cherry, spice and vanilla emanating from the glass. The palate features waves of mint and candy mixed with earth and toast. All-in-all a classic Pinot at the top of the class.