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The Santa Cruz Mountains American Viticultural Area stands apart from all other California wine regions both literally and figuratively.

2018 in Sonoma has been hailed as a spectacular vintage, and for many top wineries it is. But this is not a great vintage across the board—if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Medium ruby, the 2018 Pinot Noir Costalina has perfumed aromas of violet, bergamot, blood orange and bitters with rhubarb, cranberry and blackberry fruits. Medium-bodied, the palate is expressive.

It’s been some time since I last visited the Anderson Valley, a bucolic sliver of coastal Mendocino County, where Pacific fogs glide through the towering California redwoods, playing cat and mouse with the rising sun…