Ghostwriter Santa Cruz Pinot Noir 2019
Kenny Likitprakong, the founder, owner, and maker of Ghostwriter wines says his Pinot Noirs tell a story. “The subjects of the story are the sites, the vines, and the vintage,” he explains. “As the winemaker, my part is simply to tell the story.” The story Kenny’s Santa Cruz County Pinot Noir tells is nothing less than magical.
The story begins when Kenny graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2001. His first winemaking job was at Hallcrest Vineyards, a small winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. “All of my classmates headed to Napa,” Kenny says, “but surf and the sort of underdog, underrated, unexplored charm of the Santa Cruz Mountains led me there. I harvested the first Ghostwriter vintage in 2008,” he says. “I wanted to champion a largely misunderstood appellation and produce a wine that no longer existed in California.”
Kenny’s Santa Cruz County Pinot Noir is all about the terroir of Santa Cruz and its elegant and ethereal style of Pinot Noir. Kenny farms its grapes organically and cultivates, prunes, and harvests its vines by hand. He makes the wine without commercial yeast, malolactic bacteria, or any other commercial additives. He ages it in neutral French oak barrels and concrete eggs, with a small percentage of new oak. He adds no or very little sulfur to the wine and bottles it without fining or filtration.
Just as Kenny says, the smell and taste of the 2019 Santa Cruz County Pinot Noir tells the story of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Its nose is strawberry, cranberry, and spice over dark black cherry and blackberry. Its palate is rich, ripe forest berries, with super savory length.
This Pinot Noir is an evening’s pleasure. It’s like a great book or movie, it takes you to magical places you’ve never been to. With a few bottles in your cellar, you can go there again and again and again.