Testarossa Winery (Los Gatos)

We made it to one winery in Santa Cruz…Testarossa Winery. Certainly an impressive winery, with a nice castle and great grounds. The story of the winery is an interesting one. It started in 1888 as the Novitiate winery, and there is a whole self-guided museum inside. I wandered around a while while Anna started tasting. The owner was obviously active in this winery, he was walking around the grounds going about business. Anna really wanted to get here because she had the wines in New York, and wanted to see what they had to offer. They score consistently well and I guess with that comes a slightly higher price tag.

Our pourer seemed a bit spacy, but it was Santa Cruz, so it’s kinda expected. He was also a little bit unprofessional, talking about his discount on wines and so forth.

Anna bought a bottle of Chardonnay here, and opened it in San Francisco thinking it was the cheaper Tablas Creek. And Tablas Creek had that great reclosable Stelvin top, perfect for travel!

2009 Chardonnay, Rosella’s Vineyard, $44 To me this had a very strong apple nose, almost acetone-like. It had a light to medium acidity and a medium finish with some minerality.

2009 Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands, $32 Pale gold, with a chalky finish, pear and apple on the nose with mild acidity. Anna picked up a lot of different notes and liked this more than the Rosella’s chardonnay, even though the Rosella’s might get better with more time.

2009 Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, $39 This was brick red with a yellow rim and thin color. This seemed leafy, foresty, with a fruity nose with light tannins. It seemed slightly hot.

2009 Pinot Noir, Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, $59 This was a deeper brick red with oakiness and forest floor nose. It clearly had more structure, acidity to tannins seemed a little more in balance, and it had a medium to long finish for a Pinot.

2009 Meritage, Santa Cruz Mountains, $50 Not overly hot, some oak but not heavy. Medium tannins. Fruity, and I thought this will probably improve with 4-5 years of bottle time.

2010 Rosé, Novitiate, $17 Anna predictably hated this, as I learned she doesn’t like rosé wines. I didn’t make any notes on it.

Testarossa Winery
300-A College Avenue, Los Gatos, CA
408-354-6150
FeaturesWonderful Char and Pinot. Great picnic spot.
Tasting Room11 to 5 daily
Tasting Fee$10, refunded with purchase
Overall Experience      Wine Tasting Setup     Wine Pourer(s)      Sales Pressure  
Yelp Reviews
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One Response to Testarossa Winery (Los Gatos)

  1. Update…went to BevMo today to use up last Christmas’ stocking stuffer gift card from my lovely wife. Had a $2 tasting with her and found out that Testarossa also makes BevMo’s Dahlia label. This is old news (like 2 years old) to everyone except me, and probably Anna. In the tasting, I thought it was OK, but certainly not of the same level as the Testarossa Chardonnay. Talked to Ed about the winery as well as Grommit style cheeezes. (Anna would have had me take notes, but she wasn’t there, instead she was wheels up :-P). I thought that particular wine had a little too much butterificity (that’s a technical term), albeit almost no oak, which was refreshing. It was a Rombauer impersonator (haven’t gotten to Napa yet on posts) at a third the price. What did I do with the other $3 from the gift card? I’ll have to save that for another day, like when all the trip stories are completed and the 4000 pictures are sorted.

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