Vineyard and Region Information: The sun which bathes this south-facing slope is moderated by the cooling air and fog from the Monterey Bay, just a few miles away. This microclimate is ideal for producing Pinot in the New World which expresses transparency to the site and impeccable balance at naturally low alcohol levels.
Vintage Notes: This was a year that defied all expectations. Acid levels were through the roof. After multiple draught vintages where sugar could jump 3 brix in less than a week (the difference of 2% alcohol!), they barely moved over two to three weeks. The made is a winemakers harvest where we could really fine tune the pick dates. We used 100% whole clusters placed into a fermenter with absolutely nothing added to it. Once the wine finished malo-lactic fermentation in barrel, we added minimal sulfur to stabilize the wine (preserve the purity and freshness). This is the first of our 2018 single vineyard Pinots to be released. It is also the first to benefit from our new basket press. Instead of pressing and rotating to break up fruit in a bladder press, over and over again, a basket press simply and slowly increases pressure over time with juice able to escape in all directions except the top. With whole cluster ferment ions it is an exceptionally gentle way to press the remaining juice out of the berries after draining the free run (usually about 2/3s of the total). With Pinot Noir and more so with whole cluster, the press wine is a vital component of the final blend. To have it be so pure, brings a whole new clarity and focus to the finished wine. Needless to say, we are excited about this new tool in our quest to make transparent and beautiful wines.
Wine Notes: This wine needs a lot of air to unwind. Give it at least 30-40 minutes. Tasted on day 2, a whole new intensity was expressed of the still toughly wound dark red and perfumed fruit. On the palate, the tannins start to meld together more seamlessly. These same tannins carry a blast of that dark red cherry infused with a kiss of something like cedar, but more floral. As is usually the case with a young whole cluster wine, one can still discern the difference between the supple skin tannin and finer and denser stem tannin. With time, these will all melt (or literally polymerize) together into a full bodied and silky delight. While still highly tempting and delicious now, this wine will pay huge dividends with another year to…well as long as you can give it, time in bottle. The balance between fruit and earth and acid and texture bodes well for this future development. Richard Alfaro grew some fabulous fruit for us, and for that we will always be grateful.
Wine Reviews: ”The 2018 Pinot Noir Alfaro Family Vineyard is gracious and lifted in the glass, with lovely red berry character and translucent feel that is impossible to miss. Crushed rose petal, mint, spice, orange peel and sweet cherry fruit all run through this ethereal, silky Pinot from proprietor Bradley Brown." -- 92 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous