Wine Enthusiast: November 2021
Wine Enthusiast | November, 2021
REVIEWS BY MATT KETTMAN
2018 ALFARO FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 95 points
2018 WIRZ VINEYARD OLD VINE CARIGNANE 95 points, EDITOR’S CHOICE
2019 DUNE & MOUNTAIN PINOT NOIR 95 points
2018 HOMESTEAD RED BLEND 93 points, EDITOR’S CHOICE
2018 COASTVIEW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 93 points
2018 COASTVIEW VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 93 points
2017 SIXTY-TWO TERRACES SYRAH 93 points
2017 ALTITUDE 2292 BORDEAUX BLEND 93 points
2018 LESTER FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 93 points
2017 RATTLESNAKE ROCK SYRAH 91 points
2018 HOWARD FAMILY VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 91 points
2017 GABILAN MOUNTAINS GSM 91 points
2018 OLD CORRAL PINOT NOIR 91 points
2018 ALFARO FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR
Muddled juniper, bay leaf, stewed mushroom and forest floor aromas surrounded the tart cranberry core on the nose of this single vineyard expression from the Corralitos area. A charcuterie flavor kicks off the sip, with elderberry and dark, tart plum flavors leading into fennel pollen on the finish.
2018 WIRZ VINEYARD OLD VINE CARIGNAN
Super vibrant, fresh and crunchy aromas of cranberry, crisp cherry and wild forest show on the nose of this bottling from vines that are more than 90 years old. The 87% whole-cluster treatment enhances the palate’s tense structure, which frames rustic but lovable flavors of wild red fruit and crumpled red and purple flowers.
2019 DUNE & MOUNTAIN PINOT NOIR
This 100% whole-cluster blend of the sandy Lester and mountaintop Coastview vineyards is very fresh and vibrant on the nose, with aromas of raspberry juice-soaked herbs, menthol, sansho pepper and wet asphalt. The texture is stunning on the sip, where the minty pine needle flavor weaves between sour cherry and light raspberry elements.
2018 HOMESTEAD RED
This is always one of the most affordable and creative bottlings managed by proprietor Bradley Brown. This vintage’s blend of 33% Carignan, 25% Syrah, 21% Grenache, 19% Mourvèdre and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon begins with earthy aromas of raw beef, wet cement and tart red currant. A zesty acidity powers the raspberry flavor of the palate, which is dusted in white pepper and slices through the meatier elements.
2018 COASTVIEW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR
Joyous aromas of pomegranate, wild strawberry and raspberry sorbet are edged by graphite minerality on the nose of this bottling. Cranberry and more red fruits pop on the sip as well, with rose petal and sumac flavors riding into a very textural finish.
2018 COASTVIEW VINEYARD CHARDONNAY
Chiseled stone aromas meet with light nectarine, underripe pineapple and tart citrus on the nose of this bottling. A tense and stony structure frames the palate, which nods toward riper nectarine and white peach flavors while retaining an earthy core.
2017 SIXTY-TWO TERRACES SYRAH
Black plum aromas meet with bay leaf, eucalyptus and cracked peppercorns of all colors on the nose of this bottling, which was grown at 1,300 feet and treated to 100% whole cluster fermentation. It’s lively and herbal on the palate, with a menthol tone wrapping about the brisk black raspberry and pepper dust flavors.
2017 ALTITUDE 2292 BORDEAUX BLEND
Lively aromas of boysenberry and black cherry are enhanced by touches of violet, lavender and dried herb on the nose of this blend of 52% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. Generous layers of black plum and boysenberry flavors meet with savory soy and floral elements on the palate.
2018 LESTER FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR
Slightly tart raspberry and red plum skin aromas are sprinkled in herbal forest floor scents, cracked pepper and pine needle on the nose of this energetic wine. Bay leaf leads the herbal palate, where more tangy plum and rounder melon rind flavors align.
2017 RATTLESNAKE ROCK SYRAH
Candied boysenberry and lavender meet with slightly reductive tar aromas on the nose of this bottling. Floral and peppery flavors decorate the palate, where more primary grape-like elements are the focus despite it’s aging status.
2018 HOWARD FAMILY VINEYARD CHARDONNAY
Lightly buttered sourdough toast aromas meet with marmalade and macadamia nut on the nose of this bottling. The palate zings with lemon zest and struck stone flavors, which give depth to the toastier core.
2017 GABILAN MOUNTAINS GSM
Wild strawberry, red plum and fat red flower aromas show on the nose of this blend of 46% Mourvèdre, 34% Grenache and 20% Syrah from both the Coastview and Rodrick vineyards. The palate kicks off with sumac and cinnamon spices that elevate the raspberry and vanilla flavors.
2018 OLD CORRAL PINOT NOIR
There’s a meaty, leathery aspect to the nose of this bottling, as well as strawberry, cherry and tart red plum aromas. A charcuterie-like character frames the sip, which is tightly woven in structure and full of plum skin flavors.