Grapelive: Wine of the Day April 18, 2017

2015 Alfaro Family Vineyards, Pinot Noir “Trout Gulch Vineyard” Santa Cruz Mountains.
The brilliantly garnet/ruby hued 2015 Alfaro Family Vineyards Trout Gulch Pinot Noir is a full flavored and concentrated wine with wonderful lavish fruit, but with multi-layered complexity showing subtle earthiness and exotic spices. Since Richard Alfaro took over the lease to Trout Gulch and starting farming this small beautiful vineyard, above Aptos, in the Santa Cruz Mountains has become a top spot for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with his crew getting the best out of these grapes, which are mostly heritage clones I believe, set on heavy loam, gravel and clay like soils set against some coastal redwoods and a marine climate. 2015 vintage started with a small set of fruit, almost 60% down on 2014, but the year turned out with some spectacular fruit, tiny clusters and dark firm berries that gave intense richness and this Trout Gulch Pinot shows youthful density and structure, but with amazing purity with refined tannins and vibrant acidity providing a glorious framework to show off a palate of black cherry, plum, raspberry and blood orange fruits along with delicate rose petal, tangy tea spices, cinnamon, light earthy/mineral/stony elements, a bit of saline and lush polished wood notes. This is a sexy and seductive Pinot Noir (13.5% Alcohol) that saw about 40% or so new French oak, it really grabs your attention and delivers excellent quality and balance for the money, it should be available soon, but the Alfaro wine club will take the lions share as the yields were so low, so get your requests in early, but don’t miss out on the almost sold out 2014 either, which is also drinking great. Alfaro offers a few very limited edition Pinots from other vineyards, apart from the estate bottlings, these include Garys’ Vineyard, Lester Vineyard and this Trout Gulch Vineyard. The Alfaro estate wines are some of California’s best values and Richard’s winemaking and winegrowing talents are clearly showcased in his wines, his Lindsay Paige Estate Pinot Noir and Ryan Spencer Estate Syrah have been long time favorites of mine and now the Trout Gulch in recent years being added to my must have list of wines, especially these 2014 and 2015 vintages. Drink this Alfaro Trout Gulch Vineyard 2015 over the next 5 to 10 years, it’s a detailed and joyous wine that should develop nicely and age extremely well.
($38 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive