Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Alfaro Family Vineyards Pinot Noir “Lester Family Vineyards at Deer Park” Santa Cruz Mountains.
The Alfaro “Deer Park” Pinot is always a favorite of mine, and this latest release might be the best vintage yet of this dark and rich wine. Made from Dijon clones 777 and 667 the 2009 Deer Park is deep and lush with loads of intense blackberry, plum and chocolate cherry layers while sweet violets, lavender oil and vanilla play in the background. After some time in the glass it opens to classic tangy cherry fruit and mineral, with a touch of toasty oak. This is a robust young Pinot, but everything turns silky smooth and the tannins are super fine and the acidity keeps everything vibrant. Best to give this Pinot another year in bottle to develop, though I know there are plenty of people that will love it now. These clones give darker color and riper up front fruit, though the terroir gives nice acidy and structure, and Richard Alfaro crafts what nature gives him with very minimal intervention. This wine will really appeal to those that like Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Rita Hills style Pinots.
($35 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Alfaro Family Vineyards Chardonnay “Lindsay Paige Vineyard” Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains.
While the Santa Cruz Mountains are no stranger to world class Chardonnay, especially Mount Eden and Ridge Vineyards, another top Chardonnay continues to impress, the Estate Chards of Richard Alfaro, Alfaro Family Vineyards show fantastic depth and finesse, and the 2009 “Lindsay Paige” is a wonderful wine. Having followed Richard’s progress over the past half a decade now, I have always been a fan of this site and see even greater potential in future vintages as the vines come of age, and his Chardonnay, which mostly comes from Wente clone vines on his estate always stars in his line up of wines. This 2009 vintage is remarkably similar to past vintages, though is a bit fuller in body and maybe a touch longer in finish with lovely white flowers, lemon curd, white peach and tropical notes leading the way with touches of fig, butter, spiced pear, stoney minerals and smoky hazelnuts. The French oak is toasty and present, but not intrusive or unwelcome and there is a tangy tangerine note that adds interest as well. This wine is a stunning and rich effort that gives a lot of pleasure for a more than fair price, drink now and for the next 2 to 3 years.
($25 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Cave de Chante Perdrix, red Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes, Syrah, Northern Rhone, France.
Just when you thought 2009 could not be bettered in the Northern Rhone, 2010 turns out amazing as well with classic flavors, bright acidity and suburb balance, and it looks as if there will be some stunning deals, like this Chante Perdrix Syrah. Honestly this Collines Rhodaniennes beauty had me thinking Cornas or top St. Joseph, and I was crazy happy to hear the price, this is a fantastic true Syrah that delivers poise and depth, and most importantly is a joy to drink now. I’ve always enjoyed the wines of Cave de Chante Perdrix and found them full of flavor and interesting complexity, and this wine continues my affection for this producer, in fact I’m even more impressed than ever as a result of tasting this Syrah. The nose is bright with wild flowers, violets, garrigue, earth, game and fresh cracked peppercorn before a palate of olallieberry, boysenberry, blueberry, plum and kirsch liqueur with white pepper, lavender, truffle and roasted herbs. This is a fun and nice Syrah that has just enough tannin to feel grippy, but that drinks easy and makes it super with food, again, this is a lovely wine and one I will have often while it lasts.
($18 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

*Available at www.sfwtc.com ($15.95)

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2008 Montesecondo Chianti Classico, Tuscan Red, Italy.
This tiny organic producer has crafted a masterpiece in 2008 with their wonderful Chianti Classico and it is a steal when compared to other top Classico’s! For those that love Felsina or Castello di Ama, this wine will be your next favorite, this pure and vibrant Sangiovese is stunning and full of live. The nose is fresh with dark berry, spice, herbs and dried flowers before a tangy palate of black and red fruits, wild strawberry, tobacco leaf, subtle cedar wood notes, crisp acidity and fine tannins. Black cherry and mineral notes come forward after a bit of air and this Tuscan gem is magic with food with it’s balance and focus. Enjoy now and for the next 4 to 5 years, bravo to Montesecondo, this wine is a class act.
($28 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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