2016 Alfaro Family Vineyards, Albarino, Ryan Spencer Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains.
The absolutely brilliant 2016 Albarino, which is due to be released this Summer, is an exciting and riveting mineral crisp dry white from Richard Alfaro that shines with thrilling aromatics and energy. Alfaro Family Vineyards is located near Corralitos in the south Santa Cruz Mountains not far from Aptos and very close to the Pacific, making for a cool climate terroir set on sandy loam and gravel soils, making it a natural and happy home for Albarino, a Galician grape that likes the salty sea air and chilly nights with a bit of fog. The 2016 Alfaro Ryan Spencer Albarino is beautifully expressive with a bouquet of white flowers and citrus blossom and a lean brisk palate with just a hint of lees and a light/medium vigorous body showing fresh cut green apple, bright tangerine, salted peach and tangy lemon/lime fruits along with a steely frame as well as a touch of chalk, wet stone, tropical notes and spicy bitter herb. This wine is a stunning example of new world Albarino that pays homage to it’s old world Rias Baixas cousins with fresh detail and vitality, Richard Alfaro really nailed this one and the vintage is the best yet, it reminds me of Nanclares y Prieto Albarino, one of my favorite wines from Spain. While Alfaro is known for his wonderful Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, he also has Syrah, Rose, a Cremant Sparkler and a set of Gruner Veltliner(s) making for an excellent and unique lineup of wines that you do not want to overlook, also you’ll want to visit their tasting room or join their wine club to get in on some of the more limited bottlings. This Albarino is a must have for white wine lovers, especially if you want a refreshing and vibrant wine, it has lots of racy acidity, complexity and lingers with unripe melon and key lime sorbet, as these vines get some age on them they really get more vivid and interesting giving this wine lots of character and seductive charm.
($25 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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