2014AlfaroAlbarino2014 Alfaro Family Vineyards, Albarino, Ryan Spencer Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains.
The newest wine from Richard Alfaro is his Ryan Spencer Vineyard Albarino, a crispy divine white that is a great summer refresher, made from estate young vines that show a lot of potential for this Spanish varietal. A recent visit to Alfaro Family Vineyards revealed a great deal of excitement for some new Malbec plantings and another few hillside acres that will get mostly Pinot Noir, but the current lineup is showing fantastic with glorious Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Gruner Veltliner along with this tasty Albarino, of which only 70 cases were made. The 2014 Albarino, aged in neutral oak and steel for 7 months is delicately detailed, at 13% and still has some depth, complexity and swagger with bright citrus, white flowers, unripe green apple, peach and chalky/stones with hints of hay, a touch of leesy brioche and steely vigor. This wine comes through on the palate as energy filled, brisk and a tad austere, this will appeal to old world fans, but still charms with it’s vibrancy and subtle wood notes. The light straw and gold color is lovely in the glass and it gains with cuisine, I had it with Padron peppers and salt, and a squash frittata, it was a perfect foil and the cool chill of this Albarino made it easy to quaff on a warm summer night, lovely. It will very interesting to follow Alfaro’s Albarino as the vines get some age on them, it certainly is a much more intriguing option than Sauvignon Blanc would be in this region of the Santa Cruz Mountains, which sits pretty close to the Monterey Bay and it nicely cool, not too different from northwestern Spain. Drink this white over the next year or two, best from 2015 to 2018.
($25 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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