2022 Alma de Cattleya, Pinot Noir, Sonoma County.
Bibiana Gonzàlez Rave-Pisoni’s second label Alma de Cattleya, as mentioned here in my prior reviews, is a rewarding, regional and value packed collection of wines, especially good is this beautiful Sonoma County Pinot Noir. The sultry and ripe 2022 is silky on the palate with expressive pomegranate, strawberry and deep rose petals coming from the glass, with black cherry, red berry and plum fruits forming the core here in this medium bodied Pinot. As I have found before, there is a precise quality to Bibianna’s wines and her well judged use of smoky/toasty French oak, allows for beautiful purity and transparency. It is a wine that goes great with food and as it opens it gains spicy/savory accents with cinnamon, orange tea, a touch of shaved vanilla and some earthy loamy charm in the background, much the same as the brilliant 2019 delivered. As noted before, this wine is an awesome value from one of California’s top winemakers and makes for delicious Pinot that is easy on the wallet and exceptional for any occasion or meal. Bibiana Gonzàlez Rave-Pisoni, known for her work with Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, has a great touch with Pinot Noir and this wine is very compelling stuff, just the kind of quality for the price everyone is looking for. In recent years, I’ve focused primarily on Gonzàlez Rave-Pisoni’s Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah bottlings under her Cattleya label, which coming from her husband’s family at the famous Pisoni Estate and their Soberanes Vineyard, which flirt with absolute perfection and are bucket list wines for Northern Rhône style, cool climate, Syrah enthusiasts.

The Alma de Cattleya (soul of the orchid) line is, as I’ve mentioned, the more regional bottlings, just below of Bibiana’s signature Cattleya offerings, which are mostly single vineyard limited small lot wines. They all are handcrafted wines from top vineyard sites, like the Pisoni family owned Soberanes Vineyard I highlighted above, where she gets that amazing Syrah. Bibiana Gonzàlez Rave-Pisoni, originally from Colombia, has an impressive resume to look back on, she’s made wine from Bordeaux (First Growth) to Cote-Rotie (Ogier) and from Burgundy to Champagne, as well as some impressive California estate, including Pahlmeyer’s Wayfarer. The Alma de Cattleya lineup includes, Sauvignon Blanc, Bordeaux varietals, Chardonnay and this Pinot Noir, all of which offer a big bang for the buck. For this wine, Bibiana sources the grapes from selected vineyards in the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley AVAs and she ferments them in open top stainless after a cold soak to extract the beautiful dark ruby color, as always, the must saw gentle hand punch downs and a soft pressing before the Pinot was barreled down for about 16 months. Favoring vines close to the ocean with its cooling influences allowing long growing seasons and good fruit concentration, but with plenty of bright acidity for sublime balance. The Alma de Cattleya Pinot sees primarily Dijon clones 114, 115, 667, 777 and 828 along with some Pommard and Wadensvil old clones, for added structure and complexity. Bibiana Gonzàlez Rave-Pisoni also partners her husband, Jeff Pisoni (Pisoni Estate & Lucia), making a thrilling set of Sauvignon Blancs for their Shared Notes label, all of her wines are incredible, and I highly recommend checking them all out as soon as possible, with this one being a great place to start.
($35 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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