2015 Alfaro Family Vineyards, Chardonnay, Mary Katherine Vineyard, Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains.
From a single block of organic vines, planted to special clones including the Kongsgaard clone, the Alfaro Family Vineyards Estate Mary Katherine Vineyard is maybe the best deal in elite Chardonnay in California, and this 2015, which was a tiny crop with amazing concentration and vibrant acidity making for a gorgeous and sexy wine with an exotic elements that delivers Burgundy like class, but with California flavor and terroir. Seriously a thrilling Chardonnay, grown on deep gravelly/loamy soil of Alfaro’s main estate near Corralitos, the CCOF certified organic vineyard Mary Katherine 2015 was a five barrel cuvee with just 118 cases made, aged nine months in 40% new French oak that really has remarkable character and style, it has the decadence of a Peter Michael or Mount Eden, the verve of a Hanzell and the mineral and hazelnut that pays homage to the great white Burgs, like Corton-Charlemagne, Meursault and or a divine richer Puligny! Since the 2013 vintage I’ve been hard pressed to find a better wine for the money in California, than this Mary Katherine Chardonnay, followed closely by Richard Alfaro’s Lovely Lindsay Page and Trout Gulch Chards, these are fantastic white that deserve attention, especially these 2014 and 2015 wines that are absolutely stunning! Brilliantly hued with a golden pale color and with a complex bouquet of citrus blossom, honeysuckle, mineral tones and ripe fig leading to a racy full palate of apple, lemon curd, bosc pear and tropical fruits as well as a unique orange chiffon layer along with wet stones, hazelnut, brioche/doughy notes, very subtle smoked vanilla. Beautiful detail and impressive mouth feel mark this vivid Chardonnay, it’s opulent texture and length are right up there with the ultra elite wines, and for someone that usually drinks Riesling, like me, this wine puts chardonnay from California right up in my must have more of this stuff column, with it’s lively vitality and elegance, it’s certainly less brisk than Chablis and lavishly sleek, but still bursting with energy, highlighting it’s cool climate core, drink over the next 3 to 5 years.
($30 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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