2014 Alfaro Family Vineyards, Cremant de Corralitos Pinot Noir Brut Sparkling Wine, Santa Cruz Mountains.
The vintage grower fizz from Richard Alfaro’s Alfaro Family Vineyards is a racy and stylish Methode Champenoise bubbly made from estate Pinot Noir vines that really delivers stunning detail and complexity, you’ll want this stuff no doubt. This food friendly sparkler has great intensity and vivid flavors that reminds me of Paul Bara Champagne or Gaston Chiquet Special Club bottlings, it is especially divine with smoked salmon, poached white fish and lighter cuisine, though it’s dry/brisk focus can cut through lots of substance. The bright nature is dynamic and fresh giving a lean and lythe feel, but air allows good palate expansion and opens to pure mineral infused layers with lemon, green apple, white cherry, strawberry and peach fruits along with hints of spice, stones, dried golden fig, loam, rose petal and brioche. Alfaro said he wanted more of a refreshing/youthful sparkling wine like you get with a top Cremant d’ Alsace, and that was achieved clearly and with dry vibrancy, it’s less leesy than most Champagne(s), but gains richness in the glass in elegant fashion and is an impressive effort. This very limited release joins some very expressive California Methode Champenoise sparkling wines that are crafted in grower producer character that deserves praise and attention, this is a luxurious and intriguing vintage Brut, get it while you can.
($50 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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