2013AlfaroTroutPN2013 Alfaro Family Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Trout Gulch Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains.
The Trout Gulch Vineyard, close to Aptos, is a sweeping and beautiful hillside vineyard that is really making some fantastic grapes after being taken over by Richard Alfaro, who now has a long term lease on the site, it is now very much like a second Alfaro estate vineyard planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Both the Chard and Pinot coming off Trout Gulch show wonderful cool climate energy, vibrancy, ripe flavors and lower alcohol, the soils have sand, clay, loam and a chalky top layer that remind of the Cote de Beaune, with the Chardonnay feeling like Chassagne and the Pinot much in the same profile as a Volnay with red brambly fruits. Richard sells a bit of Chardonnay from this site as well, and it is highly regarded, with Arnot-Roberts and another top end winery that can’t be named getting fruit from here. The 2013 Alfaro Trout Gulch Pinot Noir is lovely, lush feeling and vigorous on the palate with a deep ruby hue in the glass and this is an absolutely gorgeous wine with character, style and graceful layers, it pleases in every way. The Trout Gulch Pinot was aged 10 months in barrel, 20% new, all French and only 500 cases were made, it is drinking fantastic, as are all of Alfaro’s 2013, which include this one, a Lester Family Vineyard, a Garys’ Vineyard and three home estate Pinots, the Estate, the Mary Katherine and the Lindsay Paige, one of the best ever vintages for this Santa Cruz Mountains estate near Corralitos, and the balance is near perfect, 13.5% alcohol, fine structural tannins and acidity give a framework that should allow this beauty to age for another decade as well. The mouth feel is excellent with silky roundness and charming life, the main core of this Pinot shows red raspberry, black cherry, plum and tangy currant fruits along with dusty stones, saline, red rose petals, a touch of earth, spice, cedar will sweet toasty oak, vanilla and cinnamon adding a nice subtle shading. There is a lingering fruit essence on the very lengthy aftertaste and overall is is hard to find any faults here, especially when you consider the price, a top caliber single vineyard, low production Pinot that sells for under $40, this is pretty awesome stuff, drink from 2015 to 2022.
($35 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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