2014AlfaroAGruner2014 Alfaro Family Vineyards, Gruner Veltliner “A” Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains.
This is a blend of two plots of Gruner at Alfaro, and while the single vineyard and organic La Playita is getting extended lees and barrel aging, the “A” from both sites is ready to enjoy now, and it is a sexy little wine with plenty of character, vibrancy and intensity. Alfaro’s Gruner is maybe some of the state’s best and has found a perfect home here in the Corralitos area of the Santa Cruz Mountains, where the climate is cool and the wines result in dry and sizzling versions of this Austrian varietal, both this and Alfaro’s Albarino are excellent alternative whites offering exciting acidity and unique flavor profiles, they are good companions to their excellent Chardonnays, this winery is on top of it’s game right now, I highly recommend scoring these limited edition offerings, especially this Gruner Veltliner, which is fantastic with an array of food choices from shellfish, mixed seafood, cheeses and Asian cuisine. The 2014 “A” Estate Gruner starts with light white flowers, fresh squeezed meyer lemons, a hint of almond, verbena and seashore notes leading to an electric and vigorous palate of tangerine, wild peach, sour apple and crisp lemon/lime along with mango, oyster shell, river stones and salt lick. This Alfaro Gruner has a light to medium body and brisk mouth feel making for a zesty and refreshing wine, but opens up and has the impression of density, finishes with lots of zing and it really makes your mouth water, very fine and exciting Gruner Veltliner, the Alfaro and Tatomer versions are the best of this grape in California and really do justice to their Austrian cousins. I had an exciting visit to Alfaro recently and everything was tasting fantastic, I was able to taste a tank sample of Estate Chardonnay as well that was pure and Chablis like, there is some thrilling wines being put out by Richard Alfaro, you should really investigate them for yourselves, lots of fun stuff to discover, and in particular this sexy little white, drink this crisp and tangy Gruner from 2015 to 2019.
($22 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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