2014AFVTroutCH2014 Alfaro Family Vineyards, Chardonnay, Trout Gulch Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains.
Richard Alfaro’s Chardonnays are some of the very best wines for the money in California, and his latest set are gorgeous as can be, I’m going to write about all of them separately, because they all deserve individual attention, starting with his 2014 Trout Gulch Vineyard, from an own rooted old vine site above Aptos. The 2014 Alfaro Trout Gulch Chardonnay from heritage Chardonnay clone set into loamy, coastal soils with some clay like subsurface and sandy/dusty chalky top soil is a bright and elegant wine, fermented and aged mostly in stainless with some lots in neutral or used French barrels using native yeasts, it shows this cool climate vineyard’s Monterey Bay sea influence with plenty of saline and tangy acidity and crisp layers. This fresh and graceful Chardonnay gives an amazing amount of pleasure and class for the buck, medium weighted, lengthy and detailed this is an old school wine, coming in at about 13.5% it is neither hot or too lean, almost perfect in focus and complexity with green apple, lemon, white peach, white flowers and subtle pineapple with a hint of key lime along with steely mineral, wet stones, brine, clove, golden fig and a touch of brioche and hazelnut. This is very entertaining and stylish stuff, on par with Premier Cru Chablis and with enough richness and mouth feel to please any Chardonnay lover, with air it takes on a more creamy note, but stays lively and vibrant, very impressive stuff, you can see why other top winemaker’s are asking Richard for fruit from this vineyard, this 2014 should drink great for another 3 to 5 years!
($25 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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