2013AFVchardLP2013 Alfaro Family Vineyards, Chardonnay, Lindsay Paige, Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains.
Richard Alfaro’s beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains vineyards are the home of some fantastic Chardonnay vines and these grapes are in hot demand, both in his own wines and that of others, including Arnot-Roberts and a few more that I can’t mention as of yet. The Lindsay Paige Chardonnay is always one of my favorite wines, and the 2013 is gorgeous and richly flavored along with nice balancing acidity and soft mineral tones. Richard uses only about 15% new French barrels in this wine and it comes from a selection of old Wente clones and a little of a special clone that is the same as Kongsgaard’s Judge, and in most years the Lindsay Paige is fermented with native yeast and has a bit of time on the lees, this adds dense texture and lavish mouth feel. This vintage shows white flowers, hints of sea shore, wet river stones, apple and pear fruit along with a vivid lemon and what Richard calls a Grand Marnier note, and I sense a hint of mango/tropical essence, clove and golden fig, plus a subtle cream and vanilla. The 2013 Lindsay Paige, at 13.5% alcohol, is really superb, this is one of the best yet from Alfaro. There is a lot of excitement here, with a lot of great new releases, including his single vineyard 2012 Pinots and his super cool organic Gruner Veltliner, plus his latest project at Trout Gulch where Alfaro is farming old vine Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. All these wines are remarkably priced and offer incredible quality, a big thanks to Richard Alfaro for taking the time to show me around, especially with harvest fast approaching, I highly recommend the Lindsay Paige 2013 Chard which should drink great for a decade, but best from 2015 to 2018.
($30 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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