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Founded in 1998 by Richard and Mary Kay Alfaro, Alfaro Family Vineyards is dedicated to the production of Estate Bottled Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. The property is Read More...
split into separate parcels to accentuate the differences in soil and microclimates of the estate, and “Alfaro Family Vineyard” is their largest vineyard, at just over 16 acres, and is planted exclusively to Pinot Noir. It consists of 9 different blocks; each block has a different combination of clones and rootstock, including clones 113, 114, 115, 667, 777and 828. The vineyard is on a south facing hillside between 500 and 650 feet in elevation.

The grapes were 80% de-stemmed and the whole berries were placed into small open-topped fermenters on top of 20% whole clusters. The must was chilled to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and cold soaked for between five and seven days. The fermentations were spontaneous and no punch downs were performed. To avoid over-extraction and to keep the cap moist during fermentation Alfaro performed rack-and-returns via gravity. After fermentation the free run juice and press wine were kept separate and put into French oak barrels where it underwent a slow, natural malolactic fermentation and was aged for 12 months on the lees.

The resulting wine is medium bodied and deep ruby in color, and shows a burst of fruit on the nose, and is chock-full of bright cherry, raspberry and spice flavors on the palate.

To preserve the character of both the vineyard and vintage, the grapes are whole-cluster pressed directly to a combination of new, neutral, and stainless steel barrels. Winemaker Read More...
Ehren Jordan (whose Failla label produces wines of admirable elegance and complexity) fermented the wine with indigenous yeast followed by native ML fermentation, with 11 months on lees. This gentle process provides a stable wine requiring neither fining nor filtration before bottling.

This straw/gold colored wine shows aromas of graventstein apple, pear, toasted almond, lilies, apricot, honey, brown butter, celery, and anise. Dry and medium-bodied on the palate, the flavors are of yellow apple, ripe pear, wet rock, and peach. The balance between alcohol, oak, intensity, and varietal character are magnificent.

ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "These are the first wines I have tasted from Mindego Ridge. Proprietors Dave and Stacey Gollnick planted 8.7 acres of Pinot Noir and just 1.3 acres of Chardonnay, although Chardonnay may ultimately prove to be the more interesting of the two varieties grown here. The Gollnicks recently brought on the talented Ehren Jordan to make the wines (starting with the 2013 vintage) and also sell a small amount of Pinot to Thomas Fogarty."

"The 2013 Chardonnay offers a super-intriguing interplay of the vivid, crystalline purity that is such a signature of the appellation, along with soft contours that give the wine much of its welcoming personality. Scents of dried pear, apricot, flowers, mint and white pepper add to the wine considerable appeal. This is a wine with tons of potential, especially as the vines get older. The 2013 was in 85% French oak (15% new) and 15% stainless steel."

The heritage of Mount Eden Cabernet Sauvignon dates back to the 1890s, when the famed viticulturist Emmett Rixford of Woodside, California obtained selected cuttings from Chateau Margaux Read More...
in Bordeaux, France. Rixford planted his famous La Questa Vineyard with these selections, in the same proportions as found at Margaux.

In the late 1940s Martin Ray planted his first Cabernet vineyard with cuttings from the La Questa Vineyard. Mount Eden's present-day Estate Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted in the early 1980s using cuttings taken from these vines. Yields are low, typically one to two tons per acre. Soils are very thin (1-12 inches), with a dominant base of Franciscan shale. The climate is cool, especially for Cabernet, and influenced by the vineyard’s altitude and its proximity to San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The vines are trellised in a modern fashion, which allows for a more uniform ripening. The vineyard also contains small blocks of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

Mount Eden Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a Bordeaux-style blend of approximately 93% Cabernet, 5% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot, although the cepage varies by vintage. This high mountain, cool coastal vineyard is an unusual site for California Cabernet Sauvignon, reflecting its refreshing acidity and moderate alcohol. Fine integrated tannins buttress characteristic flavors of red currant, blackberry and earth. Recommended cellaring is ten to fifteen years.

ANTONIO GALLINI 95 POINTS - "Mount Eden's 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon offers a striking interplay of ripe, flamboyant fruit and supporting mountain structure. Fresh, vibrant and energetic to the core, this stunning, beautifully delineated Cabernet Sauvignon might need another decade to show the full breadth of its pedigree, but it's all there. Pinot Noir at Chardonnay get most of the attention and Mount Eden, yet the Cabernet can be every bit as intriguing, just as it is here. The blend includes 5% Merlot, 1% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot."

ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "Readers will find plenty to get excited about in these new releases from Mount Eden. In particular, the 2011 Chardonnay Read More...
is outrageously beautiful. Proprietor Jeffrey Patterson has been making reference point wines for decades, yet for some reason Mount Eden flies under the radar. That won't always be the case. In top vintages, these are among the most compelling wines in California. Patterson takes a pretty minimalist approach in the cellar. The wines are all done with native yeasts and are bottled unfined and unfiltered. Patterson describes 2012 as an easy growing season with a late bud break and otherwise very even conditions, with no heat spikes, all of which resulted in a large crop. By comparison, 2011 also saw a late bud-break, but ill-timed harvest just as the Chardonnay and Pinot were in bloom lowered yields significantly.

"Rosewater, savory herbs, bright red fruit and mint wrap around the palate in Mount Eden's 2012 Pinot Noir. Intensely aromatic, lifted and perfumed, the 2012 shows good balance in a mid-weight style best suited to near and medium-term drinking. Owing to the abundant harvest, the 2012 is a bit lighter than some other recent vintages, but it is quite pretty just the same. As always, the 2012 includes a good amount of whole clusters, 40% to be specific."

Apple and pear nose with touches of cantaloupe and vanilla. Flavors are green apple, lemon, and honeydew. Moderate oak flavor, balanced with complex fruit intensity.

Very attractive wine and an exceptional value – a great everyday drinking wine. Medium garnet, aromas of cherry candy, underbrush, incense and fir balsam; fuller-bodied, more mouth-Read More...
coating and deeper-flavored than previous editions of this wine; also more barrel-inflected.
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