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Alfaro Family A Estate Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
  • WW89
13.5% ABV
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Light straw in color. The intense flavors of pear, apple and white peach are followed by a hint of lemon curd and honeyed oak.

This wine pairs well with fish, shellfish, poultry or serve as an aperitif.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 89
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
A classic example of white wine from the Santa Cruz Mountains, the nicely built 2016 Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery "A" Estate Chardonnay shows a bounty of ripe core fruits, some wood, and savory herbs. The wine's pleasing richness makes it an excellent sipping wine with skewered shrimps. (Tasted: August 21, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
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Alfaro Family

Alfaro Family

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Alfaro Family, Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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Richard Alfaro and his wife Mary Kay enjoy the fruits of their labor. After a satisfying career as the founders of a restaurant and the wholesale baking company known under their own name - Alfaro's Micro Bakery - the couple shifted gears in 1997, acquiring an aging 75 acre apple farm south of Santa Cruz in Corralitos, California, which they subsequently transformed into Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery. With 56 acres currently under vine, the most-recently planted 8 acres was CCOF Certified Organic in 2010.

Santa Cruz Mountains

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A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to the northern border of Monterey County. Elevations range from 800 feet to upwards of 3,000 and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lie; cool ocean winds and fog play an important role here. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for balanced acidity levels, often showing great aging potential. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, while Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

MBWCH16AF_2016 Item# 271073