Alfaro Family Lester Family Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
Medium ruby color, this wine shows delicate aromas of rose petals. On the palate, it offers notes of ripe strawberry, cranberry, and cherry fruits. It is elegant and juicy, with a good backbone of acidity and a long finish.
Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains near the town of Aptos, the Lester Family Vineyards at Deer Park is owned by the Dan and Pat Lester Family. The vineyard is planted to Dijon clones 115, 667, 777 as well as Clone 37 (Mount Eden), and the Swiss Clones 2A and 23. The elevation is approximately 450 feet, with sandy loam soil. Because of close proximity to the Monterey Bay, the grapes are able to attain full physiological ripeness without excessive brix levels, resulting in wines of exceptional intensity and balance.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2017 Pinot Noir Lester Family Vineyards aged 10 months in 33% new French oak. Pale to medium ruby, it's scented of toasted coconut, red and black cherries and berries with touches of graphite, earth, amaro and tree bark. The palate is medium-bodied with mushroom and earth-laced fruits, a grainy frame and good juiciness on the finish.
After a long and satisfying career as the founder of Alfaro’s Micro Bakery, one of California’s premier gourmet bakeries, Richard Alfaro was presented with a unique opportunity in the form of an aging 75 acre apple farm in Corralitos. An offer was made on the baking company by an interested buyer, and in 1998 this forgotten piece of land was lovingly transformed by Richard and his wife Mary Kay, into what is now known as Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery. In the ensuing years, the Bread Baker became the Winemaker, captivating discriminating wine drinkers along the way. Today there are a total of 38 acres under vine in Corralitos, 18 more in Aptos, and all of the vines are cared for personally by Richard and his crew. The acreage is comprised of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, Malbec and Gruner Veltliner. All of the production from start to finish occurs in-house so the grapes take a very short trip from vineyard to bottle. Two of the vineyards are named after the Alfaro’s children, Lindsay Paige and Ryan Spencer. Wife Mary Kay, a certified sommelier, assists Richard while running the office, managing the tasting room and handling the needs of their growing wine club.
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.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”