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Sinor-LaVallee San Luis Obispo Albarino 2014

Albarino from Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    The ancient heritage of Albarino is rooted in steep terraced slopes overlooking the waterways of Spain's Rias Baixas region. This Albarino is a kindred spirit, planted to southeast-facing contoured terraces in the path of marine breezes originating from the Pacific Ocean just 1.2 miles away. For this reason, Sinor-LaVallee intentionally avoids the fresh, fruity immediacy of many California Albarinos. Rather, they whole-cluster press the fruit, then age the wine for 18 months in the barrel, allowing it to achieve mature varietal expression with a vivid sense of place.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Sinor-LaVallee

    Sinor-LaVallee

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    Sinor-LaVallee, Central Coast, California
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    Mike Sinor is recognized as one of the Central Coast's highest-rated winemakers. Wines made by Mike have scored 96 points in the Wine Spectator, 95 points in Connoiseur's Guide, 92 points in Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate and 95 points in Wine Enthusiast. In 2012 Mike was voted as Winemaker of the Year for San Luis Obispo County.

    The word that best describes Mike is "Fanatical." He is a self-made winemaker with no formal winemaking education who worked his way up from "cellar rat" through grit, determination and sheer love of wine.

    Raised in Visalia, CA, Mike attended California Polythechnic State University at San Luis Obispo with the objective of becoming a high school shop teacher. He financed his college education by working at several local wineries -- an experience that ignited his passion for the craft of making wine. Mike met his future wife, Cheri LaVallee, in a chemistry class at Cal Poly (now that's Chemistry 101).

    Mike has traveled to France on numerous occasions, delving into the winemaking experiences of Burgunday, Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley. He also took a winemaking sabbatical to Australia's Margaret River in 2001. These travels are integral to his winemaking fabric and outlook

    Central Coast

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    The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

    Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

    While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

    Albarino

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    Bright and aromatic with distinctive floral and fruity characteristics, Albariño has enjoyed a surge in popularity over the last couple of decades. This grape claims dual citizenship of both Spain (in the Rías Baixas region) and Portugal, where it is widely planted in the northwest and is known as Alvarinho. In recent years, plantings have increased throughout California.

    In the Glass

    Bursting with rich, ripe flavor, Albariño can show flavors of orange blossom, lime, pear, melon and white peach. It may also have notes of raw almond, freshly cut grass, jasmine or geranium. The best examples boast zingy acidity and often a briny, mineral quality. It is typically fermented in stainless steel to preserve purity of fruit, though oak-aged examples can provide a weighty yet refreshing alternative to Chardonnay with surprising potential for aging. Due to Albariño’s thick skins and large number of pips, it often shows a hint of attractive bitterness on the palate.

    Perfect Pairings

    Albariño loves seafood, and can be paired with a variety of marine delicacies. Its distinctive waxy texture and lemony acidity make it a perfect pairing with fresh sardines, oysters, octopus or squid.

    Sommelier Secret

    Albariño is considered an aromatic variety, and actually shares characteristic with Viognier, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Muscat. If you enjoy these elegantly perfumed whites, chances are you’ll love Albariño.

    HNYSNLALO14C_2014 Item# 208956