Friday, May 28, 2010

ALMA ROSA STA. RITA HILLS PINOT BLANC 2007


Enjoying the fruits of your labor, as the saying goes, is alright.  But it's not as good as enjoying the fruits of someone else's labor.  Especially when that someone has a 40-year track record of turning out some exceedingly good fruit for his effort.

Alma Rosa Winery is owned and run by Richard and Thekla Sanford.  Richard Sanford planted grapes in the Santa Rita Hills in 1970, according to the winery's website.  That made him a true pioneer, and it may have made him a lonely guy, too.  He was one of the only grape growers in the SRH back then.

Sanford's estate vineyards were the first ones in Santa Barbara County to receive organic certification from the California Certified Organic Farmers.  His wines are said to be known for their high acid and great structure.

Alma Rosa's Santa Rita Hills Pinot Blanc shows a soft golden hue in the glass.  It sees brief oak in used barrels, so the oak influence is somewhat restrained.   

I get honeysuckle on the nose.  Nectarines are there, too, with a bit of wet rock, but just a touch. Some vanilla and spice notes dance around in the background.

This Pinot Blanc has a very creamy mouthfeel, and buttery, too.  Quite full and mellow it is, and yet the acidity is bracing at the same time.  Flavors of pears and a hint of citrus are in the taste, with a trace of cantaloupe.

There is no malolactic fermentation used in the production of this wine, which is usually used to produce a full feel in the mouth.  This wine certainly fills the mouth nicely on its own.  On the palate, the texture of the wood is noticeable, but not bothersome at all.  It's at 14.3% abv and sells for $18 at the winery, where I bought mine.

By the way, serve it next to a bowl of nuts.  It's great with peanuts.