The Alfaro Family Vineyard & Winery sits near the top for us of a very short list of California producers that are still 'true' family run wineries and are still capable of delivering tremendous values. For over 20 years the family has owned and managed great parcels along the Santa Cruz Mountain chain, which in and of itself is often overlooked in California as one of the great sources for cooler climate influenced wines. The heavy fog blanket that rolls dramatically over the mountains on an almost daily basis cools the air and limits sun exposure, a huge contrast to the Santa Clara Valley below. The vineyards through here are scattered as optimum growing sites compete with real estate development and Forest conservation. Not much bulk wine available for making more value oriented wines, yet somehow Alfaro cobble together delicious, distinctive wines through their 'A' label series, even if it's only a few hundred cases at a time. This Syrah is borne from two parcels under the family's control, one of which is the source for their own single vineyard bottling and sold to other wineries for their own higher end projects. This is not a 'lesser' wine by taste, only by price.
A deep ruby color, from the first pour the aromatics of the wine show off the Northern Rhone inspirations with cool, smoky cherry, cracked black pepper, and raspberries off the vine. Minimal barrel aging gives only a tinge of toastiness to the nose, allowing the natural savory dark fruit of Syrah to shine through. Also as inspired by the wines of Crozes-Hermitage and St Joseph in the Rhone, the cooler temperature keeps the alcohol and weight of the wine down, letting the palate deliver the same savory character as the nose without any sweetness or alcoholic burn. The bright acidity even delivers a bit more gamey/bloody note and tartness to the dark fruits, and the surprisingly fine tannins are given extra texture from the wine being bottled unfiltered. This impressive, succulent red has lots of potential life ahead for those that like a bit more elegance in their Syrah, but at this price you can be impulsive and pull this for any great cookout or tailgate celebrations ahead when the meat is as good as the company.
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The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!