Friday, January 14, 2005

Winecology: Domaine Alfred - Chamisal Vineyard Pinot Noir, Edna Valley 2001

A fabulous pinot from the Central Coast of California. Domaine Alfred had its first vintage in 1998 but is already excelling with Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Syrah and a host of specialty blends in addition to Pinot Noir. That's quite an accomplishment considering the estate replanted vines on a dormant vineyard just 8 years ago. Domaine Alfred offers two levels of Pinot - the Domaine offering and a higher-end Califa.

The 2001 Domaine Pinot Noir was bright, light ruby in color. It presented forward and intense dark cherries with earth subtly in the background. On the palette the wine delivered extracted raspberries, strawberries and luscious cherry fruit. Aging over 60% new French oak and 40% 1 to 2 year old French oak conjured up interesting woodsy notes and a velvety mouthfeel. Soft tannins provide an elegant structure. Long finish with persistent fruit.

Rating - 9.5 out of 10
Price - $28

Now if they could only doll up that label a little bit...