By Rusty Gaffney
The Holtermann family has imported and represented many notable and leading wineries worldwide for three generations. Their personal relationship with the enologists, viticulturists and marketers of these wineries provided a unique lens through which the Holtermanns were able to gain insights into the challenges and intricacies of winegrowing. The Holtermann family planted their roots in the remote ridge tops of Annapolis in the Sonoma Coast and are now committed to handcrafting Pinot Noir and Chardonnay of elegance and complexity. Alma Fria wines are available through allocation: www.almafria.com.
2013 Alma Fria Plural Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.1% alc., 340 cases, $40. Native yeast fermentation, aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 10% new. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass Whole cluster character dominates the aromatics which offer scents of bark, spice and red rose petal. Less whole cluster driven on the palate, featuring mid weight flavors of well-spiced cherry and boysenberry with a slight stem note in the background. Good roundness, smoothly textured and admirable harmony with gripping acidity a dominant feature. Score: 88
2013 Alma Fria Holtermann Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
12.9% alc., 138 cases, $58. Vineyard planted in 2002 in Annapolis at 700 to 800 feet elevation. 10% whole cluster. Native yeast fermentation, aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is generous upon opening, offering hi-tone aromas of cherry, rose petal and exotic spices. Acidity drives the light to mid weight core of spiced cherry, cranberry and purple berry fruits that are framed by caressing tannins. The finish is fueled with a charge of fruit, leaving a citrus note in its wake. Still solid the next net day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 90
2013 Alma Fria Doña Margarita Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.2% alc., 143 cases, $58. Vineyard planted in 2002 in Freestone at 500 to 625 feet elevation. 10% whole cluster. Native yeast fermentation, aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 25% new.· Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. The nose is alive with aromas of black cherry, rose petal and woodshed. Imposing flavors of dark cherry, purple grape and berry, and vivid spice grab on to the palate and finish with an intense flourish. Fine-grain tannins add an appealing touch to the texture. A classy wine. Score: 92