Sips of Recently Tasted California Pinot Noir, Vol 9, Issue 50, November 2014

By Rusty Gaffney


Alma Fria

Alma Fria (“al-mah-free-ah”) translates to the soul of a family or the cold of a geography). A new, very noteworthy player in the Pinot marketplace. Friendly people too. A member of West Sonoma County Vintners. Magnums available online too. Visit

2012 Alma Fria Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.1% alc., 350 cases, $35. · Moderate reddish purple color in the galss. Nicely scented with hi-tone black cherries, black raspberries and a hint of oak. Strikingly silky on the palate with a luscious charge of black cherry, huckleberry and Marionberry flavors accented with spice and peppery herbs. Picks up intensity and interest over time in the glass, showing persistence on the berry-laden finish. Score: 91

2012 Alma Fria Doña Margarita Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
230 cases, $58. 10% whole cluster. Native yeast fermentation. Aged in 25% new French oak. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Enchanting aromas of Damson plum, cherry and exotic spices which become more effusive over time. I have nothing but good things to say about this wine which features delicious dark red cherry, raspberry and plum flavors, soft tannins, lively acidity, good integration of oak, and impressive harmony. Exceptional length, cut and class. Score: 93

2012 Alma Fria Holtermann Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
12.9% alc., 185 cases, $58. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Attention-getting aromas of cherry, sous-bois, bramble and complimentary oak spice. Nicely crafted, with flavors of plum, cherry, raspberry and spice and supportive soft tannins. Welcoming elegance, with a gorgeous note of fresh raspberry juice on the long finish. Even better later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 92