April 2018 Reviews
By: Antonio Galloni
Alma Fria is entering a new phase of its life under the leadership of Carroll Kemp, who has moved on from Red Car, the winery he founded, to take over Alma Fria on a full-time bases. Kemp had previously been the winemaker at Alma Fria, so the transition should be pretty smooth. These new releases are impressive, and show Kemp has a strong foundation from which to build.
2015 Alma Fria Holtermann Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)
The highlight in this range, Alma Fria’s 2015 Pinot Noir Holtermann Vineyard is a very sexy wine. Racy, juicy and aromatically intense, the 2015 is another wine full of the natural radiance and richness the vintage provided on its own. Succulent red cherry, plum, menthol, licorice, lavender and spice all mesh together in this dense, super-expressive, yet mid-weight Pinot. Drinking window: 2019-2025.
2015 Alma Fria Campbell Ranch Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast)
The 2015 Chardonnay Campbell Ranch is translucent, striking and highly nuanced. Orange peel, butter, honey and light tropical notes all flesh out in the glass. The flavor profile is pure Hyde Wente clone – with all of its natural richness – and yet structurally the wine is medium in body and super-refined. Drinking window: 2018-2022.
2015 Alma Fria Doña Margarita Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)
The 2015 Pinot Noir Doña Margarita captures all the richness of the vintage while maintaining the aromatic lift and mid-weight structure that is typical of the Alma Fria. Succulent red cherry, plum, rose petal, sage and lavender all flesh out in this racy, dense Pinot Noir. The 15% whole clusters add aromatic nuance without overpowering the wine. Above all else, this is classic 2015. Drinking window: 2019-2025.
2015 Alma Fria Plural Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast)
The 2015 Chardonnay Plural is soft, pliant and super-expressive. Apricot, orchard fruit, smoke, chamomile and floral notes give the 2015 lovely texture to match its understated, gracious personality. This is a very pretty, appellation-level Chardonnay that nicely balances the richness of the year with a good bit of freshness. Fruit sources are Campbell Ranch and Zephyr Farms. Drinking window: 2018-2022.
2015 Alma Fria Plural Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)
The 2015 Pinot Noir Plural is another attractive, appellation-level wine from Alma Fria. Sweet red cherry, tobacco, mint and savory herb opens up nicely. The tannins are a bit burly, but otherwise this is well done for its level. The Sonoma Coast is a blend of press lots from Doña Margarita and Holtermann. Drinking window: 2018-2023.