Search: (advanced)

External search
Google (images)
Wine Advocate
Wine Spectator


From this producer
Show all wines
All tasting notes
  Home | All Cellars | Tasting Notes | Reports | UsersHelp | Member Sign In 

 Vintage2005 Label 1 of 13 
ProducerAlma Rosa (web)
VarietyPinot Noir
SubRegionCentral Coast
AppellationSta. Rita Hills
OptionsShow variety and appellation

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2007 and 2011 (based on 7 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Alma Rosa Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 89.5 pts. and median of 90 pts. in 79 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by gfish on 8/4/2013 & rated 86 points: This bottle was past it's peak and on the decline. There is still some fruit and it's not bad, but if you have any bottles left I recommend drinking them soon. (1283 views)
 Tasted by wine_snob on 10/5/2012 & rated 90 points: notes of cherry, light strawberry, spice. a tad light on the finish but went well with a cheese flight (1827 views)
 Tasted by gfish on 7/4/2012: This bottle was past prime and on the decline. If you have some I'd drink it soon. I need to dig out my last bottle and have it soon. (1977 views)
 Tasted by gfish on 8/25/2011 & rated 88 points: - Darker color for a pinot, but can still through the wine
- Nose of spice, black cherry, dark fruit and a tinge of heat (listed as 14.1% alcohol)
- On the palate dark cherry, blueberry, cola, and spice. The tannins are relaxed and acidity is decent.
I would drink this soon as I don't see this getting any better and will start declining. (2777 views)
 Tasted by markjahnke on 8/20/2011: Nothing at all like other bottles, with sour, lacking fruit, and very syrah-like. Very disappointing to say the least. (2707 views)
 Tasted by pinoteer on 6/25/2011 & rated 90 points: Decanted for about an hour and drank over two nights. Still drinking well, but is at its peak. Tart cherries, cola, and spices. I plan to drink my remaining two bottles within a year. (1879 views)
 Tasted by gfish on 6/2/2011 & rated 89 points: Drank over the course of 2 days.
Still hints of blue in the color but clear enough to see your fingers through it.
Nose of dark cherries, spice and even a little earthy element (stronger on day 1).
Palate has a very strong cola flavor (which seems typical of many Sta Rita Hills pinots). Also, cherry, spices, ginger and ripe fruit to the point of having a little sweetness. Decent acidity and the tannins have fully relaxed. (1624 views)
 Tasted by 17seconds on 4/22/2011 & rated 90 points: Finally drank this one after 4 years in the cellar. A lot going on - "wild" is a good word. You know it's Pinot all the way. I don't normally drink Pinot Noir but this one was quite enjoyable. (1743 views)
 Tasted by ewisor on 10/28/2010 & rated 89 points: Unscrewed and poured. I think this wine is still drinking quite well. It has definitely changed since I opened my first bottle two years ago. The bright young fruitiness has been tamed and the deeper, earthy notes are becoming more prominent. It was very good early on and it is very good now. Structure seems to indicate it has a few years of aging possible (if you like an aged Pinot that is). Sadly, I've only got one more left... (2216 views)
 Tasted by D H Grant on 9/18/2010 & rated 89 points: Bright but semi opaque medium plumb color. Cherries - bright and high toned, funk and mushroom. On the palate: cherries, red fruit - lilting and fairly complex, medium bodied, forest floor underpinnings. Defined and clear fresh flavors for an 2005. Opens on the finish with spice notes. Good value and interestingly good. (2141 views)
 Tasted by gfish on 8/28/2010 & rated 89 points: Nice color and transparency, even has a few tinges of blue.

Nose of red fruit including a cherry, pomegranate, cranberry and raspberry.

The red fruit continue on the palate. Flavors of cherry and pmmegranate continue. Good balance and acidity, tannins are smooth and well integrated, and a good finish. This is a good southern cali pinot, especially for the price. 89 - 90 (2214 views)
 Tasted by markjahnke on 6/25/2010 & rated 90 points: Similar notes. More to come. (2378 views)
 Tasted by markjahnke on 5/22/2010 & rated 89 points: Twisted and poored at Yummy Sushi Robbinsville. Still a heck of a tasty pinot, but not nearly as good as it has been in past bottles. Typical ruby color, with typical Santa Rita Hills nose: strawberry, black cherry, slight hints of cola, and some earth and spice. Nice Raspberry and dark cherry on the palate, with some subtle spices and a smooth finish. Still tasty, but I don't see this wine improving any with more time. Will revisit the '04 and '05 side by side soon! More to come! (2463 views)
 Tasted by wine4ever on 5/11/2010 & rated 86 points: Not nearly as impressive as the last few times I had it....luckily my last bottle. Still pretty good, but drink up. (2481 views)
 Tasted by Brian1970 on 1/7/2010 & rated 91 points: Drinking beautifully. Ruby garnet color. Light strawberry and earth nose, and same on the palate. Very well integrated, paired well with several courses. Supple, lengthy finish. (2835 views)
 Tasted by Rich S on 10/11/2009 & rated 91 points: Medium ruby color. Nose of dried cherries, strawberries and cream, fresh soil and some other earthy notes. Similar flavors on the palate with sour cherry and a bit of tart cranberry. Very smooth mouthfeel and finish. Well balanced with nice acidity makes this an ideal pinot for food pairing. (2834 views)
 Tasted by Scruff on 7/21/2009: Wow, a big difference to the prior year's offering. Garnet in color with a little bricking on the edges. Interesting forest floor funkiness, forest fruits and strawberries on the nose. Green bell peppers, stems and asparagus on the attack but quickly the fruit comes through with strawberries and cherries with a nice acid on the finish. The greenness seems to dissipate the more the wine opened up so a little decanting might help get rid of some of the funk. Medium to light body with a nice silky mouth feel. Solid Pinot. (3060 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 3/22/2009: Brought to and drunk at Cindy and Andy's. Nice bottle. (3189 views)
 Tasted by wicozani on 2/9/2009 & rated 90 points: Delicious pinot noir! Our experience is essentially the same as both valecnik and *Vine* below. A wonderful surprise, and seemingly good for another year or two. (3183 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 1/3/2009: Dinner at Luke's with Jeri and Michael. Good food - should try again. Wine a nice complement for the lamb dish I had. (3197 views)
 Tasted by valecnik on 12/4/2008 & rated 91 points: Definitely more mature than when I last had it a year ago. More funk and earth on the nose, and some coffee too. Velvety mouthfeel, lots of scrumptious cherry, and a deep, rich breadth of flavor. Nice lingering finish. (3271 views)
 Tasted by wine4ever on 11/27/2008 & rated 89 points: Slightly better than last bottle. Unscrewed and poured....first few tastes are always disappointing, light, spritzy, overly acidic.....but over time the wine really improves...takes on additional weight, complexity, and becomes smooth. There is lots of cherry, but also some hint of earthiness and spice. For $24 this a really good value Pinot. Drink now and over next 3 years. (3212 views)
 Tasted by ewisor on 10/17/2008 & rated 90 points: 1st bottle opened, 5 more remain. Classic style very similar to earlier Sanford Pinot vintages that i loved. I'm glad Richard took the maigic with him! (3345 views)
 Tasted by Mrbuzz on 10/15/2008 & rated 94 points: God I love this wine! (3358 views)
 Tasted by Sir Lloyd on 8/2/2008 & rated 89 points: Light and fruity. Soft cherries and tannins. Very enjoyable. (3413 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Gary Vaynerchuk
Wine Library TV, Pinot Noir Face Off, Episode #186 (2/20/2007)
(ALMAROSA PINOT NOIR SANTA RITA HILLS) #2; COLOR-medium; NOSE-wild nose, really nice cherry, Mani Kasha, pepper, earth tones, heavy dose of asparagus, real nice; TASTE-Wow!, cherry cola, cherry, lavender all over the palate, great acidity, wonderful structure, great food wine, very pleasant, very rounded fruit flavors, little leather, vibrant, young, structured, beautiful, polished & harmony throughout; WS-90; GV-91+  91+ points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Wine Library TV. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Alma Rosa

Producer website

40 Years of Sustainable Winegrowing History
Richard Sanford came to the Santa Ynez Valley 40 years ago with the desire to create wines that would rival the best of France. First to recognize the potential of the Santa Rita Hills (now an officially accredited American Viticultural Area as Sta. Rita Hills), and first to plant Pinot Noir vines there, Richard is a pioneer with a well established reputation for excellence in winemaking.

Working in partnership for more than 30 years, Thekla and Richard Sanford founded multiple, successful winegrowing enterprises. Their latest venture, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, represents the culmination of a lifetime’s experience – an enterprise dedicated to creating high quality wines and setting a benchmark for organic farming, sustainable agriculture methods, and environment-friendly commerce.

The Sanford Story
Richard Sanford graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in Geography in 1965. He was immediately drafted into the military and served as a naval officer in the Vietnam war until 1968.

Returning from the war and wanting to pursue a more earth-connected occupation, Richard dreamt of discovering a local climate zone similar to the Burgundy region of France, growing Pinot Noir in California, and producing wine that would rival the best in the world. Using his background in Geography and studying the climates of California since 1900, Richard discovered a remarkable geographic anomaly – the transverse mountain range of California. These mountains run east and west, and the valleys open to the west allowing cool maritime air to blow in and moderate the growing climate.

After locating acreage with well drained soils in the chosen climate zone Richard organized a partnership to purchase a ranch, and there he planted the first Pinot Noir vineyard in the region (at Sanford & Benedict Vineyard in 1970).

At that time, growing grapes of any kind in this region was unheard of, but as it turns out, Richard’s hunch about the area was correct. The climate allows for a long, cool growing season which results in high acid grapes at harvest – perfect conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Since their first bottling, the wines from this region have been known for their extraordinary balance and depth, winning praise and accolades from wine writers and wine aficionados alike.

In 1976 Richard met his future wife Thekla Brumder. They married in 1978, and in 1981 they started Sanford Winery together and for the next 27 years produced award-winning wines sold in 50 states and 16 countries.

In 1983 the Sanfords planted their first 100% organic vineyard at Rancho El Jabalí. The La Rinconada and La Encantada vineyards followed, and in the year 2000 all Sanford estate vineyards were the first in Santa Barbara County to be certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).

Differences in business philosophy led to a separation from their namesake winery in 2005. Richard and Thekla started in a new direction, leaving Sanford Winery to found Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, a new venture dedicated to organic farming and sustainable agriculture. The vineyards of Alma Rosa are located on an original Mexican land grant, Rancho Santa Rosa. In Spanish alma means soul; so the name Alma Rosa reflects the Sanfords’ view that their wines are a reflection of the soul of the rancho. Alma also expresses the soulful connection they enjoy with one another, their employees, and the land where they first became winegrowers more than 35 years ago.

With over 100 acres of certified organic vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards focuses on continued excellence in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir - Vin Gris (a dry rosé). All wines are food friendly and display the high acid, and extraordinary balance for which Richard Sanford’s wines have been known since 1976.

With new energy and a positive focus, Richard and Thekla Sanford are excited about Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards and hope you will continue to enjoy their efforts in bringing you and your family together to share good food, good wine, and a sustainable future.

Pinot Noir

Varietal character (Appellation America) | Varietal article (Wikipedia)
Pinot Noir is the Noble red grape of Burgundy, capable of ripening in a cooler climate, which Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot will not reliably do. It is unpredictable and difficult both to grow and to vinify, but results in some of the finest reds in the world. It is believed to have been selected from wild vines two thousand years ago. It is also used in the production of champagne. In fact, more Pinot Noir goes into Champagne than is used in all of the Cote d'Or! It is also grown in Alsace, Germany, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Croatia, Serbia, Italy, Austria, and so forth, with varying degrees of success.


WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


California Wines (Wine Institute of California)

California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

Central Coast

Central Coast Wine Growers Association

ABOVE WEBSITE NO LONGER EXISTS - Following websites may provide info. for CA Central Coast wineries and organizations (valid as of March 2015):

Central Coast AVA Wikipedia

© 2003-16 CellarTracker! LLC. All rights reserved. "CellarTracker!" is a trademark of CellarTracker! LLC. No part of this website may be used, reproduced or distributed without the prior written permission of CellarTracker! LLC. (Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. DB3) - Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook