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 Vintage2006 Label 1 of 5 
ProducerAlma Rosa (web)
VarietyPinot Noir
VineyardLa Encantada Vineyard
SubRegionCentral Coast
AppellationSta. Rita Hills
UPC Code(s)858284001028

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2010 and 2013 (based on 6 user opinions)

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 89.2 pts. and median of 89 pts. in 73 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by IlonaN on 2/7/2014 & rated 90 points: At a perfect drinking window, with rose petals, gentle strawberry and red berry flavors, and a nice loamy earthiness as well. Drink up if you have any! (830 views)
 Tasted by studleytrey on 11/18/2013 & rated 88 points: Deep garnet color. Aromas and flavors of earth, smoke, black cherry, and oak spice. Light body, medium acid and finish. Not confusing this for Burgundy, but its heart is in the right place, and stylistically in that vein. Enjoyable weeknight pinot for lighter fare. (1084 views)
 Tasted by Baylorwine on 6/12/2013 & rated 88 points: Wished I had drank it with the other bottle. While still a nicely balanced wine, it has taken on a bit of bitterness (not tannic) making it seem drier than it really is. (1488 views)
 Tasted by WinePT on 12/1/2012 & rated 87 points: Subtle flavors of plum and blueberry. Some light smoke and earth, possibly a hint of vanilla. Not holding together well at 6 hours. Neither bottle of this wine impressed me. (1992 views)
 Tasted by dalemosier on 11/4/2012 & rated 91 points: Continues to be an excellant pinot. Great balance of fruit and acid. Taste lingers nicely - will savor my remaining 3 bottles over the next year or two. (2047 views)
 Tasted by SCMeyer on 11/3/2012 & rated 89 points: Very nice nose on this CA Pinot. Ripe cherry cola gives to an agreeable dry bitterness in the finish. Good value at $17 bucks if you like CA Pinot Noir, not at all boring like some. (1382 views)
 Tasted by MLipton on 6/8/2012: Darker fruit profile than previous bottles displayed, still with good acidity and a sense of restraint, but less bright and juicy overall and displaying more depth. More Californian in profile now, but still very enjoyable and a well-made example of Pinot Noir. (1762 views)
 Tasted by David_T on 6/3/2012 & rated 87 points: Aromas of earth/smoke and dark cherry. Black cherry and cranberry notes come through on the palate, along with quite a bit of acidity and a touch of earth. Slightly better on day two than day one. Somewhat short finish. (1362 views)
 Tasted by Baylorwine on 5/27/2012 & rated 91 points: Beautiful soft wine. No cola to be found (in a good way). Waiting another year to try the next one. (988 views)
 Tasted by Drmarg on 5/25/2012 & rated 90 points: Glad we cellared this beauty for four years. Drinking nicely right now and still may have 2 more years of cellar potential. I didn't have much hope for this wine when initially tasting back in '08. Hot, acidic, unbalanced in it's youth. Way softer now, with a surprising amount of complexity and distinct flavor profile. Highly recommend a minimum of one hour decant. Wild strawberry, plum and earth. Very much in line with Santa Rita hills pinots. Nice work! (923 views)
 Tasted by wendyinwlv on 3/26/2012 & rated 85 points: Very good. A nice light tasting pinot (1207 views)
 Tasted by Quarked on 2/23/2012: First night this was nice but unexceptional. Second night it was much fuller, smokier. 87 for first night, 89 for second. (1292 views)
 Tasted by dalemosier on 2/18/2012 & rated 89 points: nice fruit, good balance; tasted beside Wild Horse -preferred it less fruit, better balance. (1292 views)
 Tasted by MLipton on 12/11/2011: At this point, this is beautiful example of what CA Pinot Noir should be and so often is not: lush, velvety, medium bodied with balanced acidity and smoky notes. This won't be mistaken for Burgundy, but neither will it be mistaken for Syrah. (1791 views)
 Tasted by PBG on 10/14/2011 & rated 86 points: Tasted too thin and diluted - very little fruit coming through on this one. Actually, a little herbally and green. The alcohol was more pronounced as a result. This was OK but there are better Pinots for the money and drinking pleasure. (1914 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 8/6/2011 & rated 87 points: Seemed a little hot and oaky. Got better as it opened. I'd let this breathe a little next time. (3205 views)
 Tasted by WinePT on 7/14/2011 & rated 87 points: Took a hour or two to fully open up. Light, soft black fruit at first with a forest floor/wood and spice/cocoa coating. Even a bit charred at first. The fruit came thru with some time, but was left me wanting more. (2459 views)
 Tasted by David_T on 7/5/2011 & rated 86 points: This has pleasant aromatics of forest floor covering dark berries. On the palate, things started off well with a cranberry/sour cherry attack, however on the midpalate it turned very acidic and there was next to no finish. Not bad overall, but not doing much to impress me. (2357 views)
 Tasted by corkscrews on 6/22/2011 & rated 90 points: A nose of cherries and spice, medium garnet in color. A medium bodied Pinot, with black cherry, plum, currants, some dusty spices, a easy drinking wine with a good finish. (2402 views)
 Tasted by abnye27 on 6/13/2011 & rated 91 points: very solid pinot for the price - rich, dark and full bodied (2608 views)
 Tasted by njAndrew on 6/12/2011 & rated 89 points: Dark cherry, cranberry and a touch of spice. Medium body, nice acid and not over the top. A nice pinot and good value at the >$20 that I grabbed it for. Opened up with some air and got better as the meal and time went on, don't PnP. (2514 views)
 Tasted by jpdel on 6/6/2011 & rated 89 points: Old world traditional style Pinot. Nose of barnyard and load of sour cherries, cranberries on the palate. Nice food wine. (2625 views)
 Tasted by pifcho on 5/14/2011 & rated 90 points: Spent more time with this one that with the previous one and this is one very very good pinot. Definitely more old world than new world, this has a very interesting mix of forest fruits, herbs and earth, which I have yet to find in a CA pinot. Makes me think Pernand somehow. Drank better on the 2nd night, but very enjoyable on PnP. Fantastic value. (2641 views)
 Tasted by dsruban on 5/10/2011 & rated 91 points: Excellent Pinot - typical nose of black cherries and raspberries, confirmed by the palate with long finish and hints of pepper and mild tannins at the end. (2750 views)
 Tasted by WinstonWolfe on 5/8/2011 & rated 85 points: Solid for the price (2805 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Josh Raynolds
Vinous, November/December 2008, IWC Issue #141
(Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards Pinot Noir La Encantada Vineyard Santa Rita Hills) Subscribe to see review text.
By Allen Meadows
Burghound, 4th Quarter, 2008, Issue #32
(Alma Rosa Winery Pinot Noir La Encantada Vineyard Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (10/26/2008)
(Alma Rosa Pinot Noir La Encantada Vineyard) Medium cherry red color; primary cherry, berry nose; tight, tart berry, cherry palate with acidity; medium finish  86 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous and Burghound and RJonWine.com. (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.

La Encantada Vineyard

From the May 2013 Club Testarossa tasting notes:

La Encantada Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills

This is our first release from this vineyard planted by Richard Sanford. La Encantada is one of the coolest sites in the very cool climate Santa Rita Hills-Appellation: The vineyaroisplanted ona ridge which straddles the Santa Ynez River Valley and is open to the full impact of the cooling afternoon maritime breezes. Of the 96 acres of Pinot Noir planted here, Testarossa works with 2 acres of clone 667.

Recognized as an official 'American Viticultural Area" (AVA) in May of 2001, the Sta. Rita Hills AVA is a relatively small appellation of approximately 100 square miles. It extends from 4 miles west of Highway 101 (at Buellton) to about 2 miles east of Lompoc on both sides of the Santa Ynez River, and is bounded on the north by the south-facing slope of the Purisima Hills and on the south by the north-facing slopes of the Santa Rosa Hills. This valley that runs east-west along the Santa Ynez River allows the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean to travel east, creating a long, cool growing season perfect for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.


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):


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