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The 2008 Alma Rosa is 100% Pinot Noir from the Santa Rita Hills in California and the ABV is 14.1%. The 2010 Vina Leyda Las Brisas is 100% Pinot Noir from the region of Chile and the ABV is 14.5%.
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2008 Alma Rosa Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills
"While the fruit flavors have ripened to dark cherry and currants, there's still a transparency to the wine, a rosy briskness that lightens the richness. The sandy tannins have a dark, cola-like tone. For roast duck." 91 Pts Wine & Spirits
"This is very earthy with a gamey and plum character that verges on prunes. Full and fruity with chewy tannins on the finish. Interesting despite the funkiness. Give it a year or two before drinking. Screw cap." 90 points James Suckling - JamesSuckling.com
"Textbook old-world varietal character, showing the brilliant, fresh, flashy side of Pinot Noir. Bright raspberry and bing cherry notes are enhanced by a sassy, spicy element and refreshing acidity. Both of our organically farmed vineyards, El Jabali and La Encantada, are blended together to create this, our primary bottling of Pinot Noir. We'd serve it with poultry dishes, lighter pastas, and steak-y fish preparations." -Winery
"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."
"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." -Winery
"In 1983 the Sanfords planted their first 100% organic vineyard at Rancho El Jabali. 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)." -Winery
This was also rated 88 points in the International Wine Cellar, 88 points by Allen Meadows of Burghound, 87 points in the Wine Advocate, and 87 points by the Wine Spectator.
2010 Vina Leyda Las Brisas Vineyard Pinot Noir
"The 2010 Pinot Noir Las Brisas Vineyard was aged for 10 months in French oak, 15% new. It sports darker fruit, greater richness, and more density than the Classic cuvee while also displaying excellent Pinot character and intelligent pricing."
"Vina Leyda, named for the region in which it is located, specializes in cool-climate wines. The new collection ranges from excellent to outstanding." 90 Pts Jay Miller - The Wine Advocate
"Bright and intense in color. Clean and direct fruity nose with red cherries, hints of raspberries and a subtle wild herb note. Delicate and refined on the palate. Juicy with ripe flavors of berries combined with mineral notes and a lively acidity." -Importer
"100% Pinot Noir from estate vineyards in the Leyda Valley. The Las Brisas vineyard was planted in 1998 on a southwestern facing slope. Because of this exposure, this block gets somewhat less sunlight and the influence of ocean breezes is higher. The ripening process occurs at a slower pace, contributing to the development of special flavors and aromas. Production in this block is 1.6 tons per acre. The grapes were hand harvested and de-stemmed. 30% of the grapes were kept whole (not crushed) during cold maceration and the beginning of fermentation. The grapes were chilled to 50 degrees F and remained in open stainless steel tanks for 6 days before the introduction of selected yeast. Fermentation took place over 7 days at 80-82 degrees F with punch downs 3-4 times per day. The wine was racked into 2nd-use French oak barrels and aged for 10 months. 14.5% alcohol." -Importer
"Leyda is an innovative winery, dedicated to using the latest technology to analyze every detail of the region. Their ongoing research ensures that each variety performs to its maximum potential and state-of-the-art equipment with a diverse selection of barrel types ensures that Leyda consistently produces some of Chile's most expressive, highest-quality wines."
"The most distinguishing characteristic of Leyda is its location. Nestled in the rolling hills of Chile's coastal mountain range, in its namesake Leyda Valley. Just eight miles from the Pacific Ocean, the area has a distinctly cool, maritime climate with moderate, rainy winters, dry summers and a unique influence from the sea. Sea breezes and ocean mist carried by the Humboldt Current have a tempering effect on the otherwise hot summers of this latitude. Evening fog moves into the vineyards and dissipates in the early morning, with clear days, lots of sunlight and low relative humidity. These climate characteristics allow grape ripening to take place at a slower pace, prompting a robust development of aromas and fruity flavors, and ensuring a perfect balance of sugar and acidity in the wines." -Importer
This was also rated 88 points in the International Wine Cellar, 87 points in the Wine Spectator, and 85 points in the Wine Enthusiast.