Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards 2005 Pinot Gris  (Santa Barbara County)

Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards

2005 Pinot Gris
(Santa Barbara County)

The fog-covered slopes of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA have the kind of cool days and nights that produce grapes with bright acidity, even when they are fully ripe. Before the movie Sideways came out, producers such as Foley, Clos Pepe, Melville, and Seasmoke garnered great press. Without the vision of Richard Sanford, they may not have followed. In 1969 he planted the Sanford & Benedict vineyard on the west side of Highway 101, while most others planted on the warmer east side. Sanford Winery’s Pinot Noirs brought early acclaim to the area.

Richard and his wife Thekla recently parted with the Sanford Winery and started Alma Rosa. Alma Rosa’s vineyards are farmed sustainably, and with twist-off screwcaps, chances of getting a corked bottle are greatly reduced.

With kiwi, lime zest, guava, starfruit, pineapple, and peach nectar notes, this island beauty has a sophisticated French twist like its Alsatian counterparts and nothing to do with the typically dry, crisp, light, and neutral style of Italian Pinot Grigio. Its richness, unctuosity, and notes of lemon crème pie, vanilla wafer, and twinkie, however, confirm very American roots. At only 14.1% alcohol – considerably light for Santa Barbara – and bone dry, this is a diva wine that dishes should be designed for, not the other way around.

Reviewed March 23, 2007 by Catherine Fallis.

The Wine

Winery: Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Pinot Gris
Appellation: Santa Barbara County
Grape: Pinot Gris / Grigio
Price: 750ml $16.00

Review Date: 3/23/2007

The Reviewer

Catherine Fallis

Founder and President of Planet Grape LLC, a company committed to bringing the joy of wine, food, and good living into the lives of everyday people, Catherine is creator of the “grape goddess guides to good living,” a series of books, television presentations, seminars, and e-learning programs. The fifth woman in the world to become a Master Sommelier, grape goddess Catherine Fallis is still very much down-to-earth.