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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wine of the Week: 2010 Big Basin Vineyards, Alfaro Family Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains

“If we sip the wine, we find dreams coming upon us out of the imminent night”  D.H. Lawrence

Mr. Lawrence may say sip, but honestly I prefer to slurp. With that awful picture planted firmly in your mind, good [late] afternoon to you all, and welcome to my Wine of the Week. I discovered this gem last night during #WineChat, where there was a grape discussion about the fantastic 'juice' being poured in tasting rooms all over the Santa Cruz Mountains. If you've not been to the area before, may I highly suggest you do so soon. 

I swooned [no not kidding] with delight over the three different selections of Pinot Noir, being poured, tasted and discussed last night via #winechat. That's not something I usually do either, typically I'll find at least one wine in a tasting like that to make me wanna 'crinkle' my nose and sigh. But these wines wouldn't allow me to have any of that last night, instead my palate was doing the happy dance.

Sad to say and hard to admit, but this was my first experience with this amazing example of Santa Cruz Mountain AVA Pinot Noir, it was a sheer pleasure. The nose straight from the bottle was complex yet very inviting perfume, cranberry, brown sugar, wet-earth and loads of baking spices. After the first pour a bright colored core of strawberry and red raspberry invite the first sip. Diving into the glass, inviting aromas of baking spices, a slap of of new summer cherries, wild cranberries and sandalwood. 
"The steep hillsides, cooling ocean breezes and fog, and mountain soils promote the development of color and complex flavors." Bradley Brown
On the palate a truckload of finesse coupled together with opulent fruit, which hangs nicely on a canvas of firm acid and delicate tannins [texture baby]. This wine is sleek and elegant showcasing a mix of dried cherry, strawberry jam fused with a touch of spice and toasty oak nuances, leading to a sumptuous, long lasting finish. I cooked up a little wild-caught sockeye salmon action, with my special recipe and some other tasty fixin's [which you see below]. Then Mrs. Cuvee and I were off to the pool don't you know, we were "Swimming in Pinot Pairing Paradise" [the title for my new book].  
We believe in and employ sustainable and organic farming practices." Bradley Brown
This is the type of quality juice that has me wanting to oddly jump inside the bottle to slurp up the remainder and I do that via what I call bottle tipping. What is that you ask, oh that's simple that's just me laying the [nearly empty] bottle on its side which causes it to pool, so I may get those last few precious drops into my glass. Oh by the way, it paired oh-so marvelously with our Salmon-Bake. To say this wine was good would be a vast understatement, because it did in fact "wow" my socks off

They [the winemaking team] at Big Basin, go through a lot of effort to make their wines stand out and stand out they do, at least speaking for what must be one of their flagship and/or signatures Pinot Noir selections. It is an allocated wine [lucky wine club members only] and is very also a super-small production, just 22 cases or 6 barrels produced. I scored this wine 93 points and highly recommend you give it a swirl!

Hopefully there still a few spots open on their allocation list, if not there's always the waiting list, I wish you good luck. Personally, I think it's worth the effort. Okay folks that's all I've got for today, until next time remember to sip long and prosper cheers!

Full Disclosure: The wine in today's review was sent as a sample.

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