2009 Big Basin Vineyards "Alfaro Family Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Pinot Noir Alfaro Family Vineyard shows gorgeous up-front richness, much of which comes from the Dijon clones. Dark cherries, flowers menthol, licorice and violets come together nicely in this juicy, ripe Pinot. The 2009 was fermented with 10% whole clusters and aged for 16 months in French oak, 50% new. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid red. Sexy red fruits and Asian spices on the nose, with deeper notes of cola and mocha adding complexity. Sappy and intensely fruity, with very good depth and clarity to its raspberry and cherry compote flavors. The sweet finish shows strong spicy cut. Blends opulence with vivacity and offers plenty of immediate appeal, but this wine is balanced to age.
Big Basin's Pinots are as a group more geared to ripeness and richness than prettified delicacy, and this very bold, full-bodied effort goes right to the point. It is weighty and slightly thick on the palate, yet it tastes specifically of Pinot Noir, and, while it may be too much of a good thing when set alongside lighter dishes, it is deep and tasty and will make a fine foil to hearty roasts and stews.
Quoting Wine Advocate's Antonio Galloni: "Bradley Brown crafts gorgeous artisan wines from his vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey County. The wines are fermented with ambient yeasts, see no racking and are bottled unfined and unfiltered. The Pinots are aged in 50% new medium toast barrels, while some of the Syrah and Syrah-based blends see higher amounts of new wood. Brown is gradually moving towards reducing toast levels and amounts of new oak. The 2008s are big, rich wines marked by the low yields of the year that are the result of the spring frost. Vintage 2009 was a flashier, more overt year until a heavy rainstorm hit on October 13. The 2009s generally are lower in alcohol than the 2008s. As good as these wines are - and they are often outstanding - my feeling is that Brown has just scratched the surface of his potential." (08/2011)