Alma Rosa can be found on the southern end of the Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County, where it’s producing wines from vines planted by pioneering winemaker Richard Sanford. Today we look at two single estate wines from this operation.
2018 Alma Rosa Chardonnay Santa Rita Hills El Jabali Vineyard – It’s a one-way trip to oak-town with this straightforward chardonnay, though some warmth to the glass helps notes of coconut and sesame find purchase. The finish could use more acidity, as the barrel seems like it’s having its way with this wine, but fans of a creamier, more subdued experience may find this in their wheelhouse. A note of gooseberry, pineapple, and a bit of a strawberry note brighten up the conclusion as it develops in glass. B+ / $48
2018 Alma Rosa Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills El Jabali Vineyard – This pinot initially presents as a bit doughy and gummy, but with some time in glass it settles down to show a brighter and somewhat more acidity-forward palate that gives the focus over to notes of brandied cherry and cranberry. There’s some spice in the mix — nutmeg and vanilla — but a bright orange peel and raspberry note gives the finish a more fruit-driven pop. B+ / $68