Alamitos is a Portuguese-influenced winery located at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains in the Bay Area’s Santa Clara Valley. It’s a relatively obscure AVA, although considering its best-known resident is Ridge, there’s clearly some exceptional quality to be had here.
Alamitos sent us three of its recent releases for consideration. Thoughts follow.
2020 Alamitos Laura’s Love Rose Wine Santa Clara Valley – A rose of 100% Portuguese Touriga Nacional. A bit astringent and tough, this rose doesn’t fully gel, offering notes of ruddy earth paired with chewy, slightly stewed fruits. Notes of fresh hibiscus give the nose a lift, but they don’t follow through fully on the palate, which feels slightly doughy and indistinct. A hard sell at this price. B- / $45
2020 Alamitos White Egret Sauvignon Blanc Santa Clara Valley – An approachable if relatively indistinct sauvignon blanc, this is a sharp wine with ample acidity and mineral notes, doughy with some almond notes — turning lightly tropical as it develops on the palate. Clean and refreshing on the finish, lightly grassy, and quite versatile. B+ / $42
2019 Alamitos Hawk Eye Syrah Santa Clara Valley – Dense and beefy, this comes across as a classic (if blunt) expression of syrah, light balsamic notes leading into a denser currant and black cherry character, weighted down with notes of roasted meat and thorny brambles. There’s sweetness and tart acidity in the mix, but it all comes together a bit haphazardly, with notes of bitter orange peel lingering on the finish. B / $65