D’Alfonso Curran Wines Santa Ynez Valley
Bruno d’Alfonso and Kris Curran are both experienced winemakers – he as head winemaker at SANFORD Winery for over 20 years and she as assistant winemaker at CAMBRIA and then head winemaker at Koehler, SEASMOKE and FOLEY. Both had been producing small amounts of wine under their own labels using the facilities of their then employers (with their blessing) until 2007 when they established their new operation. Although they own no vineyards, they can source fruit from impeccable sources and opened their showcase tasting room in Solvang in 2008. Bruno markets under two labels – Di Bruno for Italian varieties and The Badge for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir whilst Kris just has the Curran label to cover a multitude of wine varietals. D’Alfonso’s long established unoaked, Pinot Grigio, is fresh, spicy and lively, whilst his other white wine, a Chardonnay from the Sierra Madre Vineyard, is quite steely, vinified in stainless steel. The wine is full of flavour albeit a touch one-dimensional. Pinot Noir from vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills spends 48 months in oak offering nuances of toffee and quite juicy fruit. Premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are also now marketed under the new d’Alfonso-Curran label. Di Bruno Sangiovese is sourced from the Stolpman vineyard and matured in oak. Kris Curran’s contribution to this ménage à deux kicks off with a Grenache Blanc, which also sees no wood, is very fresh and aromatic. Grenache Rosé is nicely complex and spicy, fully dry with good intensity. Sangiovese is sourced from various vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley. Kris reaches the heights with her Syrahs, though. The Reeves’ Ranch Reserve has spent 34 to 36 months in new French oak and is pretty tarry and voluptuous with good length and complexity, but this is out-gunned by the Black Oak Vineyard Reserve, which has an explosion of mace, spice, animal and garrigue in a smooth, complex, deep overlay of tar. 3 years in new oak again. New World Tempranillo can be juicier than the Spanish counterpart and hers is no exception. It’s not as noble as the Syrah, of course, but it is quite complex. This is an exiting new partnership. (DM)
To find out more about D’Alfonso Curran and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide Central Coast and Sierra Foothills..
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