92 points, Vinous
Tondré Alarid established a vineyard on his family’s historic ranch in Monterey’s Santa Lucia Highlands. In the hands of his son Joe Alarid, the estate has become one of the S.L.H.’s best known properties. Literally next door to famed Garys’ Vineyard, Tondre shares the same well-drained hillside soils and crop-limiting afternoon fog and cool winds from nearby Monterey Bay. The combination of a perfect site and meticulous farming makes for truly great Pinot Noir.
On the nose, lots of dark berry and plum accented by fresh flowers and sage. On the palate, those ripe fruit elements are joined by cloves, spice, and a touch of white chocolate on the long finish. Pair with savory pork chops or a green lentil curry.
After a cold soak, fermentation began using yeast RC212 in small, open top bins. Manual punch downs of the cap occurred three times daily prior to the wine being pressed and "barreled down" for eleven months aging in small French oak cooperage.
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands
Vineyard: Tondré Grapefield
Grower: Joe Alarid
Cooperage: French oak, 35% new, 11 months