High up in the upper reaches of the appellation on extremely shallow “top soil” is the organically farmed Cortada Alta Vineyard, which looks down on the famous Rosella and Garys’ vineyard less than a mile away. Adding to the young vines’ stress points are extremely harsh weather conditions (wind, fog and cold) and very limited sensor monitored watering, which only result in more meager yields and many prayers the fruit will fully ripen. Ed Kurtzman is the experience winemaker in charge (Roar, Freeman, Testarrossa, Sandler, August West, etc.)
We were impressed with the gentle, supple and refined texture and transparency of this gorgeous wine — plus the amazing lightly dusted cocoa-cherry cola spice nuanced fruit!!
“Fresh, spice-accented red and blue fruits, pungent flowers, incense and smoky minerals on the highly perfumed nose. Pliant, alluringly sweet black raspberry, cherry cola and floral pastille flavors pick up a spicy nuance. The floral note carries through a very long, seamless finish that features an exotic Asian spice quality and smooth tannins. Named Cortada Alta (“high notch”) for its high elevation…1250-1600 feet comes deeper color and longer hang time. Extravagant texture, concentration and a more opulent style contrasting with the more restrained Testarrosa and August West wineries that are buying fruit from Cortada Alta. 16 months in 45% new French oak. 150 cases made. 94 points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media