Accolades


Estate    |    Chardonnay   |    Pinot Noir

 


Wine Enthusiast 

Albatross Ridge’s Garrett Bowlus drives me to the top of a ridgeline that stares at the Monterey Bay, where his family recently planted 25 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. On land near where his grandfather tested Albatross sailplanes decades ago, it’s one of the most dramatic vineyards I’ve ever seen….”
-Matt Kettmann, December 2016

“There’s great backstory and foresight to this coastal-influenced project. It’s a vineyard to watch.”
-Matt Kettmann, May 2016

Wine Review Online 

“I love discovering a new producer and having that first experience make me want to delve further into their portfolio. My first taste of this Chardonnay from winemaker Garrett Bowlus and his father Brad does just that. I can’t wait to taste their Pinot Noir! Albatross Ridge is a new player to watch!”
-Rich Cook, December 2015

“Garrett Bowlus is interested in producing wines that show richness and complexity while remaining light and sophisticated, and he’s consistently hitting the mark.”
-Rich Cook, November 2017

San Francisco Chronicle 

“Here are seven small-batch, family-owned, locally sown operations. While still much younger than the vast majority of local wineries (and tasting rooms), family-run Albatross — named for the paper-wing airplanes winemaker Garrett Bowlus’ great grandpa once flew in Carmel Valley — has earned a following quickly, particularly among adventurous wine lovers (and, notably, sommeliers) for cool-climate and mineral-driven rosés, Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. The space is understated but stylish, with reclaimed barn wood and retro, heavy iron swivel stools along a stone-and-wood tasting bar. A little winery, and a little tasting room, with big abilities, doing single-vineyard tastes.”
-Mark Anderson, September 2016

Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book 2018

Albatross Ridge – 3 Stars: Well known, highly reputed
“Young producer, beautifully balanced Pinot Noir, finely etched Chardonnays from cool vineyard in Carmel Valley, seven miles from Pacific, on rare California limestone. Wines have unmistakably calcareous lift.”
-Jordan Mackay, September 2017

Houston Lifestyles & Homes 

Certainly the most delicious Chardonnay I’ve had from Carmel Valley.”
-Denman Moody, February 2016

San Francisco Chronicle

“Albatross Ridge winery finds deep meaning in coastal site – When the right alchemy of soil, climate and grape clone come together, a wise winemaker gets out of the way, and the results evoke terroir, and something deeper. Something like destiny. The warm days and cool nights coax complexity and minerality from Pinot and Chardonnay given long hang times by the Pacific 7 miles away — and buzz among soulful sommeliers and wine lovers seeking out grape juice different from the big, fruity, traditional California style.”
-Mark Anderson, September 2015

Sacramento Magazine 

In downtown Carmel, one special stop is Albatross Ridge. Named after the specialized seaplanes tested on the Monterey slopes by famed engineer and pilot William Hawley Bowlus in the 1930s, this small winery was started by his descendants in 2006. Today, Bowlus’ great-grandson Garrett crafts a stellar selection of his family’s estate wines with chardonnay and pinot noir grapes grown at elevations of 850 to 1,250 feet above Carmel Valley. ‘Thanks to our heavy maritime influence, the grapes ripen very slowly, which helps them develop more layers of flavors before we pick,’ says Bowlus. ‘My job is to capture these flavors inside each bottle we make at Albatross Ridge.’”
-Christopher Sawyer, September 2016

I just wrote about Albatross Ridge in Sacramento Magazine and I will continue to write about them because this is one of those brands to get to know now.”
-Christopher Sawyer, September 2016

The Detroit News 

I am excited about the Pinots from Albatross Ridge—their color, texture and flavors are reminiscent of Burgundy.”
-Sandra Silfven, January 2016

Santa Cruz Sentinel 

“‘Pinot noir has that ethereal sense of earth and soil as it lifts out of the glass,’ says Garrett Bowlus. He’s the winemaker for Albatross Ridge Winery, a family-run vineyard on the slopes above Carmel Valley, specializing in chardonnay and pinot noir. He describes the flavor profile for the perfect pinot noir. Those flavors are generated by soil, climate and the attention and care provided by Bowlus, who also acts as grape grower of the 25-acre chardonnay and pinot noir vineyard, the source of Albatross Ridge fruit. Garrett and the Bowlus family believe they have found their destiny, making wine and farming land that Garrett’s great-grandfather once flew over while testing his Albatross sailplane.”
-Stacey Vreeken, August 2016 

Capital Gazette 

“Just seven miles from the Pacific Ocean and Carmel-by-the-Sea, this Monterey County producer takes advantage of a cool climate to extract maximum fruit and balance in his pinot noirs.”
-Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr, May 2016 

Edible Monterey Bay 

“The diatomaceous soils and cool maritime winds are ideal for growing truly Burgundian style Chardonnay, with its bright, angelic fruit, glowing with just the right amount of inner sunshine and high wire acidity. Pinot finds a natural home here as well, yielding boundlessly energetic aromatics that tend towards red, not black. Winemaker Garrett thankfully picks them both early, preserving their natural youthfulness without compromising any of their longevity.”
-Laura Ness, January 2016 

D Magazine 

“Though process can be taught, the true passion of wine must come from within as the farming trade is not as glamorous as one may think. To work a piece of land, and watch vineyards evolve from nothing into greatness is what drives the most acclaimed wine makers across the globe. This is what fueled Winemaker and Vintner Garrett Bowlus of Albatross Ridge Estate in Monterey. Though he experienced the finest technical training through institutions like the University of Dijon, UC Davis and UCLA this vintner learned the most from planting his family’s vineyard in cool Monterey just 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean at 1250 feet above sea level, and watching it grow. The result, varietally correct, elegant, personality driven wines with grace and complexity.”
-Hayley Hamilton Cogill, March 2016 

65 Magazine 

“A festive and singular experience at Albatross Ridge Tasting Room nestled right in the middle of Carmel-by-the -Sea. Given my dedicated penchant for old world wines coupled with my inexperience with California wines, I can honestly say this was one of the most elegant new-world wine experiences to grace my taste-buds. The result: my newfound pleasure in discovering local wines and treasuring this corner of the wine world beyond my wildest dreams.
-Ana Roman, June 2016 

Grapelive 

One of the most exciting wines in Monterey, and especially in Carmel Valley, has to be the Albatross Ridge Pinot Noir(s) made by Garrett Bowlus. These beautifully crafted wines are the highlights of an extensive Carmel Valley tasting and were without a doubt the best Pinot Noir I’ve ever tried from the Valley. The Albatross Ridge estate sits high up, not far from Talbott’s Diamond-T, across the valley from Garland Park with southeast exposure and set on chalky, ancient seabed, soils, this is a steep site and very cool, perfect for Burgundy style Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Bowlus is very much a winemaker that rejoices in low alcohol and delicacy of flavors, very much as you find in Cobb, Hirsch, Peay and Failla wines from the Sonoma Coast, which the Albatross Ridge resembles. Pinot Noir looks set to be the go-to grape for Carmel Valley, particularly in the cooler areas, my favorite wines are led by Albatross Ridge.”
-Kerry Winslow, September 2015 

Carmel Magazine 

“At an elevation of 1,250 feet and seven miles from the ocean in view to the west, Bowlus tends vineyards on this unique piece of land, producing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay under the label Albatross Ridge. Wine fans and the press rave about Albatross.
-Larry Harland, August 2017 

The Colorado Springs Gazette 

“As with the North Coast, most of the best sites are characterized by proximity to the Pacific Ocean and are impacted by the associated cooling breezes (and sometimes fog), leading to long growing seasons that encourage optimum ripeness with powerful, fresh acidity, yet notable elegance. 

Being closer to the ocean and those strong, cold winds, there are fewer such prime sites in Monterey’s Carmel Valley. Albatross Ridge has found a really good one with coveted limestone soils only 7 miles from the ocean. The extreme conditions, including steep slopes, yield sophisticated expressions of pinot noir.”
-Rich Mauro, November 2016

 


 

Estate    |     Chardonnay    |    Pinot Noir

 

 

2015 ALBATROSS RIDGE ESTATE CHARDONNAY 

Wine Review Online 

A gorgeous Chardonnay that is ready for you to sneak into a blind tasting of fine white Burgundy. It’s very dry, with judicious oak influence creaming up the mid palate without intruding on the lively finish where lemon crème, nut and faint herb and spice notes promised by the nose remain intact. Garrett Bowlus is interested in producing wines that show richness and complexity while remaining light and sophisticated, and he’s consistently hitting the mark.” 95 Points
-Rich Cook, November 2017 

2014 ALBATROSS RIDGE ESTATE CHARDONNAY 

Wine Enthusiast 

Best of Year 2016 – Today, an increasingly mature, experienced and yet continually creative stock of winemakers is producing an array of wines that deserve global attention… From one of the most dramatic vineyards in the entire state comes a bottling almost as impressive. Refreshing Key lime and mandarin zest mesh with sea shells, chalk and honeysuckle on the precise, steely nose. A chalky tension binds the palate around flavors of lemon-lime, grapefruit flesh, nectarine and a touch of vanilla.”
94 Points: Superb; A great achievement
-Matt Kettmann, December 2016 

Wine Review Online 

“Yes! A new set from Albatross Ridge, one that continues their rich, crisp, bright acid, low alcohol Chardonnay style. The Estate bottling hits my rich yet crisp marker, delivering peach, apple, stone and citrus aromas and flavors, with just the right touch of oak spice. I’m already salivating for the specialty bottlings.” 93 Points
-Rich Cook, December 2016 

PinotFile 

“The Albatross Ridge 25-acre vineyard is located just seven miles from the Pacific Ocean in Carmel Valley at 1,250 feet elevation with limestone and shale soils. The site is cool and windswept with degree days falling below the upper threshold for the coolest Winkler Region I winegrowing designation (annual growing degree days from the estate vineyard are between 1650 and 1950 GDD). The result is a very long growing season allowing the grapes to achieve ripe flavors even at low Brix. Moderately light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Exuberant aromas of citrus, warm brioche, spice, nutty oak and sea breeze. Beautifully crafted with spot-on balance, offering flavors of citrus, Bartlett pear, apple, subtle oak and a hint of salinity. The sustained finish is particularly notable.” 93 Points: Outstanding
-Rusty Gaffney, December 2016 

Honest Cooking 

Our 35 Favorite Chardonnays – Located just seven miles from the Pacific Ocean at elevations reaching 1,250 feet, and featuring rare limestone and shale soils similar to those found in Burgundy, Monterey County’s Albatross Ridge has quickly established a reputation as one of California’s most exciting young vineyards. Cool and windswept, Albatross Ridge benefits from one of the longest growing seasons in all of California. ‘The words “cool climate” have become shorthand for a more refined and elegant style of wine, with complex aromas, and pure, well-delineated flavors,’ says Winegrower and Winemaker Garrett Bowlus, who helped to plant Albatross Ridge in 2008.”
-Kalle Bergman, April 2017 

The Tasting Panel 

“Bright citrus and pear fruit; rich and balanced with depth and style; crisp and lively; long and lovely.” 91 Points: Outstanding
-Anthony Dias Blue, February 2017 

Restaurant Wine 

“Fleshy in texture, complex in flavor, and medium bodied, this is a fine Chardonnay. It tastes of apple, lime, toast, vanilla, pineapple, and spicy oak. Very long finish.” 4 Points: Excellent
-Ronn Wiegand, December 2016 

The Colorado Springs Gazette 

“Chardonnay for warm weather eating and drinking – As warmer weather emerges, many of us begin to pay more attention to white wines, rosés and lighter reds. Among the whites, Chardonnay is the undisputed favorite of American consumers. The dramatic and seamless 2014 Sea Smoke Santa Rita Hills and 2014 Albatross Ridge Estate Chardonnay, distinguished by limestone qualities, ranked at the top of my tastings.”
-Rich Mauro, May 2017 

The Daily Meal 

“Ripe fruit meets mellow wood, and the result is a full-bodied wine with a lean finish.”
-Roger Morris, February 2017 

2013 ALBATROSS RIDGE ESTATE CHARDONNAY 

Forbes 

11 Great California Chardonnays in a World of Changing Styles – Over the past several months, I’ve tasted through countless California Chardonnays from all over the state. What has been most striking about the process is how much I’ve enjoyed them no matter how they express themselves: From more austere examples to fuller-bodied bottlings, a sense of balance and honesty seems to tie the best of them together. No matter how ripe they may be, the best of them still possess enough acidity to slice through that richness, keep the wine fresh and structured, and work well alongside a meal. 2013 Albatross Ridge Estate Chardonnay: Lemon curd, flowers, and mineral, all carried on a frame more lithe than the denser nose implies.”
-Brian Freedman, June 2016 

Sunset

“You revel in the sophistication of neutral tones. The loose weave of a drape or the mottled surface of a ceramic vase is more noticeable without visual competition. In the same way, winemakers use the blank canvas of Chardonnay to add hints of toast, spice, and vanilla from oak, shooting for a rich, creamy mouthfeel. And just as neutral colors pop if they have a hint of underlying vibrancy, America’s favorite white is at its best when acidity and minerality balance out its richness.”
Wine Picks: 2013 Albatross Ridge Estate Chardonnay
-Sara Schneider, March 2016 

Wine Review Online 

“Today’s Featured Wine – I love discovering a new producer and having that first experience make me want to delve further into their portfolio. My first taste of this Chardonnay from winemaker Garrett Bowlus and his father Brad does just that. From a vineyard adjacent to Talbott’s Diamond T vineyard—one of my favorite California sites—we get a plush, complex wine with plenty of acidity to manage the rich fruit and full malolactic character. Apple, pear, quince, nut and spice aromas and flavors ride that acid through a long lip smacking finish that just won’t quit. I’d match this with a lightly charred salmon in a cream sauce. I can’t wait to taste their Pinot Noir!” 93 Points
-Rich Cook, December 2015 

Wine Enthusiast 

“There’s great backstory and foresight to this coastal-influenced project, and this bottling promises a worthy future. Aromas of crushed white rocks, lemon blossoms and lanolin lead into a clean, tight and bright palate. Excellent acidic sizzle presents flavors of squeezed lime, pomelo pith and Asian pear. It’s a vineyard to watch.” 91 Points: Excellent; Highly recommended
-Matt Kettmann, May 2016 

The Tasting Panel 

“Bright and juicy with tangy citrus and crisp acidity; generous and bright with smooth texture and a long, graceful finish.” 91 Points: Outstanding
-Anthony Dias Blue, February 2016 

Wine Review Online 

“2013 Albatross Ridge Estate Chardonnay – 91 Points – I can still remember the first California Chardonnay that wowed me, back in the late 1970s. The wine was a fresh, flavorful Chardonnay with gentle fruitiness and wondrous texture. In the subsequent era of big, oaky California Chardonnays, and the next, reactive era of fresh but unexciting un-oaked Chardonnays, I sometimes recalled that wine with nostalgia. Today, I discovered its stylistic cousin in the 2013 Albatross Ridge Estate Chardonnay from Carmel Valley in Monterey County. 

The aromas suggest apple, pear and lemon-confit, and the flavors are similar, with a slight note of minerality. In your mouth the wine is dry and full-bodied with firm acidity at its core and yet a soft, seductive texture. The wine envelops your tongue with soft, creamy richness and yet is not at all heavy. The flavors speak clearly: this is a wine of fruit rather than subtlety. But that fruit comes draped in enticing silky viscosity, so that the wine is about so much more than just fruitiness. 

I suggest drinking the Chardonnay now and over the next couple of years. It expresses itself best, in my experience, when it is barely chilled so that its texture can sing. Be daring with the food pairing: I found it delicious with spicy beans and rice.”
-Mary Ewing-Mulligan, January 2016 

PinotFile 

“Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Welcoming aromas of canned peach, lemon zest, vanilla creme and subtle toast. A discretely concentrated offering featuring bright flavors of lemon, pineapple and peach with complimentary nutty oak and a subtle salinity. Engaging acidity provides vivaciousness.”
91 Points: Outstanding
-Rusty Gaffney, January 2016 

The Detroit News 

“Aromas of apple, white stone fruit and apricot are followed by flavors of peach, pear and apricot with well-integrated oak and sturdy acidity. An undercurrent of minerality sets it apart.”
-Sandra Silfven, January 2016 

Houston Lifestyles & Homes 

Certainly the most delicious Chardonnay I’ve had from Carmel Valley. From a 1,250’-elevation vineyard, farmed with organic and sustainable practices. A new wine for me and a big surprise!”
-Denman Moody, February 2016 

Edible Monterey Bay/WineOhTV 

“Clean floral aromas with distinct honeysuckle are layered with flint, honey and saltwater taffy, revealing a generous depth of stonefruit flavors, along with fresh pear, lime and mandarin. Vivid acidity keeps the wine forging on, with a generous midpalate, leading to a finish of sandy shortbread and dried apricots.” 92 Points
-Laura Ness, January 2016 

Capital Gazette 

“We recently tasted a bunch of excellent chardonnays. Here they are…[speaking of the 2013 Albatross Ridge Estate Chardonnay] We liked the soft mouthfeel of this luxurious chardonnay from Monterey County. Ripe peach flavors with a mineral vein to keep it crisp.”
-Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr, March 2016 

The Daily Meal 

“11 American White Wines to Brighten Winter: A collection of fresh and fruity wines – As we delve into the heart of winter, we need fresh and fruity, well-structured white wines to go with creamy chicken dishes, piping-hot fish stews, and roasted birds in creamy butter sauces. Here are 11 American whites — mainly California chardonnays — that give a variety of flavors and textures that will help you make it through the cold winds and blowing snows.”
-Roger Morris, January 2016 

2012 ALBATROSS RIDGE ESTATE CHARDONNAY 

San Francisco Chronicle 

“Albatross Ridge winery finds deep meaning in coastal site – The warm days and cool nights coax complexity and minerality from Pinot and Chardonnay given long hang times by the Pacific 7 miles away — and buzz among soulful sommeliers and wine lovers seeking out grape juice different from the big, fruity, traditional California style…we sample the unfiltered, unfined 2012 Chardonnay, which enjoys the same complexion of the horizon’s sky as a marine layer moves in to cool the grapes and preserve the dynamic minerals of place…Some of the town’s most progressive sommeliers are among those who savor the lean Pinots and Chardonnays over bigger, oakier alternatives…Sierra Mar manager and sommelier Sarah Kabat-Marcy elaborates. ‘The Chardonnays are driven beautifully with clean minerals and aromatics,’ she says.”
-Mark Anderson, September 2015

 


 

Estate    |     Chardonnay    |    Pinot Noir

 

 

2015 ALBATROSS RIDGE ESTATE RESERVE PINOT NOIR 

Wine Review Online 

“I love the dark cherry expression here, where the fruit is mixed with deep Asian spice and a firm backbone that shows a little tight a present. Fear not, for great reward lies a short cellar rest away. I’d give it 2 to 3 years, or decant it for a good half a day before serving near term. Another winner from a top flight producer.” 94 Points 
-Rich Cook, November 2017 

2014 ALBATROSS RIDGE ESTATE RESERVE PINOT NOIR 

Wine Enthusiast 

“From stunningly set vines overlooking the Carmel Valley that in this vintage produced only 1.25 tons an acre (or 1.12 pounds per plant) comes this stellar wine, redolent on the nose with black plum, mulberry, turned earth, wet mud, woody sagebrush, incense and sandalwood. There is great energy on the palate, with mulberry and elderberry flavors enhanced by light coffee, soil and fennel bulbs.” 95 Points: Superb; A great achievement 
-Matt Kettmann, February 2017 

Grapelive 

Wine of the Day – Garrett Bowlus, winemaker and grower, and his dad Brad Bowlus can be proud of an amazing achievement with their 2014 wines from their vineyard above Carmel Valley. They have taken the regions Pinot Noir to unknown levels of quality and charm, especially the 2014 Estate Reserve, which reminds me of Domaine de Montille Volnay! Recently Wine Enthusiast scored the Albatross Ridge lineup 94-95 Points, without question the highest ratings from a national publication of a Carmel Valley wine ever… I certainly agree they deserve the praise and accolades and I admire each of these 2014s very much. The potential in the 2014 Estate Reserve looks really intriguing, and even now there is something very special about it. The texture is lovely and the dimension of fruit is exceptional with delightful freshness, ripe character and sweetly smooth tannins, and an inner beauty… This Pinot shows pretty floral intensity and silken layers of opulent red fruits as well as subtle mineral tones and spicy notes with flavors that burst on to the palate with vivid detail. This is seriously alluring stuff from a cool breezy site at an elevation of above 1,200 feet and vines digging into chalky Carmel stone soils with loose sandy loam, formerly ancient seabed, giving this wine its Burgundy like allure.” 94 Points
-Kerry Winslow, May 2017 

The Tasting Panel 

“Bright and silky with juicy cherry and notes of earth and spice; savory and balanced, long and lush.” 90 Points: Outstanding 
-Anthony Dias Blue, February 2017 

PinotFile 

“A selection of the finest barrels of the vintage. Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose opens quickly to reveal aromas of purple berries and sous-bois. Exquisitely balanced and unctuous on the palate, with nicely ripened flavors of black cherry and boysenberry. Very polished, with seamless tannins, and a thread of dried herbs that adds a savory note.” 92 Points: Outstanding
-Rusty Gaffney, December 2016 

Restaurant Wine 

“Two excellent Carmel Valley Pinot Noirs. The Estate Reserve is a supple and somewhat richer wine with excellent flavor and depth, good balance, and a long finish, tasting of plum, clove, cherry, red currant, vanilla, and cedar. Can be aged further.” 4+ Points: Excellent
-Ronn Wiegand, December 2016 

The Daily Meal 

“Toward a Burgundy style — lean with fruit that pops out, and with some piquancy.”
-Roger Morris, February 2017 

Capital Gazette 

“This pinot noir from Carmel Valley and Monterey County is remarkable for its rich and juicy strawberry and cherry fruit dashed with mushrooms mineral.”
-Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr, March 2017 

D Magazine 

“Berry, spice-filled Pinot Noir is ideal for pairing with spring dishes. Pacific-influenced Monterey Pinot Noir from producers such as J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Pinot Noir and Albatross Ridge Estate Reserve Pinot Noir showcase the variety that comes with a long growing season. This ensures acidity and remains intact while the fruit slowly ripens. The result is a balanced wine with fruit, floral freshness, and minerality.”
-Hayley Hamilton Cogill, April 2017 

2013 ALBATROSS RIDGE ESTATE RESERVE PINOT NOIR 

WineSpeed 

“Wine of the Week -Some wines just make you want to drink them. You’re powerless to resist. That’s the case with this delicious small-production pinot noir grown just seven miles inland from the cold Pacific Ocean, on the rugged mountain ridges above Carmel. Superbly elegant, the wine is vivid and pure tasting, with waves of sophisticated earthy flavors. If you like your pinots to be exquisite, intriguing, and artisanal, this is for you.” 95 Points
-Karen MacNeil, June 2016 

Wine Review Online 

“This is a true reserve bottling, evidenced by the selection of only 15 of 80 barrels, all of which were tasted blind over a dozen times. That’s what I call work! The cool climate is on display, with a lighter styled mix of cranberry, cherry, strawberry, spice, dusty earth and sea spray aromas and flavors. Give this some unwinding time in a decanter before serving alongside an herb driven dish. Contains clones 777, Pommard, 115 and 828.” 94 Points
-Rich Cook, August 2016 

Decanter 

“Check out this alcohol – just 12.7%. Yet there’s nothing attenuated here. Some wines just make you want to drink them, and that’s the case with this delicious small-production Pinot Noir grown just 11km inland from the cold Pacific Ocean, on the rugged mountain ridges above the town of Carmel. Superbly elegant, the wine is vivid and pure-tasting, with waves of sophisticated, intriguing, earthy flavors.” 93 Points: Highly recommended
-Karen MacNeil, September 2016 

Wine Enthusiast 

“From an amazing vineyard set at 1,200 feet with ocean views across the Carmel Valley, this bottling shows soft plum and strawberry fruit along with wild thyme, wet slate, a touch of smoke and purple-flower essence. A lively mouthfeel presents flavors of red plum, wild forest berries, chipped slate and sandalwood on a medium-light body.” 93 Points: Excellent; Highly recommended
-Matt Kettmann, November 2016 

Newsday 

“Pinot hunters will go for the 2013 Albatross Ridge Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, a balanced and slightly earthy production from Carmel County, Monterey Valley.”
-Peter Gianotti, June 2016 

IntoWine.com 

“50 California Central Coast Wines You Should Be Drinking Right Now – Using clones of 777, Pommard, 115 and 828, this Pinot Noir hailing from the Carmel Valley in Monterey County, at elevations of 1,200 feet redefines its neighbor on the backside of the hills the Santa Lucia Highlands. The Carmel Valley is beginning to hit its stride and with this Pinot you’ll find classic nuances of strawberry, cola, cedar and raspberry, black berry soften the palette with a more lush and viscous expression of Pinot. This is that delicate, seductive iteration of Pinot that you crave, coming from an unlikely spot.”
-Michael Cervin, July 2016 

Wine Review Online 

“Albatross Ridge, a producer that has, sadly, been under my radar, hit the bull’s eye with this Pinot Noir. It’s a near magical combination of smoky savory notes with ripe black fruit nuances. Its ‘not just fruit’ character makes it seductive and charming – and keeps you coming back for more. Each sip reveals new delights. Juicy acidity keeps it fresh and amplifies the flavors. A modest 12.7% stated alcohol reinforces the concept that grapes needn’t be super ripe to deliver flavor.” 93 Points
-Michael Apstein, July 2016 

PinotFile 

“Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Enticing marriage of dark red cherries, baking spices and sandalwood on the nose. Light to mid weight flavors of red cherry, strawberry and cranberry presented in a delicate, charming style with a slightly tart and saline-infused acid frame. Nicely balanced with sandy tannins and a finish replete with cherry and blood orange flavors.” 90 Points: Outstanding; approaching the best
-Rusty Gaffney, June 2016 

The Press Democrat 

“Tasty Alternatives – This is a layered pinot that’s crisp and tangy. Notes of cranberry, rhubarb, cherry, mineral and spice. A touch earthy. Lovely.” ★★★★
-Peg Melnik, September 2016 

Vinography 

“Light to medium ruby in the glass, this wine smells of raspberry jam and brown sugar. In the mouth, slightly sweet flavors of sour cherry and raspberry fruit have a nice red apple skin quality that speaks of this wine’s longer aging. A low percentage (33% to be exact) of new oak lets the fruit shine. Excellent acidity keeps things fresh and bright. The faintest of tannins linger in the finish with a candied fruit quality.” Between 8.5 and 9 out of 10 Points
-Alder Yarrow, July 2017 

Edible Monterey Bay/WineOhTV 

“Albatross Ridge: Wines That Soar – This is a big boy wine, brooding and earthy, with flint, forest floor, mushroom and crab apple on the nose. The color hints at its robust character, filled with cheery cherry, cigar, red plum, cranberry, cinnamon, nutmeg, red currant and mocha, ending with a flourish of flint and citron. This has plenty of stuffing to age for decades.” 93 Points
-Laura Ness, January 2016 

Santa Cruz Sentinel 

“Albatross Ridge winery, a family-run vineyard on the slopes above Carmel Valley, specializing in chardonnay and pinot noir. Garrett holds back on releasing the wines for a year and a half, letting them develop in the bottle. The result is Cuvee Vivienne, which is fresh, open and exudes red-fruit flavors, and the 2013 Albatross Ridge Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, which has more structure and flavors of blackberry and spice.”
-Stacey Vreeken, August 2016 

2012 ALBATROSS RIDGE ESTATE RESERVE PINOT NOIR 


Wine Review Online 

“A big earthy nose! Damp earth and mushroom are forward over black cherry and brown spice. On the palate, great acidity brightens things and pushes the cherry and spice up over the earthy character, without covering it entirely. This is a wow wine if you like a dense, earthy style. Albatross Ridge is a new player to watch!” 93 Points
-Rich Cook, December 2015 

Wine Enthusiast 

“From a promising new project, the nose of this wine is linear and focused, with black raspberry, black licorice, cola, wet sagebrush and rain-on-slate scents. The tactile acidity once sipped creates a fascinating soft buzz on the tongue, with flavors of dried mint, brisk raspberry and cherry tomato. Camphor and eucalyptus add intrigue on the finish.” 91 Points: Excellent; Highly recommended
-Matt Kettmann, June 2016 

The Daily Meal 

“13 American Red Wines Great for Holiday Sharing – Warm, plump cherry flavors that are fruit-forward, although not over the top — truly a generous wine.”
-Roger Morris, December 2015 

The Tasting Panel 

“Smooth, ripe and juicy with savory red cherry and spice; meaty, long and balanced.” 90 Points: Outstanding
-Anthony Dias Blue, February 2016 

Wine Review Online 

“Balances deeply-concentrated, dark fruit with a firm structure of tannin and seems built to age.”
-Mary Ewing-Mulligan, January 2016 

PinotFile 

“Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A tug of oak currently spearheads this mid weight plus wine offering aromas and flavors of blackberry, black grape, cassis, spice and black tea. The fine grain tannins and acidity are well balanced and the silky texture is très Pinot.” 90-91 Points: Outstanding
-Rusty Gaffney, January 2016 

The Detroit News 

“This Estate Reserve Pinot is made from a selection of the winery’s 12 best barrels from 2012. It’s a bigger wine than the Vivienne — it has more weight, more alcohol. It’s an earthy wine, with intense cherry, pomegranate, cola and brown cooking spice flavors with a note of old-fashioned hard Christmas candy in the aromas. The whole package is bright and well-balanced.”
-Sandra Silfven, January 2016 

Capital Gazette 

“Just seven miles from the Pacific Ocean and Carmel-by-the-Sea, this Monterey County producer takes advantage of a cool climate to extract maximum fruit and balance in his pinot noirs. This reserve has ripe sweet cherry fruit flavors and a hint of spice.”
-Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr, February 2016