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About Alban Vineyards
John Alban makes some of the most aromatically complex and explosively rich wines in the New World from traditional Rhone varieties. Since 1989 he’s worked entirely with fruit from his own superb clonal material, planted on chalk-rich hillside vineyards in Edna Valley.
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96 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - November/December 2010
($145; 15.9% alcohol) Opaque ruby. Smells like a cross between a fruit-processing plant and a head shop, with its pungent, highly aromatic scents of raspberry liqueur, cherry-cola, potpourri, five-spice powder and vanilla joined by slow-building smokiness. Deep, sweet and intensely floral in the mouth, offering sappy red and dark berry flavors and a complex array of spice notes. Possesses unlikely vivacity for a wine of its volume and power, finishing with intense red fruit and candied violet qualities. These three wines put the lie to the assertion that high alcohol equates to heat and portiness; I wish that those who are prejudiced by the number on the label could try these with an open mind.