'Very Good"- Wine Enthusiast
92 Insider Points
"Potent and intense, this has a dark red color that goes to the rim and exotic huckleberry and dark cherry aromas. Thick layers of fruit, dark chocolate and spice on the palate combine with firm, framing tannins and acidity for a lip-smacking finish. It will get better with age through at least 2018."- Wine Enthusiast
The 2012 Row Five Red from Alder Springs is all estate grown and produced at this highly acclaimed vineyard in Mendocino. There's a wonderfully intense, baking spice note in the nose that really caught me right away. This is a delicious mix of blackberries and sweet cherries, with some notes of tobacco showing. Balanced and fruity, but with a vibrant acidity and some soft tannins underneath. This is a dynamite, easy to enjoy red wine that can be enjoyed now through 2022. - DZ Feb 2017
$0 SHIPPING Selection (6+/btls)
Casting an intense purple hue in the glass, this cuvee is as unique as the far northern Mendocino vineyards from which it is sourced. Alder Springs’ vineyards have been producing top-notch fruit for years, long before starting their own label which was founded because Owner Stuart Bewley believed a winemaking operation would make him a better grape-grower. He told The New York Times, “We felt if we made our own wine, we’d grow better grapes, and it would teach us more about our site.” It also led him to making some really great wine!
“Row Five” may be Alder Springs’ second label, but it is in no way a second-rate wine. The label is designed to bring earlier drinking bottlings to excited imbibers ready for their sips now. It’s a strong lineup for sure, with this red blend sitting amongst the top of their 2012s.
Reasons why we love it
The Alder Springs vineyards are literally one-of-a-kind. You will not find another vineyard within miles which is very unusual in itself as typically good grape-growing sites attract more, well, grape-growers. Instead, this beautiful site flourishes alone attracting top contemporary wineries and winemakers including: Arnot-Roberts, Jason Kesner, Rhys Vineyards, Dirty & Rowdy, Pax Mahle and Patz & Hall, to name just a few.
The quality of the grapes is what has naturally brought winemakers to the site of which Owner Stuart Bewley deserves all of the credit. His decisions on what grapes to grow is strictly based on experimentation as to which varietals will grow best at Alder Springs. That’s it. It doesn’t matter if a certain variety is popular to buy at the moment, if the grape doesn’t thrive, Stuart won’t plant it. Yannick Rousseau - Y. Rousseau label - told the NYT: “Right away, I realized I was dealing with an amazing grower who would not cut any corner for high-quality grapes.”
Stuart has been fortunate to bring several noted winemakers on board over the years, but when all star Byron Kosuge came on board in the spring of 2012 they were pretty excited. The unassuming winemaker has been quoted saying he “could never be a rock star winemaker”, but we would have to disagree. His attractive and expressive wines are beyond memorable.
As a Syrah and Pinot Noir specialist, it’s safe to assume Byron used both varietals in this delectable blend. Even Wine Enthusiast highlighted this vintage’s “lip-smacking finish.” Don’t hesitate! You will want to stock up and enjoy for the next couple years.
This wine is sturdy, braced with sweet, dusty tannins, and is intensely aromatic with notes of crushed white pepper, oriental spices and game.
On the hilly 6,000-acre Alder Springs Ranch in far northern Mendocino County, Stuart Bewley has been growing some of California's most outstanding wine grapes since 1993. At elevations ranging from 1,700 to 2,700 feet, Bewley practices his patented brand of extremist viticulture on a patchwork of vineyards perched along the steep sandstone slopes of the Coast Range. The mountainous ranch is a decidedly challenging spot to cultivate grapes, but the results have been superb.
Stick-to-your-ribs food. For those members fond of a traditional cassoulet, there is no finer wine than this to pour with it.