It is with great pleasure that we announce the release of The Malibu Vineyard Rambla Pacifico Pinot Noir 2016, the 27th vintage from our estate-grown vines meticulously crafted by D’Alfonso-Curran Wines.
In 1985, Michael and Kim McCarty planted two acres of grapevines (with cuttings from California’s Mt. Eden Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Joseph Phelps Vineyard in the Napa Valley) on the steep terraced hillside surrounding their home overlooking Santa Monica Bay from Malibu. The original vineyard was planted under the direction of seminal winemaker Dick Graff of Chalone Vineyards and Jim Effird, their capable vineyard master. The Malibu Vineyard pioneered the establishment of Malibu as a new wine-growing region.
The first vintage was produced in 1989. Until the 2000 vintage, early production remained around 150 cases of a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc blend, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay with all vineyard work done by hand. From 1989 to 1992, the winemaker was Steve Dooley of Edna Valley Vineyard, who is now winemaker/owner of Stephen Ross Wine Cellars. Since 1993, Bruno D’Alfonso, formerly of Sanford Winery, has been the winemaker. With the 2005 through 2013 vintages, Bruno has collaborated with Kris Curran, formerly of Sea Smoke Vineyard and now his partner in D’Alfonso-Curran Wines.
After the 1993 vintage, the McCartys’ home burned down in the The Great Malibu Fire, which also completely consumed the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blocks. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc survived, but took two years to recover sufficiently to produce quality wine. By 1996,
D’Alfonso was able to make a small amount of wine. A full recovery to 150 cases came in 1997, while 1998 delivered a very low yield but very rich wine including a fine single-varietal bottling of Cabernet Franc under the supervision of wine expert David Rosoff. Sadly, the stress of the vines from the fire proved to be more long lasting and the 1999 and 2000 vintages were lost.
After much deliberation, The Malibu Vineyard team decided to remove the entire vineyard, add another acre and new trellising, and replant with three clones of Pinot Noir. Currently, the vineyard has 1.5 acres of clone 777 and .75 acres each of 667 and 115, all on rootstock 101-14.
“For more information on The Malibu Vineyard and on pairing wine and food, see Michael McCarty’s latest cookbook, Welcome to Michael’s.”
The Malibu Vineyard Rambla Pacifico Pinot Noir 2016 is currently available on the wine lists at Michael’s Santa Monica and Michael’s New York, and can also be purchased at Nobu, Geoffrey’s, P.C. Greens, Vintage Grocers, Cornell Tasting Room, Duke’s, and Saddle Peak Lodge in the Malibu area.