Critical Acclaim

Alquimista Critical Acclaim

91DecanterJeff Cox2018Jessie's Grove ZinfandelWhole-berry fermentation yields a wine that’s floral, estery, ebullient and balletic, with bright red cherry-berry red fruit flavours and signature Zin spiciness.
94American Fine Wine CompetitionPanel2018van der Kamp Pinot MeunierDouble Gold Medal Winner
94Wine EnthusiastJim Gordon2017Manchester Ridge Pinot NoirAn enticing earthy, toasty aroma is backed by vibrant red- and black-cherry flavors and a lightly tannic texture in this complex and elegant wine. It's full bodied but very well balanced. Best from 2023.
91Wine EnthusiastJim Gordon2017Manchester Ridge Chardonnay
This flashy, complex wine starts with intense butter and toasted nut aromas and offers enticing earthy, baking-spice, and almond flavors that run deep. It is concentrated, oaky and indulgent
89Wine AdvocateLisa Perrotti-Brown2017Van der Kamp Pinot MeunierLight-bodied, it's delicate and earthy in the mouth, with very soft tannins and juicy acidity, finishing earthy.
92American Fine Wine CompetitionPanel2017Confluence Pinot NoirDouble Gold Medal Winner
92American Fine Wine CompetitionPanel2017Convergence Pinot NoirDouble Gold Medal Winner
90American Fine Wine CompetitionPanel2017Mes Filles Pinot NoirGold Medal Winner
90American Fine Wine CompetitionPanel2017Jessie's Grove ZinfandelGold Medal Winner
92American Fine Wine CompetitionPanel2017Lorenzo ChardonnayGold Medal Winner
91American Fine Wine CompetitionPanel2017Haiku ChardonnayGold Medal Winner
94American Fine Wine CompetitionPanel2017Manchester Ridge Pinot Noir
94American Fine Wine CompetitionPanel2017Manchester Ridge Pinot Noir
93American Fine Wine CompetitionPanel2017Mes Filles Chardonnay
94Wine EnthusiastJim Gordon2016Oppenlander Pinot NoirCellar Selection--This wine will be one for aging, as its vivid, concentrated and nicely tart flavors pair up with moderate tannins for a rather tight expression now that will improve with time. It offers gorgeous black-cherry, black tea and raspberry notes that expand on the palate and linger on the finish. Best from 2025.
93Wine EnthusiastJim Gordon2016Haiku ChardonnayThis full-bodied wine is quite concentrated and deep, offering bright, ripe pear and peach along with butter, butterscotch and a touch of honey. The color is a vivid gold, the aroma is like buttered popcorn and the flavors really deliver, leading to a lingering finish
91Wine EnthusiastJim Gordon2016Convergence Cuvee Pinot NoirFully ripe flavors and generous baking spices from oak barrels give this wine a lot to like. It's full bodied, lightly tannic and deliciously creamy in texture
91Wine EnthusiastJim Gordon2016Manchester Ridge Pinot NoirScents of warm baking spices and brown sugar meet plummy flavors to give this gentle and full-bodied wine a good, mellow drinkability. It offers a broad, mouthcoating texture and soft tannins
91Wine AdvocateLisa Perrotti-Brown2016Van der Kamp Pinot NoirMedium to full-bodied, the palate delivers a refreshing line cutting through the delicate red berry and perfumed layers with a soft texture and fragrant finish.
91-93Wine AdvocateLisa Perrotti-Brown2016Mes Filles Pinot NoirA nose of intense black cherries, black raspberries and warm cranberries notes with touches of dried roses, garrigue and sautéed herbs. Medium-bodied and finely crafted with a very racy backbone and fine-grained tannins, it finishes long and perfumed.
91 - 93Wine AdvocateLisa Perrotti-Brown2016Hawks Roost Pinot NoirA nose of red roses, chocolate-covered cherries and crushed red currants with hints of forest floor, black truffles and dusty soil. The medium-bodied palate is fine and elegant with great freshness and silky tannins, finishing long and perfumed.
90 - 92Wine AdvocateLisa Perrotti-Brown2016Confluence Pinot NoirThe medium-bodied palate is delicately flavored with floral-laced red berries, framed by soft tannins and finishing with an herbal lift.
90Wine AdvocateLisa Perrotti-Brown2016Van der Kamp Pinot MeunierEnticing scents of redcurrant jelly, rhubarb pie and raspberry tart with touches of rose hip tea, dried herbs and fallen leaves. Medium-bodied and sporting elegant red fruit and floral layers, it has bags of freshness and a pleasantly chewy finish.
92Wine AdvocateLisa Perrotti-Brown2016Lorenzo ChardonnayFull-bodied, rich and decadently fruited in the mouth, it has a gorgeous oiliness to the texture, with loads of spice and savory and tropical fruit layers, finishing long and creamy.
93American Fine Wine CompetitionPanel2016Convergence Pinot Noir
92+Wine AdvocateLisa Perrotti-Brown2015Van der Kamp Pinot NoirElegantly styled with the light to medium body, it delivers plenty of fruit intensity with a great backbone of finely grained tannins and lively acidity, finishing long with mineral and savory nuances.
87Wine AdvocateLisa Perrotti-Brown2015Mes Filles Pinot NoirMedium to full-bodied, it has a pleasant dried berry character in the mouth with chewy tannins and a crisp, somewhat disjointed backbone, finishing just a little angular.
94Wine AdvocateLisa Perrotti-Brown2015Mes Filles ChardonnayBig, concentrated and opulent on the full-bodied palate, it offers seductive tropical fruit and savory and spice layers supported by a racy acid line, lifting the generous fruit and creamy texture throughout the very long finish.
93+Wine AdvocateLisa Perrotti-Brown2015Lorenzo ChardonnayThe perfumed stone fruit and toasty flavor layers rock on the medium to full-bodied palate, with great intensity and depth developing into a long, harmonious finish. Kudos!
87Wine AdvocateRobert Parker Jr.2014Van der Kamp Pinot NoirThe light ruby-colored 2014 Pinot Noir Van der Kamp Vineyards, from a high-elevation site on Sonoma Mountain, pushes the earthy, herbal, spice and stemmy style of Pinot Noir, with sweet strawberry and cherry fruit.
89Wine AdvocateRobert Parker Jr.2013Confluence Pinot NoirMedium ruby-colored with sweet strawberry and pomegranate fruit, good spice and earth, the wine shows a nice Côtes de Beaune-like character with its cherries and strawberries, earthy spiciness and medium body.

Praise for Jessie's Grove Zin from Zinfest

N/AConnoisseurs’ Guide to California WineSteve Eliot2017Jessie's Grove ZinfandelThis wine was a complete outlier that defied all expectations, and was a good reminder that a winemaker's hand can be at least as important as where the grapes were grown.
N/AThe Stockon Record and Lodi News SentinelBob Highfill2017Jessie's Grove ZinfandelThis was one of my highlights because its light color and Pinot noir-like bold cherry aromas and flavors. The color belied a medium-bodied wine with huge fruit that wasn't at all jammy. Beautiful acidity gave it life. Altogether, really different and special.
N/AEnologist, Robert Biale VineyardDavid Natale2017Jessie's Grove ZinfandelBright floral and red fruit notes with a good acid drive. Pinot noir-like in its delicacy with a long, slightly dry finish.
N/AWinemaker, Ironstone VineyardsNatale Gagliardo2017Jessie's Grove ZinfandelOne of my favorites of the day. The color was really nice (due to the carbonic maceration). It had delicious spicy and meaty aromas with tobacco and cigar notes. The fruit reminded me of a cherry candy with a good balance of acid/sweetness that lingered on the finish.
Some winemakers and winery proprietors are born into the business. Some buy into the business. And some evolve into it. Greg LaFollette of Alquimista evolved quite successfully. He has been called a “vine whisperer,” a “cellar magician,” and a “tireless coaxer and protector of handcrafted wines.” He is one of Sonoma’s most revered winemakers, and was honored as Winemaker of the Year in 2010. He has also been tagged “Prince of Pinot” by the website of the same name. Read more at
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