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Reviewed Wines from the current Newsletter
PinotFile 11/6

From Results of Exclusive Press Tasting of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir (Mendocino Fairgrounds)

2015 Navarro Vineyards Deep End Blend Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

No tech sheet. · Aromas of cherry, spice, rose, grass and pennyroyal lead to a light to mid weighted wine offering vibrant red fruits with a compliment of oak. Beautifully balanced and easy to like, with a cherry charged finish. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Fulcrum On Point Christina’s Cuvee Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 198 cases, $36. Pommard, 667, 115, 113. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. Winemaker David Rossi. · Moderate light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry compliment wilted rose notes. Lighter in weight, with appealing flavors of cherry and spice. A bit shallow on the mid palate but tries to satisfy. A firm tannic structure is evident. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Long Meadow Ranch Winery Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 2,500 cases, $40. Estate grown, organically farmed using sustainable methods. Aged in French oak barrels, 25% new and 75% neutral. Winemaker is Stephane Vivier. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. The nose offers a fusion of black cherry and oak aromas, leaning more on leaf and vegetal notes over time. Modest in weight, with savory herb flavor dominating, and a rush of tannins showing up on the finish. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Balo Vineyards Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.62, 352 cases, $45. From the 8-acre, family owned vineyard near Philo. Planted in 1998 at a low vigor site. Most of vineyard planted in Perry Gulch loam soil. 60% whole cluster. Aged in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Very shy aromas of red berries and spice. More expressive on the palate, with middleweight flavors of pomegranate, cranberry and strawberry. Juicy and vibrant, with welcome spice accents, good harmony, and a juicy finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Drew Fashauer Vineyards Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $50. Anderson Valley and Mendocino Ridge appellation. Clones 115 and 667. Native yeast fermentation, 50% whole cluster, aged in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Shy aromas of cherry, red berry, sous-bois and wooded path. A savory wine with some wildness, offering juicy, mid weight flavors of red fruits. Still young and not full engaged, but loaded with interest. Modest tannins, bright acidity and structured tannins. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Foursight Wines Charles Vineyard “Clone 05” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.60, 125 cases, $52. Released May 2017. 100% Pommard 05. 20% whole cluster, 80% de-stemmed. Native yeast fermentation. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Aged in 60% new French oak barrels. · Light garnet color in the glass. Wealthy aromas of fresh berries, dark rose petal and baking spices. Gorgeous fruit core with some unresolved oak overlay. Noticeable mid palate intensity and finish with commendable balance. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Ferrari Carano Sky High Ranch Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.5% alc. $55. Sky High Ranch Vineyard is surrounded by towering redwoods and forest above the fog line at 1,600 feet elevation. De-stemmed, fermented in stainless steel open-top and small bins. 3-day cold soak, proprietary yeast strains, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 53% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very sexy nose full of pheromones and spice along with fruit scents of black cherry that are knee bending. This wine really emotes, with a core of beautifully ripened black cherry fruit and gently folded in oak. Perfectly balanced with a grand finish that lasts until the next sip. This is a wine I want to spend some time with. Score: 97. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Lazy Creek Vineyards Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.56, 286 cases, $58. Heritage selections and Dijon clones planted in one of the oldest vineyards in the Anderson Valley. Vineyard is certified California sustainable. Fermented in macro bins and small, open-top tanks. 3-day cold soak, yeast introduced for complexity. Wines racked to barrels and final blend assembled in July and bottled in August. Cooperage was 54% new French oak. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Demonstrative aromas of cherry, spice and earthy flora really entice. Beautifully composed, with a plethora of spiced black cherry and black raspberry fruit flavors framed by ripe tannins and deft oak enhancement. A savory note plies the background of this highly enjoyable wine that finishes with impressive length. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Elke Donnelly Creek Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.61, 196 cases, $N/A. 18th vintage under the “Blue Diamond” family label. 20-year-old vines rooted just outside town of Boonville. 100% de-stemmed, brief cold soak, proprietary Burgundy yeast fermentation, aged 11 months in Francois Frères oak barrels, 35% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Light garnet color in the glass. The nose presents scents of purple grape, black raspberry and spice. Light to mid weight in style, with an array of purple fruit flavors encased in supportive tannins, and finishing modestly with good polish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

No tech sheet available. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Perfumed with delicate aromas of cherry, brown spices and graham. Light to mid weight flavors of red fruits in a simple but pleasing style with a bit of oak in the background. Supportive tannic backbone, with a crisp cherry fueled finish leaving the slightest alcoholic warmth behind. Seems like an afterthought to the outstanding sparkling wines. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Greenwood Ridge Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.47, TA 0.65, 100 cases, $30. Native yeast fermentation. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 35% new and bottled unfined. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Alive with flavors of oak-kissed cherry. Flavors of bourbon-soaked cherries, brown spice and graham. Nicely composed with supportive tannins and a brilliant finish that goes on and on. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Handley Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.54, 2,245 cases, $32. Released February 1, 2017. 68% Handley Estate, 17% RSM, 12% Ferrington and 3% Helluva vineyards. Gently destemmed and crushed, retaining about 40% whole berries. 3-day cold soak, proprietary yeast inoculation. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels (25% new) and sterile filtered before bottling. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Lovely perfume of fresh cherry, spice and sandalwood. Easy to like, with a polish demeanor, offering a core of juicy black cherry fruit back by modest tannins. Forward and engaging with solid balance. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Bravium Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.63, 960 cases, $39. Vineyard is located in the “deep end” of the Anderson Valley and is one of the coolest sites in the region. Shallow topsoil over Franciscan sandstone (Bearwallow-Wolfey series). Clones are Pommard (planted in 1982), 37, 115, 538, 667 and 777. 15% whole cluster, 5-day cold soak. Feral yeast fermentation in open-top one-ton fermenters, basket pressed and aged 10 months in Francois Frères 4-year, air-dried barrels, 16% new. Winemaker Derek Rohlffs. · Light ruby red color in the glass. The nose is particularly engaging, with hi-tone aromas of cherry, dried rose and burnt tobacco. Lighter in weight, but highly flavorful, with tastes of cherry, cranberry and raspberry. A thread of savory herbs and oak plies the background. The wine sports balanced, unobtrusive tannins, and a bright, slightly tart cherry finish. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Pennyroyal Farm Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.66, 900 cases, $39. Clone 667. Harvest Brix 26.5º. Estate grown fruit. Aged 10 months in new and 1-year-old French oak barrels. Bottled unfiltered. · Moderate ruby red color in the glass. Shy, but appealing aromas of black cherry and herb garden. Fruit driven and rather monotone, but with good balance and some charm, featuring dark stone and berry fruit flavors. Very modest finish. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Fathers & Daughters Ella’s Reserve Ferrington Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.62,110 cases, $N/A (2013 vintage was $42). Pommard, “828,” and 667. Grapes 70% destemmed, 30% whole cluster. Native yeast fermentation, punch downs for 19 days twice a day. Basket pressed, aged 18 months in neutral French oak barrels. Winemaker Phillip Baxter. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Enticing aromas of cherry, spice and sandalwood draw your nose into the glass. Striking fruit presence with a deft touch of spice and oak. The wine finishes with good generosity. Well-structured for long term drinking. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Waits-Mast Wentzel Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 120 cases, $47. Released November 2016. Sourced from a 10-acre, organically farmed vineyard located in Philo. Dijon clones harvested at 23.5º from a block situated up a steep hillside benefiting from long afternoon sunlight, tempered by cool offshore breezes. Native yeast fermentation, 25% whole cluster. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Engaging perfume of cherry, strawberry, spice, tobacco and earth. Light to mid weight in style, featuring darker red fruits on the palate. Well-crafted, with juicy acidity, but a bit shallow on the mid palate and lacks finishing purpose. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Baxter Ferrington Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.42, 65 cases, $52. Clones 2A, 667, Pommard and “828.” 25% whole cluster, native yeast fermentation. Aged in French oak barrels, 10% new. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Exceptional aromatic presence, with soaring scent of raspberry, strawberry, rose petal and spice. More earthy and rustic on the palate, yet offers vivid fruit flavors of red and purple berries with a mushroom accent. The intensity and appeal builds in appeal over time. The juicy finish really satisfies. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Phillips Hill Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.62, 75 cases, $52. Released April 20, 2016. Cerise is a 40-acre vineyard located at 800-1200 feet elevation. Soils are sandstone and fractured shale with a shallow gravelly loam topsoil that is marginal and sparse. Dijon 115. Harvest Brix 23.5º. 15% whole cluster, 4-day cold soak, 14 days on skins, native yeast fermentation. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of exotic spices, red cherry and smoky oak. Light weight flavors if oak-infused black cherry. Rather earthy and rustic, with good balance. The wine lacks some enthusiasm and interest and the finish lacks persistence. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Lichen Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.56, 182 cases, $65. Sourced from seven acres of estate vines overlooking Highway 128 on the 203-acre Lichen Estate. Vineyard is farmed organically. Grapes are de-stemmed, 14-17 day fermentation after 5-6-day cold soak, 2-3 day post fermentation extended maceration. Aged 16 months with lees stirring during first 9 months of barrel aging. Total time in French oak barrels was 17 months. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Perfumed and sensuous, with deep aromas of cherry, spice, brier and earthy flora. Lush and satisfying on the mid weight palate, with robust cherry flavor accented with a subtle thread of cola and spicy oak. Beautifully balanced, with silky tannins and a bright, juicy finish. Very classy juice. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Donum Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.88, TA 0.55, 459 cases, $72. Pommard, Swan, Martini, David Bruce, 2A, and Dijon 115, 667, 777 and “828.” Aged in French oak barrels, 59% new. Sourced from Angel Camp Vineyard in the “deep-end” of the Anderson Valley north of Philo. A barrel selection from several blocks. Winemaker Dan Fishman. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, spice and bittersweet chocolate. Full-bodied, with a charge of blackberry and prune flavors underlain with healthy oak-driven notes of coffee and dark chocolate. There are noticeable fruit and oak tannins in the Donum style, a certain earthiness, and a slight bit of alcoholic warmth on the finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Walt The Corners Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

15.1% alc., $75. Winery is located in Sonoma. Walt also offers Anderson Valley Pinot Noir from Savoy Vineyard, Anderson Valley single vineyard Pinpoint Extreme, and an Anderson Valley AVA blend “Blue Jay.” Winemakers are Megan Gunderson Paredes and Steve Leveque. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 45% new Francois Frères. · Moderate ruby red color in the glass. Reserved aromas of muddled black cherry and oak char. Sappy, oak-infused black fruits saturate the palate. A Caliesque styled wine with a smooth mouthfeel, well integrated alcohol and a fruit driven finish. A no-holds barred, hedonistic Pinot Noir. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Roma’s Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.92, TA 0.64, $N/A. Vineyard is located at 1,800 feet elevation on Lone Tree Ridge in Boonville and planted in 1992. Harvest yield 1.8 tons per acre. Winemaker Dean Carrell. 33% whole cluster added to bottom of fermentation bins. 15% of juice drained from bottom of bin to concentrate the must. 14-day post fermentation maceration. Basket pressed into French oak barrels and aged on the lees for 18 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate ruby red color in the glass. Comforting in all aspects, with aromas of cherry, rose, brioche and a hint of oak. Nicely balanced, but a bit shallow and flat, featuring an array of red fruits in a middleweight style. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Domaine Anderson Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

$39. Sourced from 50 acres of estate vineyards including the newly certified organic and biodynamic Dach Vineyard. Fermented in open-top bins, basket pressed. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · rate garnet color in the glass. Lovely perfume of black cherry, black raspberry and warm spices. Admirable balance in a mid weight, harmonious style, with a core of black cherry and blueberry fruit flavors infused with svelte tannins. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Husch Knoll Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.60, $40. A limited bottling from vines that were the first planting of Pinot Noir in the Anderson Valley. Many original vines remain. Harvest Brix 25.4º. 20% whole cluster. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Muted fruit aromas of cherry and strawberry with added notes of wood and tobacco leaf. A structured wine, with lighter fruit flavors of red berries and cherry. A bit shallow on entry and finish with tannins and alcohol sticking out more than one would like at the end. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Champ de Rêves Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.57, 4,995 cases, $45. Sourced from an 85 acre vineyard planted in 2006 at 1,400-1,800 feet elevation in shallow, sandy loam soils. Clones 667, 777 and 115. 100% de-stemmed with 60% whole berries fed by gravity into open-top fermenters. 6 to 7-day cold soak, fermented 14-16 days on skins. Aged 9 months in French oak barrels, 32% new. Winemaker Eric Johannsen. · Moderate ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, rose and complimentary oak lead to a concentrated presence on the palate of darker fruits, prominent oak notes, some drying tannins, and a sweet fruited finish. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Toulouse Vineyards Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.54, 150 cases, $55. Clones are a DRC selection and Wädenswil 2A. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderate ruby red color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of red cherry and sandalwood. Light to mid weight in style, with easy going character, displaying an array of red fruits, a petrol note, modest tannins, and a juicy finish. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Philo Ridge Vineyards Marguerite Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.62, 190 cases, $50. This vineyard is located at 1,500 feet elevation and is 40-years-old. Entirely dry farmed, sustainably managed, with naturally mined minerals and amendments added to the soil. Harvest Brix 23.5º average. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, feral fermentation. Basket bladder pressed into French oak barrels, 30% new, 70% neutral, where it was aged for 26 months. Racked up to three times before bottling, unfined and unfiltered. Bottled aged 9 months before release. · Light orange red color in the glass. Aged aromas of dried cherry, spice, leather and tobacco. Lighter in weight, with austere fruit and very bright acidity, falling off quickly on the finish. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Tasting 2015 Pinot Noir at Drew Estate in Elk with Jason Drew

2015 Drew “The Fog-Eater” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 350 cases, $45. Goal is a quintessential Anderson Valley wine. Vine age averages 20 years. Yields 1.1-2.2 tons per acre. A blend of 30% Valenti, 21% Balo, 21% Fashauer, 15% Perli and 10% Joshua’s vineyards. Rochioli, Pommard, 115, 667 and 777. Native ferments, 20% whole cluster. Aged 11 months in seasoned oak. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Plenty of cherry and spice on the nose. Charming strawberry and cherry flavors in a mid weight style with easy tannins. Accents of spice, mushroom and botanic notes add interest. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Drew Balo Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 50 cases, $50. Jason has worked with this vineyard since 2006. Average vine age 19 years. Yields 2.0 tons per acre. Clones are Pommard, 777 and 115. Perrygulch and Boontling loam soils. Native ferments, 40% whole cluster, aged 11 months in 2 and 3-year-old Francois Frères and Sirugue oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very lovely and enticing aromas of spiced cherry and earthy flora. Noticeably juicy on the palate, featuring a mid weight array of cherry, Damsel plum, and botanic flavors. Both savory and fruity, with firm fruit tannins, and an extremely long, quenching finish. An age worthy wine that will rise above with more time in the cellar. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Drew Fashauer Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 50 cases, $50. This 8-acre vineyard is along the Greenwood Ridge and falls within the Mendocino Ridge appellation as well as the outer boundary of the Anderson Valley. Near Valenti Vineyard. Average vine age 16 years. Yields 2.2 tons per acre. Clones 115 and 667 planted in well-drained, sedimentary silty clay loam with high mineral content and marginal fertility. Native ferments, 25% whole cluster, aged 11 months in Sirugue oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Revealing aromas of pie cherries and spice. Noticeable concentration of sappy dark red cherry and berry fruits along with structural firmness. The fruit is embellished with notes of earth, game and minerality. A bright, cherry fruited finish completes the charm. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Drew Joshua’s Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 50 cases, $50. A new project from a 1-acre vineyard located in the “deep-end,” planted in the mid 1970s and farmed both organically and without irrigation. Clone(s) planted on own roots and unknown. Yield 1.1 tons per acre. Native ferments, 30% whole cluster, aged 11 months in Francois Frères oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, wild berry, underbrush and pine are echoed in the flavors on the palate with added notes of raspberry and stem. The layered fruit has noticeable depth, the mid palate intensity is grand, the fine grain tannins are nicely proportioned, and there is a lift of acidity on the finish. A suede texture adds to the appeal. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Drew Valenti Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 125 cases, $50. Jason leases this vineyard and has taken over the farming. Average vine age 18 years. Yield 1.6 tons per acre. Clones are Rochioli, 667 and 115. Well-drained soils with decomposed sandstone and high iron. Native ferments, 10% whole cluster, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. This wine unfolds nicely over time in the glass. Perfume of dark red cherry, peppery spice, underbrush, balsam and flower. A bit tight, but offering an array of savory dark red fruits with impressive intensity in the mouth. The wine has a woodsy, mushroom tone. Nicely balanced, with agreeable tannins and an uplifting, citrus driven finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Drew Estate Field Selection Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 75 cases, $60. Third vintage. Vineyard is three miles from Pacific Ocean. Average vine age 6 years. Yields 0.3 tons per acre. Clones are 943, 115, 667, Mt. Eden, Pommard and a Swan selection. Soils are Ornbaun, Yellowhound and Zeni, well-drained, silty sand clay loam with marginal fertility. Native ferments, 40% whole cluster, aged 11 months in Francois Frères and Sirugue oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Enchanting aromas of black cherry, mushroom and forest. Savory black cherry and raspberry flavors in a mid weight plus styled wine with sinewy tannins. Complex, with nuances evolving over time in the glass, revealing a unique streak of minerality and bloodied game notes. Very good tension, with impressive power at a relatively low ABV, and a long, mineral-infused finish that is ingratiating. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Drew Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 75 cases, $60. Average vine age 15 years. Rochioli and La Tache selections. Yields 0.5 tons per acre. Well-drained, light silty sand to silty clay based dark loam with high iron. Native ferments, 50% whole cluster, aged 11 months in Francois Frères oak barrels, 50% new. With sale of vineyard, this may be last vintage for Drew although negotiating for 2017. · This wine exudes pure class. Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Gorgeous nose with soaring aromas of Bing cherry, pomegranate and sous-bois. Velvety and lush in the mouth, with a mid weight core of delicious red fruits that are vivid and charged with goodness. The wine displays impeccable balance and a lingering finish that is memorable. Score: 96. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From More Recently Tasted Anderson Valley, Mendocino Ridge and Mendocino County Pinot Noir

2016 Waits-Mast Mendocino County Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 20 cases, $25. A saignée from multiple vineyard lots across Mendocino County. · Moderate salmon color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of blood orange, strawberry and pear. Somewhat robust, with flavors of peach, orange peel, baking spice and cream soda. Nicely balanced and an easy going summertime quaff. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Mojave Monument Tree Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 48 cases, $60. Released March 2017. Clones 115 and 667 planted in 1999 in loamy clay and decomposed sandstone soils. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, fermented in open-top bin with a mixture of pump overs and punch downs for 2 weeks. Aged 15 months in French oak Barrels, one once-used Chardonnay barrel and one neutral Pinot Noir barrel. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is primary even when checked two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. There are demure, pleasant aromas of well-ripened dark fruits. Mid weight plus on the palate with a core of black raspberry and blackberry fruits framed by balanced tannins. Satiny and sleek in texture, with charming fruit, good vibrancy and deft oak integration. The wine is searching for expression at this stage, and presumably will benefit from more time in bottle. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Waits-Mast Mendocino County Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 72 cases, $35. Released June 2016. A blend of grapes from Mariah Vineyard in Mendocino Ridge and Oppenlander Vineyard in Mendocino County. Harvest Brix 23º and 24º. Clones 114, 115, 667 and Pommard. Aged 11 months in neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Heavily oaked on the nose with aromas of toast and campfire. Soft in the mouth, with forward, mid-weight cherry flavor underlain with a thread of oak (less oak on the palate). Agreeable tannins and a very modest finish. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Waits-Mast Nash Mill Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 67 cases, $40. Released November 2016. Vineyard owned by Zac and Krista Robinson, whose family also owns Husch Vineyards. Harvest Brix 26.5º. A mix of 115 and 667 and Pommard clones harvested from this fog-bound, deep end site. Fermented whole berry with native yeasts and aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of cherry, cranberry, wilted rose and pipe smoke. Flat-out great on the palate with a delicious core of black cherry fruit. Elegantly composed and satiny in texture, with modest tannins and a sleek, polished demeanor. The oak lends a helping but not intrusive hand. This wine simply stands out immediately upon tasting and continues its peacock tail finish when tasted over a two day period. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Waits-Mast Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 96 cases, $42. Released June 2017. This vineyard is located at 2,400 feet elevation and is owned by Dan Dooling and Vicki Tomola. Clones 667 and Pommard on Syrah rootstock (the vineyard was originally planted in the 1970s to Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel). Harvest Brix 25.1º. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Lovely and nuanced in the glass, with aromas of strawberry, red cherry, sandalwood, wine cave, and floral bouquet. Intense on the attack with mouth coating flavors of dark red berries and cherries filling the mouth with goodness. A wine of character with a good grip on the finish that really holds on. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Waits-Mast Oppenlander Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 165 cases, $45. Release September 2017.Harvest Brix 22.2º. Clones 115, 667 and Pommard. Aged in French oak barrels, 37.5% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Pleasant, but very subdued aromas of dark cherry, spice, fertile earth and oak. Inviting vibrancy and cut on the finish in a middleweight styled wine with flavors of dark cherry and berry. An underlying earthy tone and firm tannic support engage the fruit core. Unchanged when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Waits-Mast Wentzel Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 120 cases, $47. Released November 2016. Harvest Brix 23.5º Clones 114, 115, 667 and 777. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. Production was doubled in 2014 and 25% whole clusters added to the fermentation (a rare technique for this winery). · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose leads with aromas ob cherry, pine, wood shed and dried herbs. A little more sap, body, structure and finish in this vintage compared to 2013. Mid weight flavors of dark red cherries and berries set off with complimentary oak spice. Texturally interesting, with fine-grain tannins and overall welcome harmony. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Navarro Vineyards Deep End Blend Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $55. Sourced from estate, hillside, ocean-view vineyards (Garden Spot, Marking Corral, Winery & South Hill and Middle Ridge) with cool marine influence. A cuvée created by blending the twelve best lots from these hillside vineyards. Four different vineyard sites, four different Pinot Noir clones, and four different rootstocks.Aged in French oak barrels, 50% new, for 16 months. Bottled unfiltered. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of black cherry, baking spices and a hint of toasty oak. Mid weight in style, featuring generous waves of black cherry, blackberry and spice flavors that envelope the palate. Velvety in the mouth with soothing tannins and an opulent black cherry driven finish. The wine can be described in one word: ephemeral. Even better when tasted two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Decant this one to integrate the new oak and bring out the wine’s best side. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Waits-Mast Deer Meadows Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 144 cases, $58. Released March 2017. This vineyard is located at 1,600 feet elevation above Boonville with a southeastern facing view of Anderson Valley. Owned and farmed by Rich Savoy. Clones 115, 777 and Calera selection. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. The nose opens over time in the glass, revealing opulent aromas of dark red berries and Asian spices. Polished and light on its feet, with vivid flavors of red cherries and berries framed by engaging tannins and juicy acidity. A good example of power without muscle that makes Pinot Noir so seductive. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Waits-Mast Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 91 cases, $42. Released November 2015. Harvest Brix 26º. Clones 667 and Pommard. Native yeast fermentation. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Very little fruit aromas on the nose that features scents of peppery spice, rose petal, potpourri, sweet pipe smoke and toasty oak. Very juicy, middleweight cherry core with accents of spice, and BBQ smoke. Polished in the mouth with integrated tannins and a modest finish. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Waits-Mast Oppenlander Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 153 cases, $44. Released November 2015. This vineyard is well known although located remotely in the small town of Comptche, about 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean as the crow flies. The vineyard is owned by the Shandel family who are fifth generation owners of the property. The vineyard is exposed to marine influence and is quite cool. Harvest Brix 23.5º. Clones 114, 115 and Pommard, Aged in French oak barreks, 1 and 2-year-old and neutral. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Subdued aromas of black cherry, black berry and Christmas spices. Earthy and a bit rustic, with mid weight flavors of black cherry and blackberry with a green bramble undertone. Put together with good harmony, but doesn’t emote. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Waits-Mast Wentzel Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 120 cases, $47. Released May 2016. This 10-acre vineyard is organically farmed by Roland and Barbara Wentzel. Located near Philo at 900 feet elevation. Fruit for this wine is sourced from a block situated up on the hill and less than an acre in size. Clones 114, 115, 667 and 777. Some fruit is also sourced from Lookout block, Dijon 667. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Pleasant aromas of leaf, barrel, and red cherry with a subtle medicinal note. Light to mid weight in style, with flavors of red raspberry, cranberry, blueberry and Crimini mushroom. Modest tannins, with some finishing purpose. This wine has some charm, but not the flavor to full entice. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Waits-Mast Deer Meadows Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 120 cases, $58. Released May 2016. Harvest Brix 24.5º. Clones 115, 777 and Calera selection. Native yeast fermentation. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The pedigree of this vineyard is clearly evident in this wine. Well-appointed aromas of black pie cherries and spice lead to a mid weight plus style wine with delicious flavors of black cherry, dark raspberry and spice. The wine offers juicy acidity, modest tannins and welcome generosity on the finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »


Robert Parker’s 100 point wine scoring system, which became popular in 1983 and adopted by the Wine Spectator in 1988, has been a homing beacon for consumers seeking to buy good wine. Currently, a majority of United States based wine critics and magazines use the 100 point scale.

The reality is that the 100 point scale is actually a 10 point scale. MORE»
A Note About Prices

Price shown in a tasting note is either the winery-direct price or the retail price paid by the Prince.