Pey-Marin

Owner(s) Jonathan Pey, Susan Pey
Web site www.marinwines.com
 
Link to this site
Pey-Marin

Jonathan and Susan Pey are winegrowers and residents of Marin County who have a shared passion for wine. Jonathan has had a career in the ultra-premium wine industry at Domaine Louis Jadot, Penfolds, and Robert Mondavi Vineyards. Susan is a wine buyer for a large prestigious restaurant group in the Bay Area. Together they launched their own line of wines in 1999 and today produce Pinot Noir and Riesling under the Pey-Marin label and Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands under the Pey-Lucia label, a Pinot Noir sourced from three appellations labeled The Forager, Merlot and Vin Gris under the Mount Tamalpais label, a Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville in Napa Valley labeled Textbook and a Paso Robles Syrah called Spicerack. Their umbrella company is Scenic Root Winegrowers.

To be honest, growing Pinot Noir in Marin County is not for the faint at heart. The few vineyards hold much potential when the weather cooperates, but small, even minuscule yields, are often the rule. Jonathan calls the yields “stupid - pick a low number!” The soils are decomposed marine sediment and drain beautifully. Located only 8 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, the region is quite cool and the resulting growing season is extended in length. Typically, the Pinot Noir clusters and berries are tiny, with high skin to juice ratios.

I have enjoyed several vintages of Pey-Marin Trois Filles Pinot Noir (named after the Pey’s three daughters). Jonathan leases and farms part of three vineyards in Marin County: Pey-Marin block (Pommard, Swan and 115) at Corda Vineyard, a block at Stubbs Vineyard (115), and a block at Kendric Vineyard (Pommard, 667, 777). The three sites are quite diverse with differing slopes, orientation, clones, rootstocks, age, location and harvest dates. Pey-Marin and Stubbs are organically farmed, Kendric is (very) sustainably farmed. Pey-Marin is 17 years old, Stubbs is 10 years old and Kendric 8 years old.

Pey-Marin and Pey-Lucia wines can be purchased on the website. A third, value-priced Pinot Noir, The Forager, is a combination of grapes sourced from the Sonoma Coast combined with some Pey-Marin barrels. The other varietals, particularly The Shell Mound Riesling, which is one of top Rieslings produced in California, are worthy of your attention. Sign up for the mailing list to receive advance notice of releases. 415-455-WINE. A tasting room is located in the historic Olema Inn at 10000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in Olema. Open daily from 12:00 to 4:00.

Reviewed Wines

2010 The Forager Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $17, screw cap. From Jonathan and Susan Pey (Pey-Marin). · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Fruity nose featuring black cherries and roasted plum with an undertone of dark caramel. Full ripe flavors of black cherries and dark berries with a sidecar of cola and sassafras. Medium-weight with well-behaved fine-grain tannins and a silky mouth feel. Very user friendly but less interesting over time in the glass. Decent. Reviewed January 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Pey-Marin “Trois-Filles” Marin County Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.65, 345 cases, $39. A loving tribute to the Peys who have three daughters (“trois-filles”). From three sites located less than 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Low yielding vines, trademark tiny clusters and berries and high natural acidity. Multiple Dijon clones and heritage selections. 100% de-stemmed, native fermentation initially with Burgundian yeast inoculation subsequently. Aged 14 months in 3-year air-dried French oak cooperage with extensive sur lie stirring. Unfined and unfiltered and aged in bottle for 10 months. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is dominated by aromas of dark red fruits with underlying notes of clay, oak and dark red rose petals. Well-endowed with middleweight flavors of pie filling fruits including raspberries and strawberries backed by mild, dry tannins and a refreshing cut of acidity. The wine is soft and smooth in texture, showing admirable integration of oak, and exhibiting impeccable balance. Picks up intensity and adds a peppery herb and spicy twist to the lengthy finish the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Would definitely benefit from decanting if you drink now. Reviewed October 26, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 Pey-Marin “Frisquet” Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 320 cases, $39. From a vineyard site adjacent Rosella’s Vineyard with chilly (frisquet) weather, foggy mornings and low yields. 35% new oak. Pommard and Wädenswil clones (50% of each). · Deep reddishpurple color in the glass. Restrained but pleasing scents of dark plums, sweet oak and spice. Delicious essence of intensely flavored and beautifully spiced sweet dark berries with a hint of root beer. The tannins are reigned in and there is a refreshing acid tang on the finish that makes you want to take another sip. Shows off the typical intense dark fruit of this appellation but has an appealing restraint and pleasing tameness. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Pey-Marin “Trois-Filles” Marin County Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.51, 340 cases, $39. Low yields of nine clones. Sourced from two sites in west Marin County. Dijon clones and heritage selections. Aged 14 months in French oak. · Aromas of bright, fresh raspberry fruit initially, adding scents of brown spice over time. Tasty and juicy berry core with notes of vanilla and graham. Fuzzy tannins with a subtle grip of citrus peel on the moderately persistent finish. Still has some tannins to shed and should improve with another year or two in the cellar. Very good. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 Pey-Marin Trois Filles Marin County Pinot Noir

Only recently bottled and still a bit shocked, it was showing considerable potential. Reviewed March 23, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Pey-Marin “Trois-Filles” Marin County Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 334 cases, $39. Low yields of clones 115, 667 and 777. Aged 14 months in French oak. · Brooding aromas of dark berries and cherries, spice, woodshed and smoke. Bright fruit with a savory and earthy tone with a lively lift of acidity on the pleasing finish. Can go another 2 to 3 years. Decent (+). Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2005 Pey-Marin Trois Filles Marin County Pinot Noir

13.8 % alc, 320 cases, $39. According to Jonathan, his best yet, “combining great coolclimate Pinot typicity with some nice earthy (dare I say terroir) tones, wrapped with a kiss of new French oak.” · A lot of winemakers say every current vintage is their best yet, but this really is true here. Exciting scents of snappy cherry and oak spice lead off. A sweet-fruited palate of black cherries and black raspberries with a hint of cool minerality follows in step. A crisp and juicy Pinot Noir with impeccable balance. Nice finesse but not wimpy! A thoroughly enjoyable, mouth-filling wine that is brilliantly crafted. Kudos! Reviewed November 12, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Pey-Marin Trois Filles Marin County Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $39, 350 cases. Jonathan and Susan Pey are the proprietors and winegrowers for both the Mount Tamalpais label (Merlot, Pinot Gris and Riesling) and Pey-Marin Pinot Noir. Their motto is clever: “Beaune in Marin.” Both of the Peys have an experienced background in the wine business and Jonathan seems to be particularly adept at bringing out the best expression of Pinot Noir that Marin County can offer. He produces classic Pinot Noir in all sense of the word, with finesse, balance and lively acidity. This wine is sourced from the Corda, Stubbs, and Kendric Vineyards. · Still young and just-released, this is a Pinot Noir of great promise. Exotic berry and spice notes compose a compelling aromatic profile and the assemblage of red and blue Pinot fruits is complimented by a bracing acid backbone. Like the name after which the wine is named (Trois Filles refers to the Pey’s three daughters), this is a classy feminine -styled Pinot Noir that is a perfect companion both before and during a fine meal. Reviewed July 16, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Pey-Marin Trois Filles Marin County Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 350 cases, $39. Jonathan and Susan Pey are the proprietors and winegrowers for both the Mount Tamalpais label (Merlot, Pinot Gris and Riesling) and Pey-Marin Pinot Noir. Their motto is clever: “Beaune in Marin.” Both of the Peys have an experienced background in the wine business and Jonathan seems to be particularly adept at bringing out the best expression of Pinot Noir that Marin County can offer. He produces classic Pinot Noir in all sense of the word, with finesse, balance and lively acidity. This wine is sourced from the Corda, Stubbs, and Kendric Vineyards. Most of the wine is sold to a faithful following on the mailing list (including myself). Www.marinwines.com, 415-455-9463. · Still young and just-released, this is a Pinot Noir of great promise. Exotic berry and spice notes compose a compelling aromatic profile and the assemblage of red and blue Pinot fruits is complimented by a bracing acid backbone. Like the name after which the wine is named (Trois Filles refers to the Pey’s three daughters), this is a classy feminine -styled Pinot Noir that is a perfect companion both before and during a fine meal. Reviewed July 16, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 Pey-Marin Trois Fille Marin County Pinot Noir

14.1% alc. · This wine is from three vineyards in Marin County. It is closed at the moment and needs decanting with several hours of air time to show its fruit. A perennial favorite of mine. Reviewed November 26, 2006 ARTICLE »

2004 Pey-Marin “Trois-Filles” Marin County Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 372 cases, $36. Clones 115, 667, 777. Aged 14 months in French oak. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of slightly candied black cherries, prune, dark chocolate, leather, and cedar. Earthy flavors of ripe, dark stone fruits with a little oak in the background. Fine, dry tannins with bright acidity and some persistence on the finish. Drink up. Decent (+). Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2004 Pey-Marin Trois Filles Marin County Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 372 cases, $36. Clones 115, 667, 777. · Perfume of very ripe dark berries, raisins, oak and cardamom spice carries through to the finish. Velvety in texture with weighty tannins on the moderately lengthy finish. A decent Pinot but can’t compete with the other vintages for attention. Reviewed November 12, 2007 ARTICLE »

2003 Pey-Marin “Trois-Filles” Marin County Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 269 cases, $33. Clones 115 and 667. Aged 14 months in French oak. · The nose initially sports oak char and tobacco veering over time to black cherry tart, barnyard and a little green garden. Rich core of dark stone fruits and berries with supporting oak. Silky and balanced with supple dry tannins and a dry finish. Drink up. Decent. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2003 Pey-Marin Trois Filles Marin County Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 269 cases, $33. Clones 115 and 667. Very low yields. · Attractive dark cherry and berry aromas highlighted with earth and oak. Lovely dark cherry and cassis flavors with a sidecar of smoke and oak. Texturally smooth with brisk acidity and felty tannins on the finish. Drinking beautifully now. Reviewed November 12, 2007 ARTICLE »

2003 Pey-Marin Trois Filles Marin County Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 269 cases, $33. Yields were less than 2 tons per acre. Sourced from two vineyards (7 and 15 years old) located less than 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean in west Marin County. 100% de-stemmed, crushed, cold soaked, aged 14 months in 60% new French oak barrels with no racking and extensive "sur lie" stirring. The name "Trois Filles" is a tribute to the Pey's three young daughters. · I really like the gentle, perfumed, ethereal style of this wine. The nose features aromas of roasted duck with spiced cherry sauce, and the black cherry and cassis flavors are offset by an attractive earthiness reminiscent of earth-dusted mushrooms. The palate is plush and creamy, and the finish features bright acidity. A Pinot to envy. Reviewed May 22, 2006

2002 Pey-Marin “Trois-Filles” Marin County Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.,120 cases, $29. · Shy but pleasing fruit aromas with notable oak char and cigar box. Dark cherry and berry and fig flavors accented by notes of spice and tobacco backed by fine grain tannins leading to a persistent cherry lift on the finish. Beautiful aged patina. Drink up. Very good. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2002 Pey-Marin Trois Filles Marin County Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $29 · The fruit has faded a tad but all kinds of other interesting components have come out to play. Still pumping out terrific aromatics of blackberries, oak, cigar box and a hint of mint. Earthy, shroom flavors. A lot of fun after five years. Reviewed November 12, 2007 ARTICLE »