Emtu Estate Wines

Owner(s) Chris Mason, John Mason
Web site www.emtuwines.com
 
Link to this site
Emtu Estate Wines

John and Chris Mason produce a single estate Pinot Noir from a dry-farmed, 2 acre certified organic vineyard located in Forestville at the juncture of the Russian River Valley and Green Valley AVA’s of Sonoma County. They live on the property, farm their estate Labyrinth Vineyard, and control all of the winemaking. Nothing really unusual about this, but let me tell you about these extraordinary people and their dedication to humanitarian causes.

The Masons (both of them had the sir name Mason before marriage, but were unrelated) have been international relief workers since 1999 when they went to Kosovo to build homes and shelters in remote villages as part of relief efforts for homeless families. John is a retired paramedic and Chris a retired worker in the health care field with a master’s degree in dietary science. Every year, from December to February, they close up the farm while the vines lay dormant and the wine rests in barrels and travel to a foreign country where they are needed. They have been in Gujarat, India helping in the aftermath of a disastrous earthquake, in Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon assisting AIDS educators, and in Chaman, Pakistan where they established medical clinics in two border refugee camps and provided medical services to over 30,000 refugees. In 2005, they founded the Labyrinth Foundation for Disaster Relief to allow them to operate independently or in cooperation with other aid organizations. All of their profits from Emtu wines go to their charitable foundation.

Contact the winery to purchase the wines (707-887-1239).

Reviewed Wines

2009 Emtu Labyrinth Vineyard Sonoma County Rosé of Merlot

12.4% alc.. All profits support humanitarian projects. Last Rosé as Merlot vines have been grafted over to Chardonnay. · Pale burnished orange color in the glass. Slight spritz initially. Scent of red plum, ripe berries and marzipan. Smooth and light with mature flavors echoing the nose with an added underpinning of brioche. Lacks a bit of liveliness on the finish. Source: winery. Decent (+). Reviewed July 1, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Emtu Labyrinth Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 144 cases, $40. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of deep, dark red cherries and berries with a complimentary hint of oak. More boldness and intensity than the 2007 vintage, offering a moderately rich mid palate panoply of fresh Bing cherry, raspberry, and red currant flavors with a hint of cola and anise. The ripe tannins add modest structure, the mouth feel is silky smooth and the wine’s bright acidity leads to a pleasingly crisp finish. This is a very sensual wine that can work beautifully on its own or compliment any feast. Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Emtu Labyrinth Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 275 cases, $36. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Interesting and complex nose offering aromas of cherries, strawberries, prickly pear and spiced apple, developing over time in the glass a subtle green note and a hint of roasted fruit. Appealing core of dark red cherries and berries with accents of cherry cola and earth. Nicely balanced and sporting an appealingly soft elegance. A solid wine. Good (+). Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Emtu Estate Wines Labyrinth Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 300 cases, $40. Picked at 23.9° brix, 3 day cold soak, inoculated fermentation. Racked every 6 months and bottled after 18 months in barrel. · The wine sports a primarily light reddish hue with a hint of violet. Prototypical Russian River Valley nose featuring Bing cherries, strawberries and cola. A very comforting and elegant wine offering a panoply of red fruits, a touch of oak spice and a smooth and clean finish. Beautifully balanced and stellar in every way. Reviewed January 1, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Emtu Estate Wines Labyrinth Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 148 cases, $36. Grapes were picked in the early morning at 24.6° Brix and a pH of 3.36. A 3 day cold soak followed. Fermentation was started with inoculation of Assmanshaussen yeast, punched down by hand, and basket pressed into 3-year-old neutral French oak barrels without settling. Aged in barrel a total of 18 months and bottled unfiltered and unfined. · This wine is a classic Pinot lover’s cup of tea. Alluring spiced red fruits in the nose lead to cherry-infused flavors that dance elegantly on the palate. The lively acid cleans up the finish. Basic, but basically quite good. Reviewed July 9, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Emtu Estate Wines Labyrinth Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 144 cases, $36 Grapes were hand picked in the early morning, cold soaked for 3 days, fermented by inoculation of Assmanshaussen yeast, punched down by hand, and basked pressed into French oak barrels without settling. Aged in barrel a total of 18 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Complex array of aromas and flavors including cherries, berries, brown sugar, mushroom and cardamon spice. There is a vein of oak running through. Light and ephemeral with commendable balance. Reviewed January 1, 2009 ARTICLE »

2004 Emtu Estate Wines Labyrinth Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc.. The grapes for this wine were picked at 25.6° Brix. · This resulting Pinot Noir is fruit-driven and bold in style. The color is deep ruby and the rich wild berry flavors linger on the palate for some time. This is a good wine, but not the preferred style of the Masons. Reviewed July 9, 2007 ARTICLE »