Brick & Mortar Cougar Rock Pinot Noir 2018
The 2018 Cougar Rock Vineyard Pinot Noir exudes aromas of ripe cherry, red apple and hints of graphite and dried fennel. Cougar Rock is always our most smooth and silky Pinot and most delicate in color which we attribute to the large amount of calcarious chalky rocks that are interspersed throughout the block. The mineral tones from the volcanic soil are apparent, intertwined with a dusty earthiness, rose petals; balanced by a fresh vibrant core and smooth elegant tannins. This wine shines in its youth and is expected to continue to improve for the next 8-15 years.
Brick & Mortar produces single vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from high elevation sites in Napa Valley, Sonoma Coast and Mendocino Ridge AVA. They produce Old world style, balanced wines that are bright and structured with low/moderate alcohol and distinct site characteristics. Owners Matt, Alexis and Troy Iaconis also specialize in a highly-acclaimed rosé as well as two unique blends of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, both picked the same day from the same two vineyards, comprised of the exact same blend percentage between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – one as a white wine (Vin Clair) and one as a red wine (Vin Rubis). brick & mortar’s first single vineyard sparkling wine is set to be released in 2019.
The name brick & mortar was founded on the fact the 2011 Pinot Noir would be the foundational wine of the winery. Given that Matt had spent the summer of 2011 in Burgundy, he fell in love with Pinot Noir and the cobblestone towns. When exploring names for the winery, he mentioned that when one goes through difficult times, a strong foundation is needed – and considering the foundation of some of the world’s longest standing buildings is made from many different variations of brick & mortar, the name was a perfect fit.
Just northeast of Napa city, Atlas Peak boasts some of Napa Valley’s highest elevation vineyards. Here the intense sunlight coupled with cool, nighttime temperatures produce grapes that are perfectly ripe, balanced and concentrated. The appellation is rich in volcanic soils and excels in the production of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”