Drew Mendocino Ridge Valenti Vineyard Syrah 2012
Jason and Molly Drew started Drew eighteen years ago with a clear goal in mind: to craft small lot coastal wines that express site specificity and traditional varietal character. While the beginnings of Drew began in the Santa Rita Hills AVA in 2000, they transplanted their small operation to the Mendocino Coast in 2005 to establish their estate ranch and winery.
In 2004 they had stumbled upon an old 26-acre apple orchard for sale within the Mendocino Ridge Appellation. The Mendocino Ridge is the most westernmost AVA within Mendocino County located directly west and south west of Anderson Valley and directly north of the true Sonoma Coast. While others saw a daunting project in this old orchard property, Jason and Molly saw ancient oceanic soils, south facing slopes and a true coastal climate, with the ocean a mere 3.3 miles away. It didn't take long for them to decide to leap and leap they did.
They spent the following year drawing, planning and building their boutique winery. Spending that year living in a 19 ft Airstream trailer along with their two young boys, to ensure construction moved as planned. They eventually planted their 7-acre estate Pinot Noir vineyard, which produced its first crop in 2014. A milestone that was hard earned after 25 years in the wine industry. Jason is a true craftsman of his trade having spent many years honing his craft with his viticultural and winemaking background, having worked for several northern and central California estate winery and vineyards.
Drew continues to focus on small lot coastal Pinot Noir and Syrah from both Anderson Valley and the Mendocino Ridge. They continue their long-standing partnerships with several local vineyard growers who share their passion for sustainable and meticulous farming practices. Single vineyard sources are chosen for their climate, clonal selection and complexity of soil type. Winemaking practices remain focused on traditional methods that include whole cluster and native yeast fermentations, hand punchdowns and in most instances, no fining or filtering.
Reaching up California's coastline and into its valleys north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. While Napa and Sonoma enjoy most of the glory, the rest produce no shortage of quality wines in an intriguing and diverse range of styles.
Climbing up the state's rugged coastline, the chilly Marin County, just above the City and most of Sonoma County, as well as Mendocino County on the far north end of the North Coast successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in some spots, Riesling. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc produce some impressive wines with affordable price tags.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Blends of Southern Rhône, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”