Maggy Hawk Jolie Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Situated adjacent to the redwoods and one of the last vineyards before one reaches the Pacific, the Maggy Hawk vineyard is located in what many refer to as the “deep end” of Anderson Valley. The vineyard contains a complex patchwork of different facings, slopes and clones, all of which conspire to provide a dazzling array of different Pinot Noirs.
The soil is comprised of decomposed sandstone, known for exceptional drainage and low nutrients, both critical to the development of naturally balanced vines.
As one might expect, yields are controlled by Mother Nature in this setting; in most years, the Maggy Hawk vineyard provides no more than two tons per acre.
Adversity often brings greatness to Pinot Noir, the most difficult of grapes to master. Greatness also arises in champion racehorses, something Proprietor Barbara Banke recognized and celebrates in the gifted Maggy Hawk, a winning thoroughbred honored with this Pinot Noir effort from the deep end of Mendocino’s Anderson Valley, mere moments from the Pacific Ocean.
Each wine in the series is named for a horse born to Maggy Hawk: Jolie, Afleet, Stormin’ and Unforgettable, and to her sire, Hawkster. The unique expression borne of training, bloodlines, site and alchemy applies equally to wine and horses – Pinot Noir and thoroughbreds in particular.
Surrounded by redwood forests and often blanketed in chilly, ocean fog, the Anderson Valley is one of California’s most picturesque appellations. During the growing season, moist, cool, late afternoon air flows in from the Pacific Ocean along the Navarro River and over the valley's golden, oak-studded hills. High and low temperatures can vary as much as 40 or 50 degrees within a single day, allowing for slow and gentle ripening of grapes, which will in turn create elegantly balanced wines.
The Anderson Valley is best known for Pinot Noir made in a range of styles from delicate and floral to powerful and concentrated. Chardonnay also shines here, and both varieties are often utilized for the production of some of California’s best traditional method sparkling wines. The region also draws inspiration from Alsace and produces excellent Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.
One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).
Tasting Notes for Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is a dry red wine, typically diominated by red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles showing black plum and more delicate styles of Pinot giving citrus qualities. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age Pinot Noir can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice and dried fruit.
Perfect Food Pairings for Pinot Noir
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of salmon or texture of tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
Sommelier Secrets for Pinot Noir
For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.