Maggy Hawk Jolie Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2014
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.
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.”