Mark West Black Label Monterey County Pinot Noir 2016
Pairs perfectly with grilled lamb chops, gourmet flatbread pizza, and pulled pork sandwiches.
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Mark West Winery's goal is to craft wines that consistently deliver enticing aromatics, a rich supple mouth feel, and classical varietal characteristics. The wines pair easily with food or for drinking alone. Their goal is to combine outstanding value and style in every wine they produce.
Jason Becker joined Mark West Winery as the winemaker in 2015. Pinot wasn't always in his plans. Jason originally set his sights on becoming an engineer. That is, until his first job at a winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. That's when everything changed. After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2008 with a double major in Wine & Viticulture and Agricultural Business, Jason set out on a path that would ultimately lead him to Mark West. From cellar intern to barrel room technician to assistant winemaker, these stepping stones are what brought him to Mark West.
A geographic and climatic paradise for grape vines, Monterey is a part of the greater Central Coast AVA and contains within it five smaller sub-appellations, including Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, San Bernabe, Hames Valley and the famous Santa Lucia Highlands. The climate is relatively warm but tempered by cool, coastal winds, allowing the regions in Monterey County an exceptionally long growing season. Bud break often happens two weeks sooner and harvest tends to be two weeks later compared to other surrounding regions.
Monterey’s coastal side, where the cooling ocean fog allows grapes to develop a perfect sugar-acid balance, excels in the production of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. Warmer, inland subzones are home to fleshy, concentrated and full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel.
Chardonnay, covering about 40% of vineyard acreage, is the most widely planted grape in all of Monterey County.
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.”