Waits-Mast Family Cellars Mariah Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014
Mariah Vineyard is set in Mendocino Ridge, a remote and higher elevation appellation that is sort of the wild west of Pinot Noir growing in Mendocino County. While the area of the AVA is over 250,000 acres, the only suitable land for grape-growing is above 1,200 feet elevation and currently, about 75 or so acres are currently planted to wine grapes.
The wine is light garnet in color and shows the complex, earthy aromas unique to Mariah Vineyard. A medium intensity nose of violets, clove, and dark cherry fruit invite you into the glass. The palate exhibits the same complexity of flavors with a touch of glycerine and mint. Medium body and balanced bright acidity give way to fine-grained tannins and a finish filled with earth and spice that will keep you coming back to your glass.
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Waits-Mast Family Cellars was founded by Brian Mast and Jennifer Waits in 2005. Before they started making wines they were geeky & passionate wine consumers. Many weekend getaways were spent exploring wineries across California and overseas in France, Switzerland and New Zealand.
By 2000, they started attending the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival and exploring the winemaking scene by sitting in on the event’s technical conference. The Pinot Noir immersion that weekend, along with the warm and welcoming wine community of Anderson Valley, prompted them to make the shift from wine geeks to wine producers.
Their first commercial wine, a 2007 Pinot Noir from Wentzel Vineyard in Anderson Valley, was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Wines issue. The wines are featured on wine lists of some of the top restaurants in the country and have been well-received by the press, with inclusions in the San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Wines of 2014, Wine & Spirits "Year's Best Pinot Noir", and Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Cellar Selections among others. The wines are crafted in San Francisco with the expertise of our winemaker Shalini Sekhar, who was included in the San Francisco Chronicle's 2019 Winemakers to Watch.
Essentially a northern extension of the Sonoma Coast AVA but part of Mendocino County, Mendocino Ridge is one of the rare appellations defined by elevation only. The Mendocino Ridge AVA is reserved only for vineyards at or above 1,200 feet between the Anderson Valley and Pacific Ocean.
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.”