Waits-Mast Family Cellars Oppenlander Pinot Noir 2014
Oppenlander Vineyard is well off the beaten path in Mendocino County outside of the town of Comptche. It’s about eight and a half miles from the Pacific Ocean as the crow flies at an elevation of 250 feet. Oppenlander is owned by the Shandel family, 5th generation owners of the property, and was originally homesteaded in the 1860s by their ancestors from Denmark (via the Gold Rush in Australia). The vineyard sees consistently cool temperatures across the growing season and is harvested later than other regions. This cooler temperature range and coastal proximity can deliver a certain “oceanic acidity,” lending structure and complexity to the wine.
The beautiful ruby color of the 2014 Oppenlander is a prelude to the fresh black fruits at the forefront of the nose. The nose is densely packed with aromas of plum and black cherry, cedar, brioche, sagebrush, and a hint of gardenia. The laser focus of the palate exhibits the same red fruits and balances weight with bright acidity. The finish is lengthy and the fruit flavors are complimented by a light toastiness in the finish and a touch of florality. Drink now and over the next 5-7 years.
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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.
A large and diverse appellation within California’s North Coast AVA, Mendocino is home to several smaller sub-regions—most notably the Anderson Valley. This scenic region, with rolling hills covered in redwood forests as well as vineyards, is one of the world’s top producers of certified organically-grown grapes. Due to wide geographical and climatic variation, a vast array of wine styles can be found here.