Monday, April 18, 2016

Big, Rugged Pinot Noir From Mendocino

The Eagle Peak AVA in Mendocino County is just a couple of years old, its rugged mountain terrain providing a cool-climate home to a handful of growers and one winemaker, Masút Vineyard and Winery.

Owned by the Fetzer family, winemaker Jacob Fetzer says his late father, Bobby, was intrigued by "a hillside site of fast draining soil, desirable sun exposure and marine influenced winds." He chose to plant Pinot Noir there.

This estate wine is made from three different clones of the grape, 115, 23 and 777. It spent 15 months in French oak, half of which was new and it hits an alcohol number of 14.7% abv while retailing for $45. It’s not a dainty little Pinot. It’s rugged and unrelenting, much like its parent terrain,

Dark ruby, almost opaque, the Masút Pinot Noir 2014 is a dark wine on the nose, too. Earthy raspberry and blackberry flavors jump right out. Spice is right up front. There is large fruit on the palate, as well. It’s no peekaboo game, this one. This is an industrial strength Pinot Noir. Please give it time to blow off a little alcohol. It does settle down quickly, but it never takes off the gloves. This wine’s brawn is undeniable, but it’s something for which people generally buy Syrah or Cab, not Pinot Noir.

This wine tastes great without any reference point, but when you know it’s Pinot Noir, it loses some luster, to me. Pinot shouldn't act like this.