Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Badass Pinot Noir

MacPhail Wines is a Cloverdale collaboration between fifth-generation Hess Family members Tim and Sabrina Persson and winemaker Matt Courtney, who says he likes his oak to stay in the background.  They all reportedly feel that wine is art with a splash of science.  They make wines of the Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley.

The Flyer is 100% Pinot Noir grown in the Sangiacomo Lakeville Vineyards in the Petaluma Gap.  Lots of fog means additional hang time for the grapes, which means riper fruit.  The grapes are hand-harvested and sorted, destemmed.  For the 2016 vintage they used Pinot Noir clones 777 and 23, both fermented in same tank, with full native fermentation.  The wine is aged 11 months in French oak, 30% of which is new. 

The wagon on the label reportedly represents "timeless design and exceptional quality."  Oh, and Tim and Sabrina signed the back label.  The wine hits 14.5% abv and retails for $50.

Be warned, this wine does not smell like Pinot Noir.  It's big, it's bold, it's frightfully funky.  Only medium ruby in color, the nose is full of forest floor, smoke and tar.  The palate is all dark fruit, bathed in a savory soak, sprayed with violets and punched with acidity and healthy pack of tannins.  Oak adds to the experience, but doesn't overpower.  You won't have to be careful with pairings, as this Pinot will match up with the beefiest beef dishes.

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