2015 WAITS-MAST - Pinot Noir
Mariah Vineyard, Mendocino Ridge
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.
In the 1970s, Dan Dooling and Vicki Tomola purchased land at 2,400 feet elevation above Point Arena and planted Zinfandel, Syrah and Petite Syrah, then later Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir block that we source from at Mariah comes from two different clones, Dijon 667 and Pommard, planted to Syrah rootstock (1103 Paulson) in a combination of Hugo and Josephine loams over a well drained Sandstone fractured Shale subsoil. The vines run east west with 10-foot rows and 7 foot vine spacing, with quadrilateral cordon training and is dry-farmed - a particularly beneficial trait during a challenging drought year
On the first sniff, the wine shows its intense core of black cherry, earth, and cedar - classic characteristics from this high-elevation, dry-farmed site. At the heart of the palate the same intense cherry, earth, sous-bois, and spice elements persist. This wine is the quintessence of the interplay between varietal character and terroir. The mid-weight palate gives way to a lengthy finish and soft tannins. This 2015 Mariah screams for food and will have you coming back to your glass over and over as it evolves and reveals its many layers.