2014 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 draught year.
The new Pinot Noir from this high-elevation vineyard follows suit with previous vintages of this wine. 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.