Poking Around Pays Off: Sensational 2013 Pinot Noirs from Wind Gap

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Tasting through new releases from California, we consistently find Pax Mahle's Wind Gap label on the wines we think are the most vibrant and intriguing expressions of the Sunshine State’s cooler corners. At this year's In Pursuit of Balance tasting - a yearly event focused on exposing the potential for freshness and restraint in California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir - the 2013 Pinot Noirs from Wind Gap topped our wish list.

Spanning three single vineyards - one from the Sonoma Coast (Sun Chase) and two from the Santa Cruz Mountains (Woodruff and Amaya Ridge) - they are intense and structured yet subtle, with energetic fruit, vibrant acidity, and elegant herbal tones. Mahle vinifies them all the same way (whole cluster fermentations, raised in neutral French oak) in every vintage and vineyard. Tasting all three wines at once, it is hard not to believe that the exciting variations of Pinot Noir spice, flowers, and earth evident in these wines are a potent transmission of site.

Gaining access to these wines is not always easy. Production is minimal. Distribution channels dictate that retail stores play second fiddle to restaurants in securing sought-after and limited bottlings. We rely heavily on our wholesale suppliers to hear our requests and (ideally) find a way to grant them. Some suppliers never come through, despite our persistence. And then there are the consummate professionals, who take notes, plan ahead, and (in extremely rare cases) spend extra time snooping around on our behalf!

We recently received an email message entitled "Poking around pays off..." from one such consummate professional, who graciously alerted us that a handful of these wonderful 2013 Pinot Noirs were available earlier than expected. So we jumped at the opportunity to offer them today! The Sun Chase, in particular, will not arrive in the New York market for some time, so we recommend that you grab a bottle (or three) and enjoy a sneak peak at this exceptional trio of wines. Ariana Rolich

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Wind Gap 2013 Sonoma Coast Sun Chase Pinot Noir

This is Pax Mahle's second vintage from Sun Chase, a young vineyard in the south of the Sonoma Coast AVA, where the Petaluma Wind Gap meets Sonoma Mountain (close to Gap's Crown and Black Knight vineyards, which fans of Wind Gap know well). Heady floral and rich herbal aromas intertwine with deep, shimmering red berry fruit, citrus oils, spicy tobacco, leathery earth, taut tannins, and wonderful length. A gorgeous wine, perfect for Pinot Noir lovers who switch between Burgundy and California frequently enough to know that the line is blurred! Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $61.99

Wind Gap 2013 Santa Cruz Mountains Amaya Ridge Pinot Noir

A tiny vineyard totally surrounded by forest, Amaya Ridge is another rugged and distinctive Santa Cruz Mountains site that we were introduced to by Kenny Likitprakong of Ghostwriter. Pax Mahle's first vintage from Amaya Ridge is outstanding, with bolder earth and denser purple fruit than Woodruff, buttressed by silky spice, herbal berry seeds, and fragrant stems. A complex wine to cellar and savor. Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99