Waits-Mast 2015 Pinot Noir, Oppenlander Vineyard, Mendocino County
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Clone: Dijon 115; Pommard
Appellation: Mendocino County
Harvest: September 15, 2015, 118 cases
On Fermentation: 100% whole berry (no stems). Native yeast, unfined, unfiltered, minimal sulfur.
On aging: 16 months in mix of once, twice-used and neutral French oak
Tasting notes: A beautiful medium garnet hue, the Oppenlander is consistently full of black fruit. This vintage is no exception as the nose reveals blackberry, bitter cocoa, and an intense thread of rose petal. On the palate, black plum is layered with allspice, and sage. Electric acidity and fine grained tannins give the wine the structure to balance a variety of foods, but the lengthy finish which has just a hint of creaminess makes this perfect to sip on its own.
Cellar potential: now till 2025
Oppenlander Vineyard is well off the beaten path in Mendocino County outside of the town of Comptche. It’s about eight and a half miles from the Pacific Ocean as the crow flies at an elevation of 250 feet. Oppenlander is owned by the Shandel family, 5th generation owners of the property, and was originally homesteaded in the 1860s by their ancestors from Denmark (via the Gold Rush in Australia). The vineyard sees consistently cool temperatures across the growing season and is harvested later than other regions. This cooler temperature range and coastal proximity can deliver a certain “oceanic acidity,” lending structure and complexity to the wine.
San Francisco woman winemaker, Shalini Sekhar