Grapelive: Wine of the Day November 15, 2020

2018 Drew, Pinot Noir, Morning Dew Ranch Vineyard, Anderson Valley.
The new release of the Morning Dew Ranch Pinot from Jason Drew is a monumental effort and a gorgeous wine in the glass with an inviting deep garnet /ruby color and an enticing floral array that almost seduces you before even this fantastic wine that just gets even better and better as you sip and swirl it. This wine thrills the senses and has amazing inner energy, both from the vintage, which was long and cool as well as the partial whole bunches employed in the vinification that brings out so much complexity and intensity in this wine, this is an enthusiasts dreamland and a Pinot that looks to have an exceptionally long life ahead of it, it certainly should be thought of as a California Grand cru, no question. I’ve been saying for years now that Jason Drew is making some of California’s greatest wines and should be considered one of the best winemakers in the state and this wine again is what I’d put up as proof with its stunning clarity, terroir driven elements and rich palate of pure Pinot joy showing classic black cherry, plum, huckleberry and tart strawberry fruits that unfold along with distilled violets, rose petal, black tea, mountain herbs, Thai basil/sage and tangy citrus. As this Morning Dew, which is from the Anderson Valley appellation and sitting up at between 600-800 feet set on Franciscan series and gravelly Loam soils, opens up fully it gains richness and density with a lovely smooth mouth feel without losing its focus or youthful, almost zesty, crisp freshness.

The Morning Dew Ranch Vineyard sits in the deep end of Anderson Valley, being located on a southwest facing hillside at elevation that helps keep things cool, originally planted by the legendary Burt Williams, the eponymous founder of Williams Seylem, with a selection of California heritage clones and suitcase Burgundy selections. Drew, as the winery notes, sources both a Rochioli clone and an 828 or La Tache clone from two separate blocks at Morning Dew, which gives this wine its unique character. The 2018 vintage, Jason explains, was a cooler vintage which translated to longer hang time, pushing his pick date to extremes, a full two weeks later than a normal year. Drew adds that the 2018 is a classic Anderson Valley Pinot delivering an elegant, finely tuned, ethereal and seamless wine, which I endorse completely! I can’t waiting to see where these 2018s go in the future, they look to be absolutely epic with tremendous potential, they might last 20 to 30 years. This Morning Dew saw close to 40% whole clusters, that gives a nice crunchy bite with a subtle pomegranate and stemmy bite, and was fermented with 100% native yeasts. After malos this Pinot was gently gravity racked twice to clarify and saw just 25% new French Oak with about 11 months in barrel total. The natural alcohol came to a very Burgundy like 13.0%, making for a brilliantly balanced wine that does nothing wrong and impresses greatly, a total class act. There has never been a better time than now to explore Drew’s wines, don’t miss his Syrahs and Pinots, especially this Morning Dew Pinot from this awesome vintage.
($70 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive