2018 Drew Family Cellars, Pinot Noir, Estate Field Selections, Mendocino Ridge, Anderson Valley.
This deep fruited and dark ruby 2018 Estate Field Selections Pinot from Jason Drew is certainly a contender for best Pinot of year so far, it is wonderfully concentrated and supple on the palate with a cool toned mineral note and lovely aromatics it is pure joy in the glass. The silken layering includes black cherry, wild plum, red berry and cranberry fruits that provides pleasing richness and complex along with fine spices, herbs, rose petals and tea added nice accents to this brilliant wine. The Drew Ranch, set on Ancient ocean floor is farmed, as they state proudly, to the organic standard continuing a long history of organic farming on their ranch that dates back close to 30 years.The climate and soils are about as ideal as one could find for a Pinot Noir vineyard in California with decomposed sandstone and shale soils, high in iron and quartzite, with a perfect ratio of sand, gravelly loam and clay that provides the material for those gorgeous wines. The marginal fertility, as Drew puts it, combined with excellent water holding capacity and good drainage makes for an extremely compelling site that is planted to a selection of clones including Pommard, 943, 115, Swan, 667 and Mt. Eden. Drew fermented this wine native yeast and employed 80% whole cluster, he hardly uses new oak, usually under 20%, as he did here, making a wine of depth and balance that rivals anything found either in California and or Burgundy. This vintage, which was cool and long, come in at just 13.4% natural alcohol, it saw an eleven month elevage in the barrel and bottled it unfined and unfiltered, all to preserve clarity, purity and freshness, as this wine shows.

Jason Drew, one of California’s best modern winemakers, has learned winemaking in both hemispheres and holds a Graduate Degree in Enology from the University of Adelaide. His CV includes several notable names in northern and central California, having worked at wineries and vineyards including St Supery, Joseph Phelps (with Craig Williams), Luna, also in Napa Valley (with John Kongsgaard), Carmenet, as well as with the legendary Cathy Corison and Babcock Vineyards with winemaker Brian Babcock. This is Drew’s release from their estate vineyard on Faite De Mer Farm on the far western coastal edge of the Mendocino Ridge . At 1250 ft and 3.3 miles from the ocean, this vineyard is the coolest in our single vineyard portfolio. The purity, structure and natural aligned acidity we get from this site are the best in our cellar. Ancient oceanic soils, providing excellent drainage coupled with the maritime climate makes for a compelling expression of our coastal forest surroundings. We planted several heritage field selections of Pinot Noir to this site along with four Dijon clones. This is a beautiful vintage for Drew and the winery recommends pairing it with Cassoulet or Roast Chicken. There is so much to admire here on the 2018s from Drew, with this Estate Field Selections being expectational Pinot Noir, no matter your preference either Burgundy or California, you are going to love this wine and it will continue to age for another decade and more. I have enjoyed what I’ve tried from 2019 and 2020 so far too, but this vintage has really come into its own and has me spellbound, as much as I want to open the rest of these bottles, I want to be patient and cellar them, but after this one it looks like a tough ask! The background savory elements, fruit density, subtle wood and the vitality of the acidity really do point to future rewards for this gorgeous Pinot!
($60 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive

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