2019 Drew, Pinot Noir, Wendling Vineyard, Anderson Valley.
The dark garnet and ruby colored 2019 Wendling Vineyard Pinot from Jason Drew was fermented using 100% indigenous yeasts and with 45% whole cluster with a gentle and natural maceration period to extract a deep color and complexity of flavors before being aged just under a year in mostly used French oak with Jason choosing to employ about 25% new wood in this vintage, giving the finished wine incredible transparency and purity. The results here, are as we’ve come to expect from Drew, but no less short of stunning with this Wendling Pinot, showing pure class in the glass, it is a gorgeous Pinot Noir with exceptional texture, depth and nuance, it delivers classic black cherry, currant, raspberry and plum fruits along with mineral tones, subtle chanterelles, blood orange, sandalwood, baking spices and a touch of fennel. With time and air gets the floral aromatics going and the medium body begins to push some a supple roundness as well as letting some pomegranate and an earthy/savory element, making for a complex and poised young wine that does everything with poise and clarity. This is maybe a wine I should have left in the cellar, but it is pretty darn good, with the potential to get even better in 3 to 5 years, best to have it over a slow meal, where it can be allowed to reveal its full potential.

The Wendling Vineyard, which winemaker Jason Drew regards as one of the top sites within the region and says it holds the distinction as the most north westerly site in the Anderson Valley appellation and is considers it one of Grand Cru vineyards. This cool vineyard sits in the deepest end of the valley on a 450 ft slope with excellent drainage, additionally, Drew explains there are three soil types, namely Ornbaun, Wolfey and Bearwallow complexes here that gives the grapes an extra degree of complexity. Continuing his praise of the Wendling Vineyard he adds that these well drained hillside soils along with the cooler coastal temperatures provide for low to moderate yields, giving the wines a darker color and making for intensely structured Pinot Noirs that really thrive in the cellar. This fairly young site, being 12 years old was planted to several exciting suitcase selections and Dijon clones with Drew using sections that include an alleged DRC (Domaine de la Romanee-Conti) and a La Tache clone. Regardless of origin of the plant material, this vineyard’s grapes have produced some profound Pinots hand crafted by Drew over the last half dozen years or so and this 2019, with its very refined Burgundy like 13% natural alcohol and nice lifting acidity, is one of the best yet. Again, as I’ve said before, it is hard to see many producers achieving the level of greatness you are seeing here with Drew, especially their lineup of 2018 and 2019 Pinots!
($70 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive

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