2018 Jaimee Motely, Cabernet Sauvignon, Massa Estate Vineyard, Carmel Valley AVA, Monterey County.
Jaimee Motely’s second wine coming from the old and historic vines at the Massa Organic Estate in Carmel Valley, is her very Bordeaux like Cabernet Sauvignon and is a much more deep and complex effort than her quaffable Claret bottling with mountain fruit character, wild herbs, spice, forest floor, a light leathery/earthy note and woodsy feel, making for a compelling lower alcohol and old world or throw back wine. This impressive, breezy and charming Cabernet Sauvignon shows off a cool climate, almost Loire like style in the glass with a dark purple/garnet color, a delicate floral array and a raw transparency that you don’t often see in modern California Cabernets with blackberry, blueberry, currant, plum and cherry layers, as well as hints of crushed gravel, loam, cedar, minty licorice, tobacco leaf and a very faint graphite and savory Umami element. The 2018 Massa Estate Cabernet continues to change and open up with air gaining in mouth feel and presence, while staying taut, with good lifting acidity and the vintage’s velvet covered tannin structure, this is a wine that is best enjoyed with a hearty and robust meal, reminding me of an outer Medoc wine meets Anjou Rouge, in the mode of that lighter framed style, especially as this wine is just 12.5% natural alcohol. Motely’s Chenin Blancs are very cool whites and she was drawn to this property, mainly, because of the original old vine Chenin vines here and I highly recommend them, especially the 2021 Massa Chenin, which should be really coming into its own.

Winemaker Jaimee Motely, who, as I’ve mentioned before, has enjoy a fast rise in the wine world, mostly known for her work with the rare Savoie region Mondeuse grape and Chenin Blanc, gained her experience by working in both the northern and southern hemispheres in the cellar and in the vineyards as well, she also spent time traveling to Europe to walk the classic vineyards and spoke with vignerons who have a coveted history in the field of viticulture and that inspired her passions for wine and its culture. Jaimee, who has been an assistant winemaker at legendary Syrah producer Pax Wines, is most known for her work with Mondeuse, a rare Savoie grape and her work at Pax Mahle’s facility in Sebastopol, California. Motely, who was introduced to this rustic old Carmel Valley site by winemaker Ian Brand, was clearly moved by what see saw here, noting that from the moment she first laid eyes on the place, Massa Vineyard, she felt an electric energy (from the vines) coursing through her veins. The Massa Estate sits at about 1,400 feet above see level in the mountainous Cachagua area in the deep end of Carmel Valley, where the pioneering Durney family originally, heroically planted 80 acres here in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, an area that was almost without any wine grape production and is still little known today. The wines from this site have a surprising quality to age and sometimes don’t fulfill their potential for more than a decade, or longer, in the bottle, but this one with its elegant and generous nature is drinking nicely already. Motely, who hopes to own her vineyard in the future, typically makes her her wines with a gentle natural touch with her Cabernets seeing some Stockinger (Austrian oak) puncheons and neutral barrels to promote freshness and transparency.
($65 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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