2017 Waxwing, Pinot Noir, Deerheart Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains.
The super exotically aromatic 2017 Deerheart Vineyard Pinot Noir by Scot Sisemore of Waxwing Wine Cellars is rich in fruit expression and lingering with ripe dark flavors making it a very showy wine that impresses rom the start and gets better and better with each sip. Not all fruit, it has substance and depth, in a surprise for such a new vineyard site and it bodes well for those that get grapes from here, with Waxwing’s gaining sophistication and balance as it opens adding a nice energy and some savory elements. This vineyard is new for Scott and he seems to have nailed its personality to a tee and allowed it to shine through with layers of cherry, plum, boysenberry and cranberry fruits, a light dusting of spices, sweet tea and smoky wood notes with natural acidity holding things together in a silky way. I think it should lose some baby fat and the overt fruit with subside in time, but those that cherish forward wines will love it and should enjoy it in its youth, while those that want more subtlety will be rewarded by cellaring this one for another 2 to 3 years. This crimson/garnet Pinot with bright ruby edges would be an excellent choice with seared ahi and or duck breast with a reduction as it has the mouth feel and presence in the glass to carry the more weighty food choices.
The Deerheart Vineyard, on La Honda Road, in a beautiful secluded valley between the town of La Honda and San Gregorio Beach, only five miles from the Pacific Ocean and is owned by the Larson family, it’s one of the newest sites found by Waxwing Wine Cellars winemaker Scott Sisemore. This cool coastal vineyard is exposed to its share of coastal fog in the morning and is set on well drained soils, perfect for low yielding and intense Pinot Noir, which Sisemore has used to great effect in his 2017 Deerheart Vineyard. The Belmont based Waxwing Wine Cellars is an ultra boutique or micro craft winery that is mostly known for cool climate Pinot Noir and Syrah offerings, though in recent years Sisemore has branched out and added some unique stuff including a top notch Cabernet Sauvignon from Star Lane Vineyard in Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara as well as a nice dry SLH Tondre Grapefield Riesling. The Clones on this Deerheart are as follows: 667, 777, “828,”, 943, 459 and 2A (Wadenswil) on a variety of rootstocks and Scott did his version 100% de-stemmed, then inoculated with Assmanhausen yeast after a 5-day cold soak, after racking the 2017 Deereart Pinot was aged 10 months in once-used French oak barrels, which offered plenty of toast and refinement. Those that like Rhys should check out this Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot and get on their list, these are tiny production and very limited offerings.
($55 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive