2014DrewPN2014 Drew, Pinot Noir, The Gatekeeper, Mendocino.
The beautiful and youthful new Drew Gatekeeper is a complete and detailed wine with succulent red and blue fruit and complex substance. Jason Drew crafted this beauty from sites in Anderson Valley, the Yorkville Highlands and the sea influenced and windswept Mendocino Ridge, 30%-Morning Dew Ranch, 25% Weir Vineyard, 20% Perli Vineyard, 25% Valenti Ranch, all top cool climate sites, making for a dramatic Pinot Noir expression, and if you are geeky for clones, the Gatekeeper has 828, Rochioli, 2A, 667, 777 and 115. This vintage Drew went with 20% whole cluster, giving a flamboyant and spicy personality while retaining elegance and it was native yeast fermented with a ripe, but lower natural alcohol, at 13.5% it still has plenty of lush character and pleasing textural charm, and vibrant acidity with lots of energy, and it saw just under a year in French oak, which by my own reckoning tasted like mostly neutral, well seasoned barrels, in fact no new wood was used, so the expressive nature of this wine is well preserved. The 2014 starts with a rather dark seductive color in the glass and hints of flowers, spice and stone fruit get you going, the palate is medium weighted with black cherry, wild plum, black raspberry, tangy currant and strawberry layers of fruit, as well as cinnamon stick, light cedar notes, mixed tea with fennel, loamy earth, saline and mineral tones. This bright and structured Pinot shows fine focus and balance, it should age well, but is amazingly easy to cherish even now, this is a vintage to stock up on Drew and it looks like even from this entry level offering, the Drew’s are going to be something special, impressive stuff! On a finishing note, I love the new label design on the 2014 Drew, and The Gatekeeper is great with exotic cuisine, giving depth of flavor, playing nice with an array of spices and bring a huge smile to those sharing it, great job by a talented winemaker, I can’t wait to taste his new Syrah vintage either!
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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