2018 Poe Wines, Pinot Noir, Manchester Ridge, Mendocino County.
From the ultra west of the Anderson Valley on a few miles from the Ocean comes Samantha Sheehan’s fog kissed and cool climate Manchester Ridge Pinot Noir which is an absolute gem of a wine with seamless silken texture and beautiful Pinot fruit, it is dreamy and weightless, lingering on and on, this is elegant stuff from a fabulous vintage. This Chambolle or Morey-Saint-Denis like wine never puts a foot wrong with a classic palate of black cherry, plum, strawberry and Moro orange fruits, delicate spices, mineral tones and beautiful floral aromatics with polished, very subtle oak accents. Sheehan really put together a graceful lighter, medium bodied effort that without overtness or loudness captures the year and place majestically, I’m glad I waited to open this bottle to allow it to gain that creamy and supple mouth feel and let it take on its full range of flavors, this wine is pure and transparent gaining detail and focus in the glass brilliantly. In 2018 Sheehan used about 25% of whole cluster, all native yeasts and 30% new oak, with a 12 month elevage before bottling unfined and unfiltered, making for a stylish wine with just that hint of sweet toastiness. From the inviting ruby/garnet color to the exceptional integration of flavors, this Poe Pinot delivers a worthy performance, I enjoyed it with a bit of chill and Spanish smoked mussels on a warm evening, it was heavenly.

Poe’s winemaker, Samantha Sheehan, who also makes some of California’s best grower producer style sparkling wines, has proved to be very talented with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, like this Manchester Ridge 2018 Pinot Noir shows, and I am a big fan, though in recent years I have been drinking more her unique Pinot Meunier, an absolutely delicious wine from the Van der Kamp Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain. Sheehan loves her plot at Manchester Ridge, which is set on highly eroded sandstone, and says of it, Manchester Ridge sits at a 2,000 foot elevation above Anderson Valley, explaining that the vineyard is 400 feet above the fog line and has a long steady growing season. In fact she picks this vineyard nearly a month later than the Pinot Noir vineyards lying in the valley below most years. Because of this long hang time, she adds, the vineyard develops complex flavors and nuances, noting, that allows the grapes to maintain acidity, while the forest of (the) surrounding pine trees seem to impart earthy aromas, making this place (and wine) special and intriguing. Just 300 cases were made of this very studied effort and even though I had been hanging on to this one for a while, I noticed, Sheehan still has some available on her website, which I highly recommend, plus as I have mentioned, it would be advised to grab her sparklers and that fun Meunier!
($48 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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