Masut “Estate Vineyard” Pinot Noir 2018 is a classic cool climate Pinot Noir on the nose. It smells of blueberry, sour cherry, raspberry and some blackberry with hints of classic mushroom or “forest-floor” aromas. The flavours of this wine are just as complex and rich fruits dominate; the finish is long and dry with blueberries and bramble fruits dominating. There is great balance to Masut “Estate Vineyard” Pinot Noir 2018 – its acidity is fairly high as is typical of cooler climate wines and this mouth-watering freshness balances the rich fruits. The tannins are fine and well integrated in the wine. Though fuller in body than some Burgundies, this cool climate Pinot is medium-bodied rather than heavy with a really velvety smooth texture which makes it wine with great finesse and elegance wine.
I’d been on the lookout for a Californian Pinot Noir before I found Masut “Estate Vineyard” Pinot Noir 2018; the Masut Winery comes with good heritage having been founded by Ben and Jake Fetzer from the family behind Fetzer Vineyards. In the early 1990s the family purchased this 1200 acre property calling it Masút, a Native American word meaning “dark, rich earth.” They planted Pinot Noir in this untapped mountainous area but only produced their first vintage in 2011. They have been so successful at creating an original and quality wine that they persuaded the authorities to establish an Eagle Peak appellation or AVA in Mendocino County where they are the sole winery. They have 35 acres of Pinot Noir which straddle the western mountains at the headwaters of the Russian River and the aim is “to produce a Pinot Noir of the highest quality and expression” which they have certainly achieved with Masut “Estate Vineyard” Pinot Noir 2018.
* N.B. AVAs indicate the origin of a wine; there are however no regulations that need to be followed to use the classification as is the case in France for example.