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Pax Mahle landed in Napa Valley in 1997. Following a stint as a wine buyer at Dean & Deluca, he started producing wines. He particularly focused on cool climate Syrah. With the launch of Wind Gap in Petaluma, he began to focus on lower alcohol Pinot Noir sourced from organic and low-intervention vineyards.
This wine single vineyard wine from the Santa Cruz mountains is located in a high rent district. By way of comparison, Pinot Noirs from neighboring Rhys sell for $120-150/btl. This wine scores higher.
An addition to the range, 2014 Pinot Noir Amaya Ridge Vineyard emerges from a site on Skyline Boulevard, not too far from Rhys. Sweet, dark and perfumed, with striking mid-palate depth, the Amaya Ridge is absolutely gorgeous today. The warm site above the fog line yields a wine with lovely palate presence and overall depth. Red cherry, plum, tobacco and mint wrap around the fleshy finish. The 100% whole clusters are evident, but also very nicely woven into the wine's overall fabric. This is a fabulous showing from Wind Gap. ~94VM
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