“Hot Sh*t Pinot Noir” and “Sexy Tannins” by valleyfog

Tasting the Waits-Mast Lineup

“Hot Shit Pinot Noir.” That was the subject heading of an email we received a few weeks ago from a fervent fan from Michigan who had tried our wine at Pinot Days Chicago 2008.

We were surprised and pleased that the email made it through the Yahoo! Mail spam filter (aka the Gauntlet) because we always like to hear from people who have such outspoken reactions to our pinot noir. The exuberant author, Ashleigh, and her two friends Nick and Leslie, were heading out to the Bay Area and wanted to meet us for a special tasting. How could we refuse?

We met with them early this week, before our calendars were full of Pinot Days-related events. (They are setting out on a special Pinot Days tour of Russian River on Friday and we are pouring at Pinot Days San Francisco this coming Sunday, July 27th.) Given that it was a “school” night, it was more convenient to meet at our house, so our dining room turned into the tasting room.

Doing mothers everywhere proud, our foodie ambassador guests from the Midwest showed up bearing gifts of Brownwood Farms Michigan Cherry Salsa and Famous Kream Mustard and Kilwin’s fudge. Although they were excited about their first pilgrimage to wine country, they were also happy to share with us some tastes from their own backyard. Ashleigh, Nick and Leslie all met while working in a wine bar in Ann Arbor and although they no longer work together, their wine-oriented adventures continue.

Treats from the Midwest

To kick off their visit, we lined up a special “flight of duos,” our closest attempt at a vertical. We poured two wines from the same vineyard, but different vintages, next to each other to compare styles and vintages.

It was a total of six Waits-Mast Pinot Noirs and for us, was a rare opportunity to review our handiwork. With the exception of one wine, these six bottles represent our current production (not including 09s in barrel).

Here are the wines poured and the colorful adjectives (this is where the sexy tannins come in) and reactions that we always love to hear from our fans. It was especially gratifying to hear their positive feedback on our yet-to-be-released 2008 Waits-Mast La Encantada Vineyard Pinot Noir.

Our duo of Pinots from Amber Ridge Vineyard

2005 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir, Amber Ridge Vineyard, Russian River Valley

“funk…to make you intrigued”

“Such a sexy wine.”

Has “sexy tannins.”

Nick said that “If they made a candle that smelled like this and called it ‘hot shit Pinot Noir’,” he’d buy it.

2008 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir, Amber Ridge Vineyard, Russian River Valley

“Blueberry” on the nose

Brian described the aroma as being like a “blueberry Pop-Tart.”

2006 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir, Hein Vineyard, Anderson Valley

“More tannins” (than the 2008 Hein)

“Dusting of cocoa powder and strawberry.”

2008 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir, Hein Vineyard, Anderson Valley

“Hot shit Pinot Noir” is what Ashleigh wrote in her notes after tasting this at Pinot Days Chicago

2007 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir, La Encantada Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills

“smoke on the nose”

“black cherry”


Duo of Wines from La Encantada Vineyard

2008 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir, La Encantada Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills

“If Russian River met Willamette Valley and had babies.”

“This is prime time.”

“Sexy sister of the ’07.”

As we sipped wine and grazed on heirloom tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and other munchies, we swapped stories of our shared passion for wine, and in particular pinot noir.

The night lingered on and the conversation drifted into favorite Ann Arbor hot spots, wine country recommendations (both Napa and Michigan!), indie rock, with the occasional operatic interruption from our four year old daughter.

All in all, it was a fun tasting and a great opportunity to meet and make new friends. And who knows, you may be seeing Waits-Mast pinot noir at some wine bars and restaurants in Michigan!


Pinot Days San Francisco 2010 and Waits-Mast Event Calendar Updates by valleyfog
June 15, 2010, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Events | Tags: , , ,

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer is almost here and that means Pinot Days San Francisco. Attendees will be awash in the noble grape, with over 220 producers pouring over 500 pinot noirs from North America (and beyond). In other words,  a pinot noir lover’s dream.

Waits-Mast Family Cellars poured at Pinot Days SF last year for the first time and we had a blast. Because we’re a relatively new boutique/small lot pinot noir producer, we get a chance to meet and pour our wines for engaged and enthusiastic wine lovers that are looking for the undiscovered gem. And we appreciate those that sift through the rivers of pinot to seek out our small lot, hand-crafted wine.

Pinot Days San Francisco 2009

We will be pouring at the Pinot Days San Francisco 2010 Grand Festival from 1pm to 5pm on Sunday, June 27th at Fort Mason. There are a number of smaller events in the week leading up to the Grand Festival, so check out the full schedule here.

If you’re not on our mailing list or a fan on Facebook, join now, as we are rumored to have a Pinot Days special running concurrent with the event.

We also have a couple of other events lined up for the rest of 2010, and will likely add to this list as the year progresses:

Tasting Events:

July 11, 2010, 4:00 — 7:00pm

Waits-Mast Spring Release Party — in Summer! We released our 2008 Amber Ridge Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley in the Spring, but never held a coming-out party, so better late than never. We’ll be pouring this new release at our favorite local wine bar, Red + White in Glen Park. Stay tuned to this blog for more details on the event.

November 13, 2010

Pinot Days Chicago 2010. Yes, one Pinot Days event is not good enough for us. In fact, every day is Pinot Days in the Waits-Mast household. Pinot Days Chicago combines our love for pinot noir and Brian’s midwestern roots into what is now becoming a wonderful November homecoming. It’s a great opportunity to meet new friends and re-connect with our family in the Midwest. Please join us at this smaller version of Pinot Days, which usually has under 100 producers pouring their fine wines at Navy Pier.