Fall Release Now Available: 2009 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir by valleyfog

2009 Oppenlander Pinot Noir

At long last the wait is over. It’s always the hardest part of wine making. You get excited about a particular vintage and how the wines will turn out, but the wines need time. Time to evolve, time to settle down, time to open up. And the time is now as we are excited to release our Waits-Mast Family Cellars lineup of 2009 Pinot Noir wines.

2009 was a very favorable growing year, as many wine writers have noted, and there was a lot of great pinot noir available that year. We ended up sourcing fruit from five different vineyards, from as far south as Sta. Rita Hills and as far north as Comptche, CA. Here is the lineup, with links to tasting notes and specs on each one:

2009 La Encantada Pinot Noir

The joy of this lineup is that it is a diverse portfolio of wines, each representing the style and personality of the vineyard and the region. The Sta. Rita Hills pinot screams central coast with its bright acidity, amazing structure and cranberry tartness. The Russian River pinot is fruit-forward with a floral nose and silky finish. And as we get into Anderson Valley with the Hayley and Deer Meadows we pick up the pure cherry fruit and earthy aromas from that cool climate. Wrapping it up in Comptche, the vineyard that is furthest north and closest to the coast, the wine serves up that “oceanic acidity,” a balanced, earthy and strikingly-colored pinot noir.

After reading all that, and if you’ve been following this blog since the 2009 harvest, then you’re probably ready to get some for yourself. Our online store, which we had closed for the summer due to warm weather shipping restrictions and some updating of the store, is now open and the 2009 vintage is now available. Just go to and click on “purchase.”

At the moment, we are only able to ship within the state of California, but we are working on adding some additional states in the coming weeks and months. If you are in one of those other 49 states and wish for us to ship to you, let us know and we’ll do our best to get the proper permits (there are tons of legal restrictions on direct shipping, so no guarantees).

2009 Deer Meadows Pinot Noir

Soon we’ll have some retailers offering our wine through their online site as well, and they often ship to many states in the U.S. Stay tuned to our blog and our website for updates on these retailers. And to read some of the latest reviews, go to our News page on our website for the most recent reviews on Waits-Mast Pinot Noir.

Enjoy the wines and we’ll keep you posted on more updates on this vintage, our 2010s and the 2011 harvest.


Countdown to the 2009 Release: Amber Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir by valleyfog
September 8, 2011, 10:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Three down, two more to go as we move south to Russian River Valley. Our first vintage in 2005 was a pinot noir from Amber Ridge and as we tell people – if that first wine wasn’t as good as it was, we wouldn’t be writing this blog (and making/selling wine). Our 2009 Amber Ridge pinot noir is our third (non-consecutive) vintage in 2009, and once again, it captures that distinctive Russian River cherry and spice that we love so much.

2009 Amber Ridge during pressing

This hillside site is located immediately adjacent to the famed Gary Farrell Starr Ridge Vineyard in Windsor. Amber Ridge was planted in 2000 with clones 115, 667 and 777 on 101-14 rootstock and was adopted by several high-end wineries for its inaugural harvest in 2003. In 2009, we were fortunate to have acquired one ton of this hard-to-get fruit, allowing us to produce just under 50 cases.

Among our customers, we have some die-hard Amber Ridge fans. These tasting notes should tantalize them, as well as anyone who loves the lush pinot noirs of Russian River Valley:

The color is a lovely ruby red, light to medium in shade. As this wine opens up, aromas of dried rose petals, strawberry and red cherry come together. On the palate is the classic Amber Ridge that we love: sweet cherry, lush fruit, and a smooth, strawberries and cream finish, with a touch of cocoa. This wine is drinking very well right now and stands on its own by the glass or paired with pan-roasted pork tenderloin with Asian five-spice seasonings.

Here are the detailed specs, for the wine geeks in the group…

  • Clones: 115 (50%); 667(25%); 777 (25%)
  • Harvest/Brix: September 11, 2009 at 26 Brix
  • Alcohol content: 14.8% by volume
  • Fruit: 100% whole berry (no stems)
  • Fermentation: RC212
  • Barrel aging: 17 months in French oak, 30% new (Francois Freres, MT)
  • Bottled: March, 2011
  • Production: 47 cases
  • Drink now through 2015

Next week, we’ll profile our fifth pinot noir from 2009 as we move further south to Sta. Rita Hills.