Autumnal Leaves and Winesong as Harvest 2017 Nears by Jennifer

Our house is finally cooling down to the 70s after several weeks of hot September weather in San Francisco. It has been much the same up in Mendocino County, although there are already signs of fall, with a smattering of leaves starting to change color in the vineyards.

Leaves changing color at Oppenlander Vineyard on September 9, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast Family Cellars

Leaves changing color at Oppenlander Vineyard on September 9, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast Family Cellars

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Taste of Mendocino Recap: Dynamite Wines that are the Shizzle by Jennifer


Brian and I began a busy week of events (Pinot Days is this weekend) by pouring at Taste of Mendocino in San Francisco yesterday. The full-day tasting included both a trade event in the afternoon and a consumer portion in the early evening. Attendees had the opportunity to not only sample a huge array of wines from Mendocino County, but were also able try a variety of other food and beverage offerings from the area. The setting was the beautiful Terra art gallery in the South of Market district of San Francisco. In addition to the food, wine, and art; attendees were also treated to music performances, acrobats, and a rock and roll-themed food truck on the outdoor patio.

For this tasting we poured three of our Waits-Mast Pinot Noir selections from Mendocino County, including the 2009 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir from Oppenlander Vineyard (Mendocino), the 2009 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir from Deer Meadows Vineyard (Anderson Valley), and the 2010 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir from Londer Vineyard (Anderson Valley).

As is always the case, different tasters had varying opinions on the wines and there was no standard answer to the question, “What’s your favorite?” We enjoy hearing the descriptors that others use when tasting our wines, so we did the best that we could to capture some of our favorite comments throughout the day.

One taster told us that it was “very nice to taste some pinots with some delicacy and depth too.”  Others described the wines as “beautiful,” “otherworldly” (from a non-Pinot Noir fan), and “sinewy.” A few were directed to our table by friends, with one person proclaiming, “I hear you are the shizzle!”


Here’s a quick recap:

2009 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir, Oppenlander Vineyard (Mendocino):

“smells and tastes like it’s supposed to”

it has fruit and aromatic intensity and “it’s a monster”

“beautiful mid palate”

“very Burgundian, earthy”

“the most aromatically intense Pinot Noir here”

“has plenty of acid, but wish it had more”

2009 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir, Deer Meadows Vineyard:

“tasting perfect now”

“more jammy aroma” (than the Oppenlander)

“acid in balance”

“nice balance and complexity”

“a nice mushroom risotto would go well with this”


“delicate, but complex” (from someone who said he’d dumped every other wine he tried)

2010 Londer Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley:

“perfumy, delicate”


“wild cranberry and spice”

“bright cherry”

“much different nose…almost like a cherry cordial.”

“well-rounded…favorite (of the 3)”