The 2015 Pinot Noir Wentzel Vineyard is very pretty, offering up notes of sweet red cherries, red berries and earthy forest floor. On the palate, it’s supple, velvety and pure with juicy acids, fine-grained tannins and a youthfully chewy, stony finish. From a cool, maritime-influenced vineyard that sits 500 feet above the Anderson Valley, planted on a steep west-facing hillside.
- 91 points, Wine Advocate, April 2018
The 2015 Pinot Noir Wentzel Vineyard is rock solid, with a deep, rich, red and black fruit driven profile that carries plenty of peppery herbs, underbrush and spicy characteristics. There’s a hint of underlying floral character, it has impressive density, a seamless texture and good acidity, all suggesting it’s going to evolve gracefully.
- 92 points, Jeb Dunnuck, July 2017
Vintage and Winemaker Notes
As was the case with Halcón vineyard, Wentzel vineyard experienced close to average rainfall. Bud-break was on the early side. Spring was cool and damp leading to some shatter and lowered yield. The summer was very moderate. Our fruit was picked September 21st, two days later than our estate Halcón Syrah. Something about the location and exposure of this vineyard nicely extended development, leading to perfectly mature fruit at just 22.5b.
We followed the same winemaking regime as in 2014 – 35% whole-cluster inclusion, 20% new French oak. There was no inoculation for primary nor secondary fermentation, and no adjustment for acids nor alcohol. We feel that this wine is a step up on the 2014 – concentrated but precise with a great balancing acidity. It has a classic Anderson Valley profile of foresty red fruits, balsa wood and stony earthiness. The stems bring a dried herb and floral complexity without any greenness. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
Wentzel vineyard sits 600 ft above the Anderson Valley floor in Philo. A steep north-west facing hillside planting of Dijon clones that catches the full force of the cool Pacific Ocean influence. Organically and meticulously farmed. A well regarded vineyard also utilized by Littorai and Copain.
Production: 120 cases
Not for sale online, $420/case MSRP
About The Winery
Winery: Halcón Vineyards
Driven by a love of the ethereal wines of the Northern Rhone and impressed by the cool climate characteristics of wines emanating from Mendocino, Paul and Jackie Gordon searched the Anderson Valley area for a plot of land that could generate truly world-class wine from Rhone varietals. Having found such a site, a site dominated by the same schist soils found in Cote-Rôtie, a windblown, cool mountaintop with a view to the Pacific, we set out to plant a vineyard without compromise.
Located in the Mendocino appellation of Yorkville Highlands, Halcón Vineyards overlooks Anderson Valley and the Pacific beyond. At 2500 ft it is one of the highest vineyards in California. The northerly location, ocean exposure and altitude combine to produce a climate remarkably similar to the Northern Rhône region of France. Above the fog line, the nighttime and early morning temperatures are warmer than the valley below. Conversely, the altitude and regular afternoon breezes moderate the peak temperatures. This smaller diurnal swing provides longer, slower ripening and increased complexity.
Paul and Jackie balance their time in the vineyard with their day jobs. Paul works in high tech whilst Jackie works part time in real estate - allowing her to be a hands on winemaker for Halcon’s many wines. They are passionate about farming and can be found every weekend tending to the vines. Organically farming, they allow the terroir to shine through in the wine they produce while creating a balanced, healthy, and thriving vineyard.
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
Yes! Got the clue and these guys make great wine! Is Scott Shapley still involved? (For those who may remember, he was the winemaker for Roessler…)
I enjoyed the 2014 Wentzel and will happily split this with somebody or two or three.
No IL but I have alternative shipping addresses. Is there an ice pack shipping option? I seem to recall that last year??? I’m generally done here by now until cooler temps but this one piques my interest, a fan of other wines, haven’t had a pinot though.
@ChiWineOne@halcon@kaolis that is VERY conservative. i’m guessing at least a week earlier. but it’s a new relationship and sometimes it takes a little longer for the wine to come in. but my guess is earlier in June.
@Winedavid49 Thanks, I’ll keep an eye out for it in June. I’m in Florida. It’s 80 degrees here by 8 AM, and I don’t get my FedEx shipments until late afternoon. I just don’t think pinot noir is going to stand up to the heat.