Discovering Waits-Mast Pinots & A Spotlight on Washington State

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  • By Chris Costales
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Discovering Waits-Mast Pinots & A Spotlight on Washington State

Summer is about to heat up here in Long Beach but we have plenty of cool deals at the store.

Brian Mast, co-owner of Waits-Mast Winery (partner of Jennifer Waits), will join us in person at The Wine Country on Friday the 26th at 7:30 to showcase five of his amazing northern California Mendocino Pinot Noirs.  Tickets will be $50 as we will be pouring other great Pinot Noirs from California and Oregon.

Waits-Mast wines have proven to be very popular at the store so the new vintage release has been anticipated with excitement.  I am quite thrilled to announce that 2015 has given Waits-Mast a great vintage to make Pinot Noir that showcases a sense of place and varietal character, both things that the winery does excellently.

The new vintage of the 2015 Oppenlander Vineyard bottling is the closet Pinot Noir to the Pacific Ocean that Waits Mast sources from.  The constant cooler temperature and ocean proximity here provides a subtle saline mineral quality with a red fruited taste profile, rose petal aromas and lighter body, making this wine dangerously too enjoyable to drink.  The 2015 Wentzel Vineyard Pinot Noir is quite impressive with its burst of bing cherry and blueberry fruit and wonderful bright acidity that provides freshness and a remarkable length. The 2015 Mariah Vineyard Pinot Noir is one smooth ride with a gentle oak profile that weaves elegantly between all the juicy red and black cherry fruits and earthy complexity that this wine offers. The vineyard is dry farmed, certified sustainable and planted on a 2,400 ft elevation mountain top that is surrounded by Douglas Fir trees.


To pour alongside these wines we needed something equally as impressive, so we’ll be opening the 2015 Wayfarer Pinot Noir from the Fort-Ross Seaview region of the Sonoma Coast. This cool climate wine has an amazing bounty of raspberry, citrus blood orange, violet and herbal forest floor to offer and is one of the best vintages I have tasted from them. We hope to see you for a remarkable Pinot Noir tasting so please call the store to make reservations and come by to meet Brian Mast.


Profile on Washington State

An earlier, and less-expensive tasting event we have scheduled is an overview of the majestic red wines of Washington state on Friday July 5th at 7:00 for $30.


After California, Washington is the next largest premium wine producer in the United States. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah are the top red wine varietals but close to 70 varietals are produced. Being in the Pacific Northwest many people would expect a cool climate grape like Pinot Noir to be widely planted along with ample rainfall, but most vineyards are planted in the dry eastern part of the state where rainfall can get as low as 8 inches a year. The state has seen quite the explosion in growth as there was only 163 wineries in 2000 compared to more than 900 and counting that there are today. Quality as well as quantity has risen as well with some great examples of Cabernet Sauvignon being produced that can rival the wines of California. Although these wines are often hidden by the big shadow that California can cast, we hope to see you at the tasting to find out how great Washington can taste.


Finally, on Saturday July 27th from 1 to 4 we’ll have 10 refreshing summer red wines to feature for $25. Sangiovese with its refreshing acidity and delicious fruity cherry and strawberry flavors will be featured in the great Field Recording “Freddo” wine. So many great tastings will be going on in July and we hope to see you at all of them.




Sourced from a 1,600 ft elevation vineyard full of red fruits such as pomegranate, cherry, red currant and a slight orange citrus zest. Nearby pine forests impart a sense of herbal freshness as a background note. The 2012 vintage of this wine was featured at a White House state dinner event! 16 months in French oak, 33% new and 144 cases produced.

$54.99 per bottle



Lovers of ripe California wine can sometimes look at Washington Cabernet like a big brother to a little brother, but this layered, full bodied and polished wine is as good or better than most wine being produced in the golden state. Silky juicy black fruits combine with violet and herbal aromas for a long lovely finish here. Small amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec round out the wine with additional texture and aromas. 18 months aging in French and American oak. 37% new oak.

$28.99 per bottle



This is one of the great everyday value finds at the store. What’s great about this wine is that it isn’t overly manipulated to be extremely soft and intensely fruity. It has the firm present tannins that Cabernet Sauvignon is known for as well as ample acidity that carries flavors on a long finish. Blackberry and black cherry flavors along with an herbal aromatic quality and bold presence are found here. 24 months in quality French oak aging (40%new) further adds to the great value in this Washington Cabernet.

$18.99 per bottle



This refreshing fruity red is perfect for when the weather is warm. The wine undergoes Carbonic Maceration which is a winemaking technique commonly found in the Beaujolais region of France. This gives a soft easy to drink quality that complements the bright red cherry and strawberry fruits of the Sangiovese. Field Recordings suggests that you serve this wine with a chill, in fact the label will turn blue when it’s been cooled enough but I find a slight chill works best. Winemaker Andrew Jones can put together a wine that overdelivers for its price due to his experience planting vineyards and working with small growers throughout California’s Central Coast.

$17.99 per bottle



Get this vintage while you can because it’s one of the best Wayfarer has produced, combining all their single block vineyards sites into one wine, bolstering their flagship Fort Ross entry level Pinot Noir into a transcendent wine. The land speaks in this wine as the vineyards are only a short distance from the Pacific Ocean and nearby redwood forests. This brings cool red fruits of raspberry, strawberry along with aromas of violet, rose petal, blood orange, pine needles and forest floor. The addition of the more expensive vineyard sites to this vintage impart a richer supple body and black cherry fruit to this normally leaner and firm wine. 49% new French oak with 13 months of aging.

$89.99 per bottle


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