Waits-Mast Family Cellars

Owner(s) Brian Mast, Jennifer Waits
Web site www.waitsmast.com
 
Link to this site
Waits-Mast Family Cellars

Waits-Mast Family Cellars Brian Mast and Jennifer Waits found the romance of wine by exploring California’s many wine regions. They remark, “Like a verse that haunts you, Pinot Noir kept on finding us, tapping our shoulder. It was always (and remains) our favorite varietal.” In 2005 they embarked on a journey to craft their own Pinot Noir under the guiding hands of Scott Shapley and Chris Nelson at Crushpad in San Francisco. Vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs are offered with the vineyard sources varying through the years. That said, there has been some stellar fruit sources as of 2010 including Oppenlander Vineyard, Wentzel Vineyard and Londer Vineyard. The wines have steadily improved as the owners have acquired more winemaking experience.

The wines are sold primarily through a mailing list and online.

Reviewed Wines

2012 Waits-Mast Mendocino County Rosé

14.5% alc., 24 cases, $20. Release April 2013. A saignée from three vineyards in Mendocino County (Deer meadow, Nash Mill and Mariah). Clones 115, 667, 777, Pommard and Swan. Native fermentation, aged 6 months in neutral French oak. · Moderately deep pink-orange color in the glass. Nicely scented with a perfume of fresh strawberries and summer watermelon. Plenty of body and flavor for a rosé featuring tastes that echo the nose and some fruit-driven finishing intensity. Enjoyable, but lacks crispness and delivers a sense of heat on the finish. Will stand up to more substantial summer fare. Score: 85. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Waits-Mast Archer Family Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 50 cases, $36. Vineyard is situated off Starr Road in Windsor and planted to clones 777, 828 Pommard and Jackson 9. The site is adjacent Copain and about 2 miles from Amber Ridge Vineyard. First wine from this vineyard. 100% destemmed, aged 17 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose is clean and pleasing, with aromas of darker cherries, raspberries, fennel and smoky oak. Modest in weight with flavors of boysenberry, blueberry and raspberry backed by sinewy tannins. A little heat shows up on the finish. Atypical flavors for Russian River Valley. Score: 86. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Waits-Mast Cellars Londer Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 100 cases, $40. Released May 2012. Londer Vineyard is located west of Philo, surrounded by a forest of conifers. Clones 115 and Swan picked at 24º to 25º Brix. 100% de-stemmed, native yeast fermentation, aged 17 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very aromatic with scents of dark red cherries and berries with a kiss of oak. Full-on mid palate attack of black cherry flavor that is sappy and showy, sporting young, firm tannins and a remarkably fruit-filled finish that goes on and on. Needs time to fully integrate the tannins. Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Waits-Mast Londer Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 100 cases, $40. Released May 2012. This vineyard is just west of Philo off Highway 128. The vineyard is surrounded by forests of conifer and benefits from warm days and foggy mornings. Soils are well-drained sandy loam over clay loam. Clones 115 and Swan. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 17 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of warm berry tart, spice and forest floor. Relatively full-bodied, with plenty of sappy blackberry and black cherry flavor carrying over to an intense, fruit-driven finish. Very clean and classy fruit balanced with ripe tannins and appealing acidity. Score: 92. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Waits-Mast Oppenlander Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 50 cases, $44. Released April 2013. This vineyard is located outside the town of Comptche about eight and a half miles from the Pacific Ocean as the crow flies. The Shandel family are fifth generation owners of the property. The vineyard sees consistently cool temperatures and harvest is late. Careful sorting was required to remove sunburned grapes, a result of heat spikes in August and late September. Clone 114. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 17 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of earth-kissed dark berries with a complement of oak. Intensely fruity and I mean intense. Full-bodied flavors of black plum, black currant, boysenberry, black raspberry and brewed tea. A good cut of acidity lifts the fruit and the tannins are balanced. Admirable smoothness on the palate. A typical wine for this clone and vineyard. Score: 90. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Waits-Mast Wentzel Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 50 cases, $45. Released September 2012. This 10-acre vineyard is located about 900 feet above sea level near Philo. Organically farmed within an expansive 300+ acre forested property. Roland and Barbara Wentzel are passionate caretakers of the vineyard. Clones 114, 115, 667 and 777 from a block that is less than an acre, all picked at the same time. Aged 17 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of black fruits and oak. A full-bodied, concentrated blast of blackberry and cassis flavors hit the mid palate and carry over to the modestly long finish. This is a big wine that is somewhat rugged and shoulders plenty of dry tannin. Should benefit from time in the cellar to allow the aromas to arrive and the tannins to integrate. An unusual amount of extraction for an Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, but appealing in its style. Score: 89. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Waits-Mast Hayley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 24 cases, $36. Released September 2011. From a 34-acre valley floor site planted to Dijon clones 114, 115, 667 and 777 with small amounts of Pommard and Martini. This wine is all clone 114. 100% whole berry. Inoculated yeast. Aged 17 months in 25% new Francois Frères French oak. · Aromas and flavors of black cap raspberries and black cherries with a subtle underlying earthy, herbal bent. Full-flavored and plush on the palate, with a juicy finish. A savory wine that aims to please. Still solid the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Waits-Mast Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 47 cases, $42. Released September 2011. The vineyard was planted in 2000 with Dijon clones 115, 667, and 777. This wine is predominantly clone 115 (50%). 100% whole berry, inoculated with RC212 yeast, aged 17 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very reserve nose initially, opening slowly over time in the glass to reveal delicate aromas of dark cherries, Asian 5-spice and hibiscus. Delicious core of spiced black cherry and cola flavor with an underpinning of savory herbs. Soft and plush on the palate with modest tannins. A little warmth in the background. A very bold tasting, California style Pinot which will find fans. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Waits-Mast Oppenlander Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 48 cases, $44. Released September 2011. A vineyard that consistently produces distinctive and stunning wines. Located just outside the town of Comptche, about 8.5 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. The vineyard is owned by the Shandel family, 5th generation owners of the property. The site is very cool and harvest is typically later than in other regions. 100% whole berry, native yeast, aged 17 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of wooded forest, wild berries and fresh cherries. Delicious essence of red Pinot fruits with a savory, spicy, herbal edge. Amazing fruit intensity on a rather delicate frame. Very soft in the mouth. A lighter, redder interpretation of Pinot from this vineyard in this vintage. Hint: If you see “Oppenlander Vineyard” on a Pinot wine label, buy it. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Waits Mast Deer Meadows Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 49 cases, $47, released September 1, 2011. Vineyard farmed by Rich Savoy off Deer Meadows Road above Boonville. Clones 115 and 2A. 100% whole berry, aged 17 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. A savory wine with herb-scented and herb-flavored deep red cherry and berry fruits backed by dusty tannins, finishing with reasonable length. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Waits-Mast Deer Meadow Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 49 cases, $47. Released September 2011. This vineyard is located at 1,600 feet elevation above the town of Boonville and is farmed by Rich Savoy. Clones are 115 and 2A. 100% whole berry, inoculated yeast, aged 17 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Pleasant aromas of dark cherries and berries, bark, forest floor, and fennel, becoming more giving over time in the glass. Tasty core of fruit featuring black raspberries, purple grapes and black cherries veering to the ripe side, underlain with a complimentary hint of savory herbs, green pepper and toasty oak. Moderately rich with mild tannins and some length on the finish. Tasted twice with consistent results. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Waits-Mast La Encantada Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 23 cases, $47. Released September 2011. Clones 115 and 777. 100% whole berry, aged 17 months in 20% new French oak barrel. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of black grapes, fruit leather, herbs and tar. Rich, plush and soft on the palate, featuring flavors of earth bound black cherries and plum. A bit ponderous and lacks a spark. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine showed a riper profile including raisin. Good (+). Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

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

14.4% alc., 25 cases, $44. Released April 2010. Clones 115, 667 and 777. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 12 months in 33% new French oak. · Unusual aromatics starting off with scents of wine cave and oak toast progressing to aromas of gingerbread and roasted tomato without any fruit evident. Tasty core of dark ripe cherries and cassis with a brown spice and roasted fruit tone. Smooth in the mouth with supple tannins. Big discrepancy between the nose and flavors may resolve with more time in the bottle. Decent. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Waits-Mast Family Cellars Hein Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 25 cases, $44. Released in the fall 2009. Co-ferment of 115 and Pommard clones. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 11 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Black cherry and herbal highlights on the nose carry over onto the smooth palate with the slightest ash lurking in the background. Healthy tannins need time to integrate. Good. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Waits-Mast Wentzel Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 25 cases, $42. Sourced from the 10-acre Wentzel Vineyard located near Philo and organically farmed by Roland Wentzel. 100% destemmed, native fermentation, aged 11 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · An impressive wine filled with tasty dark cherry and berry fruit, an underlying green note, and sporting a smooth, velvety texture, gossamer tannins, and a refreshingly clean finish. Close to a Pinot Geek wine. Reviewed June 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Waits-Mast Wines La Encantada Vineyard Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 25 cases, $42. Jennifer Waits and Brian Mast are fog bound San Francisco winemakers focused solely on vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs in 25 to 50 case lots from sites in the Anderson Valley, Russian River Valley and Sta. Rita Hills. Clones 115, 667 and 777. 100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in 33% new French oak. Crafted at Crushpad. · Scents of dark strawberries and cherries, dried roses, herbs and pine. Herb-inflected dark red cherry and berry flavors with hints of oak, green tomato and citrus. Well-crafted, with respectable richness and creaminess, but doesn’t strike my fancy. Tasted twice. Decent (+). Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »