2012 Mail Road Wines "Mt. Carmel Vineyard-Blocks 2, 3, 5" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Leading off the reds, the 2012 Pinot Noir Mt. Carmel Vineyard 2 3 5 is up with the creme de la creme of the vintage. Completely destemmed and aged 11 months in 42% new French oak, it has awesome purity and vibrancy, with classy blackberry, raspberry, rose petal and assorted spring flower-like aromas and flavors. Give this beauty another year in the cellar and enjoy bottles through 2022. Another Matt Dees project, with Ruben Solorzano managing the vineyard, Mail Road Wines is focused exclusively on the Mount Carmel Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, and they have long-term contracts on 3-4 different blocks. These beauties will knock your socks off and they were easily some of the top wines I was able to taste for this report! The 2013s, which were all tasted out of barrel, should be close in quality to the 2012s. (JD)
The 2012 Pinot Noir 2,3,5 Mt. Carmel Vineyard bursts from the glass with a rush of dark red and blue fruits. Spice and floral notes appear later, adding depth and nuance. Overall, the 2,3,5 is deep and explosive to the core, with quite a bit more ripeness and pure resonance than Matt Dees's other wines. Then again, this sun-drenched, south-facing site is clearly suited to making wines of superb textural richness and pure depth. Still a bit reticent, the 2012 could use another year or two in bottle. There is so much to like here. The 2,3,5 is a blend of fruit from Blocks 2, 3 and 5. Mail Road Wines is the new project of Ronald Piazza and Michael Palmer, who own Mt. Carmel Vineyard, one of the most dramatic, rugged sites in the Sta. Rita Hills. Piazza and Palmer brought on winemaker Matt Dees, who has turned out an absolutely spectacular set of wines that might very well redefine what this site is capable of. The Mail Road Pinots are a bit riper in style than what readers have come to expect from Dees. Most of the fruit is destemmed, while new oak is around 33-50%. I only tasted one Chardonnay, the 2013, but it was enough to get a sense of what is to come from this site, which was originally developed by Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton. I can't say enough good things about these new releases from Mail Road. Readers who can source the wines are in for a thrilling experience. It's as simple as that.