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Mark West Pinot Noir

2014 Crushed red berries, smoky oak, licorice and floral notes dominate the heady bouquet. The wine is full-bodied and quite rich on the palate with black cherry fruit, and subtle vanilla-flavored oak well balanced by soft supple tannins that finish soft and sweet.
91
$19.00 / Bottle   $228.00 / Case
SALE $11.99 / Bottle   $143.88 / Case
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Pinot Noir is known for being expensive. Derek Benham of Mark West winery has made it his mission to bring Pinot Noir to the people, and we’re not talking about a thin, watery excuse for Pinot. No, Derek is talking about the real thing, Pinot that looks, smells and tastes like it ought to.

Pinot Noir fermenting in an open-top bin.

Who is this guy and why would he want to make good wine affordable when he could charge more for it and live in luxury?

Derek Benham was born in Bakersfield, CA. His family was in the wine business so he grew up surrounded by vineyards. Nevertheless, he went off to Berkeley to study English lit and philosophy.

That didn’t keep him from the wine business for long though. After the very successful creation and subsequent sale of the Blackstone brand in 2002, Derek suddenly found himself with the opportunity to find himself again – and a good-sized chunk of cash.

He acquired Mark West winery, located in the heart of premium Pinot vineyards, and set out to disprove the notion that wine was only for the privileged.

With winemaker Alex Cose, they chose to defy conventional thinking once more, “we believe in spending our money on better grapes, barrels and packaging than on bureaucratic nonsense.”

Mark West Pinot Noir is sourced primarily from California's coastal appellations (56% Central Coast, 16% Sonoma, 12% Mendocino, 4% Napa, 12% Other). The wine truly represents the best of California-style Pinot.

Vinification takes place at a custom crush facility in Sonoma. The grapes were cold soaked for five days before fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Aging takes place at the winery in Grafton where the fine French oak barrels are held. This Pinot was aged for 8-10 months. Try it with a goat cheese and sundried tomato pizza.