2018 Madson Pinot Noir Toyon Vineyard
Region: Santa Cruz Mountains < California
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, soils are a mix of sandstone, siltstone and mudstone; whole cluster press, 22 days on the skins then pressed to neutral French oak where it rests for 10 months, with bi-monthly battonage; racked only once before bottling, unfined and unfiltered, with only one small SO2 addition; 12.6% ABV; 189 cases
Winemaker: Cole Thomas
Cole is a dear friend of a dear friend, who introduced me to the Santa Cruz-based Madson micro-winery and their stunning Pinots. Cole's wine journey started with agriculture. Before wine, he worked as an organic vegetable farmer, as an edible landscaper, and with a non-profit seed saving project. Then he started farming grapes and eventually making wine for others, first in Santa Cruz mountains, then across Australia and New Zealand before returning to the northern hemisphere to launch Madson Wines with his wife in Spring 2018.
These grapes hail from the organic (on the path to BioD) Toyon Vineyard on the Santa Cruz Mountains’ southwestern slope. At 400 ft of elevation and only 3 miles from the ocean, this vineyard is largely impacted by cool temps and lots of clouds, which keeps the acid and freshness high, and the alcohol low. So you get all the Pinot goodies -- raspberry bramble, bing cherry, clove, white pepper, and mushroom, with luscious tannins -- while high-toned red fruit and acid keep the wine fresh and lively. Drink now, as she’s in a really beautiful place out of the gate -- but this wine has the legs to age for at least 10 years, if you have the cash or willpower to set a few aside.