This winery was founded by third generation vintners and brothers Ben and Jake Fetzer in Mendocino County, California, 200 miles north of San Francisco. They are the sons of Bobby and Sheila Fetzer, and grew up on the Fetzer’s Home Ranch. In 1996 their father bought the 1500-acre Masút Ranch, which bordered his Home Ranch.
Bobby and his sons planted a 23-acre vineyard there in 1997. They identified 13 separate but contiguous blocks, and selected Pinot Noir clones 113, 115 and 777. The sons have since identified five more blocks, most of which are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ben and Jake do everything by hand from pruning to thinning to canopy management and harvest; they also farm organically.
The result is a beautiful Pinot Noir that exhibits sweet cherries and dried leaves on the nose. Those follow through onto the palate. The fruit is bright but not overpowering, and there is a marked earthiness. In fact, according to the letter they sent me with the sample: ”Masút, which means "dark, rich Earth," is both a reflection of our winemaking style and a salute to our land.”
As the wine develops, you’ll find leathery and slightly smoky notes on the palate. Dark fruit develops along with these savory notes. The wine is complex, interesting and delicious.
The mellow tannins come from the fruit, which generally gives you a smoother mouthfeel. The balance of fruit, oak, acid and tannins is excellent. The wine is elegant enough to drink alone, but bright enough to eat with a variety of foods. The finish on the wine is lovely, smooth and long.
It is available at Bedford Wine Merchants for $37.00 per bottle. 24 Village Green, Bedford, NY 10506; (888) 315-8333
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