Only six barrels went into this bottling. This beauty is medium to deepish red in colour, and youthful in appearance. The 2012 Maresh Vineyard Pinot has the most refreshing (and cool, if temperature were a smell) nose. Imagine smelling a high mountain spring (like I have many times backpacking in the Cascades). This is the first time I have smelled minerals in the Maresh. As always, the fruit is red. All red, and this year, approaching blue-red. The 2012 is both tremendously pleasing and elusive. Serious and winged. I can’t describe this one, just like I couldn’t describe the 2012 Mirabai (all Maresh except one barrel of Momtazi). It watches. It has a wildness to it. Without the ferocity. I don’t mean “sauvage”, either, which is a word I often use to describe an- imal-smelling wines (which I often like too-it’s just that this wine is not wild in that way).
It is pristine, farmed with love, and only of itself. It is all Maresh and nothing/no one else. One can see to the bottom of it and still be completely mystified. In short, the 2012 is to me the most precise transmission of my Maresh blocks to date. These blocks knew what they were doing so strongly that year, that even I was able to understand and respond when working with the canopies. The fruit was picked on 11 October between 22.0 and 22.5 Brix in the warmest/driest September on record here. And it finished at 13.0%.
Right now, it is still a bit coiled and tight. It will age a long time. The finish is classic Dundee Hills silk (think Ingres paintings silk). I know how silly my words are about this wine. It is better than I am. It makes me fall in love with Oregon even more. I feel in this wine the young, snow covered volcanoes, the rainy sea air, the butterflies, the Hood strawberries, the night owls, the solitary bird who sings the most sweet, haunting song from the tallest tree only just before dawn by the Red Barn, the ocean like sound of the wind sweeping through the firs, and the Star of Bethlehem flowers that grow in the vine rows. I am every day very thankful to Jim Maresh Sr. for allowing me to spend so many of my days and nights on his farm, and to make wine from these vines I have come to know quite well over the years.
Appellation: Dundee Hills
Picking Date: Maresh Old Block and Long Rows, own-rooted and planted in 1970 (4 barrels from the Long Rows block and 2 barrels from the Old Block for this wine) 11 October
Barrels: No new wood. All neutral. All French forests from mostly tight grained wood. These barrels were custom-made by cooper Rick DeFerrari with oak he personally selected from the best forests in France
Bottling Date: 8 August 2013
Cases Produced: 146