Like all Made-in-the-USA endeavors, when modern, California wines flamboyantly swaggered onto the global stage in the last half of the twentieth century they did so with bravado. Brash, full-bodied reds dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon alongside richly-textured, lavishly-sexy, oak-driven whites crafted from golden Chardonnay have resoundingly defined the “new world” style for the last half of the century.
Today, up and down the Golden State a new wave of wine artisans is striving to craft more nuanced, elegant wines with a focus on the table and the varietal purity that a lighter hand can produce.
Pinot Noir, finicky, hard to ripen and susceptible to disease, is nonetheless one of the stars of this school and exceptional, cool-climate districts for its production have been increasingly identified in many heretofore untapped corners of the state – so much so that its production has surged from 32,ooo tons in 1990 to almost 250,000 tons in 2012!
In the heart of San Francisco, Wait Cellars – a small-scale, artisan operation producing both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – embodies the philosophy of this new school of California wine making. The Wait Cellars 2011 Green Valley Pinot Noir is currently featured in Love The Wine You’re With.
Slave to the grape – worse fates there have been!