Russian River Valley Rosé: 15 Sonoma County Wineries to Visit.
Pax Wines’s tasting room and winemaking facility sustained significant damage from the February flooding of The Barlow. The tasting room reopened yesterday – another reason to celebrate with their Trousseau Gris rosé (also available at Crocodile French Cuisine in Petaluma and Miracle Plum in Santa Rosa). This funky wine pairs well with earthy spring vegetable dishes, like a spring pea, green garlic and ramp risotto.
What Do Wines Aged in Concrete, Clay and Glass Taste Like?
“Concrete aged wine has a little more pep in its step,” says Pax Mahle, owner and winemaker at Pax Mahle Wines. “We typically press still-fermenting wines [with minimal residual sugar levels] into the concrete vessel where it will age, which produces CO2. This CO2 protects the wine from any excess oxygen exposure, ensuring that the wine is bright, fresh, and filled with energy.”
A delicious domestic find to accompany hearty fall dishes, this Rhône traveler by winemaker Pax Mahle boldly is made from old-vine Carignan planted in a Mendocino vineyard in 1912. The savory, gamey red has lots of spice and berry-cherry fruits coupled with bright acidity. Because it is not too complex or tannic, this a perfect wine for root vegetables, roasts, stews, cassoulet, or short-rib pot pie. Dishes with earthy, rich flavors make this wine irresistibly gulpable.
Think about this: Pax Sonoma-Hillsides – a California Syrah that was made with low-intervention winemaking techniques, using whole cluster fruit, little sulfur, no oak, and coming in under 13 percent – was just given a 100 point score by Antonio Galloni. If that’s not a shift in the paradigm, I don’t know what is.
Pax Mahle has gained a reputation as an extremely talented vintner of Rhone varieties. The wine shows a succulent nose of blackberries, leather, tar and earth and accompanies a huge mouthful of dark berry fruit. This highly extracted wine is one of the “biggest” Syrahs I have ever tasted yet it is in no way jammy or tiring on the palate. Bottled unfined and unfiltered this Hermitage-like wine is not for the timid. Splendid.
Dunne on Wine: Syrah’s prospects pick up in cooler settings
Pax Mahle Wines 2011 Sonoma Coast Griffin’s Lair Syrah ($64): The most complex syrah of the day. It’s a brilliant exhibit of the intense and lush blueberry side of syrah, sprinkled generously not only with white pepper but black.