Brick & Mortar Pinot Noir 2021
Black Raspberries, Luxardo Cherries, Red Licorice, Caramel
No, the lowercase letters used in the name of this wine are intentional, not a typo. Owner/winemaker Matt Iaconis founded brick & mortar in 2011 and now co-runs the winery with his wife and sommelier, Alexis Iaconis. The use of an all-lowercase name serves as a metaphor for their foundational philosophy, highlight the vineyard with minimal intervention. Matt produces wine from very cool sites, mostly at high elevations in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, but this wine is made from grapes that grow in the western reaches of the Anderson Valley. Like the Santa Maria area spotlighted above, the Anderson Valley is very close to the Pacific Ocean so the vineyards also benefit from fog and cool breezes.
We do not often feature wines from this area because most are pretty expensive, but an end-of-the year deal brings this wine down into our price range, despite tiny production of only 300 cases. Matt sources grapes for this wine from a couple of sites in the Anderson Valley, which has a very different growing condition than the Santa Maria Valley wine listed above. The Anderson Valley is a fairly large area that runs somewhat parallel to the California coastline, with a low range of mountains between the vineyards and the ocean. As a result the daytime temperatures in the Anderson Valley can be warm, well into the 80s during growing season. Then at night the cool ocean air pushes over the mountains and temperatures plunge, often as much as 50 degrees. The resulting fruit is ripe but retains good acidity and structure.