Wine Advocate 93
"Melon, pears, white flowers, graphite and crushed rocks come to life in the 2010 Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast). A vivid, complex wine, the 2010 stands out for its nuance and overall level of complexity. Constantly changing, the 2010 is at once beautifully delineated, yet soft, supple and expressive. In 2010, the Chardonnay was made from 82% Gaps Crown and 18% Obsidian fruit. The wine was bottled after spending 18 months in neutral French oak. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018."
"Wind Gap is an exciting project by Pax and Pam Mahle. This up-and-coming small winery is focused on producing honest, authentic and compelling wines from special vineyard sites. They source from vineyards throughout California: from the limestone and granite soils of Chalone, to the shale and limestone blanketed hills of western Paso Robles, to the windy, cold Sonoma Coast. Many of their vineyards are planted along or are directly influenced by one wind gap or another. These geological breaks in the coastal hills funnel wind inland and strongly influence the growing and ripening of their grapes. It seemed only fitting that their name should celebrate the forces of nature that shape their wine.
They harvest low-yields, ferment with natural yeasts and partially with stems on certain varieties. Pump-over and pump-downs are done manually --if ever-- and are designed to extract a balance of tannins and fruit. Fermentation and aging occurs in a selected combination of concrete, stainless steel, and old neutral French oak. These wines are extremely limited!"~Distributor Notes
Wind Gap WinesView all from Wind Gap Wines
Wine lovers will know the name Pax Mahle from his first winery – PAX – which garnered high scores and much notoriety. Though he has always been influenced by French styles of winemaking, it was the bold, powerful Syrahs that first brought praise and attention to Pax in his new chapter as Sommelier-turned-Winemaker.
Pax was sourcing fruit from a number of different vineyards within northern California. One year, a particular vineyard had an unusually cool growing season. Fermenting the fruit in single barrels, Pax found that the wines produced from this cooler site had the alluring freshness he had always loved in French wines. He believed they were the kind of wines one could drink every night with dinner, regardless of season. Pax continued experimenting with fruit from cooler growing regions and began picking at lower sugar levels, and in the mid-2000s created the Wind Gap label as an outlet for his new direction.
According to Pax: "Wind Gap is all about classically styled wines that represent the new California."
Many of the winery's vineyards are planted along or are directly influenced by one wind gap or another. These geological breaks in the coastal hills funnel wind inland and strongly influence the growing and ripening of grapes. It seems only fitting that the name should celebrate the forces of nature that are shaping Pax's wines.
Farming Practice: Practicing Organic