Wine Advocate 93
"The 2010 Syrah (Sonoma Coast) bursts from the glass with explosive dark fruit, olives, black pepper, sage, rosemary and juniper berries. Rich, intense and generous, the 2010 is flat-out stunning. The 100% whole clusters are very nicely balanced in this vintage. Delicate, savory notes on the finish balance the exuberance of the fruit. There is no shortage of personality here. At $38 a bottle, Wind Gap's Syrah is also one of the great values in wine. This is a terrific showing from proprietor Pax Mahle and Wind Gap. If readers can find a better Sonoma Coast Syrah for the money, I would like to know about it! The 2010 is a blend of fruit from Nellessen, Majik and Armagh. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020."~Antonio Galloni
International Wine Cellar 93
"(100% whole clusters and raised in neutral French oak;12.3% alcohol): Inky purple. Heady aromas of black raspberry, cola, sandalwood and potpourri. Distinctly exotic, with notes of patchouli and star anise coming up in the glass. Taut and focused on the palate, offering vibrant, spice-accented red and dark berry flavors and a strong jolt of cracked pepper. Closes sweet and long, with slow-building tannins and excellent clarity."~Josh Raynolds
John Gilman 93
"I really liked the purity and aromatic complexity of the low octane Wind Gap 2010 Syrah, which tips the scales at 12.3 percent and offers up utterly classic, Northern Rhône aromatics and flavors to go along with a very transparent and light on its feet palate impression. The absolutely stellar bouquet offers up scents of cassis, black olives, black pepper, a touch of lavender, incipient notes of game and a beautifully complex base of soil tones. On the palate the wine is medium-full, pure and very soil-driven, with a good core of fruit, fine intensity of flavor, moderate tannins and a long, classy and very well-balanced finish. This is a really lovely wine that really has more of a pinot noir-type weight to it, but with superb intensity and focus. Fine, fine juice. 2103-2030."
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