91 Pts Stephen Tanzer - Vinous Media
"(69% grenache, 21% mourvedre and 10% counoise; no new oak) Medium red. Pungent, spice-accented aromas of peppery red berries, cherry, blood orange and herbs are lifted by a floral topnote. Sappy and focused, with a peppery quality giving lift to its bitter red fruit flavors. Possesses very good mid-palate heft, with firm tannins adding shape and grip to the persistent finish." 91 points - Stephen Tanzer - International Wine Cellar
""I started Wind Gap to make wines that I thought would express the cool aspect of the Sonoma Coast," Pax Mahle told me during our annual tasting. "What's interesting here is the chance to make wines where the fruit is fully ripe but the numbers, to a technocrat, just don't make sense." It's always been a given, he thinks, that to have powerful expression you need to to have superripe grapes, but that's just not the case. "The best European wines have been proving that for years." Mahle said that he actually thinks that the ease with which fruit in California achieves ripeness can work against making wines of ideal complexity. "The sun is California's cross to bear," he said; "if you aren't careful, the freshness and purity can be burned out while the grapes are still on the vine, which is why I decided to look for sites in colder wind gaps, which means slower growing seasons that won't run wild with ripeness."" Interview with Pax Mahle, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, May/June 2011 edition
"Wind Gap is an exciting new 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
This was also rated 88 points in the Rhone Report.