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Waits-Mast Family Cellars was founded by Brian Mast and Jennifer Waits in 2005. Before they started to make wine, they were passionate wine consumers, spending many of their weekends exploring small wineries all over California and further afield in France, Switzerland and New Zealand. After absorbing themselves in lots of wine literature, they went from being street-smart about wines to being book-smart. Starting around 2000, they continued this pursuit of knowledge by attending the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival as consumers and learned more about the wine-making process during the annual festival's technical conference. That conference, along with the warm and welcoming wine community of Anderson Valley, prompted them to take their love for pinot noir to a new level. In 2005 they crafted their first barrel of Pinot Noir. Pleased with the results they continued the following year. By 2007 they launched Waits-Mast Family Cellars as a small, yet focused commercial brand that cemented their shift from wine geeks to winemakers.
Waits-Mast Family Cellars produces small lots of single-vineyard pinot noir from small, independent growers in Russian River Valley, Anderson Valley, Mendocino County and Mendocino Ridge. And by small lots, they mean small – 50 or 100 case lots. That means each lot receives close attention and care. All designed to strike a balance of flavor, aroma and texture and faithfully represent the characteristics of each vineyard site.
Archer Family Vineyard was formerly owned by the late Gary Archer and is situated off Starr Road in Windsor in the Russian River Valley. Planted to 777, 828, Pommard and Jackson 9 clones, the site is adjacent to Copain and about 2 miles from Amber Ridge on rolling hills with good fog coverage to temper the warm days. Archer Family is also a participant in the Sustainable Winegrowing Program run by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.
2011 was a cool growing year the Russian River Valley, which meant later ripening, longer hang time and wonderful acidity and structure. The 2011 Pinot Noir from Archer Family Vineyard has a pleasant tartness from that acidity, with dried crushed raspberries on the nose, with a smoky note from the Taransaud French oak barrel. On the palate is sour cherry and savory rhubarb with some warm spice notes. The finish is bracing and lingering with a touch of minerality.