It’s not impossible to find California wine made with grapes grown entirely by meticulous, labor-intensive organic farming. But, being California, the additional labor of eliminating weeds and pests without recourse to the toxic stuff–of hand harvesting and all the rest of it–doesn’t come cheaply.
To have that organic fruit come in so clean that no additions (of yeasts, enzymes to boost the yeast, or acid corrections) are necessary, is certainly the ideal, yet isn’t common. Then to have the winemaking restraint not to over-extract and over-oak, but to simply trust your fruit to show beautifully–that’s less common still. (Why is restraint uncommon? Because nothing guarantees your wine will sell like a high score in certain magazines, and high scores still accrue to pumped-up wines.)
So, when we find organic, natural wines that are handmade with great care, that are clean and delicious and expressive, and (drum roll, please) do not break the bank, we get excited. Madson Wines is all that. They’re a newly established micro-sized winery from nearby Santa Cruz making single-vineyard pinot noir, syrah, and chardonnay. We’ve got both their reds, and they’re well worth your attention.
Their unfined and unfiltered pinot noir comes from Toyon Vineyard on the southwestern slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains–a cool, cloudy site just three miles from the Pacific. Their syrah comes from the Ascona Vineyard, at the top of the Santa Cruz range, and undergoes whole-cluster fermentation before aging on the fine lees in neutral French oak for a year.
Both show lovely fruit for drinking now but have the structure and fine tannins to suggest they’ll take age very well. Come visit us at Paul Marcus Wines to learn more about this noteworthy up-and-coming producer.