“Wine lives and should be respected as a living thing.  It develops in the bottle, and opens in the glass.”…. James McMillan

The more wine I enjoy from cooler climate Monterey County (California), the more I enjoy wine that shows typicity.  And the more wines I enjoy from Scheid Family Vineyards, with estate vineyards in Monterey County, the more I enjoy wines that offer value.  Uncork and pour, this “Metz Road” Pinot Noir shows “old world” character of forest floor, brandied berries and mushroom compost.  If that’s what tingles your taste buds: enjoy. You won’t be disappointed.  But I recommend you decant after tasting from the bottle, or at the least, vacuum pump and enjoy the next day.

That’s when it opens in the glass. Floral notes of lilac, delicate and haunting, red licorice and a meld of brandied cherries. It’s one of those wines whose aromas are so enjoyable, it makes you put off tasting it for the joy of continuing to whiff the aromas.  It morphs in the glass as moments pass.  Initially, a tad sweet, then lots of brown spice with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon (unusual for this varietal) and black plum. The spice carries into its long finish.  Its nose offers cherry and blackberry. Its texture, with air in the glass, continues to get creamier. “Old world” notes of woodruff and forest floor meet “new world” cherry and liquid smoke in this medium bodied wine that is yet fruit rich with cherry and cola and develops some heat which remains throughout a long finish.

Metz Road is single vineyard juice from the Riverview Vineyard and named for the road (Metz) running alongside Riverview Vineyard. The vineyard is nestled on a bench high above the Salinas River and near Monterey Bay.  Cold afternoons and lingering coastal fogs make for a cool growing micro-climate so beneficial for Pinot Noir.  Grapes are hand picked in early morning, pressed to temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, then racked 100% to French oak (60% new) for twenty months before bottling.

None of this routine is exclusive. But what may be exclusive is the price to quality ratio of this wine from Scheid Family Wines. With an ARP of $30, Metz Road combines old and new world style with no jarring overtones to diminish its balance.  Tannin, acidity and fruit work in partnership balance. I tasted vintages from 2013 (from their Mesa del Rio vineyard, also in Monterey) and 2015 and found them consistent in quality and style.
Attention to detail even includes useful info on
the label instead of  the all too common foo-fo.

Scheid Family Wines is one of the region’s largest growers and one you may never have heard of. But it’s likely you have enjoyed their wines.  Like other wineries, Scheid produces wine under many labels (Andover Estate, Aristotle, District 7, Pareto’s Estate and others) and sometimes without the Scheid name prominent.  And, as with most wineries, they offer different levels within the same varietal, so there is more than one Pinot Noir, for example, with levels of quality being branded differently.  I’ve enjoyed several of Scheid’s varietals including Chardonnay, Riesling, Petite Sirah and a blend of Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot and others.  Consistent throughout has been a price to quality ratio bespeaking value. 

………………. Jim
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TECH SPECS   (For 2015 Vintage)
Scheid Wines:          
Metz Road Wines:   
ALC:                                 14%
Brix (at harvest):               25.7
PH:                                    3.72
TA:                                    0.64 g/L
Clones:                              Pommard, 667, 777
Soil:                                  Well-drained decomposed granite          
Points:                               91 Wine Enthusiast
Juice is fermented in open top fermenters with a punch down three times daily to gently extract color and tannins.

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