“A Magical Wine” - 2016 Trail Marker Pinot Noir Saveria

Posted by Joe Salamone

Trail Marker’s 2016 Saveria is the best California Pinot Noir that we tasted this year.

It's extremely rare that we taste a California Pinot that floors the entire staff. That is exactly what happened with Trail Marker. It's simply a stunning bottle.

The site-specific Pinots coming out of the Santa Cruz Mountains have largely been overlooked. It's a shame because they are some of the most age-worthy, fascinating, and personality-filled examples of the grape.

The coastal mountain vineyards have a cool climate and naturally low yields, which creates wines of extraordinary complexity and finesse. Along with benchmark producers like Ridge and Mount Eden, Trail Marker is demonstrating the enormous potential of this region.

The Saveria Vineyard is located just 6 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 700 meters above sea level. The vineyard’s unusual microclimate is a perfect match for Pinot Noir. At their best, the wines are strikingly nuanced and show a real sense of transparency. This is exactly what Emily Virgil and Drew Huffine achieve with their Saveria Pinot.

The 2016 Saveria Pinot has a remarkable combination of density, concentration, and lifted freshness. The wine is dark and savory, yet fresh and floral. There’s an intermingling of salinity that recalls it’s coastal origins. Galloni describes it nicely: “Rose petal, sweet red berry and spice all flesh out in a supple, racy Pinot Noir that deftly balances fruit density, aromatics and structure.”

Two thousand and sixteen was a generous vintage by Santa Cruz Mountain standards. It managed to hit the sweet spot winemakers are hoping for: maintaining the concentration of low yielding vines, while still producing enough fruit to bottle all of their labels. The near-perfect weather led to wonderfully refined, elegant wines, and the Saveria Pinot is our favorite by far.

Trail Marker started in 2012 when Emily Virgil and Drew Huffine bought one ton of Chardonnay from Mendocino Ridge Vineyard. Their goal was to express the unique terroir of California’s coastal vineyards using minimal intervention winemaking, indigenous yeasts, and little to no new oak. The results have been stunning. Their passion, enthusiasm, and talent comes across in a big way.

Production is minuscule, but we jumped at the chance to offer this wine because it deserves a broader audience, but be warned: there's not much to go around. Give us your ideal order, and we’ll try our best.

To order, email offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits