The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2016

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Page 86 of 116

86  /  the tasting panel  /  march 2016 WHAT WE'RE DRINKING G lobally, Pinot Noir is known for having a fairly narrow range of style, but California winemakers still manage to push the envelope without losing its varietal character. Such is the case for Mark West Black, an opaque, fuller-bodied Pinot Noir crafted by Mark West winemaker Jason Becker. Becker, who professes to be a "math and science guy," derailed a career in engineering and took a winery job in Santa Cruz that forever changed his life. Armed with degrees in winemaking, viticulture and agricultural business from Cal Poly, he cut his teeth as an assistant winemaker for Central Coast experts like Bob Cook and Monica Belavic. Pinot Noir is the sole focus for Mark West winemaker Jason Becker. MARK WEST PINOT NOIR FANS HAVE A WEALTH OF CHOICES by Deborah Parker Wong Time to Trade UP PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK WEST WINES Becker steps up extraction with Mark West Black ($13.99), which is sourced from Monterey County but drinks more like a warmer vintage from Russian River Valley.

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