Pax Mahle is one of the most well known, liked and respected wine makers in California. In the early days he made more typical wines, rich and hearty, but he then started a move toward more balance and elegance. He focuses on Syrah and other Rhone varieties and manages to capture this rugged beast with sometimes astonishingly low alcohol and magnificent freshness. He had to untangle himself from his first label as his investor Charles Banks had been convicted for mail fraud, though Pax was looking for independence before this exventuated.
Pax and his wife Pam work in a balanced and sustainable way, promoting vineyard health and harmony with nature to produce grapes which fully express their origins. All of these practices lead to ripe, healthy fruit with balanced acid and sugars, which then requires minimal additions in the winery. Pax's winemaking is gently evolving but remains largely traditional. Grapes are sourced from organically farmed vineyards with low yields, crushed by foot, ferment is whole cluster using native yeasts, and wines are aged in mostly neutral French oak. Pax is an homage to classic Syrah, the wines have a purity of fruit and expression of place, impressively structured yet incredibly balanced. It is brilliant to hear Pax talk about his sites and philosophy. He talks about rusted out old monster trucks in his vineyards, his natural ability as a story-teller makes it vivid and authentic. This is true Americana. STSWine