Kelley Fox Wines is a small winery producing Pinot noir from self-rooted, dry-farmed, old vines of the historic Maresh Vineyard in the Dundee Hills, and the Demeter-certified biodynamic Momtazi Vineyard in the McMinnville foothills since 2007. So much for the dry and dusty history for this is a story of a woman and the very special places where the vines grow and the wine is made and mediated.
Kelley Fox has been a full-time, on-the-floor winemaker for over sixteen years. Most of the canopy work in her blocks at Maresh she does personally and in solitude, including the biodynamic sprays. The wines are touched only by Kelley, but they are not a personal expression as she always says… “No stylistic intentions are imposed. They are silent, living songs of these beautiful farms.”
Kelley Fox is highly attuned to the song of each vineyard. She would make “spirited” wine, of course, wherever she was farming. Her approach is subtle and responsive; for her grapes are matter waiting to release the energy of the vineyard, and the wines are the liquid containers of that energetic potential. She is a humble exponent of the personal give-and-take of biodynamics, the notion that the entire process of winemaking involves tapping into a primal cosmic energy; a process that is sharp and painful in that it often takes over your whole life, the love in your body, your integrity, and your perception of the nature within you and without you.
The Mirabai is utterly transparent and full of light with a youthful red hue that is delicate to the point of bordering on dark pink. This happens to be my favourite look for a red wine. This is all Maresh fruit. The nose is classic Maresh: red fruit and soft minerals. The texture is weightless and silken in a way that is pure pleasure. There is serious structure in this wine-yes-but in the way of hidden tensile strength.