Ghostwriter Pinot Noir 2017



I remember back to my first experience with Ghostwriter Pinot Noir. I tasted one and thought “ahh… Domaine Leroy.”

Domaine Leroy, it was not.  It was a project built on old heritage vineyards of the Santa Cruz Mountains, in a light, perfumey, acid-driven style.  It was the first vintage of Ghostwriter Pinot Noir. Ghostwriter is the Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot project of one of my favorite California producers – Kenny Likitprakong (who also owns Folk Machine). Fascinated by the many old, wild, and sometimes feral vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Kenny brings them back to health using organic techniques and then makes stunning Pinot Noir from them.

As Master Sommelier Ian Cauble notes:

“Kenny Likitprakong has many talents, but if I had to pick one, it would be his deft hand with Pinot Noir. After revisiting this 2014 Ghostwriter, I promptly reserved all that remains at the winery. It’s that good; heads above peers in this style/region/price point. Ghostwriter isn’t just a $30-40 Pinot Noir “brand”, either—this is a bona fide, hand-crafted and extremely limited wine which crushes the competition. It’s the real deal. We’ve offered previous releases of this cuvée but never at this price. So, grab it now, or forever hold your peace.”

Despite how much I – and Ian – rave about these wines, they remain difficult to translate to the public – they are not easygoing, nor concentrated, nor forceful. But they are capable of being what I consider some of the best wines in the world – soulfully expressive, beguilingly unique, and tasting like nothing else.

Remember Clos Rougeard?  Or Bartolo Mascarello?  Or Henri Jayer?  All of you receiving this email know the experience of which I write – there is a wine in your past (and future) that sings like no other instrument you’ve ever heard, it beckons to you, and that is one of the most compelling reasons you love, cellar, and drink wine.

That, to me, is the Ghostwriter project.  And if you trust my palate (and heck, how much have we drunk together?), you won’t be disappointed.

For those of you in the know, go for it and buy away.  For those of you not in the know, you might buy a courtesy bottle, stash it in your cellar, and forget about it.  No problem.  In five years, you’ll happen upon a bottle, and after you taste it, you’ll be back for more.  This is what happened to me, and it is now why I keep collecting Ghostwriter wine.

They are utterly compelling, and like nothing else.