‘Meet the Winemaker’: Andre Hueston Mack and being a Black Sheep!

To say that we are excited to Andre Hueston Mack in store is an understatement! Andre is living his dream by swimming against the current and “being a black sheep”! Everyone should check out his Ted Talk about how to be an original or, in Andre’s words, “how to be a black sheep”! Check it out:

We are thrilled to have Andre in the store and share some juice with him. His wines are fun and showcase the area where they are made; we could wax poetically about them all day long. But, in the end … they are just damn good wines!

If the path from sommelier to winemaker is becoming more common, Andre Hueston Mack is still in a class of his own. The former sommelier of The French Laundry and wine director of Per Se, Andre earned the right to make wine for the 1 percent but he found his calling in creating excellent wines that everyone can enjoy. Add to that tongue-in-cheek humor and formidable graphic design talent, and you have the makings of his brilliantly conceived, crafted and packaged Mouton Noir wines.

From outstanding vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and further north, these are “serious wines that don’t take themselves too seriously.” Andre has developed a cult following with his t-shirts de-rigeur at any sommelier gathering and his wines on cutting edge lists from coast to coast.

Andre’s passion for wine led him to leave his desk job to pursue a career as a sommelier. Andre has been very successful in his career as a sommelier. He was the Chaine des Rotisseurs Best Young Sommelier in America competition, which brought him to the attention of Thomas Keller. After a successful stint as a sommelier at The French Laundry, Andre was chosen to head the wine team responsible for opening Keller’s restaurant in New York, Per Se. At Per Se, Andre built the core of the 1800 label Grand Award winning list and hosted many high-end collector dinners.

He had always wanted to make wine and got his chance when he was recruited to be one of the initial sommelier consultants at the Evening Land project in Oregon. After making some Pinot Noir from the highly regarded Seven Springs vineyard, Andre found his calling. Instead of serving the elite few, Andre wanted to make wines that were accessible to everyone. He started in 2007 making a few hundred cases for famous New York restaurants, and used his relationships to source some excellent vineyards to make wines at affordable price points.

Mouton Noir is considered a micro-negociant (“Garage d’Or”) with a stable lineup of vineyards along with the ability to nimbly acquire premium fruit. All of his wines are Oregon based with an eye towards being good companions with food as well as being fun and approachable for novices and experienced drinkers alike. Andre’s sense of humor comes through in his labels including Oregogne, Horseshoes and Handgrenades and OPP (Other People’s Pinot). Mouton Noir now produces over 20,000 cases. Andre travels over 200 days a year sharing his wines and doing education at many food and wine festivals worldwide. Andre is truly a pied piper of wine leading the next generation of wine drinkers in pursuit of the good stuff.

The wines!

2016 Mouton Noir “Love Drunk” Rose, Willamette Valley Oregon, Chardonnay/Pinot Noir :: $20 sale $18

An intoxicating Rose. Much like new love, it clouds the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker. Provocative aromas of strawberry and raspberry, followed by refreshing flavors of wild strawberry, watermelon rind and a hint of kiwi. Only 96 barrels produced.

2015 Mouton Noir “Knock on Wood,” Willamette Valley, Oregon, Chardonnay :: $21 sale 19

100% Chardonnay, all stainless-steel and no malolactic fermentation. Procured from hillside vineyards in Yamhill-Carlton AVA, reminiscent of the grand crus of Burgundy’s Cote d’Or. It benefited from a very long and cold fermentation – almost two months – resulting in a lean and mean wine with perfume of honeydew melon and pear surfing huge waves of minerals, bringing a nice tide of racy starfruit to the finish.

2015 Mouton Noir “O.P.P.,” Willamette Valley Oregon, Pinot Noir :: $21 sale $19

The 2015 Other People’s Pinot is classic Oregon Pinot—earmark Willamette Valley.  It is accessible, a great value, and stays true to the character of the vineyards from which it was born. Earthy, spicy, floral, herb-framed flavors of cherry with gingery wood spice tones.

2015 Mouton Noir “P-OUI,” Willamette Valley, Oregon, Pinot Noir :: $20 sale $18

2015 P-Oui (pee-wee) Yes-Pinot is the celebration of Pinot Noir taken from a cross section of vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley to make “One Pinot Under a Groove”. Only bottled in half bottles to complement dining alone or enjoying a glass with a friend! Franken Berry jam session with Parliament-Funkadelic’s:  complex, soulful, strawberry, funk.

Andre Hueston Mack

Beer and ice cream tasting, friends. You know the drill: this is a must! Join us on the 11th from 4 to 7 pm. We’ll be pairing great beers with four flavors from our neighbors at Sweet Cow.

We start sippin’ and tastin’ at 4 pm. Hope you can make it! Tag your pics #pickitupatpearl so we can CHEERS! 

Discover why 5280 Magazine Readers and Editors voted Pearl Wine Company Denver’s BEST BOTTLE SHOP. PWC takes pride in being Denver’s best wine shop–a craft liquor specialty store. Conveniently located on South Pearl Street in Denver’s Platt Park neighborhood.