The grapes for this Pinot Noir were sourced from vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA of Monterey County, where high winds, dry days, and bay fogs create a cool, but very long, growing season. These growing conditions are ideal for cool-climate grapes such as Pinot Noir, and lead to full, forward fruit flavors and ideal acidity. Grapes were harvested at an ideal balance of sugar and acid, and the wine was fermented in small open-top tanks. The wine completed malo-lactic fermentation in French oak barrels, where it aged for 8 months prior to bottling.
With its maritime influence, California's Monterey region has an extended growing season that yields wines with full flavor development and great acid balance. Mandolin Pinot Noir is a rich wine that features bright cherry and raspberry fruit with hints of spice, leather and cedar.
Press & Acclaim
Best of Class
- 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition: Pinot Noir up to $14.99 Download PDF
"Lovely balance, sensual, with subtle hints of fruit and balsamic"
- Marguerite Thomas, Critics Challenge International Wine Competition 2009
"Ever since "Sideways," it has become increasingly difficult to find a really good pinot noir for $15 or so. Well, search no more, for this mouth-filling delight should appeal to novices and cork dorks alike. The cherry-berry flavors are augmented by a seriously smooth texture. There's just enough acidity here to make this silky-soft wine mesh with roast chicken, older cheeses and, of course, grilled salmon."
- Bill Ward, StarTribune, January 7 2009 Download PDF
Featured in Jerry Shriver's column in USA Today. Download full article.
Very Highly Recommended
"Light but fragrant aroma of cherry and berry. A balanced, bargain-priced wine that easily could sell for twice the price."
- Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences, April 24, 2008 Download PDF
#1 in top 10 wines of 2007
"This wine from the Santa Lucia Highlands in California's Monterey County was a new release and is about as young as you can get. It's infused with cherry candy and raspberry flavors that jump right out in the mouth; and as it lingers in the glass, other red fruits and even leather and spice notes are revealed. This reminds me of a great, and much pricier, Pinot Noir from Oregon that I fell in love with a few years back. But at half the price, just $12 for the Mandolin, this is the steal of the year if you can find it. It should go with just about any dish, including salmon or barbecue."
- "A look back at my top 10 wines from ‘07", Dayton Business Journal, 1/4/08 Download PDF
"This wine's pale color belies its intensity of flavor fresh strawberries and raspberries, ending with an invigorating hint of black pepper."
- Ray Isle, "Best American Pinot Noir", Food & Wine, March 2007 Download PDF
#8 in Tasting Room Best Bargains of 2007
"Bright, intense strawberry and raspberry notes are the core of the flavor here."
- Ray Isle, Food & Wine, Deccember 2007 Dowload PDF
"Pinot Noir is a classic turkey-table option, but bargainpriced versions are hard to find. Mandolin s Pinot Noir is produced with Monterey fruit and qualifies as a pretty wine. With light tannins, bright red fruit notes and cherry blossom aromas, it s packaged in an attractive bottle, making it a top option to bring along if you re going to someone else s home for dinner."
- Leslie Sbrocco, "Bargain Wines: Be thankful for these great values", San Francisco Chronicle, 11/17/06 Download PDF
Oak Cooperage: French oak, 8 months
Residual Sugar: 0.052g/100ml
Cases Produced: 6,954