Central Coast and Monterey County of California

Press & Acclaim

Mandolin Cabernet Sauvignon Central Coast wineCabernet Sauvignon Central Coast
2012 Vintage
87 points, Best Buy
"There are pleasant green elements on the nose, and it's light and racy on the palate, with pepper and blackberry flavors, before the mouth-drying tannins arrive. An affordable yet bold Cabernet.
- M.K. Wine Enthusiast, Buying Guide, November 2014 Download PDF

91 points
"Very dark garnet-colored, the wine opens to currant and cherry aromas with a hint of oak-driven vanillin and spice. Nice fruit/acid balance...finishes medium long with more cherry, some spice...this is a lot of wine for its price."
- John McDonald, CapeGazette.com, May 2014 Download PDF

2009 Vintage
88 points, Best Buy
"This is one of the best Cabernets in its price class in California. It's smooth as velvet, with rich, deep flavors of blackberries, dark chocolate and green olives, touched by oak. Elegant and versatile at the table, and a great buy."
- S.H., Wine Enthusiast, Buying Guide, December 1, 2011 Download PDF

"If you can get your tastebuds to navigate the extremely elevated alcohol level (14.5%), there’s a serious cab waiting with a tannic grip and excellent acidity, all of which go some distance to mediate the alcohol.
- Jon Christensen, The Columbus Dispatch, August 2011 Download PDF

3 Stars, Brilliant
"Bright ruby red color. The nose is dense with concentrated black fruits and black cherry with a generous dose of spice, earth and oak. The palate echoes the nose being quite dry with dusty tannins rising on the mid-palate and continues through the finish."
- Bev X, August 2011 Download PDF

2006 Vintage
88 points
"Dark and concentrated with black plum and racy acidity; clean and fresh with balance and style."
- Patterson's The Tasting Panel, August 2008 Download PDF

86 points
"A rich, savory Cab of considerable complexity, this affordable bargain is a fine partner to steaks and chops. It's full-bodied and dry, with firm tannins that frame black currant, sage and tobacco flavors."
- S.H., Wine Enthusiast Magazine, The Buying Guide, November 1, 2008 Download PDF

Best of Class
- 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition - Cabernet Sauvignon: Up to $14.99 Download PDF

Merlot Central Coast
2005 Vintage
Gold Medal - 2008 New World International Wine Competition

3 1/2 stars
"This jewel of a Merlot is priced at only $10 and easily held it's own with Merlots priced up to $50! This tasty red is fresh and fruity, with oodles of berry/cherry notes, balanced by green herbs and cocoa. Buy some, buy some now!"
- Sue Straight, The San Diego Union Tribune, 10/11/07 Download PDF

Pinot Noir Monterey
2012 Vintage
85 points - Best Buy
"For this everyday price, you’ll get a delicate, lightbodied, dry wine, with bright acidity and subtle cherry and tobacco flavors. Despite the county-wide appellation, the grapes were sourced ro vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA."
- Wine Enthusiast, March 2014 Download PDF

87 points
"Smooth and mature with earthy, leather notes and soft cherry fruit; decent and balanced."
- Anthony Dias Blue, The Tasting Panel, December 2013 Download PDF

2007 Vintage
Best of Class
- 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition: Pinot Noir up to $14.99 Download PDF

Critics Platinum 
"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.

2006 Vintage
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

2005 Vintage
"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

Syrah Central Coast
2012 Vintage
Best Buy
"Chopped herbs, licorice and a bit of smoke lead the nose on this affordable wine. It's thinner on the palate, with more licorice that spices up the red fruit flavors. The finish shows some tannic grip.
- M.K. Wine Enthusiast, Buying Guide, November 2014 Download PDF

90+ points
"The Mandolin is a deep purple in color with lots of blackberry and spice in the nose. The flavors are rich and concentrated, with tons of blackberry mixed with a little plum, highlighted by earthy understones which are accompanied by mild toasty tannins in the finish.""
- Norman Bentley, PineIsland-Eagle, June 12, 2014 Download PDF

2009 Vintage
85 points, Best Buy
"Dark in color, full-bodied and rich, this is a Syrah to drink with roasted meats and stews. The blackberry, licorice and currant flavors have a meatiness suggestive of beef teriyaki. Good price for such a satisfying red wine."
- S.H., Wine Enthusiast, Buying Guide, December 1, 2011 Download PDF

"Deep purple red in color, the Mandolin Syrah has aromas of black fruit and spice. It is medium plus in body, with flavors of blackberry, plum and blueberry that mingle with black pepper, nutmeg and vanilla. Good acidity and soft tannins combine for a supple mouthfeel. The finish is clean and smooth."
- The Amateur Gastronomer, August 2011 Download PDF

4 Stars, Exceptional
"Deep burgundy color with ruby edges. The nose is filled with accents of allspice, clove, mineral, and black pepper with hints of clove and vanilla. The palate is in full accord with the nose delivering a silky and lush fruit driven core with brown spices and earth in support. This is a hell of a wine for 10 bucks, buy it by the case!"
- Bev X, August 2011 Download PDF

"The dense syrah is full-bodied with a lush concerto on the tongue and silky tannins but that's just the beginning. After decanting this dense, decadent wine wait for a minute for the explosion. This surprising syrah sucks the air out of your taste buds like a tornado, holds it and then explodes in a landscape of dark fruit, tobacco and plum...Sniff the cabernet sauvignon and discover briar aromas and forest floor. One sip will unfurl layers of currant and cherry fruit with lingering oak. Enjoy this full-bodied wine with filet mignon with wild mushrooms, red sauced pasta or a fudgy brownie."
- Julia Hollister, The Examiner, August, 2011 Download PDF

2005 Vintage
90 points - Top 100 Best Buys of 2008
"A robust, dry wine ideal for roasts and stews, this Monterey-grown Syrah shows its cool-climate origins in the rich tannins and acids. Black pepper notes accompany dried black cherry, blackstrap molasses, leather, tobacco and plum flavors. Sommeliers, buy this slightly oaked beauty by the case. "
- Wine Enthusiast, Buyers Guide, November 2008 Download PDF

Mandolin RieslingRiesling Monterey
2007 Vintage
Critics Silver 
" Medium-weight, well-integrated flavors.  Well-balanced."
- Ed McCarthy, Critics Challenge International Wine Competition 2009

2005 Vintage
88 points - Best Buy
"I dislike sweetness in Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and other whites that should be dry, but there's something about Riesling that makes it work. This one is perceptibly sweet, yet it's luscious. Acidity helps balance, and the flower blossom, green apple, peach, mineral and petrol flavors love that honeyed edge. Just lovely, and a great buy:"
- S.H., Wine Enthusiast, September 2007 Download PDF

"Heady, perfumed nose of orange rind and almond. Medium bodied on the palate and balanced flavors of honey plus hints of rose and peach pit; slightly short, sweet finish. Prosciutto with black pepper toasts; smoked trout with cucumber salad and chives."
- Sante, September 2007 Download PDF

2004 Vintage
"Two slightly sweeter styles hail from California s cool Monterey area. The 2004 Mandolin Monterey Riesling is fuller, fleshier and showcases ripe pear notes."
- Leslie Sbrocco, "Bargain Wines: Be thankful for these great values", San Francisco Chronicle, 11/17/06 Download PDF

Chardonnay Monterey
2014 Vintage
88 points
"Smooth and lush with juicy style and tangy acidity; balanced and rich."
- Tasting Panel, October-November 2014 Download PDF

2012 Vintage
85 points - Best Buy
"This is your basic California Chardonnay with oak, orange, Meyer lemon, and papaya flavors. Produced without malolactic fermentaon, the palate is vibrant with acidity."
- Wine Enthusiast, March 2014 Download PDF

88 points
"Clean and smooth with soft fruit and vanilla oak notes; juicy, long and balanced."
- Anthony Dias Blue, The Tasting Panel, January 2014 Download PDF

2007 Vintage
86 points - Value & By-The-Glass Recommendations
"Crisp acidity and laser-pure fruit immediately characterize this as a Central Coast Chardonnay. It's not a blockbuster, but with zesty pineapple, apricot and peach flavors, it's a great buy at this price."
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Buying Guide, February 2009 Download PDF

2005 Vintage
85 points - Best Buy
"Pretty good wine for 10 bucks. It's dry and crisp, in the Monterey style, with good citrus fruit and mineral flavors that are accented by sweet oak."
- Wine Enthusiast, October 2007 Download PDF

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