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2018 Mindego Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir
A generous mix of plum and cherry fruits with sage, damp earth, and violets. This juicy, Pinot has plenty of upfront appeal and will drink well over the next ten years.
Mindego Ridge Vineyard is located at the western end of Alpine Rd. near the town of La Honda. It is a perfectly exposed south facing hillside in a very cool spot. Planted in 2009, the nine acres of Pinot Noir here are lovingly farmed by Dave and Stacey Gollnick. The clay loam over shale soils produce wines of great intensity. This is one of the more exciting new plantings in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The 2018 vintage started with the cool, mildly inclement springtime that we are reluctantly becoming accustomed to here at the north end of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Unlike 2015, however, the cool weather didn't severely hamper flowering, and when clusters began to form we found a nearly perfect number of small clusters throughout the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards at the northern estate and close to a "normal" (whatever that means these days) crop load at the Gist vineyard with the "Bordeaux" grapes. We really prefer a smaller crop, particularly with Pinot Noir, as it ensures intensity and concentration in the berries at harvest. The growing season saw mild temperatures and harvesting began in Gist's "Will's Cabin" vineyard on September 5 and we began picking the northern estate on September 12 with Razorback. It is typical for us to pick Pinot Noir before anything else, but it's unusual to pick the Gist vineyards first. In the bottle, we can expect exceptionally balanced wines with very nice intensity. Noteworthy, perhaps, in the 2018 vintage would be the Chardonnay wines (all of them) for purity and energy that (improbably) raises the bar once again, as our Estate vineyards show their age with edgy, cantankerous intensity. Also, the "Lexington" Cabernet Sauvignon from Gist vineyard continues to impress and evolve as seven years on from the first vintage we see slightly softer tannins and balanced intensity in youth. All the 2018 wines are probably more drinkable in youth than some recent vintages (2015 comes to mind), but still very cellar-worthy with the potential to age for many years. In many ways, 2018 is a "Goldilox" vintage, with enough balance to be enjoyed upon release but with the intensity and structure to lay down for a special treat years down the road.
Santa Cruz Mountains
Food Pairing Notes
Intriguing aromas of tar, nori, and juniper float above the core of blistered plums on the nose of this bottling. The bay leaf and green-sansho-pepper elements are prominent on the sip, spicing up the underripe currant and cranberry flavors, leaving the palate with a menthol sensation.