The last of the 2020 wines have made it to barrel and we are transitioning to our regular fall rhythm. We love these cooler and calmer days in the cellar and are enjoying following the evolution of the new wines.
New Release Wines
We are pleased to announce the fall release of three new wines, including our Thanksgiving pick - the 2018 Mindego Ridge Pinot Noir. The pure deep fruit will go great with turkey and gravy and all the sides.
Our fall wine release has our first Cabernet Sauvignon from the historic Bates Ranch, the single-vineyard Pinot Noir from Mindego Ridge, and a Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay assembled with barrels from some of our favorite sites. You can enjoy the new release by joining the club to get special pricing, or buying these 3 online.
The three new wines include:
2018 Mindego Ridge Pinot Noir
We are thrilled to be working with fruit farmed by Dave and Stacey Gollnick at Mindego Ridge Vineyards. The partnership with Dave and Stacey was a big driving force to us to launching Sandar & Hem in 2018. This steep rocky shale site just a few miles from the ocean near the town of La Honda yields fruit of stunning quality. Four pinot noir clones 828, 777, 667, and 943 were fermented with 20% whole-clusters and 80% destemmed whole berries. This wine was aged 18 months in barrel on lees with 20% new oak (Barrel Maker: Billon, Forest: Allier, Toast: Medium Long).
Antonio Galloni of Vinous Media recently reviewed this wine, giving it a 93 point score, and wrote: “A burst of sweet red cherry fruit, blood orange, mint and rose petal is immediately captivating. Medium in body, translucent, and wonderfully deep, the 2018 is positively stellar. Savory accents from the whole clusters and a touch of new oak frame the finish. The 2018 is breathtakingly beautiful.”
This is our Thanksgiving meal pick, and we also suggest starting with one of our Chardonnays or a bottle of the Grenache rosé.
2019 Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay
This chardonnay is a blend of three of our favorite vineyard sites including Mindego Ridge Vineyard, Bald Mountain, and Bruzzone Vineyard. This wine spent a bit less time aging than our single-vineyard chardonnays with 10 months in barrel and two months in stainless steel and highlights the fresh side of chardonnay with vibrant high-tone aromatics including notes of lime peel, Asian pear, and flint with a refreshing spine of zingy acidity on the palate typical of these cool-climate sites. A touch of toast from a bit of new oak (Barrel Maker: Damy, Forest: Allier, Toast: Long Light) and an inviting creaminess plays counterpoint into the long finish.
2018 Bates Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon
Bates Ranch is another one of our favorite sites and has been farmed by the Bates family for four generations. This historic site is on a rocky slope facing Mount Madonna near Watsonville and our fruit comes from two adjacent blocks including a beautiful old-vine block planted in the early 1970s. The destemmed whole-berry fruit was fermented and aged for 22 months in 25% new French oak (Barrel Maker: Mercier, Forest: Limosin, Toast: Medium). This wine has a pure and elegant profile with classic Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet notes of currants, balsam fir, chaparral, and spring flowers. Complex, layered and balanced, with fine tannins, it stays graceful and pure on the palate with great transparency and length. We expect it to drink well for more than a decade but its polished structure can be enjoyed now with a short decant or a bit of time in the glass. Try it with a burger, your favorite aged cheese, or ahi tuna.
We look forward to sharing the new wines with you and hope you get a chance to enjoy them through the holidays. Feel free to reach out to us, we are happy to hear from you!
Stay safe. Stay well.
The Sandar & Hem Team