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Mandolin Merlot 2012

ID No: 442154
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Mandolin Merlot 2015

Mandolin Merlot is 100 percent Merlot

With its maritime influence, California's Central Coast region has an extended growing season that yields wines with full flavor development and great acid balance. Mandolin Merlot features ripe cherry fruit complemented by hints of spice and vanilla from nicely integrated oak.

Arietta Hudson Vineyards Merlot 2012

Produced from the oldest planting of grapes on Lee Hudson’s heralded vineyard in the Napa Carneros, this latest offering of Arietta Merlot is one for the ages. Certainly a classic vintage, 2012 delivered fruit with brilliant purity, structure, and a strong sense of place. This unique—one might say historic—block of Merlot shows the best that this variety has to offer in California. Well-proportioned, fresh, flavorful, dark and complex, this wine is sure to impress lovers of Pomerol, and show that California is capable of producing Merlot wines with strength, yes, but also nuance, delicacy, and multiple layers of interest. This wine should continue to open and develop over the next decade, and age gracefully for another decade or two.


Review:

Arietta's 2012 Merlot emerges from the oldest vines on Lee Hudson's vineyard in Carneros. A dark, super-expressive wine, the Merlot is endowed with serious depth, power and structure. Brambly red fruit, smoke, tobacco and grilled herbs emerge from a surprisingly big, structured wine that should drink well for many, many years. -Antonio Galloni Vinous 95 points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 95
Xavier Vignon Vacqueyras 2012

Tasting Notes:   Purple and ruby notes. Fine and silky nose with subtle notes of raspberry, liquorice and vanilla. Great structure, flexible and round tannins, pleasant smooth, long finish.


Review:

Possessing slightly more texture and depth than the Gigondas, the 2012 Vacqueyras is another wine from this team that shows it terroir beautifully. Ripe, upfront, medium to full-bodied and voluptuous, it gives up beautiful dark berry fruit, violets, licorice and herbs on the nose. It too should drink beautifully over the coming 7-8 years.

This is another impressive lineup from oenolgist Xavier Vignon, who works with the likes of Raymond Usseglio, Le Nerthe, Marcoux and Grand Veneur, to name a few. These are all negociant wines, but they obviously have access to some serious vineyard, and the winemaking is impeccable. Looking at these latest releases, his 2013s buck the vintage stereotype with their ripe, textured profiles, and his 2012s are certainly up with some of the top wines of the vintage as well. In addition, prices remain more than reasonable here. If you haven’t yet discovered these wines, now is a great time. As a side note, I’m halfway through a case of his 2007 Châteauneuf du Pape, with every wine showing brilliantly. These can drink nicely in their youth, yet age beautifully as well. - Wine Advocate 91 Points

 Wine Advocate: 91
Product Description

Mandolin Merlot 2012 is 100 percent Merlot

With its maritime influence, California's Central Coast region has an extended growing season that yields wines with full flavor development and great acid balance. Mandolin Merlot features ripe cherry fruit complemented by hints of spice and vanilla from nicely integrated oak.

Winery: Mandolin

The Mandolin Estate
Mandolin is a collaboration between veteran winemaker Philip Zorn and longtime wine executive Brent Shortridge. Bringing together their previously established relationships with winegrowers in California's Monterey County, Zorn and Shortridge have created wines that stand out for their balance, finesse and distinct varietal character, as well as their sense of place. Mandolin wines are internationally recognized as outstanding values.

A mandolin is a member of the lute family; similar to a guitar, it is plucked or strummed.

The
Mandolin Vineyard
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 11 months prior to bottling.

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Organic/Free Shipping


Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 


The 2013 Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard may be even better. Notes of caramelized citrus, hazelnut, apple blossom, lemon oil and orange marmalade are all present in this wine of dazzling aromatic and flavor dimension. It is full-bodied, again shows some wet pebbles (which I equate with minerality), vibrant acidity, and no real evidence of any oak. Much like the 2012, the finish goes on for 45+ seconds. This is another killer Chardonnay from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. -Wine Advocate 100 Points

What an extraordinary tasting this was at the Marcassin winery just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. Just when you think the duo of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer can’t make greater wines, they bowl over the taster with an array of exquisite quality that really must be tasted to be believed. Marcassin was probably California’s greatest Chardonnay after the famous Chalone winery fell from the pinnacle and onto hard times in the 1980s (and it has yet to rebound). Moreover, Marcassin set the bar for great Pinot Noir as well. And while both their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have many competitors these days (from the likes of Harford Court, Mark Aubert, Kistler, Kongsgaard, DuMol, Thomas Brown, Peter Michael, Martinelli and Luc Morlet, to name a few), John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley remain the reigning geniuses of these two varietals in California. Certainly, their meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and in the winemaking and élevage account for the quality, but they were among the pioneers who saw the unlimited potential from the Sonoma Coast, now a relatively crowded neighborhood. This was a remarkable tasting that simply blew me away, and I have been following their wines since the first Marcassins were made in the early 1990s. By the way, any doubts about aging potential should be crushed immediately, as even in the most challenging vintages in California, Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinots have aged as well as, if not better than just about any grand cru white Burgundy. For example, 1995 and 1996 Chardonnays, particularly those from the Lorenzo Vineyard, are incredibly youthful and dynamic, and the Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir, even from vintages such as 1998, is simply amazing. The three Chardonnays tasted include two perfect wines. Perhaps the closest comparison is not to anything made in California, but a Corton-Charlemagne in a top vintage from the famous Jean François Coche-Dury.



 Wine Advocate: 100