Eight miles inland from the Pacific Ocean atop a ridge of fractured Purisima Shale lies the Mindego Ridge Vineyard. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are at home here on steep, southern facing slopes benefiting from a heavily marine-influenced climate, producing wines of intense minerality, complexity, and character. A striking and well-layered nose combines mineral reduction with fresh citrus and just-ripe pineapple, opening up to notes of green almond, hazelnut, and fennel. On the palate, the wine is deep, complex, and very mineral in personality, bracing with nerve yet beautifully elegant. The combination of punch and finesse rockets through the finish, as the citrus and tree-fruit core gives way to the subtlety of roasted nuts and crushed rocks.
“The 2018 Chardonnay Mindego Ridge is a wine of body and texture. There is plenty of the energy that distinguishes all of the Sandar & Hem wines, but the Mindego Ridge Chardonnay has a good bit of mid-palate richness and weight as well. Light tropical accents and a kiss of new oak add to its racy, extroverted personality. It, too, will benefit from several hours of aeration.” 93 points 2020-2026 – Antonio Galloni
There is a lot to be excited about for this new brand, including this very Chablis-like bottling from a mountaintop vineyard planted on fractured shale. Pristine aromas of chalk, lime blossom, yuzu sorbet and spearmint are quite fascinating. The palate is framed by a chalky tension and loaded with crushed oyster-shell flavors as well as under ripe apricot, nectarine and lemon rind.
EDITOR’S CHOICE, Wine Enthusiast MATT KETTMANN RATING 94
Aging Fermented and raised in French oak barrels (20% new) for 12 months, then 6 months in stainless steel