92 Points - Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
Mindego Ridge is a 10-acre family owned, family farmed vineyard perched on the shale-laced mountain slope that is its namesake. About 8.7 acres of the property is being used for Pinot Noir and the rest of the vineyard produces Chardonnay. With a typical yield of about 2 tons per acre, wines are made in small lots with a focus on artisanal methods and a non-interventionist style of wine making, i.e. hand sorting, native yeast fermentation, hand punch-down, no fining and no filtration. They have implemented a comprehensive farming program to achieve optimal vine health and fruit quality, adopting best practices from organic, sustainable and biodynamic farming disciplines. This commitment, in concert with soil, sun and rain, produces an authentic expression of what Mindego Ridge's unique terroir has to say.
Winemaker Ehren Jordan began his career with a two year apprenticeship in the Rhone, followed by years of making wines for Neyers Vineyards and Turley Wine Cellars. Ehren and his wife Anne-Marie Failla founded Failla in 1998 and since then have built a winery and caves in St. Helena, as well as a reputation around a growing portfolio of wines that include Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays influenced by Ehren's viticultural training in France. In 2008, the San Francisco Chronicle named Ehren "Winemaker of the Year". When Ehren Jordan first laid eyes on Mindego Ridge, he knew that he had found the Santa Cruz Mountain property that he had been seeking.
The Santa Cruz Mountains are known for their unique terroir. Bordered by two bodies of water, the Pacific to the west and San Francisco Bay to the east, the high altitude vineyards enjoys a unique climatic zone where California’s late season heat spikes are moderated, yielding wines of extraordinary balance and intense concentration. In fact, it was one of the first California appellations to be defined by mountain topography.
Crafted from 100% estate grown Pinot Noir from their home vineyard, 8 miles from the Pacific in the Santa Cruz Mountains and aged for 11 months in 25% new and 75% neutral French oak barrels, Mindego Ridge Pinot Noir is bottled unfined and unfiltered. An elegant nose of pomegranate, strawberry and Bing cherry leads to a medium bodied palate brimming with notes of cherry, raspberry and vanilla. A delicate touch of spices and floral note merges with silky tannins and satisfying acidity on the finish.
"The 2013 Pinot Noir is juicy, forward and much more open-knit than most Santa Cruz Mountains Pinots, with the fruit very much front and center. Silky, polished tannins wrap around an expressive core of sweet raspberry, kirsch, spices and flowers. The 2013 stands out for its striking aromatics, racy personality and terrific overall balance. Winemaker Ehren Jordan gave the 2013 11 months in French oak barrels, 25% new" - Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
Product of California
Alcohol by Volume: 13.7%