Mindego Ridge Chardonnay & Pinot
Last week we had the great pleasure of a visit from Dave and Stacey Gollnick, owners of California's Mindego Ridge, and we spent a most interesting and educational afternoon with them and their wines. In 1998 the couple purchased a 40-acre hillside meadow on the shale-laced slope of Mindego Ridge in the coastal northwest corner of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. Their small estate vineyard is ideally suited for cool climate grapes and is nestled among some of California's most compelling names including neighboring Rhys and Ridge Vineyards. In this unique climatic zone just 8 miles from the coast, California's late season heat spikes are moderated by the cooling breezes of the Pacific Ocean and the large diurnal swings between warm days and cool nights. A mere 1.3 acres of Mindego Ridge is planted to Chardonnay with a slightly larger 8.7 acres dedicated to Pinot Noir.
In a bit of serendipity and good timing, a working relationship between the Gollnicks and renowned Failla winemaker/proprietor Ehren Jordan led to them bringing Jordan aboard as Mindego Ridge winemaker for their first commercial release in 2013 and together they have already begun notching some big scores with a bright future very much ahead for this estate. The 2016 vintage was an emphatic success as Jordan not only bottled an incredibly elegant Pinot Noir that shows noticeable restraint but also a delightful Chardonnay that we all found to have bright acidity and a lovely brioche note to go along with a touch of tropical fruit. Thanks to their relatively low profile in the Santa Cruz Mountains and distribution in only a few US states, Mindego Ridge manages to remain one of the best kept secrets in northern California but this is a producer to keep an eye on in the coming vintages -- especially considering how difficult it can be to find Pinot Noir and Chardonnay of this quality for under $50. With Chicago being one of the few markets to have access to the Mindego Ridge wines, we are very pleased to share the 2016 Estate Pinot Noir and Estate Chardonnay with our TCWC mailing list this afternoon. Both wines are currently in stock and available for local pickup, storage, or shipment across the US this Fall.