2014 Mindego Ridge "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

SKU #1330459 94 points Vinous

 The 2014 Chardonnay is one of the most distinctive wines being made in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Graphite, smoke, peach, mint and honey give the 2014 much of its exotic flair. Dramatic in both its flavors and phenolic intensity, the 2014 is absolutely gorgeous. The aromatics are slightly reductive, so I would give the 2014 a good bit of air. There is no question the 2014 is a stunning wine, although it shows the most extroverted, flamboyant side of what is possible in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Chardonnay from Mindego Ridge comes from a tiny 1.5-acre parcel and spent 11 months in mostly neutral French oak. Beautiful notes of white peach, pineapple, exotic flowers and hints of mint all flow from this medium to full-bodied, rich, layered, gorgeous Chardonnay that has excellent freshness and vibrancy. Like all 2014s, its upfront and ready to go, with tons of fruit. Drink it over the coming couple of years. The Gollnick family continues to make a brilliant Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the estate Mindego Ridge Vineyard. There's not much of these to go around, but they're well worth the extra effort to track down!

K&L Notes

Winery Notes: "Forward, rich aromas of yellow squash, melon, lemon curd, pineapple, lily and roasted nuts with balanced alcohol and subtle oak. Medium plus body with concentrated flavors of ripe pear, fuji apple, tangerine and honeydew melon along with underlying minerality with juicy acidity and a long finish. Drinks beautifully now but will continue to develop over the next 2-3 years. 100% estate grown Chardonnay from our 1.3 acre home vineyard, 8 miles from the Pacific in the Santa Cruz Mountains. To preserve the character of both the vineyard and vintage, the grapes are whole-cluster pressed directly to 15% new, 75% neutral French oak and 10% stainless steel. The wine is fermented with indigenous yeast followed by native ML fermentation, with 11 months on lees. This gentle process provides us a stable wine requiring neither fining nor filtration before bottling. 343 cases made."

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Price: $39.99

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Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/16/2017 | Send Email
Tasting this next to the Domaine Eden Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay was a real eye-opener because while the Eden had the richness and the weight, the Mindego Ridge had all that creaminess, but with vibrant acidity, accents of savory herbs, and minerality in one helluva complex ride from start to finish. It's everything I wish more California Chardonnays could be: full-boded and lush, but without ever sacrificing freshness or secondary flavor. This is a home run of a wine and I'm definitely putting Mindego Ridge on my shortlist of wineries to watch.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/16/2017 | Send Email
I love how both of the 2014 offerings from Mindego Ridge offer up a perfect synthesis of varietal and place. This wine is hand-picked from the estate's tiny 1.3 acre planting of Chardonnay. The wine expresses beautiful ripeness with golden orchard and stone fruit charters. A supple, soft texture on the palate, the wine is rich and mouth-filling. Into the finish the wines' cool climate Santa Cruz Mountain aspect shines through with beautiful focus, glistening saline minerality and lovely line and length. The oak handling is very subtle and alcohol perfect balanced at 13.7%. A stunning, pristine wine that perfect illustrates how special the Santa Cruz Mountains are.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.