Mandolin Wines specializes in vineyards from the large Central Coast AVA that stretches through a agriculturally rich swath of California.
Both of these are great values, and were produced at sufficient quantities that they should be easy to find as you begin the new year with a stack of holiday bills waiting for you.
2012 Mandolin Chardonnay
$10, 13.4% abv.
1,248 cases produced
This Chardonnay was aged on French oak for 10 months, but did not go through malolactic fermentation, so it's not a stereotypical California Chard. The result is a fruit-forward wine with elements of apricot and peach, light acidity, and a slightly nutty finish. I found it to be delightful with snacks like roasted pistachios and smoked cheddar.
2012 Mandolin Pinot Noir
100% Pinot Noir
$12, 14.6% abv.
6,954 cases produced
Light strawberry aroma with touches of pencil shavings and cedar, tart acidity, long cherry finish. An excellent pairing for roast duck and roasted winter vegetables.
Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.