Mariah Vineyard is set
in Mendocino Ridge, a remote and higher elevation appellation that is sort of
the wild west of Pinot Noir growing in Mendocino County. While the area of the AVA is over 250,000 acres,
the only suitable land for grape-growing is above 1,200 feet elevation and
currently about 75 or so acres are currently planted to wine grapes.
Originally planted primarily with Syrah and Zinfandel by husband and wife growers Dan Dooling and Vicki Tomola, the vineyard has more Pinot Noir and also a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc. It is the only vineyard with dry-farmed Sauvignon Blanc planted in the Mendocino Ridge appellation. The clone is the Entave French Clone #376 and was planted in 1997. We were fortunate enough to get one ton of Sauvignon Blanc for our first effort in making a white wine (our limited-run Pinot Noir Blanc was made by Phil Baxter).
We're very pleased with the outcome, all 44 cases of it. The wine shows pale lemon-green in the glass with an intense nose of pea shoots, lime, charentais melon, and chamomile. Bone dry on the palate, the wine’s fresh citrus and grassy flavors are supported by the zippy acidity that carries through to the finish. This wine screams for summer fare like halibut with herb butter or pasta with mint and peas. Drink now and over the next 2-3 years.
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