Big Mendocino vibes from the wine club this month! Really enjoying both of these bottles, and really admire both of the producers.
For white, we've got a fantastic estate field blend from Athan Poulos of Lolonis Family Wines. The Lolonis Vineyard has been in Athan's wife's family since 1920, and a few years back he and his wife purchased it and really invested in reviving the property. They've long been CCOF certified, but under their stewardship the vineyard has become a sought-after fruit source for many of California's up and coming producers. We've sold wine from Kenny at Hobo (Valdiguié) off this property, but folks like Lioco, Les Lunes and Gearhead are recurring purchasers of their fruit.
Athan's become a friend, and in the early days of the pandemic when it was impossible to do anything, he let us trek up to the property and have a couple big weekend camping trips there. Highlights included catching an inedible bass from a local lake, a brutally hot hike around Lake Mendocino, and otherwise excellent times in great company.
They don't make much wine, but this is the second time we've been fortunate enough to snag some of their in-house production. It's a field blend of 70% Chardonnay, 25% Sauvignon Blanc, and 5% Semillon. A wine needs to be 75% of a specific varietal to be labeled as such, and so it's a blend! While I love Athan's Chardonnays (we released one last year), I'm really enjoying the nuances of this blend. The Chardonnay is on the leaner side, showing bright green apple acidity and crispness. The Sauvignon Blanc also brings acid, but there's a softness to the citrus quality of the fruit that I find to have a slight balancing effect. I adore Semillon as a grape on its own, but in this bottling a little bit goes a long way, and really helps give the wine texture, balance, and some roundness. This is a perfect summer sipper, ideal with or without food, and we don't have too much of it. Should you want more, let me know ASAP :)
For red, we were able to snag a bit more of the 2020 Mendocino County Malbec we released from Ron Sutton of Bells Echo Vineyard a year ago. Located three miles west of Hopland, Bells Echo was originally part of the Sanel Valley Rancho, which settled the property in 1844 to graze cattle. The first vines were planted 50 years ago, and today the property has over 50 acres planted.
They are also primarily a seller of fruit, but make exceptional wines in their own right. When I sold this wine a year ago, I noted that it was a bit youthful at first taste, and could benefit from a bit of decanting prior to enjoying. I find that a year later it has settled nicely into its own, and is showing beautifully right now. While Argentine Malbecs can sometimes be a bit over-the-top tannic for my palate, this cooler climate expression of the grape is much more my speed. They also farm with organic practices, which I'm trying to move more exclusively towards in my little way of helping the world. I hope you enjoy the wines, and links to purchase will be up shortly!