Grape(s): 68% Carignane, 26% Grenache, 6% Syrah
Localization: Mendocino, California, USA
Tasting Notes: Black cassis, leather, sweet anise, focused black cherry, whisps of methol. On the palate an element of truth emerges, with fruit layered in an "old world" meets "new world" style. Meaning, this is living somewhere between two distinct winemaking styles, giving both fruit and softness to the new world lovers, and earth and grit to the old world lovers. It's a beautiful match-up. "Zero Manipulation" indicates that the wine was made in the vineyard, focusing on the health of the Tollini Vineyard, and in the cellar minimal intervention. Indigenous yeasts, unfined and unfiltered. Blend of Carignane, Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah.
The Domain: The Tollini Vineyard is located in Mendocino County's Redwood Valley and has been in the Tollini family for three generations, now in the hands of Alvin Tollini. The Mendo Blendo is made up of predominantly Petit Sirah, where the vines are traditionally head trained and dry farmed. The Carignan blocks were originally planted by Alvin Tollini’s father and grandfather and old-vine, low yielding Carignan remains from the original plantings and produces concentrated, flavoursome fruit. Alvin’s father added to the acreage after he returned from WWII. The Syrah and Grenache were planted by Alvin using the same time-honoured techniques and sustainable approach and they add layers of depth, complexity and balance to the blend. The vines are planted on southwest facing benches in the Redwood Valley and are cultivated with a meticulously sustainable approach. The only treatment used in the vineyard is sulphur dusting, if required, and the vines are harvested by hand.
The gentlest winemaking techniques were employed to maximise flavours, aromas and the original essence of the grapes from the given vineyard and vintage. Spontaneous fermentation took place with natural yeasts and punch-downs and rackings to help the wine develop. The wine was then barrel-aged for 22 months in 18% new American oak, 22% two-year old European oak and 60% neutral barrels.