Like the strings on an heirloom mandolin caressed by an experienced musician, two 2012 Mandolin varietals are meant to be enjoyed and remembered.
Both selections –the cabernet sauvignon and syrah – were sourced from the Central Coast AVA were dry winds and ocean fog nurture and challenge the grapes.
Due to the maritime influence, the 2012 syrah ($10, yes, really) from California’s Monterey region enjoyed an extended growing season that yields wines with great, full flavor development and acid balance.
Its intense, dark red color and powerful flavor is the opening act. Blueberry and blackberry fruit is at the heart of the varietal supported by layers of spice, vanilla notes and luscious plum flavors.
Pour this with grilled and barbecued meats or fish or poultry that are very light on sauces.
Mandolin’s 2012 lush cabernet sauvignon ($12, yes, really) from Hames Valley and Paso Robles is the result of perfect growing conditions, from high winds and ocean fog.) After harvesting, the wine was fermented in stainless steel and later in French oak barrels.
Deep red purple in the glass, the cab explodes with strong notes of black currant and cherry fruit framed by nicely integrated oak.
Serve this along side lamb, loaded burgers or grilled Portabella mushrooms.