I am strictly a Pinot Noir specialist who also likes and reviews Chardonnay, but also reviews a number of
interesting white wines that are submitted to me when I have time. Recently, I received three white wines
under the Mandolina label from Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards and Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley. Mandolina
wines are Cal-Ital varietals, inexpensively priced, that are perfect for casual drinking and partying. The labels
and packaging send a message that wine is fun and readily enjoyable. The following three wines are from the
2009 vintage and have yet to be released, but worth a look for summer entertaining and outdoor dining. With
low alcohols, the wines are perfect when chilled and offered as an aperitif or as a compliment to light summer
fare. Check in periodically at the website of Lucas & Lewellen at www.llwine.com for availability. The
winemaker is Megen McGrath.
2009 mandolina Santa Barbara County Moscato
12.4% alc.. Sourced from
orange muscat grapes. Slight residual sugar.
Appealing aromas of orange tea
and orange flower water with a hint of hay and clove. Respectable richness on
the palate of orange marmalade, orange tea, and spice flavors that are slightly
sweet. Clean and refreshing on the finish. Good.
2009 mandolina Santa Barbara County Muscat Canelli
10.1% alc.. Italian
muscat grape that is used in stilland sparkling wines. Sourced from the winery’s
Los Alamos Vineyard.
The nose starts off with spices, cucumber, sawdust and
hay, developing interest over time with more fruit including peaches and stewed
apples, as well as floral lilac. Dry and tasty with juicy flavors of guava, linalool
and passion fruit that linger on the finish. Would be great with prosciuttowrapped
melon. A big plus is that you can enjoy a few glasses of this without
getting sideways. Very good.