I have been enjoying wine from Turley for years so when I heard about their winemaker Tegan Passalacqua’s personal project called Sandlands Vineyards, I had to try it. From what I can gather, Tegan and his wife Olivia created Sandlands to highlight forgotten California varieties that they think are well-deserving of more attention. Currently, they produce interesting wines such as Matero, Trousseau Noir, and Chenin Blanc from different vineyards throughout California. I had the chance to try Sandlands 2010 Mataro last week and it was outstanding.
Sandlands 2010 Mataro is 100% Mataro (Mourvedre for those of you wondering) sourced from two vineyards, one in Contra Costa County and the other in Amador County. The wine is fermented whole-cluster with indigenous yeasts and bottled unfined and unfiltered. At 13.6% alcohol, it retails for $33.
Sandlands Mataro opens with aromas of dark fruit, graphite, and spice. The wine is well-structured and incredibly balanced. There are bright layers of dark fruit and earth along with some interesting floral notes that seem to evolve with time. Alive and inspired, this wine will reach its stride with a few more years in the bottle!
After tasting the Mataro, I am going to make it my mission to try the rest of the Sandlands portfolio. Definitely a brand to keep on your radar!