The Mina Penélope Estate
- All wines are made from organically grown estate vineyards tucked into a tight fold on the valley wall of Valle de Guadalupe.
- Production is minuscule; everything is done by hand by a husband and wife team who are the definition of the passion one finds in the small growers of the region.
- Vineyard site is 15 years old and Nathaniel Malagon who tends the vineyards comes from one of the oldest grape growing families in Valle de Guadalupe.
- Winemaker Veronica Santiago is one of the most well respected winemakers in the valley and her pallet has shown itself in blind tastings to be one of the best. The wines she and Nathaniel are making are at once elegant, informed, and remarkably rustic old world in style. These wines follow closely the natural wine making style championed in the Loire and Saone valleys and emulate closely the body compositions and flavor profiles of the wines made in this area with minimal intervention.
Total production: 8 wines, 800 cases
2020 Amber - Mina Penélope
Tasting Notes and Drinking Window:
“Amber” or “orange” wines are all the rage right now, but few are executing the concept as well as Veronica Santiago from Mina Penélope. The process is to essentially use white skinned grapes to make a wine in the fashion of a red wine which leaves the skin and seeds in with the juice during fermentation. The result is a wine with an orange hue and aromatics and flavors that you won’t find in a white wine made from the same grapes. In this amber made of Sauvignon blanc, for example, you find black tea and stone fruits such as apricot and white peach in a combination so perfumed it’s difficult to tease out the individual notes. In the mouth the wine is light bodied but vigorous with tannic structure that makes it one of the most interesting of pairing wines.
Those familiar with this estate’s first amber release in 2019 will find in this vintage a more rounded palate whose tea and floral notes are ratcheted up slightly to strike a different balance with the fruit. Both are excellent and show that this is a wine we won’t see leaving the estate’s lineup any time soon.
Only 70 cases made
Drinking window: Now - 4 years
100% Sauvignon Blanc (extended skin contact for 11 days)
Veronica Santiago - Mexican
Valle de Guadalupe, ejido of San Antonio de Las Minas - Estate vineyards are planted at 900 ft elevation, 2 miles from the Pacific, decomposed granite and clay soils.
Grapes were destemmed and fermented in open top tanks with skins and seeds for 11 days. After this time the wine was aged in stainless steel tanks for 3 months and stirred lightly every 15 days to soften the tannins and round out the mouthfeel.
Sulfites: 34 ppm