WHY: The Sandhi wines are not only some of the purest and most delicious expressions of chardonnay and pinot noir from California's Central Coast, they are incredible values given that all the fruit is farmed organically, and the wines are made with as little manipulation as possible—no sulfur, no temperature control, no inoculation. The 2019 Central Coast Chardonnay is a refreshing, balanced, cool climate white, fermented in barrel with no inoculation, with plenty of fruit and richness, bolstered by vibrant acidity.
HOW: This is a special vintage as it marks the first time all of the grapes that went into this wine were all from the Domaine de la Côte estate. It’s a big step-up this vintage is in terms of complexity, ageability, and nuance because Sandhi controlled all the farming. This wine leads with a faint nose of reduction and flinty minerality. Rich notes of custard and lees mix with smoky notes of crushed rock and ocean spray. The tension on the palate offers a lively wine with textural richness that will age well for decades.
WHAT: Sandhi is the joint venture between Michael Mina wine director Raj Parr and winemaker Sashi Moorman, who made wine at Ojai and Stolpman and now runs Piedrasassi. The collaboration started when Raj was looking for a by-the-glass Chardonnay at his RN74 restaurant and worked directly with Sashi to create the exact wine he was looking for. In 2007, Raj and Sashi purchased a vineyard site in the Santa Rita Hills and planted it with pinot noir cuttings from the Swan, Calera, and Mount Eden vineyards. They named it Domaine de la Côte and today the wines from the estate are some of the most coveted in the industry. In 2010, they founded Sandhi.