The Manzonis have been farmers in the Salinas Valley since their arrival from the Swiss-Ialian Alps in the 1920s. The family’s current owner Mark Manzoni (pictured below with his wife Sabrina and consulting winemaker, David Coventry) farms 6 acres of vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands [SLH]. The Manzoni estate vineyard is located in the cool, northern part of the SLH, which offers excellent growing conditions for Pinot Noir and other varieties.
The Manzoni winery, is a friendly boutique winery that produces about 2,000 cases annually. The Manzoni wines are of excellent quality, and their portfolio consists of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Syrah, and Port produced with the assistance of consulting winemaker, David Coventry. We first tasted the wines of the Manzoni family back in 2009 when we prepared our Report #20 The Santa Lucia Highlands: Unique Terroir, Marvelous Wines. We are delighted to be reviewing the wines once again and seeing the excellent progress that has been made.
Manzoni 2012 Chardonnay North Highlands Cuvee Santa Lucia Highlands ($30) 89 The Manzoni Chardonnay North Highlands Cuvee exhibits aromas of orchard fruit, notes of citrus, and herbs with hints of toasted oak. On the palate it is nicely balanced with a crisp texture, good acidity and a persistent dry finish. Manzoni 2012 Pinot Gris Santa Lucia Highlands ($26) 88 The 2012 Pinot Gris offers light aromas of stone fruit and hints of minierals. On the palate it is fresh and crisp tasting with steely flavors and a dry finish. Manzoni 2012 Pinot Gris “North Highlands Cuvee” Santa Lucia Highlands ($26) 88 The 2012 Pinot Gris is sourced from the Franscioni Vineyard, one of the few estates in the Santa Lucia Highlands that grows Pinot Gris. The wine offers light aromas of stone fruit and apple with hints of toast. On the palate it is fresh and crisp tasting with steely flavors and a dry finish. Manzoni 2011 Pinot Noir Home Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands ($35) 90 The 2011 Pinot Noir Home Vineyard is a fruit forward highly aromatic wine offering black cherry fruit with a hint of earth. Aged for 10 months in new and one-year old French oak, it is round and flavorful with a rich mouth feel and good concentration on the palate. Well done.Manzoni 2011 Pinot Noir Estate Reserve Santa Lucia Highlands ($60) 91+ The 2011 Pinot Noir Estate Reserve is a notch up on the Pinot Noir Home Vineyard. A somewhat bigger wine than the Pinot Noir Home Vineyard, it is fruit forward and aromatic, offering good depth of dark cherry, raspberry and plum flavors. Aged in French oak, this barrel selection is nicely balanced with soft round tannins, good acidity and a long finish.
Manzoni Vineyards has a tasting room in Carmel as well as at the winery. Tel. 831 596 0183
Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler