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Mignanelli Highlands Ranch Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
  • WE91
14.2% ABV
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14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Highlands ranch is an 18 acre ranch that’s planted to a variety of Pinot Noir clones. At the foothills of the Los Padres Mountains this cool weather site with gravel laced sandy loam soils produce wonderful California Pinot Noir. At this price point, this wine represents value to Pinot Noir drinkers – one of the winery’s primary goals of this bottling.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This bottling, which used 40% whole clusters and 20% new French oak, shows delicate red cherry and dark cranberry fruit, with gingerbread spice and hibiscus on the layered nose. The palate is full of tangy red plum and cranberry flavors, with touches of licorice, sage and thyme.
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Mignanelli Winery

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Mignanelli Winery, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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Mignanelli Winery was founded in 2011 and is based outside the town of Sonoma, California. Winemaker and owner, Byron Mignanelli, crafts distinvtive small lot Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Byron’s winemaking philosophy focuses on the vineyard and showcasing the unique time and place of each vintage rather than modern day production techniques. We strongly believe at Mignanelli Winery that the best wines are vine to table.

Mignanelli sources fruit from Santa Maria Valley to the Eola-Amity Hills of Willamette Valley. We’re lucky to work with some amazing sites and winegrowers who are focused on long-term sustainable practices. We are very strict with how we choose our vineyards - seeking unique soils, climates and growers who share our vision of creating organic and biodynamic vineyards. Mignanelli is lucky to also be sourcing fruit from several old vine, original plantings in California and Oregon.

Santa Lucia Highlands

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Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and brisk afternoon breezes, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The result is concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on sustainable viticultural practices.

The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling and Pinot Gris.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

LID10004457_2014 Item# 354819