WINEMAKER: Martin Bernal-Hafner
In 1980’s, the Topel family discovered a 160-acre old sheep farm, deep in the hills west of Hopland. Continuing the of early heritage of Mendocino pioneers and recognizing the perfect growing conditions for Bordeaux varietals, this hillside vineyard was planted in rugged high-altitude terrain in ’89. Out of respect for the land, only 15 acres planted, the rest of the pristine land is left to nature – oaks, manzanitas, coyotes and hawks.
Today, Martin Bernal-Hafner, Topel’s winemaker, carriers this legacy and is inspired by old-world tradition, guided by science, and follows the rhythms of nature. His worldly experience – from M. Chapoutier to Paul Hobbs – is reflected in the elegant and age-worthy wines coming out of the Topel cellar. With so many wines to explore we were compelled to include this set of wines from, just as famously known and beloved, Mendocino County.
Aromas of currants and bramble, with delicate violet and bay leaf undertones. A bright food-friendly acidity, shows off a robust yet smooth tannin structure and ends with a balanced lingering finish. Red forest fruits dominate the palate, yet it reveals a more savory side – think bresaola or coppa as it opens up.
2009 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Age has defined this wine and developed complex aromas of cacao, licorice and air dried cedar. Mineral components also come through as wet slate and volcanic pumis stone. Flavor profiles consist of vivid ripe blackberries, plums, dark chocolate and toffee on the entry. It is followed by a velvety texture and medium body that shows spectacular balance. It finishes with integrated oak and vanilla flavors that last for minutes.