We’ve been on a domestic kick lately, which is why this next crop of tastings (four of out of the six wines) hails from domestic locations. It’s not as if we don’t want to travel to Spain, Austria, etc. but we’ve just been thrilled by the quality and originality of these closer-to-home offerings. As we’ve slid solidly into spring, rosés, whites and bubbles dominate. However, these wines have little linking them together flavor wise, spanning wet and vegetal in rosé form to more sweet, cherry soda flavor notes in bubbly form.
If you’re ready to be adventurous with what you’re tasting, these wines are going to be exactly what you’re looking for in the weeks leading up to Memorial Day weekend. Cheers!
Marie et Vincent Tricot, Rosé (2017)
This 100% Gamay rosé is definitely the most left field of our tastings this week. Typically when you drink rosé you expect some refreshing, fruit-forward and light on its feet. The Tricot rosé is much more dank and savory. Deep red in color, it features wet vegetation and sea brine on the nose. On the palette it is vegetal but still fresh. There is red fruit present but it is more of an undercurrent to the savory notes. We love how the wine builds with some minerality into a dry finish. The wine’s fruit notes tend to stand out more on the second day but the earthiness of Gamay isn’t lost.
Martha Stoumen Wines, Post Flirtation Red Blend (2017)
At $28, the Post Flirtation red blend featuring Zinfandel and Carignan is the most affordable of Martha Stoumen's wines and doesn’t disappoint. It is bright purple in color and features underripe, sour raspberry, rhubarb bitterness and freshness upfront on the palette. Though this is a light red that’s delicious chilled, it also features a considerable tannic grip into the mid palette. We love how the long finish closes things out on a fresh and lively note, bringing back some of the fruit in a softer way. The full integration of the flavors, without any reductive qualities, are what bring a conventional blend into memorable territory.
Martha Stoumen Wines, Post Flirtation White Blend (2017)
This is the white blend Post Flirtation cousin, featuring Marsanne, Roussanne, and Muscat Blanc. A gorgeous hazy yellow in color it features soft floral aromatics on the nose. On the palette, we get notes of enlivening citrus zest, tart green apple and a slightly fuzzy pear sweetness. On the finish, things are quite pleasant, picking up on the floral softness from the nose with a a bit of needed structure from a wet stone grip. Once again, Martha Stoumen shows a delicate side to Napa wines we want more of.
Fossil & Till Pet Nat Riesling (2016)
Domestic Pet Nat Riesling hasn’t been very common until recent years but we’re excited to see more of them being made. We had this on one of the first 75 degree evenings of the year and really what could be better than a 10% ABV Pet Nat from upstate New York to cool off? This wine is very cloudy and unfiltered in the glass but actually super clean on the nose. Upfront we get a cherry soda bomb followed up with a soft acidity, lime peel and textured minerality that once again imparts from structure. This wine is on the sweeter side but the juice and acid really provide a nice counterbalance. It would be absolutely perfect with a host of spicy food but it’s also more than fine on its own.
Dominique Andiran, Vain de Ru (2016)
At $17 and off DOC, this Colombard and Ugni Blanc blend is definitely not for the faint of the heart, though it is a most exciting expression of grapes that typically don’t get a lot of love. On the nose, it’s all about the barnyard funk. At 13.5% ABV, things are high octane on the palette, featuring a driving acid, yeasty characteristics, sharp green fruit, lemon zest and a mouth coating minerality structure that builds into one of the longest finishes of the week. This isn’t what we’d call an everyday wine but if you’re looking for something affordable that has more complexity than wines double the price, this is a safe bet.
Minimus, Minimus Pet-Nat (2017)
Love him or hate him, Chad Stock can safely be called an audacious winemaker and his experiments with Oregon wines are continually exciting. This 100% Grenache rosé Pet Nat for 2017 is “solely for fun” as the bottle describes. And what fun it is, especially as a way to end a tasting! Like many of this wines, things are higher alcohol at 12.6% ABV. In the glass, we admired the deep pink color and generous bubbles. On the palette, we got juicy strawberry, zippy acid and some white pepper notes. It has a clean and decidedly dry finish that really settles down after the wine has been open for about an hour. This is something meant to be consumed as fresh as possible, so don’t wait to stop by.
Join us next week as we pop open an exciting new Trousseau experiment out of California and German rosé that delights with its freshness. Until next time, happy sipping!