New World Wine Experiments
As we find ourselves reflecting on 2020, we wanted to end the year with some new world experiments from New York, California, and Oregon.
Wine has been one of the things that has kept us going throughout 2020. Obviously because it makes you feel good when you have a glass (or two) but also because winemakers have inspired us through their tenacity and spirit, battling not only the COVID pandemic but multiple wildfires, extreme heat, and other erratic growing conditions. Despite these challenges, domestic winemakers have further expanded upon their offerings, creating unique red and white blends, discovering harmonious skin contact combinations, and delving into the world of piquettes for the first time.
For the second to last week in 2020, we want to take you to the Finger Lakes, the Willamette Valley, and Mendocino County for a trio of exciting new wines from American winemakers.
Ruth Lewandowski, Tatto (2019)
Let’s first travel to California to sip the latest offering from Evan Lewandowski. It does happen to be sold out (the bottles went about as fast as a new drop from Supreme!) but even if you can’t enjoy this vintage, you should still check out other Lewandowski wines we have in stock. Tatto is a new cuvée featuring skin contact Fruilano, Riesling, and Muscat that Evan says “joins the ranks next to Feints and the Rosé to complete a “Threes Company” style lineup of fresh, exceedingly drinkable, joyful wines.”
And joyful it is! A rich orange color in the glass, the wine features musky aromatics that are balanced out by the softer, more floral qualities from the Fruilano. On the palette, the fruit comes forward through juicy Meyer lemon and also provides a nice balance between sweetness and acidity. Pronounced gingery notes mingle with tart cherry as exciting textural qualities develop once the wine opens up. Many associate skin contact wines with heavy tannins but whatever earthiness you find here is equally balanced by a lithe energy. Roasted white meats or root veggies would be perfect for this bottle.
Our next offering takes us further north to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, which is the site of some of our favorite domestic wines. This offering from St. Reginald Parish is appropriately called a “wine like beverage” because it is a piquette, meaning it is made from Pinot Noir pomace, the leftover bits that are typically discarded but are increasingly being used in sustainable production of lightly alcoholic beverages. Among piquettes, the Marigny’s clocks in at 4.2% ABV, somewhere in the range of a sour beer or hard seltzer.
Though this particular piquette is suited for bottle after bottle consumption at a beach or park in the summer, we also love a little light hearted fun in the winter. There are notes of watermelon and tart raspberry with a great acidity that would be perfect for opening presents on Christmas day or simply enjoying any extra time off you might have around the holidays. There’s no risk of getting overly drunk here which is why it’s our go-to daytime sipper.
For our final wine, we find ourselves hitching a ride cross country back to New York, specifically the Finger Lakes region. We are especially excited about Usonia and the very first release from Alex & Julia Alvarez-Perez, a husband and wife duo who are looking to shake up conventions of minimal intervention winemaking in New York State.
Vistas is a mix of 2018 Riesling and 2019 Cabernet Franc, with the Riesling undergoing a short carbonic maceration before later being co-fermented with the Cab Franc. These two grapes might seem like unlikely bedfellows but they work together beautifully in a chuggable, chilled wine you could fool discerning dinner party guests with. The Riesling provides an acidic backbone while the Cab Franc offers some delicious fresh pepper notes and red fruit to round things out. It is sure to be the perfect pizza wine but we know it could flex with so many other dishes.
Thanks again for reading and sharing your 2020 wines with us! We’ll be back next week for the last post of 2020. In the meantime, if you have any questions about beverage pairings for your holiday plans, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are closed on Christmas Day but are otherwise available to answer any questions you might have before you place your order.