July 2022 | Terroir Wine Clubby Caileen Brison
Nanclares 2020 Minato de Rana
From José Pastor Selections
60 % Mencía, 30% Garnacha Tintorera and 10% white grapes (Godello and Palomino) from the centenarian Finca A Raña in O Saviñao, Ribeira Sacra. The terraced vineyard is highly sloped, and the soils are granitic. The grapes were harvested by hand, sorted, and foot-trod with the stems in 600L used French oak barrels. Native yeast fermentation began while the juice macerated with its skins for 15 days before racking into used French oak barrels, where the wine rested on its lees for 9 months, with weekly batonnage for the first month.
This wine has so much potential for evolution and pairing possibilities – what a joy to taste! On the pop the wine has this almost gunsmoke and plum flesh profile that sits alongside a rose petal and quince – and that’s just the beginning. As the hours go by, the wine complexity really starts to blossom – think desiccated sage, pot pourri, ground peppercorns, and riverbed. On day two the wine start to throw higher tones of lavender, alpine blueberries, marionberry, and a fruit forwardness that is so approachable. Honestly, I drank this wine over several days and it just kept getting better. There is a chalk like tannin profile that compliments a bright acidity and electric mouthfeel. I believe this wine is showing quite well right now, but I imagine it will stay so for several years. For food pairings I might suggest grilled/charred fish, grilled vegetables, or paella. Drink now – 2026 (just because it’s singing right now), serve at cellar temperature in all-purpose stemware.
Aeris 2018 Centennial Mountain Vineyard Bianco
From the Producer
The early results from Carricante grown at Centennial Mountain have surpassed our expectations, and it seems clear that this remote vineyard is a perfect New World home for this Sicilian variety. The winemaking here is straightforward and the methods are modeled after those we employ for the Aeris Etna Bianco Superiore produced on Mt. Etna. This regime includes fermentation with indigenous yeast and aging in a variety of neutral vessels, including 300L stainless steel barrels and large 10 and 25hL oak casks. The Bianco bottling is meant to be an earlier drinking Carricante, although we expect it to have a long, robust life. It highlights the terrific complexity and versatility of Carricante. One of Carricante’s great attributes is that it complements a much broader range of food compared to Chardonnay while offering similar complexity and interest. Customers loved the 2017 bottling of this wine and we feel this 2018 is a great leap forward for Carricante in California.
I’ve been trying to taste/find this wine for a while and was very lucky to taste and snag this wine. Carricante in general can run from oily and dense to tense and almost Riesling-esq. On day one, this domestic expression of Carricante throws notes like white flowers, baby powder, bee pollen, and honeydew rind. The palate has notes of a salty, leesy mid palate with banana upside down cake and a crystalline lemon oil. On day two and as the wine warms in the glass, there are warmer notes of butterscotch and the oak integration becomes a bit more apparent. The finish is still bright, yet rounded out nicely on the finish in a very cohesive manner. For food pairings I might go along the lines of roast chicken or chicken-pesto sandwiches. Drink now – 2030/4, serve in all-purpose stemware, and drink just above refrigeration.
Antonella Lombardo 2020 “Autoritratto” Mantonico
From Oliver McCrum
Antonella left Calabria at the age of 18 and went to Milan to study law, and then to practice. She eventually started taking sommelier courses, and became completely hooked on wine, which can happen to anyone; then, unlike the rest of us, she decided to make her own. She purchased vineyards near the town of Bianco, where she grew up on the Ionian coast; the vineyards are planted within site of the ocean. Indigenous varieties, careful vineyard work, attentive but not intrusive winemaking, all fired by Antonella’s fierce enthusiasm for the project have resulted in, unsurprisingly, excellent wines. ‘Autoritratto’ means self-portrait - an extremely distinctive white wine. Luminous pale yellow; smells and tastes like lemon-peel and musk; acidity is fresh, and it reminds of a medium aged Timorasso. One of the most striking white wines we import. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ages well but it’s too soon to tell.
There is a lot of wine in this bottle. Mantonico as a varietal is structurally elevated with dense phenolics and flavor. This wine is absolutely meant for food and can almost be too much in isolation. On the nose the wine at first is savory and spice driven with warm notes of toasted sourdough and butter, graham cracker pudding, and preserved lemons. This wine goes through several evolutions including beach toys, cumin, wet cedar, and a blood orange oil tonality. This wine has so much body and opulence that you could almost decant this white wine to enjoy the evolution more intensely. For food pairings, I would suggest grilled yellowfin tuna, yellow dal, yellow curry, izakaya style grilled Japanese foods, or anything with spice, dimension, and protein. Drink now – 2040, serve in large bowl stemware, and serve at or just above refrigeration temperature.