Natural Wines of the US of A

P&V Wine + Liquor, Newtown, Sydney

Tasted February 4, 2019 by G_Talbot with 99 views

Introduction

Leah Rinaldi (a P&V alumni), based in Brooklyn, works with Jenny & François — one of the first and most significant natural wine importers in the US. She came back to Sydney with a suitcase full of wines to showcase the nascent American natural wine movement.

None of these wines are available in Australia, but I was intrigued to see what was happening in the natural wine scene in the US, as this area will no doubt see an immense increase in interest over the next decade (if the rest of the world is anything to go by).

Flight 1 - West Coast (6 notes)

Red
N.V. Coturri Winery Sandocino North Coast USA, California, North Coast
From the 'OG' of American natural wine makers, the winery was founded in 1979, and they use their own dry-farmed grapes, wild yeasts, no fining, filtration or SO2. This apparently retails for around 20-25 USD.

Clear, deep, garnet.
Pronounced nose of varnish (VA), damson, plum.
Dry, medium acidity (VA), high alcohol (14.8%), full bodied, pronounced flavour intensity of plum and damson, super jammy. Medium (+) length.

A bit too much for mine, but to be fair was the first wine of the (Monday) night tasting.
1 person found this helpful
White
2017 Donkey and Goat Chardonnay Linda Vista Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
A family urban winery based in Berkeley, they have published a 'Natural Wine Manifesto' they are very transparent about all aspects of their winemaking.

Clear, medium, banana yellow.
Pronounced nose of Pecorino and grilled hazelnut.
Dry, medium (+) to high acid, medium (+) alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) flavour intensity of lemon, sharp cheese and cashews.

mmm...

Apparently retails for around 30 - 40 USD.
Orange
2017 Donkey and Goat Pinot Gris Ramato USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
A family urban winery based in Berkeley, they have published a 'Natural Wine Manifesto' they are very transparent about all aspects of their winemaking.

Very much a skin contact wine, this was partially pressed off skins after 2 days and again after 4 days.

Mostly clear, medium (deep for a Pinot Gris), peachy ruby.
Medium nose of orange, grapefruit.
Dry, medium acid, medium (+) alcohol, medium body, medium flavour intensity with grapefruit, tangerine and blood orange peel. There is an attractive savouriness here. Medium (+) length.

Approximately 30 USD.
White
2017 Swick Wines Marsanne USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Despite the funkiness, this is not a skin contact wine. The winemaker uses whole bunches and a light sulfuring before bottling.

Bright, medium, banana yellow.
Pronounced nose of lychee, lemon, smoke, banana peel and blue moon beer.
Dry, medium acid, alcohol, body, and intensity. In addition to the lychees and lemon, a somewhat botanical palate. Medium length.

A little too funky for me.
Red
2016 Swick Wines Pinot Noir Sans Soufre Cancilla Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
100% whole bunch, semi-carbonic maceration (some oxidation here), pressed after 30 days.

Clear, dark, almost brown, with a hint of purple, odd.
Pronounced nose, barnyardy.
Dry, medium acid, medium alcohol (12.7%), medium (-) tannin, medium (+) body, medium intensity of quite vegetal flavours, quite long.

Not my style at all.
White
2017 Stirm Riesling Kick-On Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
A whole cluster wine that rests on skins for 48 hours, gets a little oxidation, and goes through malo (for a riesling?) = honey!

Clear, medium, candy yellow.
Medium (+) nose of lemon, honey and pineapple.
Dry, medium acidity, medium (-) alcohol and body, medium flavour intensity of lemon, pineapple and lingering honey. Medium (+) length.

Interesting...

Flight 2 - East Coast (4 notes)

Red - Sparkling
2017 La Garagista House Music Petillant Natural USA, Vermont
Biodynamic producers, using a lot of hybrid varieties, here we have a field blend of Marquette, Frontenac Noir, Frontenac Gris, Frontenac Blanc, La Crescent, St. Croix

Clear, deep, purple.
Pronounced nose of strawberry, vanilla, cherry and yogurt.
Dry, medium (+) acid, medium (-) alcohol (11.5%) and body, medium flavour intensity and length of strawberry yogurt.
White
2017 La Garagista Brianna Loup D'Or USA, Vermont
Brianna is a muscat based hybrid, originally developed as a table grape. This wine matured in glass demijohns.

Slightly cloudy, medium, sitting somewhere between lemon and apricot.
Medium (+) nose of candied mango, jasmine, fresh mango and pineapple, there has been some oxidation here...
Dry, medium (-) acid, medium (-) alcohol (11.5%), medium body, intensity and length, same ripe fruit flavours as the nose.

mmm...
Red
2017 Wild Arc Farm Cabernet Franc USA, New York, Finger Lakes
Clear, deep purple to ruby rim.
Medium nose of plum, cherry, slightly medicinal, some semi-carbonic, bubble-gumminess, violets. This smells wonderfully youthful.
Dry, medium (+) acid, medium alcohol and body, medium (+) flavour intensity of blackcurrant jam, dark plum and cherries. Medium (+) length.

Wild Arc also do a 2nd press of the skins in water to create a 7%ish drink known as a "piquette".

My and the table's wine of the tasting.
White
2017 Wild Arc Farm Traminette USA, New York, Hudson River
Traminette is a hybrid variety, created at Cornell for use in New York state, based on the Gewürztraminer grape. This wine spent 7 days on skins and stems.

Medium, amber.
Medium nose of turkish delight and candied orange.
Dry, with medium acid, a low level of tannins, medium body, medium flavour intensity of lemon curd and tangerine over a medium length.

Wild Arc also do a 2nd press of the skins in water to create a 7%ish drink known as a "piquette".

Closing

An interesting first tasting (for me) at P&V. No doubt natural wine will become increasingly large in the US, but it still feels very much in its infancy, and several of these wines struck me as trying too hard to be different. Still, some interesting discoveries (particularly Wild Arc) and more banana yellow than I have ever seen outside of a fruit bowl.

© 2003-22 CellarTracker! LLC.

Report a Problem

Close