While soaking up the last official month of the summer season, we turn our focus to white wines. It’s interesting as sometimes I get the impression that some find white wine lesser than a red wine. However, I think it is quite the opposite, white wine is more delicate and allows for the nuances of flavor and aromatics to show themselves more. A white wine shows the naked grape if you will, letting all its subtle characteristics stand out with no place to hide. Here we have focused on single varietals that are stunners true to their origins both in terroir and climate.
P. & E. Mullins
2019 Georg Breuer, Rüdesheimer Berg Rottland Riesling trocken
This estate dates to 1880 and has been in the Breuer family since the beginning of the 20th century. Theresa Breuer became the 4th generation owner after her fathers unexpected passing in 2004. In honoring German traditions, 85% of what the estate makes still today is Riesling. Considered the “Queen of the grape varieties” Theresa has embodied showcasing this beautiful part of the German culture. Not only in the wine itself, but also in the way it is made. Beyond the hand harvesting and commitment to natural methods of viticulture, the estate is one of the first members of “Fair and Green” a certification that works beyond sustainability as it focuses on a holistic approach to the entire practice, not only is it environmental sound, but it also focuses on fair labor practices. All these techniques and respect for the wine, the Earth, the people involved comes through in this beautiful wine, it is vibrant in the glass, a clear golden banana yellow. The aromas are one I’ve been looking to share with you, the smell of opening a fresh can of tennis balls. There’s a bit of the classic Riesling nose, petroleum, and a hint of green apple. The palate is tart and bright with a weighted mouthfeel that’s layered with pear, green apple jolly rancher and a clean acidic finish.
2020 Neumeister Straden Sauvignon Blanc
Vulkanland Steiermark, Austria
Winegrower Christoph Neumeister is the third generation in his family taking over when he was just 25 years old. His hometown of Straden is in the Southeast corner of Vulkanland Steiermark, close to where Austria, Slovenia and Hungary meet. The vineyards are on steep hillsides with diverse terroir of volcanic soils, sandy loam, chalky limestone, and sandstone. The STK on the bottle stands for Steiermark, a small tight knit organization of only 12 wineries that together strive for preservation, biodiversity, and sustainability not only through farming but also through energy usage, resource management and labor practices. Albert, Christoph’s’ father began implementing organic practices in the 1990s. The steep inclines made for working the vineyards by hand and using gravity from harvest to bottling a natural answer. The gentle efforts continue from there with spontaneous fermentation, long maceration on lees and skin and aging in old barrels. In the glass this wine is golden with a slight amber hue, delicate with good clarity. The nose is fresh and bright with wild ginger, honey, and Citra hops. The palate is soft and rich which gives way to long tugging acidity with notes of green apples and citrus. Only 4,000 bottles produced.
2020 Chateau Les Mesclances “Romane”
When Etienne Portalis of the legendary Chateau Pradeaux in Bandol makes a wine recommendation, you know it is one to follow. So grateful it brought us here, to Arnaud de Villeneuve Bargemons’ estate, Chateau Les Mesclances. It has been in his family since the late 1700s. In the commune of La Crau lies this picturesque Mediterranean vineyard that gently slope up to the Chateau, just a little over a mile from the sea, tucked between two streams surrounded by forests. All organically farmed, most of the vineyard in dedicated to rosé but the whites and red that come out of every vintage are quite noteworthy and limited in production. This Provençale white is 100% Rolle (also known as Vermentino). The terroir is Quartz-rich Permian blue schists which sounds as elegant as it is. The wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel. In the glass we can see a little weight to the with a nice clarity and subdued brightness. There are pronounced aromatics of mineral and stone that give way to rounder fruit notes of strawberries, orange peel and dried herbs de Provence. The wine is silky and glides on the tongue with mouthwatering acidity and salinity. There are notes of white pepper, cherry pit and orange and cream on the long finish. An awesome wine to pair with seafood.