PINOT BLANC 2013
Fulfilling aromas and flavors of fresh pears, apricots, casaba melon and a hint of mineral-like complexity complimented by tart notes of kaffir lime. Though this wine sees no oak, it has a slight essence of yeasty toast. It starts lively on the palate then evolves into a round lengthy mouthfeel with a bright, refreshing finish. It is incredibly complex in its natural simplicity.
This Pinot Blanc only comes in half-bottles and magnums, because you should either start with it or party with it!
Best in Show...
"which one of these dogs would you want to have an your wide
recwiver on your football team?"
I’ve never been a particularly competitive sort. The idea of butting heads to move a ball down a field made little sense to me… especially when genetic predisposition gave my competitors a natural advantage. I discovered early in life that I had to do things differently. Instead of excelling in team sports, I found independent activities - photography, surfing, bicycling, and skiing - more suited to my ninety-eight pound weakling physique. I did my best to figure out my strengths and not try to be what I wasn’t.
So it was natural that once I got into wine, I would have a distaste for competitive tastings. To line one wine up against another in a blind tasting, then assign a score just to select the best wine, seemed like an exercise in absurdity. How could you take wines from varying regions, made by winemakers with differing intents, and say one is better than the other?
Everyone has different skills, including their ability to taste and discern the flavors and textures of wine… and everyone, thankfully, is unique - one person’s tonic is another’s toxin. Each person’s predisposition determines their likes and dislikes in a way that a numerical score will not change.
But what about the wine itself? Is it possible to compare a Pinot Blanc and a Chardonnay and say one or the other is best in show? How much of the determining factor is personal preference versus actual genetic predisposition of the variety? Pinot Blanc is the elegant ninety eight pound weakling. It is subtle by nature and it is a mistake to try to force it to compete with a more broad shouldered wine, like Chardonnay.
Years ago, as wine publications anointed Chardonnay with high scores, those with Pinot Blanc in their vineyards attempted to emulate the winemaking techniques that garnered attention for Chard - like barrel and malolactic fermentation - but the Blanc did not have the “bones” for it. Many wines came out of the cellar flabby and woody, earning it the reputation of the poor man’s Chardonnay.
At the time, we Americans did not understand subtlety in wine - never mind our new world inferiority complex. Competitive with the old world, we felt the only way to judge a wine was to determine the best - and in our mind, the best was big, fat and a touch sweet.
But things are changing. Driven by a burgeoning culinary sophistication, the American wine drinker is evolving to accept and desire a different style of wine. People still have an opinion, but they realize there is no best in show, just personal preference. Some may think our Pinot Blanc is light weight and too bright with acidity, while others find it perfectly balanced and consider it the best rendition of Pinot Blanc in the world. I don’t know if it is the best in show, but if there were a Pinot Blanc equivalent of the working dog category, it might just take a blue ribbon as best of breed. It all depends on whose judging.
The freshness and brightness of RSV’s Pinot Blanc invigorates your palate with each sip after a bite of this creamy risotto. The sweet peas and smoky ham play nicely off the citrus notes of the wine, while the mint lifts the sweet herb notes in the mouthwatering finish. Whether enjoying on cool or warm days, you will find ideal playmates for this versatile wine: bacon, smoked fish, pungent cheese, brilliant vegetable salads with acid-sparked vinaigrettes - all meet this wine head-on to encourage creative playtime.
Until the Next Wine....
EAT: Sweet Pea and Smoked Ham Skillet Risotto
Pinot Blanc is found on three of RSV’s organically farmed Los Carneros vineyards: Three Amigos Vineyard, OSR Vineyard, and Scintilla Sonoma Vineyard.
The 2013 vintage was one of largesse. The rains stopped in January and bud break waltzed in early, the vines enjoying mild weather right through bloom. Perfect fruit set created another beautiful, bountiful crop.
Harvest was early and picture-perfect, the grapes queueing up to be picked in orderly fashion. Even the touch of Fall rain didn’t matter as the whites were already in the cellar. It is rare to have two great vintages in a row, but we didn’t think you would mind.