It was show time at the house and I was set for my third virtual wine tasting courtesy of snooth.com. I had my laptop fired up at the end of the dining room table and I had six glasses lined up, in front of each bottle of wine. I opened the red wines almost three hours early, and the white wines were opened about an hour before the show and I had cheese and crackers and water on the side; I also took initial tasting notes on each wine, as I kind of learned something new from each tasting. The main host for the evening was Leslie Sbrocco, and she is an award-winning author, speaker, wine consultant and television series host. Her first book was Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing and Sharing Wine won the Georges Duboeuf Best Wine Book of the Year award. Her second book is The Simple and Savvy Wine Guide and she is working on her third book Adventures of a Thirsty Girl. She was also seen as the host of the PBS restaurant review series Check Please! She has won a James Beard award, three Taste Awards and three Emmy awards in the span of ten seasons. The event was going to be interesting and stellar.
The first wine of the evening was Acquiesce Winery Ingenue Lodi 2018, and this wine will official debut in July of this year, so it was an honor for all of the tasters to be included. Sue and Rodney Tipton have a very unique reputation in Lodi and in the wine community as a whole. They only grow and bottle white wines, plus one bone dry Rosé and they use no barrels, only Stainless Steel; all of the aging of the wine occurs in the bottle. The estate is ten and a half acres and all of the wine is estate grown. The winery opens in March and usually closes in November, because all of the wine is sold out by then. This wine is so new, it hasn’t been posted on their website, but through the magic of the Internet, I was able to find out about Acquiesce Ingenue. Thirty-five percent of this wine is Grenache Blanc, which is also known as Vermentino or Rolle, depending if you are in the Languedoc or Provence, and this grape is known for its floral and lemon citrus notes. Thirty-five percent of this blend is Clairette Blanch which is seen mostly in the Rhone and the Languedoc, and is known as the “light one” because it has low acidity and can oxidize quickly and it evokes citrus and stone fruit notes. Twenty percent of this wine is Bourboulenc and is usually found blending with other grapes in the Languedoc, Provence and the Rhone and it is known for its citrus tones and for smoke and spice flavors as well. Ten percent of the blend was Picpoul Blanc, which literally means “stings the lips,” because of its acidity and is famed in the Languedoc-Roussilon for its herbal and citrus notes. These four varietals blended expertly together created a beautifully nuanced, complex layers of citrus, spice and a mouth-watering acidity that was extremely refreshing. My Bride who did not have access to my notes had opined that this must be a Viognier blend, as she loves the floral tones of that grape, and she was a bit disappointed that it was not one of the grapes, but she was enthusiastic about the wine, throughout the evening.
The second wine of the evening was also a white and it was an m2 Wines Vermentino Mokelumne River-Lodi 2018. The m2 Wines is a very low-key winery, even on their web site as they state that they create small-lot, artisanal wines that express the character of the vineyards that they source and the nuance of the fruit. As I mentioned earlier Vermentino as it is known in the Languedoc is known for its floral and lemon citrus notes. The Mokelumne River is a sub-region AVA and covers the southwest portion of the Lodi AVA, including the town of Lodi. This region is also the first area to be known to be planted with grapes about 120 years ago. The soil is a sandy loam which is free draining and causes the vines to forego foliage and concentrate on the berries for self-preservation and that makes the grapes concentrated in color and sugar. I found this wine to have a good floral nose, stone fruit, spice and some mineral terroir in the aftertaste. I could do this wine with or without food, but with good friends. This wine just barely was released in time to be sent out for this tasting, so it was extremely fresh. There were two-hundred-fifty cases produced, so even with a varietal that is not as well known here in the States, once tasted, I don’t think this wine will last long at the winery.