I realize that I am bouncing all over the place talking about these two wines, but I recently had them at my local wine shop The Fine Wine Source and they are definitely worth mentioning. In my early years, I have to admit that I did not try that many white wines, because I was foolish and back then, the word of the day was macho. White wines were not considered macho, and that was my mistake, as I have been admiring and buying plenty of white wines these days. Fifty years ago, white wines were not that prevalent, which helped my case at the time, but now I look back and realize that I probably missed out on some wonderful gems.
Let us start with Poderi e Cantine Oddero Langhe DOC Riesling 2016, and this wine is made by Giacomo Oddero the brother of Luigi Oddero. Oddero is a leading estate in the Piedmont, based in the district of Barolo, and they have been producing wines since the 18th Century. They have thirty-five hectares and almost half of that is Barolo DOCG. Langhe is a subregion of the Piedmont in the province of Cuneo, and the Langhe DOC covers Rosso, Bianco, Rosato, blends, varietals, still, frizzante, novello or passito. It also allows for varietals that are not traditional Piedmontese grapes. The Riesling vineyards were planted in 2006 along side a vineyard of Chardonnay that was planted in the Nineties. The grapes are refrigerated for twelve hours after harvest, then destemmed and pressed whole. It is then aged for six months on the lees, then finished and bottled. The wine is stored in the cellars for almost two years, before being released. The wine is a pale yellow, with a soft floral nose, if I didn’t know what I was tasting, I might not have thought of it as Riesling; it was dry and crisp with good acidity and a nice decent finish of a flinty terroir.
Now we go to Atlas Peak AVA for Arrow & Branch Stagecoach Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2019. The winery pays homage to the Contursi family’s success in the rare coin business. They are famed numismatists that have handled most of the fabled coins of the United States of America, and the ones that they haven’t are basically residing in permanent museum collections across the country. The name refers to the eagle found on the obverse of most of the original coin design who is grasping arrows and an olive branch in its talons and it symbolizes that America is a peace-loving nation that is willing to defend itself in times of need. This wine is pure Sauvignon Blanc made entirely from the Stagecoach Vineyard from rootstock and clones that were planted in 2012, specifically for Arrow & Branch. The wine is Barrel Fermented and then aged on fine lees for six months in a mix of Stainless Steel and French Oak (both one year old and neutral). The bright acidity is what just jumps out at you, when tasting this wine, it is not a meek and mild wine, as this wine wants to be recognized for its own personality and it was very refreshing