A light-bodied, easy drinking California white, perfectly suited to sipping in the afternoon sun.
Producer: Wind Gap Wines
Region: Fanucchi-Wood Road Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
Grapes: 100% Trousseau Gris
Lighter Body, Refreshing
Flavors: Fresh fruit, crisp, floral
Pairing: Aperitif, fish dishes
Lighter bodied and racy, with crisp, lean acidity and a delicate floral nose. Fresh orchard fruit notes are at the core on the palate, with nuanced white spice and wet stone minerality on the finish. York suggests this wine for “afternoon drinking,” but also said it pairs well with rich fish dishes. Try it with grilled swordfish or calamari.
Most of us think Chardonnay when we think California whites, but boutique producers like Wind Gap’s Pax Mahle have started to champion the Sunshine State’s lesser-planted grapes in recent years, loving the complex range of expressions and opportunities for experimentation to be found off the beaten path. Known to be a bit of a rebel, Mahle never gave a second thought to working with the finicky trousseau gris grape, which was once widely planted around California but now exists in only a few select vineyard sites, like Fanucchi-Wood Road Vineyard in Northern California’s Russian River Valley, where the grapes in this wine are grown. According to Sommelier Carl York, that fearless spirit is right on par with the winemaker’s devil-may-care style.
“I really like the story of Pax Mahle,” York said. “He hired a winemaker for this first project, and on the first day of harvest, he fired the winemaker and just did it himself. He’s super, super strong-willed.”
Pax’s natural approach to winemaking is just as important to him, York said.
“That [winemaker] was talking about what enzymes he was going to use, and what yeasts he was going to ferment with, and Pax was like, ‘Ok, you’re fired. I’m just going to crush these grapes with my feet, and we’re going to ferment with wild yeasts, and that’s just how we’re going to do it.’”