2016 Hatton Daniels Malvasia Bianca Ceccini Vineyard
Region: Contra Costa County < CA
Grapes: Malvasia Bianca
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic, dry-farmed vineyards on sandy soils; aged on lees for 3 months in neutral wood; unfined/unfiltered; just 1ppm added SO2 at fermentation; 54 cases made; 11.1% ABV
Winemaker: Dan Fishman
I’m in a Sommelier tasting group with a group of other professional wine geeks, one of whom is Dan Fishman, a quiet, modest and incredibly smart dude (duh, former Psych PHD candidate). After leaving his PHD program to pursue the wine dream, Dan conspired with 3 friends in 2009 to start Hatton Daniels, with the goal of making honest, terroir-specific wines, without any style forced upon them. They feel that the best way for a wine to express itself is to ensure that it is made from nothing but grapes, with no additions (other than a miniscule sulfur addition to protect from oxidation in bottle) – amen! This means that they’re picking early enough so the grapes have plenty of natural acidity, and that they’re making wines that are a bit lighter in style, but full of energy, with plenty of depth and complexity. Like this fantastic Malvasia, which, at only 11% alcohol, is what I call delicious water – super light, bright, vivid and low alcohol, with tangerine, lime blossom and apricot and glacier ice. Like subtle fruit-infused, pristine mineral water, so clean and easy to drink that you barely notice your glass emptying. So, you keep refilling. But because it’s so light and clean, you don’t hate yourself in the morning. And it looks as pretty as it tastes, shimmering like gold dust in the glass. A beautiful thing, all the way around.