2021 Nue Wilde Mission
Region: Clement HIlls AVA < Lodi < CA
Grapes: MissionVineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, small family vineyard; Cometa,
Montpellier and Rocklin soils of volcanic origin (granite/tufa);
destemmed but in an effort to be light on the grape skins, the wine
is not crushed. The juice took about 3 days to start fermentation.
Fermentation continued slowly, 2 punchdowns a day throughout for a
total of 16 days on the skins; aged in neutral oak barrels; bottled
unfined/unfiltered with minimal added So2; 200 cases; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Ben Herod
Nue Wilde is the new project from our friend Ben, who's been deeply involved in winemaking and natural wine distributing for a minute here in the Bay Area. But for his own project he's sourcing fruit from organic vineyards and making wine in an old-school, hands off fashion.
Like this light, punchy Mission, a varietal whose storied origins trace back to the Canary Islands before the missionaries brought it to the Americas, hence the name Mission. We're so enamored of this wine, a refreshing light red that defies categorization (red, orange or pink?) and smells like a Campari cocktail, with those bittersweet flavors pared down on the palate. Yes, you get tart strawberry, blood orange, red currant and a touch of baking spice with soft, bouncy, silky tannins, but the overall impression is not bitter or sweet, just pure joy. This one demands a slight chill, but once you give her that, she's easy breezy and so versatile for pairing with almost any food, or none at all. We're thinking this one should be on the Thanksgiving table, but it's also equally good on its own, on a Friday at 4pm...