2018 Monte Rio Cellars Dry White Zinfandel Suisun
Region: Suisun Valley < Bay Area < California
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming (uncertified); fruit was foot crushed before pressing, then fermented in a combination of concrete tank and egg, then transferred to old wood barrels for 4 months before racking to stainless tank; bottled unfiltered with minimal So2; 11% ABV; 550 cases
Winemakers: Patrick Cappiello and Pax Mahle
Founded by somm (of many fancy places) Patrick Cappiello and Pax Mahle (one of our favorite local winemakers), Monte Rio Cellars is a collaboration of these two wine talents to showcase the underdog grapes, winemaking styles, and growing sites across California’s North Coast.
But White Zin? I know, right?? You're thinking Sutter Home and permed moms in tracksuits -- but don't let the name fool you. This is bone-dry, light (11% ABV) and aromatic rosé, with tart rhubarb, watermelon and earthy red fruit. The grapes are picked super early to preserve the freshness and the acidity, which keeps the sweetness of Zin at bay. Sporting the prettiest pale blush color, it looks like a simple porch pounder, but there is surprising structure and spice here -- a wolf in sheep's clothing that you want at your next BBQ.