Strange Grapes…Great Wine!

The wine for the evening contained a grape I’ve not had before, nor had I ever heard of it. But then, that’s not surprising given the enormous variety of grapes on the market. I picked the wine to drink that night mainly for the fact that it came in a 500mL bottle and Matt had gone out to dinner with some friends, so I wanted a bottle I could drink on my own in case he didn’t want a glass when he got home!

The wine was a 2005 Vare Ribolla Gialla. I purchased this bottle from WineQ for $24.99 (free shipping because I spent over $35!), it had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume. I gather that Ribolla Gialla grape is grown mostly in Friuli, Italy, and Slovenia and Vare Vineyards is the only US winery producing a Ribolla Gialla wine! Vare Vineyards is a small (less than 500 cases!) production family owned operation in Napa.

On the nose I got spice, lemon, lime, and a touch of oak. The wine smelled like it had great acidity. In the mouth I found sharp citrus at the front of the palate, which translated to lots of lime and lemon. Spice was prevalent throughout the wine, with a creamy mouthfeel in the mid and back palate as it warmed a bit. Overall, the wine was dry, smooth, and delicious. I was happy to add a new grape to my line up, and much look forward to the Bianco I have from Vare waiting for me in the cellar.

I drank this on its own, but I think it would be great with my parmasean encrusted tilapia, or with some of the fresh crab we’ve been feasting on this summer!


5 Responses

  1. Mmmm this wine sounds delicious! Thanks for the review! Great blog!

  2. I’ve never heard of either the grape or the winery, so I’ll keep my eyes open! We love trying wines that are outside the box.

  3. Ribolla is my “epiphany” grape of the summer — granted any grape tastes great if you pay enough for a bottle of it. I tasted the 2006 Colutta varietal (Colli Orientali del Friuli) and when I tasted it I got everything I’d expect from a great wine: acidity, character, arc and purity. Serious white wine — among Italy’s best and a flagbearer I think!

  4. Hi Ashley, thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    Claire-we do to, it’s much fun to try something off the beaten path and to add a new grape to your line up!

    Hi Marcus, long time no see! It was very tasty, I’d like to try some from Italy as well and see how it compares to this CA example!

  5. Doug from Able Grape just ordered this wine from WineQ, and he’s a big Italian wine enthusiast, so he can probably let you know how it compares!

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