One of the most original wines I have ever had the pleasure of trying. The wine-making process (as outlined in the video above) is so unique that it is completely mind-blowing. The modified barriques allow Ales the winemaker to fill them with whole grapes, c’est a dire, without pressing. As you can probably imagine, a very large part of this “wine” eventually becomes sediment – apparently around 35%… If you’re in the finance world, cost-controlling, consultancy etc, this may sound rather wasteful, but let me tell you, if you’re holding a glass of this wine in your hand, you don’t care anymore.
The colour is that of cloudy apple juice. A delicate light orange. A clear rim, but the centre is dense. Unfiltered, clearly.
Everyone gets something different from the nose. For me, I get the delicious aromas of tinned tangerines. Of slightly syrupy clementines. It reminds me also of the orange squash that they used to serve at Match Tea during my school days. It’s such a pleasure that I almost forget to move onto the next stage.
The mouth continues with floral (narcissus, jasmine and violet) and herbal (camomile) notes. It’s soft, delicious and it seduces you into taking another gulp as you try to comprehend the enormity of this discovery. How can a grape variety that has been sneered at for so long, the Ribolla Gialla, taste this damn good?
At the end, it develops into something more recognisable as wine, with a stroke of acidity and of bitter tannins which rejuvenate the palette nicely.
There is a stunning vivacity to this wine. As natural as it comes, the term minimal intervention just doesn’t cover it. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea… especially those uninitiated in natural wine, but for me it was worth every penny.