Originally planted more than 40 years ago, Oregon’s 100-acre Temperance Hill Vineyard is one of the most esteemed grape-growing sites in the U.S. Located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA in the northern Willamette Valley, Temperance Hill is a cool-climate, high-elevation, late-ripening vineyard planted atop the remains of an ancient volcano, making it a perfect home for pinot noir.

The renowned Dai Crisp has been managing Temperance Hill since 1999; he immediately began farming organically, and the vineyard was eventually certified organic in 2012. With vines that are between 660 and 860 feet in altitude and the pronounced influence of the chilly Van Duzer winds, Temperance Hill produces pinot noir that is noted for its elegance, finesse, and energetic sparkle.

Vineyard honcho Dai Crisp

More than two dozen producers make wines from Temperance Hill fruit, and at Paul Marcus Wines, we are currently featuring a pair of single-vineyard expressions from this magical plot.

2021 Walter Scott Pinot Noir Temperance Hill

Walter Scott’s rendition of Temperance Hill pinot comes from a single block on the vineyard’s north side, with an elevation of 750 feet and a location directly in the teeth of the Van Duzer winds. Despite the cooler growing conditions, the Walter Scott delivers a deep core of mouth-coating blue and purple fruit–not aggressive or intense, but not particularly shy either. This explosion of fruit is gently supported by savory, herbal accents that help complete the picture. There’s real vigor and vibrancy to this bottle, and it fans out across the palate with purpose, leading to a delightfully persistent finish.

2021 Goodfellow Pinot Noir Temperance Hill

The Goodfellow Temperance Hill emphasizes and embraces the earthy spice, woody tobacco aromas, and citrusy zip that help distinguish this vineyard. Made with 100 percent whole clusters, this is a crisper, subtler take on Temperance Hill fruit that truly allows the mineral edge to shine through. Perhaps not as viscerally alluring as the Walter Scott, the Goodfellow is a graceful, charming, and wholly appealing take nonetheless.

To learn more about these exquisite offerings, stop by the shop and say hello.

Treixadura is not one of those grapes that most wine drinkers seek out. Yet, when you do have one, you’re more often than not pleasantly surprised. For me, it’s a little like Cesanese from Italy–you don’t have to think too hard when reaching for it. It’s a versatile table wine of sorts, one that easily pairs with most anything or nothing at all.

The venerable Luis Anxo Rodríguez Vázquez

The treixadura grape, found most commonly in the Ribeiro DO of Galicia, Spain, has a subtle richness that is buoyed by its rustic character. It’s happy alongside most seafood, especially sauced fish with plenty of herbs, but also plays well with roasted pork or something earthy like sunchokes, celery root, or sweet potatoes.

The Ribeiro DO is a small, concentrated area known for its decomposed granite and sandy soils. Ribeiro was once a thriving grape-growing region with plenty of its wines being shipped to England for consumption during the 16th and 17th centuries. Things changed after phylloxera (insect pest) hit, and many people were forced to rip out their vines and consider other means to an end. Recently though, the tide seems to be swinging in favor of bringing back the quality production of treixadura and other varieties that are at home in this verdant landscape.

I was first exposed to treixadura by Luis Rodriguez’s Viña de Martin Os Pasas Blanco. It is composed of mostly treixadura, with lado, albariño, and torrontes rounding out the blend. The beauty of this wine lies in its lemon-lime-hued complexities dancing on a spine of granite-derived minerality. I have had this bottling many times over the years, and it always makes me smile–not only for its balance of flavors but also because of its place of origin. This wine comes from Luis’s hometown of Arnoia, home to some of Ribeiro’s steepest south-facing slopes.

The 2022 Gomariz Ribeiro Treixadura ‘La Flor y La Abeja’ is 100 percent treixadura, and it really shows the grape’s quince-like qualities that keep you coming back for sip after sip. This wine shines for its overall quality-to-price ratio, and I find myself turning to this bottle often.

Also of note is the 2022 Formigo Ribeiro Blanco ‘Finca Teira’–65 percent treixadura, 20 percent godello, and 15 percent torrontes, fermented and raised entirely in stainless steel. This shows a supple, yet chiseled wine highlighting the yellow- and green-tinged fruits of this appealing grape.

When I think of Ribeiro, I think bucolic, wooded hillsides with wisps of wood smoke rising above lush, green river valleys. It’s exactly the kind of place I would love to visit and explore a bit more.

According to some, there are two kinds of people in the world: those who wonder “how it works” and those who ponder “what it does.” The “it” could be a tool or a machine or a process. Put another way, some folks focus on how a final product is achieved while others focus on the various characteristics of the final product itself.

Since I’ve always been more of a “what does it do” guy than a “how does it work” guy, I will mostly sidestep the chemistry aspect of lees aging (proteins and enzymes and the like) and turn our attention to the final product. How does lees aging affect the wine in your bottle?

Lees aging is a winemaking regimen in which the juice is not cleared of its fermentation residue. After the yeast is introduced and the process of fermentation–converting sugar to alcohol–is complete, the dead yeast (lees) sinks to the bottom of the vat or barrel. At that point, the winemaker might decide to leave the juice in contact with this milky byproduct for an extended period. Depending on how much lees influence is sought, the juice can be stirred (a process called bâtonnage) to increase its effect.

For starters, lees contact will give the wine richness, depth, and warmth. It helps to smooth a wine’s rougher edges while adding complexity and breadth to the flavors and aromas. Lees aging might also help stabilize a wine by helping to fend off oxidation. Producers of “serious” wines from Champagne and Burgundy have traditionally relied on lees aging, but so have makers of sleeker, mineral-driven wines such as Muscadet and Galician albariño.

To me, there is a certain sweet spot when it comes to lees aging–when the technique takes place in stainless-steel tanks. The combination of stainless steel and lees contact gives a wine creaminess and texture without sacrificing acidity. It creates wines that are fleshy but still fresh, and it lends the wine a bit of weight and gravity while maintaining expressive, bright fruit. It offers some characteristics associated with wood aging, but with a more restrained touch.

I find that wines made in this style are often perfect for rich, shellfish-based dishes. At Paul Marcus Wines, we offer a wide range of white wines made in this steel-plus-lees style that are worth discovering, including three of particular note:

2019 I Favati Fiano di Avellino – Pietramara Etichetta Bianca

Fiano from the hills of Campania is perhaps the most esteemed white grape in all of Italy, and this multifaceted bottling offers ample proof why–especially when accompanying casarecce with rock shrimp in a spicy tomato-cream sauce.

2022 Benanti Etna Bianco

Made with 100 percent carricante from the eastern and southern slopes of Sicily’s Mt. Etna, this bright, gently smoky, beautifully balanced wine will shine alongside brinier dishes such as steamed clams and mussels in a lemon and white wine broth.

2020 Luis Rodriguez Ribeiro – Os Pasás

Predominantly treixadura, and filled out with small amounts of albariño, torrontés, and lado, this Galician stunner would pair well with gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp) atop buttery white beans.

These three wines seem to have much in common: distinct minerality, lovely texture, and a subtle tropical vibe–melon and mango and such–along with a cleansing salinity. We are talking about dynamic, age-worthy whites that are much more complex and stimulating than your run-of-the-mill Sancerre and half the price of a comparable white Burgundy. As summer approaches and shellfish season begins, it’s the perfect time to get to know these charming white wines.

 

Every so often, we encounter a wine that we all love, but are a bit hesitant to buy for the shop. Perhaps it doesn’t fit neatly into any of the store’s most well-traveled sections. Maybe the price tag doesn’t scream “value.” It could be that the grape or the region of origin is unfamiliar. Still, we deem it worthy of shelf space at Paul Marcus Wines because we want to share these discoveries with our customers.

Piero Incisa della Rocchetta

One recent arrival that falls into this category is the 2021 Bodega Chacra Sin Azufre Pinot Noir from Patagonia, Argentina. The winery, which lies in the Rio Negro Valley, was founded about 20 years ago by Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, grandson of an esteemed Tuscan winemaker. The Rio Negro is basically desert terrain, with fewer than 10 inches of rain per year. However, the valley is also a riverbed for the confluence of two Andes tributaries, and so its soils offer a unique mix of clay, limestone, and sand–as it turns out, a perfect home for old-vine pinot noir.

Piero’s ‘Sin Azufre’ cuvee checks all of the boxes of a natural wine–biodynamic grapes, no sulfur added–but has little of the funkiness you’d expect. The grapes, from a vineyard planted in 1955, undergo whole-cluster fermentation, a Burgundian touch for a wine that is certainly Burgundian in style, and the juice sees no new oak. Bright, floral, and succulent, this wine will especially delight cru Beaujolais fans with its clarity and liveliness, balanced by subtle mineral and earthy tones. It’s a buoyant wine, with loads of character.

To learn more about this wine or to discover other hidden gems at Paul Marcus Wines, please come visit us at the shop.

We’re all familiar with the thriving natural wine scenes in France, Italy, Spain, and the rest of Western Europe–as well as here on the West Coast. But not everyone knows that Central and Eastern Europe is a hotbed of natural winegrowing and winemaking as well. Oszkár Maurer is a celebrated natural grower and maker in Subotica, Serbia, just south of Serbia’s border with Hungary. Farming is organic, and all wines are ØØ: nothing added during the winemaking–including sulfites–and nothing taken away (no fining or filtration). We currently have four Maurer wines in stock, three of which just arrived at Paul Marcus Wines.

2022 ‘Crazy Lud’ Red

“Lud” means “goose” in Hungarian and “crazy” in Serbian. So: Crazy Goose, as shown on the label! The 2022 ‘Crazy Lud’ red is mostly kékfrankos (a.k.a. blaufränkisch), cabernet sauvignon, and kadarka, with a little muscat Hamburg and prokupac for heightened aromatics and grip. The wine is macerated briefly (two-to-six days) on the skins in open vats and then aged in used 500-liter Hungarian oak barrels for one year. It’s a light-bodied red or even a dark rosé that responds well to 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator. This is an excellent introduction to Maurer’s wines: It’s playful, distinctive, and easy to drink, yet with underlying complexity and even seriousness.

2022 Bakator 1909

Fehér (white) bakator is an extremely rare grape variety; according to Maurer, there’s only one other winery producing it, in the Transcarpathian part of western Ukraine. Maurer’s Bakator 1909 comes from ungrafted, bush-trained vines planted 115 years ago. The 2022 vintage had 15 percent healthy botrytis (noble rot) at harvest, was macerated with the skins overnight, and was then fermented in stainless steel for six months. The wine is light amber in the glass, with remarkable concentration, savoriness, and depth. It’s bone dry, despite being just 10.6 percent alcohol. This is a more serious, elegant Maurer wine that nonetheless retains brightness and easy drinkability.

2022 Bakator Pét-Nat

Maurer’s Bakator Pét-Nat comes from the same ancient vineyard and grapes as the Bakator 1909 still wine, but picked earlier and with fermentation finished in the bottle to create the fizz. It’s undisgorged but barely cloudy, 10.7 percent alcohol, and bone dry. Take this bottle to a party, and you’ll definitely win the excellent-fizzy-wine-from-an-obscure-country-and-even-more obscure-grape prize.

‘Babba’

This is the most baroque wine in our Maurer lineup. It’s a blend of five white varieties (medenac beli, rajni rizling, tamjanika, kövidinka, and sremska zelenika, if you must know) from several vintages built with three sequential fermentations and then aged in 500-liter Hungarian oak barrels. It’s darker amber in color, exotically spicy, with some tannin, oxidative notes, and wild complexity. There’s nothing else like it in the shop.

A surprising number of Loire Valley cabernet franc aficionados are somehow unfamiliar with the mencía grape. Thriving in the far northwest of Spain, mencía produces bright, herbaceous wines with fairly moderate tannins and acidity. The combination of succulent red fruit, savory, earthy notes, and a streak of minerality would absolutely delight any cab franc lover.

Thanks to a relatively cool, ocean-influenced climate and the artistry of modern winemakers, today’s mencía wines offer complexity and finesse (with alcohol levels often at 13 percent or lower) while remaining robust enough to accompany heartier fare. At Paul Marcus Wines, we are fortunate to be able to feature a number of impressive examples of this food-friendly variety.

2016 A Portela Mencía – Valdeorras

The grapes for A Portela, made by Alberto Orte, come from a single hilltop vineyard in Galicia’s Valdeorras appellation. The plot’s granite soils help create a lighter-style, perfumed mencía with ample acidity, and the extra time in the bottle seems to have highlighted the grape’s greener, more vegetal tones–perfect for croquetas de jamón and other early-meal nibbles.

The vineyard of Fazenda Agrícola Prádio in Ribeira Sacra

2021 Prádio Mencía – Ribeira Sacra

A classic, textbook style of mencía from Ribeira Sacra in Galicia, this offering from winemaker Xabi Soeanes boasts fruit that is a tad darker and riper, balanced by a subtle range of floral and smoky flavors.

2020 César Márquez Bierzo – Pico Ferreira

César Márquez of Bierzo

Moving farther inland, we find the Bierzo DO in Castilla y León, just over Galicia’s eastern border. With the ocean influence diminished, the wines from Bierzo tend to be a little bigger and bolder, and while the ‘Pico Ferreira’ does exhibit a bit more density than the others, the high-elevation, rocky slate soils and Márquez’s touch in the cellar still lead to a graceful, focused result. This cuvée is 85 percent mencía from 100-year-old vines, rounded out by 10 percent alicante bouschet and other indigenous white and red grapes. Márquez studied under his uncle Raúl Pérez, a mencía legend, and has learned his lessons quite well.

2021 Envínate Ribeira Sacra – Lousas

The Envínate gang makes wines from vineyards throughout Spain, including the Canary Islands, and they are at the forefront of modern Spanish winemaking. Their mencía-based bottlings come from Ribeira Sacra and are among the finest examples of mencía available. The 2021 Lousas, like the above wine, is a high-altitude field blend with about 85 percent mencía as its foundation. The grapes, fermented mostly whole cluster, come from several different plots within Ribeira Sacra, and the juice is aged for about a year in a combination of concrete and used French oak. This wine is a knockout, top to bottom, and its modest alcohol (12.5 percent) allows it to pair well with a range of spicy red and white meats.

For a real treat, check out Envínate’s site-specific Doad–a savory, spicy, stylish gem that will make cab franc heads feel like they’ve been transported straight to Chinon!

Wine lovers are perpetually in search of the “next big thing.” Discovering “new” wines from lesser-known regions around the world can be an eye-opening experience offering distinct, unusual flavor profiles, unique food-pairing opportunities, and (if you’re quick enough to the game) the prospect of value hunting.

These days, Spain’s Canary Islands represent one of the hippest and most fascinating growing regions in Europe. Located about 100 kilometers west of Morocco, the Canaries are distinguished by its high-elevation vineyards rich in volcanic soils–the islands also avoided the phylloxera scourge of the late 19th century, meaning they are home to some of the oldest ungrafted vines in Europe.

The Canary Islands now include 10 DOPs (Denominación de Origen Protegida). While each island has its own terroir, Canary wines in general are known for their roaring acidity and prominent mineral notes, often produced by smaller wineries in a low-intervention style. Below are three gems that we are currently featuring at Paul Marcus Wines.

2020 Bien de Altura – Gran Canaria – ‘Ikewen’

The grapes for the Ikewen Tinto, made by rising star Carmelo Peña Santana, come from steep, ungrafted vineyards located in a warm and dry microclimate on Gran Canaria. The old-vine blend is mostly Listan Negro and Listan Prieto, along with a few co-planted white varieties. After a long 40-day maceration, the juice ages for eight months in steel tanks. The resulting wine is bright and energetic, peppery and a tad savory, with enough earthy notes to keep it grounded. Bring on the carne fiesta–the spicy, garlicky marinated pork dish that is a favorite in these parts. The Ikewen is bold enough to hold its own, yet its low alcohol and low tannins won’t clash with the piquant flavors of the meal.

2021 Dolores Cabrera Fernández – Valle de la Orotava, Tenerife – ‘Hacienda Perdida’

The Valle de la Orotava appellation is located on the north coast of Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands. This region features a traditional vine-training style known as cordón trenzado, or “braided cords,” a labor-intensive, horizontally oriented system in which the vines can stretch as far as 50 feet wide. Dolores Cabrera is a master of the cordón trenzado system, and it shows. This high-toned mix of Listan Negro and Listan Blanco emanates from Hacienda Perdida, her highest parcel in Orotava, and it boasts a vigorous mineral streak, a hint of reduction, and a whiff of funk–all tied together with some gorgeously supple yet surprisingly lush fruit that lets you know that there is some clay among the volcanic soils.

2021 Tamerán Vijariego Blanco – Gran Canaria

David Silva and Jonatan García of Tamerán

Fans of European football will recognize the name David Silva, the stalwart Spanish midfielder who helped bring home two Euro titles and a World Cup for the national team. A native of Gran Canaria, Silva enlisted the help of Jonatan García (of Suertes del Marqués fame) when he founded his winemaking project a few years ago, focusing on a handful of rare, native Canarian grapes. This bottling is made from the obscure Vijariego Blanco grape, and it is truly a revelation. Aged on the lees in 500-liter barrels for nine months, this wine is quite a bit more textured and ripe than most Canary whites while still showcasing the mineral snap that is the region’s calling card. Thus, it is rich enough to stand up to heartier, more flavorful cuisine, without sacrificing anything in the way of freshness or elegance. It’s not every day you find this level of intensity and complexity for less than 50 bucks.

To learn more about these wines and a host of other Canary Island offerings, please visit us at the shop.

Any thoughtful conversation about why a particular wine tastes the way it does is going to get down and dirty–that is, delve into the soil types in the vineyard. The physical and chemical mechanisms by which different soil types (limestone, granite, schist, various volcanic rocks, etc.) influence wine flavor aren’t yet well established, but there are recognizable aromas and flavors that we can associate with these types. Here are four examples of different soil types and the nebbiolo wines they produce.

The granite-based vineyards of Caves de Donnas

Granite: 2018 Caves de Donnas Vallée d’Aoste Classico

The vines here in the far northwest of Italy grow on crazy-steep terraces of almost pure granite. Granite, along with the relatively high latitude and altitude of the vineyards around the town of Donnas, give acidity, minerality, and a brighter (even “crunchy”) quality to the fruit. Think less-ripe red fruit rather than dark cherries, with an alpine twang. Nebbiolo’s famous floral notes are a little more evident, and its darker, tarry qualities are less prominent. (For a simpler, more budget-friendly example from the region, try the 2020 Caves de Donnas Vallée d’Aoste – Barmet.)

Volcanic sand: 2016 Colombera & Garella Bramaterra – Cascina Cottignano

The volcanic sand of Bramaterra (left); marine sand of Lessona (center)

Volcanic soils are a feature of much of the Alto Piemonte (but not all– compare the next wine). The Cascina Cottignano vineyard’s soil is iron-rich and therefore rusty-red decomposed volcanic sand. The volcanic part gives a darker quality to the minerality compared to granite, and the iron content adds a ferrous and even sanguine note to the fruit. Volcanic soils tend to be high in acidity, resulting in wines whose structure comes more from acidity than from tannin, certainly when compared with Barbaresco and Barolo.

Marine sand: 2018 Colombera & Garella Lessona – Pizzaguerra

The Pizzaguerra vineyard is just a mile from Cascina Cottignano, and yet the soils in the former are not volcanic at all, but rather sand from an ancient seabed. Marine sand (which is what we usually mean when we say “sandy soils”) gives elegance, perfume, and delicacy–less power, more prettiness.

Calcareous marl (limestone/clay): 2018 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco

A combination of limestone and clay, sometimes with some sand in the mix, is the classic soil type found in both Barbaresco and Barolo in the Langhe. Like granite, limestone gives minerality, acidity, and freshness, but it also provides tannin and age-worthiness. Clay gives richer fruit, weight, and fullness. This combination of tannin and body makes for nebbiolos that are more powerful and imposing, compared with the other three terroirs described here.

In some circles, the idea of California “vintage charts” elicits chuckles and smirks. Even within the various appellations and sub-regions, the multitude of microclimates makes any kind of generalization tricky. In any event, please allow me to generalize: The 2021 pinot noir vintage in California seems to have been a uniform success up and down the Golden State.

Yes, it was a very dry year, without question, and drought conditions mean low yields and small berries. But it was also a warm (but not insanely hot), steady, consistent season, and pinot noir seems to have thrived in this setting. The resulting wines show balance, nuance, and complexity, with fruit that is restrained, but not austere.

Below are three noteworthy examples of 2021 California pinot from three distinct growing regions.

2021 Occidental – Freestone-Occidental (Sonoma Coast)

A relatively new endeavor from pinot pioneer Steve Kistler, Occidental focuses on cool, coastal, late-ripening vineyards on the far western edge of Sonoma County. It delivers bright, silky red fruit along with a wide array of spice and mineral notes–laser-focused but still generous in its own way. It might seem like an odd juxtaposition to say that a wine is “loaded with finesse,” but in this case it just feels right–a graceful gymnast with a lithe frame but a powerful core. Delightful in its youth, the Occidental will certainly benefit from a few years of cellaring.

2021 Drew – The Fog-Eater (Anderson Valley)

Medium-bodied and boasting a deeper, darker profile with savory and herbaceous elements, Drew’s Fog-Eater has a bit more prominent, upfront fruit than the other two selections on this list. As the cuvee name implies, Jason and Molly Drew draw the fruit from the colder, cloud-shrouded, wind-swept areas of northwest Anderson Valley. These days, however, there is enough daytime heat to allow the grapes to fully express themselves, and the upshot is a lovely, approachable pinot with great versatility at the dinner table.

Cole Thomas, Madson’s founder and winemaker

2021 Madson – Santa Cruz Mountains

Certainly a house favorite, Madson’s entry-level pinot offers red-fruit flavors that are subdued and elegant, allowing its floral and earthy components to shine through. At 12.6 percent alcohol, it’s a wine of subtlety and moderation, exemplifying the refinement one expects from the chilly, forested hillsides above Monterey Bay. Fermented whole-cluster and aged on the lees for nine months in old oak barrels, this is an unfined and unfiltered gem that consistently over-delivers on its relatively modest price.

These are just a few of the delights from the 2021 California harvest. To learn more about these wines and other beauties, come visit us at Paul Marcus Wines.

If you’ve ever found yourself answering the question, “Well, what d’ya want?” with “Anything but chardonnay,” we’d like a word with you. First of all, come on: The West Coast is having a chardonnay renaissance. From Southern California’s Santa Rita Hills to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, there are a multitude of styles, with as many fresh and chiseled examples as there are oaked and rich. In California, growers keep pushing the vineyards into cooler, windier places that limit quick ripening, while the Oregon versions have their own unique characteristics. They’re worth revisiting. Really.

Yet, if you’re set on trying something different, you should try fiano. The fiano grape (fee-ah-no) is native to southern Italy, with Campania being the epicenter. The story goes like this: Romans named it Apianum, “loved by bees,” and bees aren’t dumb. Fiano tends towards small berries and intense but not plentiful juice. The smaller quantity means that quality needs to be high to justify the labor.

In southern Italy, the summers are just as warm as they are here, and there’s no issue getting grapes to ripen (as there often is at higher latitudes or elevations). The challenge is maintaining the natural acidity of the grapes in the resulting wine. Some grapes fare better than others in this respect. Chardonnay, for example, thrives in cool pockets, but it doesn’t hold its acidity if the days and nights are too warm. You can add acid during winemaking, but that’s a poor substitute for perfect fruit. (Imagine an overripe strawberry sprinkled with citric acid–it’s still overripe.)

Fiano, native to a warmer climate, holds its acidity well. As California winemakers come to terms with a warming climate (2023 being an exception so far), they’re naturally drawn to grapes with a history of making quality wine from warm locales. Because of fiano’s low yields, it’s not the grape that will make growers rich, but climate change helps tip the scale.

At Paul Marcus Wines, we of course feature a world-class selection of Fiano di Avellino (fiano from its Italian home turf), but we also offer a handful of fiano expressions from California’s Dry Creek and Russian River valleys. Unti was ahead of the trend in planting Italian varietals in California (or replanting, but that’s another story), and their success must have encouraged the others. Unti’s fiano (as well as their vermentino, for that matter) shows the brightness and intensity of carefully farmed grapes. Unfortunately, the grape’s reputation for low productivity is true even in California, and they make tiny quantities. Gros Ventre is making fiano from a younger vineyard a couple hillsides closer to the coast, which dials it back a notch and shows a classy refinement. Cruess is working a 1.5-acre vineyard and somehow producing affordable wine.

These California plantings of fiano aren’t on the volcanic soils that dominate Campania, so the wines lack that suggestion of burnt rock. In addition, these California examples of fiano haven’t been given the heavy winemaking hand that many chardonnays have; no one is using new oak barrels to flavor the wine. In truth, these producers are still trying to tease out what California fiano tastes like.

Naturally, it’s worth trying both types of fiano (Italian and Californian)  to experience what’s gained and lost by the different soil types. For a survey of Campania’s finest, you can turn to sleeker examples by I Favati and Guido Marsella or richer styles like Ciro Picariello. We also have higher-end versions such as the Quintodecimo and the I Favati Riserva that are suitable for longer aging.

When pairing with food, fiano can handle dishes with a bit more acid than chardonnay is comfy with, so go ahead and squeeze that lemon or add a splash more vinegar. Any of the rotisserie chickens at Market Hall Foods or a variety of glazed fish dishes would also be excellent matches.

All together, we’ve got enough fiano in the house to keep you busy exploring for weeks. Come on by, and we’ll help get you started on your fiano journey.