Malvasia Bianca first beckons with a gorgeous glint of pale gold in the straw-colored wine. A virtual garland of orange blossom, night-blooming jasmine and a grassiness reminiscent of fresh olives leaps from the glass with a swirl, teasing into a belief that this is a sweet wine. But a first sip surprises with tangy essence of quince, key lime and newly picked white peaches. This lean and bone-dry wine pulses across the palate with light and lively nuances of lime marmalade, kumquat, membrillo and loquats and then lingers with a crisp, stoney minerality and briney character suggestive of Malvasia Bianca’s seaside history.
Malvasia really only struts its captivating character when grown in a maritime climate. The 2011 release hails from two sloping vineyards in valleys influenced by the nearby Pacific Ocean; the Alisos Vineyard in the Los Alamos Valley and the Larner Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley. Both experience the same morning marine fogs, warm sunny days and cool, crisp evenings as that of its Friuli-Venezia roots in Italy. This “cool-warm-cool” environment results in perfectly ripe grapes that retain their astounding aromatics and natural acidity.
Food Pairing Notes
This is an excellent pairing with spicy dishes, oysters on the half shell, crispy fried foods and caviar.