At MYSA Natural wine, we’re completely focused on wines made naturally! This term can get really confusing and many people will think it means the wines will taste strange, or that they’re meant to be had young. So this month we’re addressing both of these points and taking a look at what happens when you age wines. We'll have vintages from 2016-2020, and feature great expressions of what are called tertiary flavors in wine. For a little background, primary flavors are notes like fruit, flower, and herbs while secondary ones might include vanilla from wine being aged in oak, or creaminess from malolactic fermentation. So tertiary flavors typically include notes like nuttiness, coffee, tobacco, and so many others. Another fun fact is that red wines get lighter with age while white wines get darker. That won’t be obvious in all of these bottles but is definitely something to keep in mind for your future wine purchases. Until then, I hope you enjoy all of these bottles and spend some time contemplating what tertiary notes you’re getting from them! Read about each bottle below:
- Viteadovest, Kapo | Sicily, Italy; red, nero d’avola, nerello mascelese: Initially I’m struck by the deep red fruits and subtle spiciness of this red. Very complex with all kinds of flavors from licorice to candied plums to herbs. It screams for an arancini or Neapolitan pizza with prosciutto on top.
- Bibich, Pinot Sivi | Dalmatia, Croatia; white, pinot gris: A local version of pinot gris (called pinot sivi), it feels very luxurious with great complexity and a full, round mouthfeel. Notes of ripe pears, apricots, and yellow apples paired with bright acidity make it perfect for plates featuring fatty fish, like salmon or mackerel.
- Domaine des Quatre Pierres, El Pépé | Languedoc, France; red, carignan: El Pépé is a gorgeous example of carignan with age (that happens to be from 75-year-old vines). As tasty as it is rare, I was stunned to find out we could get enough bottles for this Club! Smooth and fresh with a hint of smoke and juicy red fruits. You’ll likely catch the tobacco note which is coming from age. Feel free to drink now or let it keep going for a few years to gain even more complexity.
- Adega Eloi Lorenzo, Sunne Caíño Longo | Ribeiro, Spain; red, brancellao: Sunne is made from brancellao and is a bit of a lovely roller coaster with savory notes along with fresh pomegranate, cloves, coffee, and chocolate (all tertiary notes). The body is light and tannin low, making it easy to drink but still complex with a long finish. Pair with some tapas or barbecued fish.
- Microbio, Isse | Castilla y León, Spain; white, verdejo: This one was made in amphora and has several years on it giving it a slight hint of oxidation (like what you find in a sherry) but is still super crisp with fresh stone fruit, herbs, and limes. A beautifully complex version of verdejo that you should put with a can of tinned fish.
- Domaine Ribiera, Tintorela Blanc | Languedoc, France; white, malvoisie, grenache blanc: Tintorela Blanc is a blend that was allowed to age in old barrels for 6 months, plus a few years of age. It has a lovely medium body, a slight waxiness that makes the finish very long, and is textural with light floral notes and fresh apricots. Pair with calamari and some patatas brava.
- Bodegas Garay, Bleu Zalema | Condado de Huelva, Spain; white, zalema: This one spent 6 months in French oak which impart s quite a bit of flavor. Plus, the few years of skin contact here give it some honeyed and slightly cider-y notes. Their location next to the ocean gives the wine a lovely salinity that's rounded out by some zested orange peel. Definitely one of the more unusual wines you’ll try, but with this context I hope you find the unreal beauty in this bottle and pair it with some tasty aged cheeses.
- Do.t.e., Joe-San | Tuscany, Italy; red, sangiovese: It should already be obvious from the bottle that this is not your chianti classico, but rather a wine that takes a lighter touch on the grape creating a much more fruit- forward, earthy number. It's even got tart cherries, lovely florals, herbs, and a hint of smoke. Perfect pizza wine if you ask me.
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