This winery and its wines are, to put it mildly, damn exciting. Owner/winemaker Sam Bilbro learned at the feet of his father as the owner of Marietta Cellars, one of the more under-appreciated sources for both quality and value in California. Marietta is best known for their Zinfandels, especially their Lot Series Red, which blends a laundry list of varieties together to approximate the old time Californian Field Blend of the early Sonoma settlers. Much of these historic blends (and historic vineyards) are strongly influenced by Italian grape varieties, and by studying these blends Sam built a strong attachment to these overlooked red and white grapes. Since the 2012 vintage Sam has been cobbling together wines from forgotten plots across Sonora and other North Coast vineyards, gradually improving the quality under his watch and gaining experience in ways to make these grapes great again. This release marks his best yet, including 'The Bird' Red Blend and a Dolcetto Vinous owner/reviewer and Italian wine specialist calls 'probably the best Dolcetto I have tasted from California' (both of which are presently available in the store but not for tasting today).
The Bee is a blend of Muscat Canelli, Friulano, Arneis, and Cortese; many may be scared off by the use of the first two varieties, thinking the wine will be sweet and fruity. But you would be mistaken, and missing out on a completely lovely white wine experience. Flowery aroma thanks to the Muscat and Friuliano, full of white and orange fruits, almost tropical but cut through with cooler lime and citrus tones. The palate turns almost 180 degrees, showing lots of citrus peel and stone fruit, melon rind tartness, and a long racy finish. The alcohol is low yet finishes strikingly and refreshingly dry. This will be a Spring dinner stunner, and dramatically changes the way we should think of what can be done from Italian varieties in California.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!