Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ca' del Solo Albarino 2008


Bonny Doon Vineyard's Randall Grahm has two driving forces in the present phase of his arc as a winemaker.  One is to make wines which express a sense of place - terroir - and the other is to achieve and maintain a green attitude toward winemaking.  With his Ca' del Solo Albarino, he makes great strides on both counts.

His terroir is fully on display in this wine, a zesty and mineral-laden representation of the earth from his Salinas Valley vineyard.  It is also certified Biodynamic, a front-burner issue for Grahm these days.  Grahm's needs have been met with this beautiful white - and so have ours.

The wine pours up a pale yellow-green in the glass.  It's wonderfully aromatic, with floral notes, a ton of citrus and plenty of minerals. It has a nose that keeps you busy.  It's one of those wines that smells so good you might have to remind yourself to drink it.  Please don't forget to do so.  On the palate, this Albarino is nice and crisp, a very clean taste - zesty is the word that keeps popping into my head - and it finishes clean.

Grahm has a proclivity for unheralded grapes.  While Albarino doesn't really qualify as unheralded for me, the other two grapes in the mix are decidedly lesser stars.  Loureiro and Treixadura both hail from northern Portugal and are used mainly as blending grapes in crisp, dry white wines.

Variety:  75% Albarino, 21% Loureiro, 4% Treixadura
Appellation:  California > Monterey County
Vineyard:  Ca' del Solo
Vintage:  2008
Alcohol Level:  12.8%
Price:  $20
Acquisition disclaimer:  Provided for purpose of review