2016 Malvasia Bianca
Contra Costa County
January 23, 2017
March 1, 2017
The 2016 Malvasia has a deep straw color, with a hint of green, and a slight haziness to it. Aromas of lime, kiwi, honeysuckle, clover, and starfruit dominate the nose at such a young age, with flinty, mineral notes starting to show through. The palate is taut and vibrant thanks to the zippy acidity, yet with no sharpness. Tropical flavors are joined by green apple and white pepper, and Malvasia’s characteristic orange blossom note.
The 2016 Malvasia Bianca was once again sourced from Ceccini Vineyard in Contra Costa County, and was harvested on August 5. The sugar came in a touch higher than in 2015, at 18.9 brix, which led to a finished alcohol about half a percent higher, though still very low for California at 11.1%. The winemaking is incredibly simple on this wine; we just pick the fruit, throw it in the press, and then chill it for a couple days in tank to settle out the heaviest solids. We then rack the juice into old oak barrels, and transfer to the cold cellar, where we wait for fermentation to start naturally. This happened quite slowly this year, with fermentation kicking in after about five days. Once the yeast got going things went slowly and smoothly, finishing in about 5 weeks, at which point I decided to prevent malolactic fermentation in order to preserve the beautiful, fresh acidity. The wine then aged on the lees undisturbed for about 3 months, before being racked to tank and bottled in late January. Because there is no fining or filtration, there is often a slight cloudiness to the wine, and sometimes a little sediment will form in the bottle, but both of these are harmless and a natural part of the wine.