Exploring the slightly strange, but very tasty, world of orange wine with the Wrath Ex Dolio Falanghina.
100% Falanghina from the Estate San Saba Vineyard in Monterey, California just below the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA in California. The wine is aged 6 month in clay dolium.
Sample submitted for review. The Wrath Ex Dolio Falanghina has an SRP of $29 (Saturday Splurge) although previous vintages are available for as low as $18. Only 92 cases produced. Ready to buy? Check your local retailers.
This unfiltered Wrath Ex Dolio Falanghina pays homage to the wine of Roman Campania through both the winemaking process and the use of an ancient varietal common to that area. In keeping with tradition, we ferment our estate-grown Falanghina on the skins in a dolium, the massive ceramic vessel used by Romans.
Orange wine, you say? What in the world is that!
Despite the name, orange wine doesn’t have anything at all to do with oranges. The name comes from the orange color that results from fermenting the juice from white grapes on the grape skins for an extended period, much like a red wine. The result of this varies, but in some ways the tannins and mouthfeel of these wines are indeed more like a red than a white.
Orange wine then isn’t really a strict category, but more of an end of the spectrum in terms of white wines. In some cases, like today’s wine, the flavor experience is quite different than anything you may have tasted before.
The 2016 Wrath Ex Dolio Falanghina shows a light orange color in the glass and since it is also unfiltered, has a good amount of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. The aroma is quite intriguing with apricot, apple, citrus and a good does of eucalyptus. It’s probably different than anything you’ve had in the past and it gets even stranger (in a good way) from there.
Tasting the wine reveals a wonderful, smooth, unctuous mouthfeel, that is indeed more like a red wine than your typical white. It also has nice depth of flavor, good acidity with similar flavors to the nose plus a little orange rind and lemon in the mouth. Some flinty mineral notes lead into the dry, long and persistent finish.