Orange wine is a type of wine made from white wine grapes where the grape skins are not removed, as in typical white wine production, and stay in contact with the juice for days or even months. This contrasts with conventional white wine production, which involves crushing the grapes and quickly moving the juice off the skins into the fermentation vessel. The skins contain color pigment, phenols and tannins that would normally be considered undesirable for white wines. These wines have been described as robust and bold, with honeyed aromas of jackfruit (a fleshy tropical fruit), hazelnut, brazil nut, bruised apple, wood varnish, linseed oil, juniper, sourdough, and dried orange rind. On the palate, they’re big, dry. Some of them are only slightly different from “Normal ” whites and some are very unusual. And the degree is all a matter of taste. We’ve recently added a few new ones to our collection. Here’s what we stock.
2019 Fratelli Cozza Figlia Della Notte, Pinot Grigio Ramato $11
Ramato (Italian for “auburn” or “copper”) wines are produced by macerating Pinot Grigio grape must with its skins. The skins’ pink hue give the wines color. Look for aromas baking spice, dried fruit, tropical fruit and herbs with good structure and tannin.
2019 Corte Giacobbe Pinot Griggio Ramatto $15
From Veneto, this Pinot Grigio, picks up its color from 12 hours maceration of it skins. It is aged 3 months on it leas. The wine has notes of tropical fruit, such as pineapple and heightened by subtle floral notes of spring wildflowers. Elegant and silky smooth on the palate. Is it a rosé? Is it an Orange Wine? Is it both?
2018 L’Archetipo Litrotto Bianco $20
Marchione, Verdeca Fiano, Falanghina
Scents of citrus, yellow fruits and aromatic herbs are wrapped in a marine and Mediterranean breath. The taste is fresh and delicate. Organic/Biodynamic
2017 Mosmieri Kakhuri, Rkatsiteli $15
From Georgia here is an affordable introduction to “Orange Wine” Hand-harvested grapes are pressed and then macerated along with the seeds and skins in stainless tanks for more than 5 months. This amber colored wine has a delicate bouquet of fresh quince and dried fruits, with mild tannins, complimented with pleasant finish.
2018 Nine Oaks Rkatsiteli Orange Wine $30
The grape Rkatsiteli is one Georgia’s most popular. A deep amber color with full-body, the wine expresses notes of pear skin and dried apricot, with savory layers of black tea, beer hops and peat. The tannins are noticeable and structured, and the fruit flavors will continue to evolve beautifully for hours after being opened.
2017 Viñedos Verticales Filitas Y Lutitas $27
90% Moscatel, 10% Pedro Ximénez
A very aromatic, long skin contact wine. Complex and very mineral, with notes of white flowers and subtle hints of sherry. Organic
2018 Klet Brda Krasno $20
40% Ribillo Gialla, 30% Malvasia, 30% Sauvigonnasse
Krasno is the highest village in Brda region of Slovenia, with a long wine tradition and an abundance of excellent sites. This Orange Wine sits sur lie for 6 months. The fresh and elegant white blend has an impressively mineral, full taste and delicate aromas of ripe white fruit, spices and wildflowers.
2017 Anatolikos Vineyards Orange Wine $62
Malagousia and Asyrtiko are spontaneous fermented in amphora, in contact with the skins for 270 days. The wine is aromatic with quince, honey and apricot aromas. Great balance on the palate with soft tannins relaxing the sweetness of the fruit. Organic