We never pass up the opportunity to taste skin-contact white wines. We enjoy everything from Pinot Gris with only a few hours of skin contact to other varieties that might have months of skin contact resulting in an orange wine. The flavors of these wines can vary significantly depending on the grape variety, length of skin contact, fermentation vessels and other decisions made by the winemaker. Some are more interesting to us than others and we have only come across the very occasional skin-contact wine that we didn’t like due to off flavors. Mostly we find them really interesting and complex.
We recognize this style of wine isn’t for every wine drinker though. These wines tend to have more umami flavors than fruit flavors and they have tannins. If you’re not certain you like the style (or if you’ve had a negative experience but are still curious), we have an orange wine to recommend. It’s one we think will convince you to further explore this style of wine because it has both those interesting umami flavors and fruit along with tannins.
2017 Viteadovest Bianco, Terre Siciliane IGP — dark yellow-orange in the glass. Aromas of iron, dried hay, bruised apple and cedar are followed by flavors of dusty earth, lightly toasted nuts, iron, bruised apple and apricots. Light tannins add interest and juicy acidity makes for a clean finish. 12.5% abv. $28
The earthy, umami qualities in this wine balance nicely with a bit of fruit to result in a wine you just want to keep sipping. We enjoyed this wine with cheese and nuts before dinner and then pasta with Italian sausage. Mushroom dishes would also be delicious. We’ve been sipping this wine for several days and it has held up perfectly.
According to the Importer, Zev Rovine Selections, Viteadovest is a family collaboration, between the Portelli+Puleo and Angileri families, that grows its own grapes over 5 hectares of vineyards scattered between Marsala and Mazara del Vallo on the western side of Sicily. Farming is organic and winemaking is hands off.
Grillo and Catarratto undergo skin maceration for 10 to 15 days with spontaneous fermentation using wild yeast. The wine is aged for a minimum of 12 months on the lees in stainless steel tanks and 3 months in the bottle. No sulfur was added.