I experienced a crazy TV moment last week while watching the new season of the Netflix original series, Dead to Me. In the first episode of the second season orange wine is prominently mentioned. Granted, neither of the characters discussing orange wine knew what it was, but it got a mention. I guess that means at least scriptwriters have been paying attention to the world’s sommeliers and wine writers. Quite by coincidence I had been sipping Roxanich Ines U Bijelom, an orange wine made in Croatia, earlier in the evening. What are the odds?
2010 Roxanich Ines U Bijelom, Istria, Croatia — burnt orange color in the glass with aromas of iron, dried orange peel and blackstrap molasses. Flavors include cinnamon, dried orange peel, damp earth and cedar. As the wine warms dried cherry and bruised apple flavors come forward. The wine has nice acidity, texture from tannins and a long finish. 13.5% abv. SRP $30
This has been such a special bottle of wine. The oxidative flavors are an appealing combination of dried fruit and iron, but it still tastes fresh too. I sipped this wine over several days and the flavors remained stable with refrigeration.
The blend is equal portions of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Fruilano, Verduzzo, Glera, Riesling and Pinot Blanc. Rather than pressing the grapes and fermenting the juice separate from the skins, they are left to ferment on the skins. It is essentially a white wine made using red winemaking techniques. Skin contact for 70 days was followed by 6 years of aging in large-volume wooden vats and barrels. The wine was bottled without filtration. The extended skin contact and aging are responsible for the unique color and flavor profile of this wine. That’s the charm of orange wines for me.
This wine is very versatile with food. Pair it with anything from creamy mushroom pasta to pork. It loves the umami flavors of roasted vegetables.
The 2010 Cuvée is the current release of this wine and we purchased it online from our friends at Toposhines Vino. I just checked and it is still available. Check out the Roxanich website for information about their minimal intervention winemaking style and lodging and dining at this beautiful central Istrian location.