First there was snow. Now there’s 70 degrees of sunshine out there! I’ve learned that winter in N.C. is a quirky time of year. Similarly, after a holiday season and snow day spent sipping on dark, dry, wintery reds I’ve been in search of something quirky to drink. Something that pairs with the mood swings of the season – wines with bright fruit for warm afternoons, with enough body for the rich, cold weather comfort foods I want for dinner in the evening. That’s exactly what I’ve found with these unique white wines from Kivelstadt.
Working out of his family’s tiny estate in Sonoma, winemaker Jordan Kivelstadt produces very small amounts of some inventive and delicious wines, from grapes sourced from top vineyards around California. He tends toward non-traditional techniques – like oak-aging his Sauv Blanc – and the results are wines with a lot of character, ready for food, and fun to drink. These wines just arrived in N.C. and I’m thrilled to be able to share them with you – as well as enjoy a glass or two myself!
Kivelstadt “Mother of Invention” $20
The Details: a classic white Rhone style blend of 40% Marsanne, 40% Roussanne, and 20% Viognier from the Sierra Foothills. The three varietals are co-fermented, then aged for six months on the lees in neutral French oak.
The Notes: Ripe, flavorful, and complex. Aromas of white flowers and honeysuckle. Juicy tropical flavors – mango, papaya – with a touch of vanilla and a crispness to the finish. Chardonnay fans, bubbly drinkers, Riesling geeks – or anyone looking for something fun and tasty to pair with Thai pork or ramen – this is a must-try wine.
Kivelstadt “Family Secret” $20
The Details: Sonoma Valley Sauvignon Blanc, fermented and aged in 50% neutral French oak barrels and 50% stainless steel, the wine in barrel is aged on the lees for 6 months.
The Notes: Whoa. Unlike any Sauv Blanc I’ve ever tried. Basil-y, minty aromas and bursting with zingy, tart, citrusy flavors. Lemon peel, margarita-salt-rim, tangerine, with a chalky sour beer-like finish. Would pair wonderfully with a buttery lobster tail, veggie casserole, or a funky hunk of goat cheese and a sunny afternoon.