What if I told you there were orange wines that were not only NOT weird, but actually well-done and tasty? An expectant golden hue, evocative of aged Chardonnay or Chenin. Creamy, rich nose, packed with sweet fruit–almost nectar-ish in the concentration of peach and Harvest Gold raspberries. A slight gameyness offsets the lush, and a dirty crisp core of structure makes itself apparent. Hay bedding packed around curvy haunches give savory stories meaning in the beautiful bouquet.

In the mouth, the richness never is allowed to go thick or cloying, as the sprite of acid and meaningful tannin take grip early on. Dry, tart berry, iced with lychee and tropical floral, adds a viscousness to a mouth-feel already headed into glorious rasp. Where the nose is fragrant and thick, on the palate it is ALLLLLL Riesling: tight and light on its feet, alive with graphite and green tea, purposeful in its direction.

I guess the real question on a wine like this is HOW WILL IT AGE? This would be really interesting to taste in 10 years. Obviously it could go in one of two distinct directions. And also obviously: it has a head start with all the skin-contact. It is extremely balanced, extremely good, and shows extreme potential.

2019 JUGO SANTO ‘Frankenwine’ Riesling Monterey Co. California 12.3

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