Born and raised (mostly) in California, I am LOVING these new modern historic variety interpretations. Love California history, the Mexicans and Indians and the Mission system, am a highway geek and architecture buff, so these things are right down my alley. 20 years ago, the weirdest thing you could drink was Petite Sirah or Carignane, Ruby Cab or old-vine Zin or Delta Chenin, and now we’re seeing some really great stuff from several curious producers. Nothing excites me more than opening a MISSION. Completely transparent amber garnet: a salmon or onion-peel sort of ruby-ish lighter in color than a lot of high-octane, saignée rosés out there! Wild and spirited in the nose, there’s a certain stemminess to it… a certain rusticity to it… a certain dirty-fruit-muddle–all surrounding concentrated cherry.
Tasting it also defies the body. Rich and robust, the fruit well-defined and spicy–the bite of acid adding an abrasive core to the bold berry. Contemporary and professionally distinct, it has grip and purpose: a very well-made wine. Sage and chaparral prop the finish: a high-note acridity so welcome against the flowery fruit. Tannins–are those tannins??? I think so–play into the lovely bitterness of the finish: a full-circle ending to a wine that shocks your eyes and impresses your tongue.
2019 SABELLI-FRISCH ‘La Malinche’ Mission Somers Vyd Mokelumne River California 12.5