Sierra Milk

Checking in on the trendy new grape on the Rhone-roster, except not from a big, well-known producer, but a tiny label sourcing mostly heritage varieties into tiny lots from all over California. Not sure I’ve even had a Picpoul on the blog before–I’ve tasted many over the past few years, but this might be the first *real* appearance. Maybe Paix Sur Terre? Probably should google that before I open my mouth, but I just don’t remember one.

Cloudy amber–quite golden actually–in the glass, a nice cellar-must approaching pet-nat or even cider flowing into the nose. Quite concentrated, with tinges of earth and shrubbery lining the pear-sauce and green banana. A certain ripe-tropical coats the bouquet–along with ripe floral–mango and black fig with wilted lily and natal plum.

In the mouth, it’s a thick, fruity beast, running headlong into Chablis, Vouvray, or even well-made, acidic versions of Viognier. Rich and spicy, the white-wine interpretations of cinnamon and nutmeg lay softly under strong green-brier and clean straw. The acidic bite is impossible to ignore, and a refreshing stimulus to the big fruit and chewy fermented nuances. Abrasive with almost-gritty citrus, the bitter grate of structure a welcome and perfect companion to ripe richness.

A white wine demanding consideration and thought. Well-done and stimulating. If you’re into big, buttery Chards, massive Rhone blends or even austere Rieslings, just stop reading now. This is way in between all of those: a thinking-person’s white, completely devoid of boredom or blandness.

2020 SABELLI-FRISCH ‘Milk Fed’ Picpoul Shergill Vyd Mokelumne River California 13.0

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