OK, so this is an interesting wine. And grape. I had to google it, and would highly recommend anyone with a penchant for such things to read–at minimum–the wiki page on Jacquez. The extremely short version is: V. vinifera: 69% V. berlandieri: 21% V. rupestris: 7% V. riparia: 3% via DNA with hybridization between the first two quite possibly occuring naturally. But it goes way farther–back into the 18th century. Go read on it if you’ve got 5 minutes or 5 hours. Fascinating stuff. But we’re here to talk about this bottle.
Dull, thin orange-pink with obvious turbidity and spritz. A smoky, meaty nose flows freely out of the glass: natural and gamey and writhing with weedy vegetal and points of acid. It’s NOT vitis labrusca–that part is certain–far more vinifera in bouquet. Napa-Cab and Rhone-Monster Bro can just look the other way here, but if you’re into low-intervention, low-alc, free-form wines along the likes of Iruai, Phelan Farms, Field Recordings, Deux Punx or even certain Gamays or Mencias, this is your jam. Deep strawberry and white peach fill the fruit-card with aplomb. Drinking this in the low-60’s.
In the mouth, completely flush with professional, modern fruit stuffing. It’s clean. It’s direct. It’s beautiful in all ways. The entry squishes berry pulp between your teeth and sharpens it with sprite. Arancia thickens the edges of full berry with prickly zest and home-grown fervor. Watery cardboard and loamy nuances contribute to delicious warmth from a shockingly light body. Tannins are a funky affair, perfectly in balance with prelude and core. Fairly amazing stuff.
2021 PLEB URBAN WINERY Jacquez American Red Wine Asheville NC 10.1