The Ribolla gialla tastes like hazelnuts, baking spices, Meyer lemon curd, Bartlett pear, but most of all it has a stony minerality that is incredibly distinctive. There is supple tannic structure and fresh balanced acidity, with great weight and length given the low alcohol.
The Ribolla gialla represents seven rows in our home ("MATTHIASSON") vineyard in the Western Oak Knoll area of Napa Valley. It was grafted onto 15 year old Merlot vines. George Vare was given a few sticks of the budwood from Josko Gravner in 2001 and grafted it into his own vineyard, which Steve was managing. Steve and then Jill in love with the variety in the process, and immediately grafted the variety into their own vineyard when they purchased it in 2006.
Ribolla gialla originates in the Friuli region of Italy and across the border in Slovenia. It’s earliest known mention was in the Pope’s paperwork managing a dispute between the Bishop of Trieste and a monastery in Venezia in 1296. Ribolla Gialla makes an unparalleled food wine, filling the gap in food pairing between white wines and red wines—it can be amazing with pork, rich raw and cooked seafood, and intense cheeses. We chose to ferment this wine on its skins and stems in the ancient manner.
The wine was fermented whole cluster in a open-top tank. After two weeks the must was pressed, and the wine was aged for 20 months in neutral barrels.
The wine aged sur lees, it was never racked it. No SO2 was used until bottling