2019 Ryme Cellars, Vermentino “Hers” Las Brisas Vineyard, Carneros, Sonoma County.
Ryme’s whites are especially delightful, and this crisply dry and mineral driven 2019 Las Brisas Vermentino is aging nicely gaining a bright gold hue in the glass and delivering loads of lemon zest and tart white peach fruit leading the way along with bitter almond, a light herbal note and orange blossoms, making for a bracing light to medium bodied white that is salty fresh and delicately aromatic that gets the mouth watering. There is a bit of mature elements here that add to the complexity, it almost has a Riesling like flinty note, plus a whiff of paraffin and country French olive soap, which is more pleasant in flavor than the words can detail and the wine’s transparent personality is very welcome here, allowing a clarity of form and it’s just refreshing in vitality. At this stage it still over delivers quality wise and is great with lighter Summer food choices, in particular shell fish and Mediterranean cuisine. The Ryme Hers Vermentino is the more traditional example, while the Ryme His Vermentino is a skin contact, almost orange wine style with more body and savory tones. Winemaker, Megan Glaab, explains that the “Hers” with a green label is harvested for freshness and energy, which is clearly on display here. It is whole cluster pressed and bottled early from grapes grown in the cool foggy Las Brisas Vineyard, located on the Sonoma side of Carneros AVA. The vines here are situated on sandy silt and gravel at the end of the Petaluma Wind Gap and just off San Pablo Bay, that gives this wine its dynamic energy and racy citrus.
Ryme Cellars, founded in 2007 in Sonoma County, is led by Ryan and Megan Glaab, who met in Australia working as seasonal cellar hands at Torbreck Winery and fell in love, getting back together when they moved back to California. They have much more experience than you’d expect from such a couple still in their youth, having between the two of them an impressive resume already, they have worked at an awesome set of wineries, including Pax Wine Cellars, Peay Vineyards, Sine Qua Non, and even Marcassin, owned by the legendary Helen Turley. The Glass’s make a wide range of unique offerings, focusing on their two HIs and Hers Vermentino(s), a Ribolla Gialla, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Cabernet Franc, which is one of their signature reds and Aglianico bottlings, that have become my favorites in their lineup, as well as a Sparlkling Carignane and an excellent Fiano. These faithfully crafted Southern Italian varietal offerings, including this Vermentino, are some of the best versions in California and I highly recommend them. This Hers Vermentino was whole cluster pressed, settled clean to get the green phenolics out, and then naturally fermented, as the Glass’s note, without inoculation in a combination of old neutral French oak barrels and stainless steel, with this wine undergoing a spontaneous partial malolactic fermentation to a touch of texture and presence. I really enjoyed this vintage and ordered some of their new 2021 recently, along with Ryme’s outstanding Rosé of Aglianico, which I adore, and the latest release of Russian River Cab Franc. I look forward to reviewing them soon, though I suggest not waiting and getting some the Ryme as soon as possible, as their wines sell out fast.
($25 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive