2020 Folk Machine, White Light, Blended White Wine, California.
The Healdsburg based Hobo Wine Company and their Folk Machine label makes some very cheap and cheerful wines and this White Light California white blend is one of my favorites, with its brisk citrus and peach led fruits and light bodied palate it performs everything that is promised and is wonderfully refreshing, a great Summer sipper for warm days and picnics. Hobo Wine Company started with just a few barrels of Zinfandel and has blossomed into more than a handful of labels and more than a 1,000 barrels of wine, made from a vast array of varietals every year, vintage permitting, but still their signature wine is their Hobo Zinfandel, Branham Vineyard, from the Rockpile AVA, just northwest of Dry Creek Valley, near lake Sonoma. Their wines range from the Zin to eccentric grapes like Aglianico and Friulano, which is the dominant white grape here in this White Light blend, and includes Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab Franc, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Charbono, Riesling, Valdiguie and Verdelo too. Sometimes, I forget, just how fun it is to have a sunny day wine that doesn’t need too much attention and that is easy on the wallet, which this White Light does and well.
Folk Machine, part of the Hobo Wine Company, is a small California label made by Kenny Likitprakong, who also makes the critically acclaimed Ghostwriter lineup, mainly featuring elegant low alcohol Santa Cruz Mountains Pinots and Chards and who along with his wife Lynn Wheeler bottle a bunch of other brands, including Banyon and Camp Wines. The 2020 White Light is a unique blend of 51% Tocai Friulano from Mendocino, 22% Riesling from Arroyo Seco, in Monterey County, 22% Verdelho from Suisun Valley, just east of Napa Valley and 5% Sauvignon Blanc from Potter Valley. Everything was picked at the beginning of the season, or a bit less ripe than most, with brix numbers ranging from 19˚ to 21˚ with the final wine coming in at just 12.5% natural alcohol, to keep things vibrantly fresh and dry. Kenny and Lynn, note that each variety was fermented individually in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts and kept at a cool temperature, after which, when the fermentation was complete they lightly filtered the wine and left it in stainless steel to age a few months before bottling the following Spring. If you are in the need a easy quaffable white at a great price point and less boring than New Zealand SBs, you’ll be well served to grab the latest Folk Machine White Light.
($16 Est.) 88 Points, grapelive