2021 Giornata, Falanghina, Amphora Series, Paso Robles.
Brian Terrizzi’s Giornata label, all wines inspired by their Italian cousins, has been one of the great alternative wineries in Paso Robles and from his spot in Tin City is putting out an impressive array of stuff from this excellent skin contact and amphora raised Falanghina to his signature Nebbiolo, these are do not miss wines, especially this one, and the latest releases I just was able to try. The reds will get all of the attention here, but the whites should not be too over looked, as this intriguing golden orange edged and textured white proves, it has impeccable balance and grace, none too common in orange style wines, with just enough extract grip, savory elements and earthy phenolics to make it complex, but with exceptional purity of fruit and beautiful aromatics. The medium bodied palate is fresh and vigorous with layers of apricot/peach stone fruit, preserved lemons, quince and tangy nectarine along with a fine saline note, chalk, candied citrus rind, spiced florals and mineral tones that shine through in the glass, it drinks really well and is surprisingly graceful with plenty of flesh and natural acidity. Fun to sip on, the Giornata Amphora Series Flanghina is brilliant with food and gets more interesting with cuisine, I would recommend pairing it with grilled salmon, spicy shrimp and or with a cheese board, all to allow the full depth of this wine to express itself.
As mentioned in prior reviews, Giornata is specializing in Italian varietals or Cal Itals and focuses on the Piedmonte grapes of Nebbiolo and Barbera, but does a stylish set of Southern Italian wines, including their Fiano and Falanghina offerings, as well as an incredible Aglianico, which hails from Campania and the famous Taurasi region and is called the Barolo of the South. Between Giornata and Ryme Cellars, plus some other producers, have taken California to the next level in Italian varietal wines, beyond Sangiovese and there’s more to come. I’m very excited in particular for the potential of Aglianico, with Terrizzi’s 2019 French Camp Vineyard version being a fantastic effort. Paso Robles provides limestone soils and weather that suits these Southern Italy grapes, with warm days and cool nights allowing big ripe flavors, but also retaining lively energy in the wines with natural acidity, all of which is showcased in these Giornata wines. Brian’s set of Fatto a Mano, translated as “made by hand” in Italian, consists of Arneis, Falanghina, as seen here, Fiano, Ramato of Pinot Gris and Vermentino, as he notes, are handcrafted, sourced from sustainable vines on the West side of the region and are fermented and aged in Giornata’s old world inspired terra-cotta amphoraes. These special, mostly skin contact, lightly tannic whites are unfiltered and unfined, hand bottled and hand labeled, plus they can purchased as a set, with the 2021 vintage seeing a collection of six wines, which is a cool way to explore these cool wines.
($35 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive