2012ArbeGarbe2012 Arbe Garbe, White, Russian River Valley.
Letizia and Enrico Maria Bertoz are producing some of the Russian River’s most interesting new white wines, inspired by their roots in Italian’s Friuli region, northern Eastern Italy, but still reflect the new world and California. The grapes are sourced from Saralee’s Vineyard a long time source for off the beaten path varietals, Joseph Swan in particular has made many a fine wine from this wealth of goodies, and now the Bertoz’s are doing the same. The Arbe Garbe, which means “Bad Weed” in Friulian dialect, is a reference to the native cover crops that are used to replenish the soils between rows of vines, and the name of the Bertoz’s label, the make two wines, a straight Malvasia and this lovely blend of 45% Pinot Grigio, 40% Malvasia Bianco, and 15% Gew├╝rtztraminer. This new vintage, the 2012 Arbe Garbe White, is the best yet for this young winery and it reminds me of both the Alsace and Alto Adige regions, it is totally unique and is utterly delightful and delicious, this years release starts with vibrant citrus, white flowers, hints of rose petal, spice and tropical essences leading to a light to medium palate of fresh apple, pear, lemon, passion fruit and white peach fruits with a tangy tangerine and apricot side that comes through as it opens up. The nice and graceful lift of acidity, mineral and slight bitter tones help keeps things interesting and dry, along with touches of clove, pepper, wild herbs and raw ginger add to the intrigue and exotic nature of this well crafted wine, drink now through 2018.
($28 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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