"Rocky Hill Vineyard" California
Skin-fermented Pinot Gris from “Rocky Hill Vineyard” on Sonoma Mountain. An “orange wine” a la Friuli’s Radikon Winery (Steverjan is the village where Radikon lives and makes wine). Get red plums (with the skins), dried apricots, nectarines, dried wildflowers, coriander, green tea. Medium body, depth of flavor. 240 cases made.
Food & Wine Blog Post by Sean Nelson, February 2016
Pairing wine with Indian cuisine can be a challenge: not many wines are up to the task of complementing these exotic spices, non-Western ingredients and rich sauces from a food tradition that arose completely independently of wine. So when I met friends for dinner recently at Aroma, Napa’s recently-opened Indian restaurant, I was tempted to say, “let’s just have beer.” (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
But, intrepid wine adventurer that I am, I decided to face the task head-on. I chose SCHOLIUM PROJECT "Steverjan" 2014, a skin-fermented Pinot Gris ("orange wine”) and it performed beautifully. It was rich enough to stand up to the heavy sauces and fruity enough to provide a good contrast to the spices. Steverjan’s flavors of fresh plums and dried stone fruits provided a lift to Chicken Tikka Masala, while the textural “grit” and herbaceous notes added depth and a refreshing counterpoint to Lamb Saag.
The grapes were fermented whole cluster in 500 L puncheons for about a month, then aged an additional 9 months in neutral barrels. The grapes come from Rocky Hill Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain, west of Glen Ellen. “Steverjan” is the name of the town where Radikon and Gravner, the two great pioneers of orange wine in Friuli (northeast Italy, on the Slovenian border), make their wines. This wine is delicious on its own, but it really shines when paired with the right food. Only 240 cases produced, so get some while you can!
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