The Rise of the Orange Wine
The first time we heard the term orange wine, was one of those moments. Our first reaction was that we would probably never drink a wine made with fermented oranges instead of grapes. The same reaction we had when we saw blue wines on the market. We tend to jump to conclusions quickly.
Fast forward a few years and we are now becoming a fan of this style. To give you a basic introduction of this style of wine makings, orange wines are made using the red wine method, where the juice is left in long contact with the skins and seeds and fermented for a long period together. It is not a new style, but it is actually the way they made white wines 5000 years ago. However, its popularity and resurfaced lately.
Many are still listing these wines in the white wine section of the wine list, however, shortly they will start having their own section. Orange wines also fill the gap when it come the pairing certain strong dishes like Asian and spicy food. They are also great with strong cheeses.
To go with the information above this month we recommended 4 orange wines for you to indulge in and maybe start your orange wine experience.
The first wine comes from North Macedonia. Chateau Kamnik ‘The Orange’ Gewürztraminer. The nose is complex and rich, defined by notes of wild rose and dried apricot, complemented with honey and tropical fruits. The curiosity about this wine is the ancient production method with a spontaneous fermentation, 6-months of maceration of the grape skins and 7-months of ageing in oak barrels. The wine offers a full-bodied and harmonious taste, with soft tannins and with a long aftertaste which enables the several year bottle ageing capacity of the wine.
The second wine comes from our neighbours in Sicily. Cantine Rallo AV01. This is a limited-edition wine, with only a few bottles produced. Made entirely with Cataratto grapes from the fertile and sandy hills of the Cantine Rallo vineyards in Patti Piccolo. A variety on which Rallo has invested and believed a lot, now also in orange version, free of Sulphites. AV01 tells our story, it is son of the land of Alcamo, and it is an unequivocally natural choice. They had a bouquet of citrus, grapefruit, apple, white flesh fruits, clear the smell of elderberry and a pleasant note of Mediterranean plants. The technique of production has enriched this wine of good tannins that participate in its verticality and the nerve that is perceived at its tasting. Sour, fresh, fragrant, elegant.
Staying in Italy put up north in the region of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia this wine recommendation is La Tunella Colbajé Pinot Grigio Ramato. The term ramato refers to the orange wine style of wine making which gives this wine a copper colour, not to be confused with a rosé. The wine is intense, wide and fruity to the nose, its scents recall the sweetness of pears and ripe apricot, over an almond blossoms background which bears delicate oral notes seamlessly integrated with balsamic aromas from the oak barrels where it has aged. A mouth coating and dense palate, well structured, mineral and harmonic, with good persistence and balance.
Finally, we go to the South of France. Gerard Bertrand Orange Gold. It is an exceptional blend of seven grape varieties, essentially Mediterranean: Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc and Viognier bring volume and Marsanne, Mauzac and Muscat enrich the aromatic complexity of the wine. The perfect mastery of the vinification and the choice of grape varieties make this an orange wine with an unprecedented profile, remarkable finesse and subtlety. Orange Gold reflects the vibrancy, dynamism, minerality and freshness of the South of France. Made from organic grapes and imbued with all the nuances of their terroir, Orange Gold is AB certified. The nose is complex, with an explosion of white flower, candied fruit and white pepper notes. On the palate, a very flattering aromatic freshness, with precise flavours and a beautiful balance to which the structure gives body and spirit. Suave and fine, its texture envelops the palate.
The tasting ends with a nice length in the mouth that prolongs the gustatory journey and sweet bitter touch that stimulates the taste buds.
With this choice of four great orange wines, we hope you enjoy them.