Appellation: Russian River Valley
Haydn gives it: 92pts
You can buy this wine: at montemaggiore.com
Montemaggiore continues to defy conventional varietals when it comes to its location in Dry Creek. Their red wine portfolio is missing a Zinfandel, but instead showcases what Syrahs and Cabernet Sauvignons can do in the valley. So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that when Montemaggiore decided to make a white, the Sauvignon Blanc (Dry Creek’s staple white) apparently was passed over, as well as the classic Chardonnay. However, here’s a white wine that begs for the spotlight.
Sourcing grapes from the Russian River Valley, winemaker Lise Ciolino, blends a combination of Viogner, Marsanne & Roussane, resulting in what she calls the 3Divas. While all three ladies work well together, each one seems to come out and sing at least a solo before the finish.
The nose of this wine displays more of the Viogner, with a bit of honey, butterscotch and a hint of pear. The mid-palate brings in characteristics of the other two—Marsanne & Roussane, with the wine displaying characteristics of melon and orange, along with a bit of light spice.
There is a little bit of oak in the wine, but it’s faint thanks to the neutral French oak barrels and no malolactic fermentation. It’s clean, refreshing and a great introductory wine (shh, don’t tell the divas) to a meal. It will warm up your taste buds and get them ready for heavier wines. An exceptionally well-made wine.
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Haydn Adams is the author of the book, Wineries Beyond Napa Valley: Dry Creek and Alexander Valley, an insider’s tasting guide to the hidden gems region. He also contributes to the Beyond Napa Valley Wine Blog, writes for vinvillage.com, and can be found roaming the hills of Sonoma County looking for the next hidden gems. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org