MNO Alphabet Series 3-Pack
We continue our exploration of off the beaten path grape varietals A through Z. This pack features grapes that start with MNO--Mourvedre (rose), Nerello Mascalese (red), and Orangetraub (white).
Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé 2021 (South Africa)
One of the major grapes grown in the Rhône Valley, Mourvèdre is typically used in the well-known 'GSM' (Grenache - Syrah - Mourvèdre) blends popularized by Chateauneauf du Pape. Although it is less commonly the star of the show, this red grape is known to produce full-bodied, earthy wines with plush dark fruit and strong tannins. As a Rosé, this South African expression of Mourvèdre has a lovely dark salmon color. Lush and medium bodied, this rosé has a nice chew with bright red fruit and subtle creamy finish.
Tenuta Tascante 'Ghiaia Nera' Etna Rosso 2018 (Sicily, Italy)
This lighter bodied red is 100% Nerello Mascalese, a rare grape variety native to Sicily and primarily coming from the Mt. Etna region. Ghiaia Nera translates to ‘Black Gravel,’ a nod to the dark volcanic soils of Mt. Etna- one of the world’s most active volcanoes!
The vines that the Tenuta Tascante estate cultivates on the northern side of the volcano are remarkably young, ranging from 8-10 years old, and combined with the cooler temperatures on that side of the mountain make for an incredibly juicy, easy drinking red wine that doesn't lack in complexity.
Notes of almost underripe red fruit (think fresh cranberries and raspberry) on both the nose and the palate are met with great acidity, a subtle hint of spice, and a touch of salinity to make an incredibly drinkable and food friendly red wine from one of the world’s most interesting wine growing regions. In other words, the staff loves it.
Zahel 'Orange T' Orangetraube 2020 (Vienna, Austria)
Vienna is the only world capital producing significant quantities of wine within its city limits and Zahel is the only Austrian winery that produces a wine composed of 100% Orangetraube. How cool is that for off the beaten path? Orangetraube, which literally translates to "Orange Grape." This rare aromatic white grape gets this name from having skins that take on a slightly orange tint when fully ripe.
Zahel is an organic estate with 4th generation winemaker, Richard Zahel at the helm. Fermented in stainless steel, we taste mandarin, white peach, apricot, a touch of floral, a smidgeon of minerality, and zippy acidity that keeps it light and refreshing. Maybe think dry Riesling meets Pinot Gris?
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