It’s rosé day today (according to whom, we aren’t exactly sure).
So let’s talk about rosé’s cooler older sister, orange wine.
In the same way that rosé is made by letting red grape skins macerate with the juice for a (very) short period of time, orange wine gets its amber hue from letting the juice sit with white grape skins and seeds (for a very long period of time). The result is an astringent wine, with a slight orange-y note (almost like Campari) to match its coloring.
More on that in a moment. But first, “Like a cloud on your palate”, said resident wine expert Julien Miquel about this French rosé… grown in the inhospitable schiste terroir of southern France… and available once again to our members for a short time! Click here to reserve this thirst-quenching rosé for the summer.
Orange over Rosé (continued)
We first wrote to you about orange wine last year, explaining its 8,000-year-old origins in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, where it is known as karvisperi ghvino or amber wine, and fermented, as are other Georgian wines, in giant clay amphorae called qvevri.
After 5 to 7 months macerating on its skins, stems, and seeds below ground, the orange wine emerges with a full body and biting tang.
“There’s so much more texture and flavor in the [amber] wine,” says Jody Brix Towe, a California winemaker who has embraced the style. “The skin just gives it so much more than when you direct-press and take away all the unique parts… Especially with pinot gris, there’s so much spiciness in the skin that you lose...”
Oveja Naranja 2019 Orange Wine
The bottle of Oveja Naranja 2019 (La Mancha, Spain) we recently tasted was not made in the traditional Georgian method, nor with Georgian grapes (rkatsiteli, an Italian version, exists, too, made with pinot grigio).
Yet, after six months on its skins, this blend of gewürztraminer and muscat could hold its own with the most rugged of Georgians.
Under a sweet, torrontés-like nose, we found a tart drink with notes of orange peel and aniseed. Almost negroni-like, it was, quite simply, unlike any other wine we have ever tasted.
Until next week,
The Wine Explorer