The Malvasia Ambra is an experimental blend designed to explore traditional winemaking practices. Skin contact white wines were historically made in Georgia, fermenting in great underground clay vats called qvevri. In 2013, UNESCO added this 8,000 year old Georgian wine making method to their Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. The Ambra is inspired by this ancient method, soaking on its skins in an oak Doppelstück to enhance the wine with textural qualities and new flavors. The label features an illustration of Autumn, a Georgian sculpture by Merab Berdzenishvili that was gifted to Grand Traverse County in 1989 to commemorate its bountiful agricultural connection with our sister region of Mtskheta, Georgia.
The Ambra bursts with lush botanical aromas and tropical fruit expression. Lemon verbena and elderflower on the nose give way to flavors of grapefruit and peach. A pleasing textural complexity imparted by skin contact and barrel aging carries through with soft vanilla notes on the finish.
Fruit flavors in the wine will work well with grilled pork, sweet and sour chicken, and spicy dishes like coconut curry or cajun jambalaya. Try with traditional meat-filled Georgian dumplings, called khinkali—remember, proper etiquette is to eat these with your hands.
The Malvasia was harvested on October 20th, 2021 from Neeson and the Sauvignon Blanc on October 26th from Grishaw. The fruit was destemmed, left whole berry, and co fermented in open top bins with a partial carbonic maceration. The bins were sealed tightly, and the inner atmosphere was filled with carbon dioxide and dry ice. The wine fermented with ambient cellar yeast and was pressed on December 2nd. After aging for six months in a 2400L oak Doppelstück, the wine was bottled September 16th, 2022.
This vintage is lovely and ready to enjoy now.