Winemakers typically seek out the grapes they want to work with, but sometimes the grapes find them. When Ryme Cellars was told about a successful California planting of the legendary Fiano, they leapt at the chance to craft their own take on this distinctly Italian grape.
In the glass, it’s deep, golden, almost orange-tinted. You’ll get a whiff of rich, fruity melon and citrus once you pour, with smoke and vibrant acidity on the finish. That acidity in a white wine means some very good things – mainly, that the vintner has taken great care to build progressive flavors, one after the other, and keep those flavors intact for you to experience in a wonderful "structured" order.
The grapes were grown on Lago Vineyard in Sonoma County, about an hour west of the winery in Healdsburg, California. Next, they were treaded and left with skins on for three hours, then pressed. Thanks to native yeast and bacteria, the wine fermented naturally as it aged for 14 months in neutral French oak barrels.
At Ryme, wines are “always encouraged, never controlled” – that means they’re made without cultured yeast, temperature control, enzymes, filters. The winery name is a mashup of the owners’ names: husband and wife RYan and MEgan. Clever! It’s also a mashup of the winemakers’ varied styles; some wines will get two separate treatments to showcase Ryan’s take (dubbed His) and Megan’s version (of course, Hers). The Fiano represents a marriage of their interpretations and a combination of their expertise in the wine world.
tip of the tongue
It may be stereotypical, but Fiano is pretty excellent with shellfish. Pair with a simple dish of shrimp, linguine, fresh peas and a garlic-lemon butter sauce.