Borra Vineyards in Lodi, California, run by Borra winemaker Markus Niggli. Niggli is from Switzerland, and given the dizzying number of grapes that we tried over that week, I asked him over dinner if he was growing any Chasselas. The laughing answer was "no". Apparently it's not a good fit for the region, and demand is decidedly low here in the US. However, the winemaker is producing some milder, lighter, European-style whites that once again change everything that you think you know about Lodi wine.
The labels featured on this series are the result of a collaboration with Michael Leonard and the University of the Pacific in Stockton. I'm particularly fond of the pure text design of the Nativo, because that's how I'm wired. All three of these wines can be purchased from the Borra website.
2014 Markus Wine Co. Nuvola
$19, 13.2% abv.
Dry and herbal with touches of honey. I know that sounds odd but it is possible for a wine to have some of the aromas of honey without the sweetness. Outstanding with a tuna salad sandwich on a croissant during these mild spring days.
2014 Markus Wine Co. Nativo
75% Kerner, 19% Riesling, 6% Bacchus
$19, 13.1% abv.
Hurrah! I get to try another new grape for the first time (or the first time I've logged it). Bacchus brings me to 195 on the life list, and this particular bottle was light and floral with a touch of lemony acidity. I enjoyed it with a simple appetizer of steamed shrimp, lightly seasoned.
2014 Markus Wine Co. Joey Insieme
95% Torrontes, 5% Riesling
$19, 12.8% abv.
Light citrus aromas pop up with a mild body and a slightly mineral flavor. Much more depth as it warms up. My favorite out of the three, and a unique expression of the Torrontes grape. Highly recommended with a large platter of raw oysters.
Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.