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Troon Vineyard 2017 Riesling Whole Grape Ferment Kubli Bench Applegate Valley, Oregon 11.6% $20
This is a lovely and unusual white wine leaning toward orange (both in color and in its presence of noticeable tannins) that is perfumed, poised and pretty. It smells of orange flower, peach fuzz and Mandarin orange pulp. The palate layers the dry attack with lightly grippy texture. The duo provides a strong backbone that seamlessly integrates with the lower alcohol. There’s lots of energy here to lift and balance the nicely ripe citrus and nectarine flavors. The finish is moderate (the vines are just 15 years old) and copiously mineral, leaving the palate refreshed.
Drink: 2018-19

I couldn’t help but smile when I read that the team at Troon decided to forgo the industry lingo of “skin fermented” on this label as they think it sounds “kind of yucky”. When it comes to human skin, I get it. The idea of sticky toes treading grapes never sounds appealing to me. However, this is different. Here it is simply that all of the crushed grapes remain in contact with the juice during the wine’s fermentation. That’s important for wines made as naturally as possible, like those at Troon. This wine is made with its “native” yeasts, or those found on the grape skins, and enthusiasts of natural yeast fermentations want to promote the flavors derived from the grapevine’s growing environment.

If you’re geeky, like I am, the “Whole Grape Ferment” portion of the name can be unintentionally misleading as the grapes are crushed, not fermented from within the berry, like a carbonic maceration and fermentation. However, the wording makes sense when you understand the spirit of the cuvée as well as the desire to stay away from the “yuck” factor. Only 200 cases were made, so if you find a bottle, treat yourself! It’s a delightful wine.