Beyond the f’(x) added to the front label (a play on the name and a nod to Kendall and me having degrees in mathematics) there’s another new element to this year’s rendition of the Derivative. Colombard! In 2013, we were fortunate enough to be able to purchase the old-vine whites of Mancini Ranch. Planted circa 1920 in the Russian River Valley, Mancini Ranch is approximately 19 acres but only one acre is in whites, mostly Colombard with a sprinkling of Muscadelle and Palomino. And what does Colombard add to this old-vine blend that also includes Semillon, Muscadelle, and Palomino? Acidity! The Semillon was fermented in oak (20% new) but the other components were done in stainless steel. Filtered (the wine did not go through malolactic fermentation) but not fined.
Light to medium-light yellow-gold. A cool nose of lemon, white fig, grapefruit pith, and quinine is marked by a hint of lanolin (no doubt from the Semillon). On the palate, medium-full bodied with a pleasant viscosity. Flavors of lemon, quinine, and grapefruit persist through the dry, mineral-laden finish. If you prefer oaky and/or low acid whites, then this wine is not for you. But if you love white Bordeaux, dry whites from the Loire or Savoie, or even some the cool old-vine white blends from the Swartland in South Africa, then this wine should be right up your ally. Enjoyable now as long as you don’t serve it too cold (a decant helps as well), given the zesty acidity and pleasing phenolics in the finish, we suspect this wine will age well. Enjoy from 2016 through 2023. (MRO – 07/18/15)