Hello friends. Seattle is on the tail end of a 30+ streak of sunny days. After the coldest, wettest winter in three decades, this feels like a mighty accomplishment—an accomplishment that can only be celebrated by wines meant to be enjoyed in the warm weather. Today, we’ve got a mixed bag of whites and a rosé for you, all perfectly suited for toasting the sunshine while it’s still here.
2016 Arca Nova Vinho Verde
Vinho Verde has become a household name for much of the United States because of it’s quaffable low-ABV, screaming high acidity, and touch of effervescence—but Vinho Verde is more than just a wine, it’s a region as well. In fact, it’s the largest DOC in Portugal, spanning the coastal northwest tip of the country, with a history over 2,000 years old. Known for being cold and rainy much of the year, Vinho Verde’s nearly 20,000 small producers have built an intricate system of growing that’s unlike most places in the world. Their vines are trained for decades to grow around the edges of vineyards, high off the ground, and up everything from pergolas to telephone poles in order to stay dry—and make way for other vegetables to grow. Many of the small, old farms and producers live off the produce grown underneath their sprawling grape vines.
When it comes to Vinho Verde, there is nothing more quintessential than Arca Nova. Farmed and made by Quinta da Arcas, a small family-owned estate, these vine clusters are trellised and grow six feet above ground. Vinho Verde literally translates to “green wine”—and Arca Nova’s offering lives up to the name. (The bottle itself is fitting alone.) Made from native Portuguese grapes (50% Loureiro, 40% Arinto 40%, 10% Treixadura), and clocking in at 10.5% alcohol, the glass opens with freshly bloomed lilies, tart and tangy green apple, pear, and lemon-lime citrus. On the palate, it’s crisp and dry with wild acidity. There is a touch of creaminess on the midpalate that gives way to citrus, apple, and pear fruit. The finish lingers with effervescence. This is a wine to drink right now, and enjoy with all sorts of summer fare. All of Portugal’s wine is made with the food of the region in mind—and Vinho Verde is all about seafood. Pair this with traditional Portuguese salt cod, whole grilled branzino, chouriço and clams, or simply bread and herbaceous goat cheese.
2016 Kind Stranger Rose (Latta Wines)
The newest bottling from Andrew Latta, Kind Stranger is a Bandol-inspired rosé that is perfect for the second coming of summer rosé buying. Long story short: we’ve been trained to buy rosé as early as January to get our hands on the best sellers of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. But here in Washington, many of us have already finished our stashes of rosé by the time it actually feels like summer. At that point, we simply need more rosé—and Latta’s debut under his own label is perfect for such an occasion.
Described as “serious wine that’s not too serious,” Latta created Kind Stranger as a way to give back—it’s a wine to help us share our gifts and make the world feel a little smaller, more personal. And it’s more than just lip service; a portion of the proceeds from this wine will go directly to Mary’s Place, a nonprofit here in Seattle that empowers homeless women, children, and families to reclaim their lives by providing shelter, nourishment, resources, healing and hope in a safe community. Good wine that does good? Is there anything better?
Latta and team worked with Kris Chau, a Hawaiian artist living and working in LA, to create this label—which evokes the ideas behind the wine. A friendly smile. An offer of help. A connection.
42% Grenache, 31% Mourvedre, 27% Cinsault, this direct-press rosé is fruit forward yet sharp and dry. It pours pale pink, and has a vibrant nose of strawberry and raspberry, sage and mediterranean spices, and citrusy orange, grapefruit, and meyer lemon. Its promise of red fruit and citrus follows through on the palate. The finish is lingering with fresh acidity—it’s a truly balanced and pleasurable wine. This is absolutely a contender for any summer evening, or stashing away for the ultimate rosé pairing: the Thanksgiving table.
2015 William Church Viognier
William Church was one of the original wineries to settle the warehouse district of Woodinville in 2005. At this time, they were a garage winery looking to grow, and as Washington natives, Woodinville seemed like the clear option. The winery’s focus on traditional, old world-style winemaking and limited use of oak is what sets them apart. Coupled with the team’s passion for connection, the belief in the memories and experiences that wine can provide, William Church is creating intentional, thoughtful wines just north of the city.
Sourced from Gamache and Connor Lee Vineyard, this sleek and sophisticated viognier clocks in at 14.4% alcohol. A nose full of tropical notes, orchard fruit, freshly picked mint, and agave leads to a mouth full of lively acidity and juicy, tangy fruit. The finish is long, precise, and mouthwatering. This viognier shows what Washington is capable of with rhone whites—and given the winery’s signature style of limited wood, this is a truly varietal-expressive bottle. With a year in bottle, this wine is ready to be enjoyed for the rest of the summer with anything on the grill, fresh heirloom tomatoes with basil, herbs, and fresh chevre, or for something completely different—your favorite Indian take out.
2014 Noelia Ricci Bianco Forli
In Emiglia Romagna, a region producing lots and lots of sangiovese and lambrusco, a label called Noelia Ricci is making the little white wine that could. Noelia Ricci herself planted the vineyards at her family’s estate in the 1970’s and built their winery, Villa Pandolfa, but her grandson Marco Cirese is the one in charge of the Noelia Ricci project, named for his meritorious grandmother. He has sectioned off the winery’s best seven hectares (from 140 hectares total) to create Burgundian-inspired crus within his home. This “cru” focuses on Trebbiano, which thrives within the region itself, and shows particularly well from the family plots that see lots of warm, Italian winds.
The Bianco Forli is mostly Trebbiano with a touch of Pagadebit, a locally grown grape in the appellation. On the nose, it’s full of apricot, honey, crushed granite, garrigue, and a touch of creamy yeast. On the palate, it’s a whole different animal with rippin’, wild acidity as its backbone. Lemon, lime, and salinity cruise through the midpalate, leaving you with a spotless and clean finish that any grandmother would be proud of. Open this bottle with raw or fried oysters, a summer vegetable risotto, or your favorite roman trattoria-inspired dish.
First come first served up to 36 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and the wines should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.