Josko Gravner gave George Vare cuttings from his Ribolla Gialla vines in Friuli, which Vare grafted at his Napa Valley vineyard in 2001. Steve Matthiasson was managing Vare’s vineyard at the time, and when he and his wife, Jill, purchased their Oak Knoll vineyard in 2006, they grafted some Merlot over to Ribolla using Vare’s budwood. Their 2015 is a fleshy white with orange and honeycomb richness. Give it time and the wine’s freshness comes up, bringing scents of pear in a crisp, clean line of flavor. The fruit is crunchy even as the texture is full and waxy, placing this with rich dishes, from roast halibut to boudin blanc.
92 Pts Wine & Spirits