This rare, ancient grape of Corsica, central Italy or Greek origin is a cool oddity in Napa Valley. Not only is the grape seldom seen, it is almost never made into a white/Rosé wine. I can’t write never because that’s what this is! Grapes are pressed off their skin ASAP to make a honey-white colored wine. It’s a minerally, tangy wine with notes of celery hearts, quince, and lemon blossom. Its rounded texture on the mid-palate set it apart from crisp whites like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. Aleatico is in the Black Muscat family of grapes, but at my tasting this young wine was not showing the aromatics typical of Muscat. Lee Hudson explained that they come out over time. I suspect those exotic smells will be subtle when they do emerge. Trying such an intriguing wine makes me think food pairings. I’d like to try this with classic wine killers artichokes and asparagus. Green olive tapenade and fried oysters are of interest too.
Lee & Cristina Hudson and the entire Hudson Ranch team close the circle of environment, land, farming and taste. The goodness that comes off of Hudson Ranch goes way beyond wine. Organic gardens feed the Hudson Ranch Grocer in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market. Olive oil, heritage breed pigs, lamb and chickens are raised and enjoyed with the same care and respect as the wine. Which is a lot. Try them.