The Albariño grape, native to the cool Atlantic coast of Spain and Portugal, interestingly makes good wine at “Rorick Heritage” outside the town of Murphys in the Sierra Foothills. Interesting because it’s HOT here. David Wilson, the Wilson of Wilson Foreigner, explains to me “the Albarino we get from Rorick grows in schist rock (schist is a high-mineral metamorphic rock) and there’s limestone next to our vines. And the vines are east-facing for morning sun, afternoon & evening shade.” These factors, the cool Sierra nights and natural acidity in Albarino, explain the tang in the Wilson Foreigner.
It’s loaded with crisp yellow grapefruit, melon, tangerine, Eureka lemon and pear smells and flavors along with grapefruit blossoms, citrus zest and plain yogurt. A slight creamy texture on the back end counterbalances the high natural acidity. Fresh floral/citrus aromatics, lots of tang and the texture play friendly. This is an outstanding Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio alternative.
Wilson Foreigner is a two-family-owned winery. David & Christine Wilson live on their family vineyard in Napa’s Wooden Valley. Chris and Suzaan Alheit live and work in South Africa (They are the Foreigner. Sorry, but no homage to the ’80s rock band. Read about their partnership here.) The winery makes three wines. Just one, currently, comes from the Wilson family vineyard, “Rancho Chimiles.” They follow the “New California Wine” model of unique grapes, mindful vineyard practices and non-intervention winemaking. All of which lead to wines that are intense, energetic and decidedly unique. All that and very fairly priced, too. Get some.
For all the Wilson Foreigner wines I’ve reviewed, GO HERE.