Robert Sinskey Abraxas 2018
This wine shows brilliant, integrated complexity led by a floral bouquet of jasmine, honeysuckle and spring citrus blossom; followed by fruit flavors of green apple, D’anjou pear, fresh Meyer lemon and tangerine. Focused, Riesling-driven minerality is one of the many layers of texture that offer a nod of respect to the great aromatic whites of France, Germany and Austria. It is a deliciously dry wine that is great with the classics - cheese, cassoulet, tarte flambée - but really shines with the foods of the world - Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Indian.
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The story of how wine is made is as important as the wine itself. The craft of winegrowing begins with the care of the soil and ends as an open bottle of wine on the table.
RSV is a second generation, family-owned and operated vineyard and winery. Every vine for every wine was planted by RSV and every vineyard is certified* organic. One could say that RSV is beyond organic. Since 1991, RSV has been practicing the “whole farm” philosophy of interrelationships based on Rudolph Steiner’s 1928 lecture “Agriculture.” This approach stresses the need to heal damage done by modern, mechanized farming - tapping into the rhythms of nature, encouraging natural processes, to grow superior winegrapes that require little but care to craft into expressive, vibrant and living wines.
RSV approaches the cellar as purists (with the same winemaker, Jeff Virnig, for over twenty-five years) to craft wines that are true and pure. The guiding principle that “wine is not an athletic event” has allowed the wines of RSV to stay true to vineyard and variety. Elegance over brawn has always been the house style and RSV does not submit wine for review by score-centric critics; because to taste wine in a competitive atmosphere, without food on the table, encourages wines that shout, ignoring subtle wines of balance, finesse and elegance... the attributes that define the fine wines of RSV.
*RSV’s vineyards are certified by C.C.O.F. - California Certified Organic Farmers. Due to the fee structure of Demeter USA, RSV no longer uses the trademarked words “Demeter” or “Biodynamic” as of the 2012 vintage - no matter, RSV has not changed farming philosophy
Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. The cooling winds from the abutting San Pablo Bay, combined with lots of midday California sunshine, create an ideal environment for producing wines with a perfect balance of crisp acidity and well-ripened fruit.
This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Carneros is an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne as well.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used in white wine blends, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied white wine blend, like Chardonnay, would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.