If there’s one particularly painful barrier to orange wines, it’s price. Most of us are unlikely to experiment with a new bottle or producer, let alone an unfamiliar style, when the price point is €20 and up.
Pricing reflects a production method that is time-consuming, and generally very small volume. We’re not yet in an age (thank goodness), where Jacob’s Creek or Gallo are releasing 100,000 cases of orange zinfandel or “skin valley” onto the market. Furthermore, the core concept of skin contact white wines is low intervention – wild ferments, little or no added SO2, no filtration, no fining. These are artisanal methods which not only require far more manual input than mass produced wines, but also carry a certain amount of risk.
It’s therefore a great joy to finally discover a true “orange wine” that retails (just) under the €10 mark (in the Netherlands). Poggio Argentiera’s “Ansonica Bucce” is that wine.
Ansonica Bucce 2013 is 100%… Ansonica. Or Inzolia, if you prefer to use the more well known Sicilian name. A modest 5-6 days of maceration has imparted a lot of colour – the wine is deep russet brown. It was aged in cement and oak, and bottled without any SO2 additions.
This is fairly simple stuff, with a typical nose of dried herbs and chamomile. Initially it feels a bit tight and acid on the palate, but after some aeration things improve. There’s a good tannic kick, and with some salami or hard cheese it’s very refreshing. Not complex, not a “vino da meditazione” – but great value for the money, and an accessible way to experiment with the style.
Ansonica Bucce 2013 is available in Amsterdam from Vleck wines, price €9.80