Browse Tag


Pass the dulce

Los Bermejos Malvasía Dulce (Lanzarote) — Overt minerality, gritty and dark, with a sweetness that graces rather than coats. I love wines like this. (11/16)

Just one more thing…

G. Battista Columbu 2010 Malvasia di Bosa Riserva (Sardinia) — Outrageous texture, outrageous fog-blindness spice; like drinking a blizzard without the chill. Salty and pepper and full of citrus zest, this would be an overpowering wine…if it didn’t make me laugh out loud at the sheer joy of it. (5/16)

Orange soda

Donati 2008 Malvasia dell’Emilia (Emilia-Romagna) – An orange wine that really is orange (most of them are in the beige/tan/brown spectrum), or perhaps we could get swanky and call it a lighter sort of burnt sienna. And: sparkling. So, the heavy tannic overlay of the orange genre is lightened not by the counterpoint of fruit, nor of acidity (a rare thing in the category in the best of cases), but by a gentle – and fading – fizz. It’s more distracting than present at the moment, and it’s not going to do anything but fade, but it’s necessary for the wine’s tenuous grip on balance, which is falling deeper into a cider-esque hole with each passing month. It’s more an intellectual pleasure than a sensory one, because it pairs some extremes of technique with a relentlessly uncompromising weirdness, but as someone who enjoys this particular thought experiment I still quite enjoy it. That said, there are many who would not allow that this is “wine” any longer, based on its taste rather than its origin, and I would have sympathy for that opinion. But wine it is, nonetheless, and if you own any, you should drink it. (10/11)

Donati or nice?

Donati 2008 Malvasia dell’Emilia (Emilia-Romagna) – Difficult. This is no slickified industrial wine, so variable performance is perhaps to be expected. But this is…difficult. Papery, dusty, wrenched, and odd. I keep peering, waiting for an explanation, and then the bottle’s gone and I’m just as confused as before. (12/10)

Lipari suction

Colosi 2005 Malvasia delle Lipari (Sicily) – From 375 ml. Less concentrated and floral than Hauner’s version, with more of a metallic edge unfolding within the sweetness. That said, it’s still fairly dense. Tastes better than it smells. (2/10)


Russolo 2006 Malvasia Istriana (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Some lead, some oxidation, and some heavy metal machinery. Very, very odd. Good? It’s hard to say. It’s certainly intriguing, but ultimately there’s too much death here. (1/10)

Johnn Carso

Zidarich 2005 Malvasia (Carso) – Full and spicy, but ends rather abruptly. Simple memories of walnut are all that linger. (7/09)

Zidarich 2005 Vitovska (Carso) – Mixed nuts. Very tannic, and edging towards desiccation. Simple, and in fact more than a little boring. (7/09)

Sveti balls

Clai Bijele Zemlje 2007 Malvazija “Sveti Jakov” (Istra) – Solid, by which I mean uniformly dense rather than well-executed. Plays at being interesting, but it lacks the depth to follow through on its initial promise. (7/09)

I want Candia

Donati 2007 Malvasia di Candia Frizzante (Emilia-Romagna) – Straight from the bottle (which was, I believe, previously-opened), there’s a bit of traditional-lambic funk; alongside the spritz and the nippy acidity, this is like a far less painful Cantillon. These elements settle and cohere with air and rising temperature, bringing out some proto-peach and grapefruit precursors, a tactile but not gustatory salinity, and that ever-present spiky buzz of sparkle. If there’s a quibble, it’s that the wine is monotonic in pitch. But there’s a lot going on in that note, and so the quibble remains no more than a quibble. (6/09)

Sick vasia

Le Vigne di Zamò 2005 Malvasia (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Perfumed and lightly spritzy, but fairly forgettable. (11/07)

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