I’ve known my friend Crista Whitelatch and her husband Bob for a few years now. We’ve done many different projects together, and I’ve been a big fan of their main label, Claar Cellars because they make a “back labeled shiner” bottle that allows me to put my own custom labels on for clients from time to time. It is a great wine for the price, and allows my clients the ability to have custom labels for a reasonable price legally.
The Whitelatches also own Le Chateau, a Walla Walla label, as well as Ridgecrest, a label for the on-premise market. All together, the family produces a lot of good juice for the market of this region.
Crista shared with me a few months ago that their partners in Le Chateau had left the business. She also shared with me that they had acquired a new label as well called Nicola’s Redmark. I took this information in one ear and out the other, not really giving it much attention.
This week I had the opportunity to have a meeting with Crista, where she was able to explain the Nicola’s brand to me a little. I did a little digging, and searching their website, and found it to be a very youthful brand indeed. The advertising video that opens their website definitely makes me feel young and want to drink Nicola’s with my wife really soon. You’ll have to check it out for yourself.
Nicola’s is named after Nicola Metrione, who had a habit of marking his possessions with bright red paint. He immigrated from Italy in 1891 to New York, where he dug subway tunnels for $1 an hour. He made wine in his tiny Bronx apartment, and dreamed of someday owning a real vineyard and winery. The name is a legacy to his memory.
Nicola’s Redmark comes in four varietals currently, with some promise of expansion in the future. There is a Red Blend, a White Blend, a Reisling, and a Pinot Gris.
I was gifted with a Red Blend and White Blend bottle to write up and share with you. You will have to try the Reisling and the Pinot Gris and let me know what you think of them.
The White Blend is a mixture of Columbia Valley Chardonnay at 60% and 40% Columbia Valley Reisling. Treated with 100% stainless steel, the wine is crisp with fruit and acidity. I loved the light straw color in the glass. Peaches, pears, and passion fruit meet the nose and lead to a spicyness and minerality on the mid palate and finish. I would suggest this wine on a hot late summer evening, or with grilled ahi.
Nicola’s Redmark Red Blend is a rather complex Tuscan styled blend of 35% Merlot, 33% Sangiovese, 12% Barbera, 10% Nebbiolo, 5% Dolcetto, and 5% Mourvedre. I think this blend is probably the way Nicola would have made wine. Mixing a little of this and a little of that to come up with something his friends would really like.
Wide open and full of fruit on the nose, the wine features lots of dark fruit, mocha, and baking spices. A very gentle wine, it is full bodied yet softly voluptuous on the palate.
I’ve been seeing lots of Nicola’s lately in higher end grocery stores and establishments. You can also get it online at www.nicolasredmark.com . You probably want to go check out the great site anyway and plan your own quiet evening at home. A great way to kick off football season!