The arrival of a new producer is always an exciting event here in our Berkeley shop, not unlike the heady days of a new relationship. Everyone is over the moon, staff and clients alike. But this feeling doesn’t last forever. New wines arrive, vintages pass, and the bloom comes off the rose. Mignon McLaughlin wrote a famous aphorism about relationships: “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” This trait is also useful in the wine business, and with our producers it’s frankly pretty easy. We’re now four years into our relationship with the wines of Duline, and I’m just as smitten as I was the first time I tasted them.
If I had to pick one word to describe Duline’s Pinot Grigio, I think I would go with “complete.” It seems like the perfect glass of white wine, and I can’t imagine changing a single thing. Or maybe I would go with “delicious.” From the flowers on the nose to the fruit on the palate, and on through the succulent finish, it’s simply a joy to drink. You know what? After careful consideration, I think I’ll go with two words: “completely delicious.”
The name of this lovely wine highlights the Duline philosophy: “No trimming of the shoots!” This applies to viticoltore Lorenzo Mochiutti’s hair and beard as well as to his vineyards. Chioma in Italian means “long hair” and “canopy of tree leaves.” Though it is generally accepted that vines are trimmed of excess leaves or fruit to concentrate a vine’s efforts toward healthy bunches of grapes, Lorenzo and Federica let their vines find their own balance, choosing not to trim any of their vines. Suffice it to say that this is one of Duline’s many secrets to success. Malvasia Istriana is a form of the Malvasia grape that is native to the Istrian Peninsula, and it produces deliciously complex white wines that are a far cry from other Malvasia produced in central Italy. This is a seductive apéritif and an excellent seafood white.
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