Hey readers; just so you know I am in the process of moving the blog to a new platform, so this may be the last update for a few days. It should stay on this same domain, so you may not see any changes, but just giving you all a friendly head’s up. Anyway, let’s get to the wine!
Symphony is a grape that doesn’t get enough love or press. It’s a fascinating grape with a super – interesting taste profile, and the only winery that consistently has it in its portfolio and tasting room is Pillsbury. I heard there was a bottle of the 2014 in the tasting room, so I thought I’d check it out, since the last time I tried it was while it was aging in the barrel room down in Willcox, and I tasted it while preparing for the epic podcast I did with James Callahan for Rune.
The Wine: The 2014 Symphony was harvested from Pillsbury Vineyard, on the Willcox Bench, in the Willcox AVA. The wine was aged in stainless steel for 11 months, partly on Malvasia Bianca lees. This wine is gold in color, as one would expect from a medium-bodied white wine. The wine was made by James Callahan and Sam Pillsbury.
The Nose: Symphony has a very distinctive nose, and this vintage is no exception. Classic Symphony aromas of orange marmalade, ginger, myrrh, and lavender intermingle with jasmine, honeysuckle, rose, and crushed flint.
The Palate: I feel that the 2014, thanks to the Sur lees aging, has a more complex and fuller mid-palate than previous vintages of the Symphony at Pillsbury. Notes of lychee, pear, cinnamon, ginger, and anise intermingle with nutmeg and orange peel. There is, as one would expect from white wines from the Willcox Bench, a pleasing acidity. The finish of this wine lasts 1 minute and 11 seconds, and is filled with orange peel, honeydew, and crushed limestone minerality.
The Pairing: Sam consistently recommends pairing his Symphony vintages with Cuban-style cuisine; I agree but I also want to see what this wine would do with a good Reuben. For a vegetarian pairing, it’s hard to go wrong with a spicy Pad Thai for this wine.
Impressions: I have to say I think this is my favorite of the Symphony vintages that Sam and James has made. It has a rounder palate, and perhaps may be more approachable for someone who has never encountered this grape before.
This wine, personified, again reminds me of a long-time friend of mine: kind and easygoing, tattooed and athletic, she’s equally at home on the dance floor as she is on horseback.