Ribolla Gialla + Cherry Chapstick = Yo La Tengo!

(Always did love that Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo compilation.)

There’s a growing number of California winemakers working at the margins of the current industry to produce truly distinctive wines, and some of these fine folks have chosen to work with ribolla gialla, a variety that hails from the northeastern corner of Italy. In fact, it became legal in United States only this year to label varietal wines as ribolla gialla.Exciting!

One recent and (to me) quite successful example is the Arnot-Roberts 2009 Vare Vineyard Napa Valley Ribolla Gialla. Sourced from a tiny nook of a vineyard that industry veteran George Vare planted in the foothills of the Myacamas Mountains on the eastern side of the Napa Valley, it’s both generous in texture and energetic in expression, with a hint of almond and a fruit character that falls somewhere between a Meyer lemon and a tangerine.

Though this really has nothing to do with the Arnot-Roberts Ribolla Gialla — other than I think the band would really dig — in honor of the first day of Hanukkah, here’s a recording of Yo La Tengo performing “Cherry Chapstick” during their annual Hanukkah stand at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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