100% Pedro Ximinez; 13.5% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on about 23 Dec (online prices about $16)
I had never heard of this grape, and the description on the back label sounded good (“vineyard located at 3280 feet above sea level, 63 years old. partial malolactic fermentation seeking for aromatic complexity. clean, bright, fresh and lively. aromas of tropical fruit and floral expression…”), so of course I had to get one. (Label photo is of empty bottle.)
While the Wikipedia article linked above says most PX grown in Argentina and Chile is actually an apparently unrelated grape called Pedro Gimenez, I found this review from the Wine Advocate giving it 88 points: “The 2011 Pedro Ximenez is an intriguing effort. The grape is best known for its role in the production of dessert style Sherry in Spain but is rarely made into dry table wine because of its supposed lack of character. Pale straw in color, it exhibits a pleasing perfume of melon, jasmine, and a hint of mineral. Medium-bodied and round on the palate, it has plenty of fruit and just enough acidity for balance. Drink it over the next 1-2 years.” I will take the WA’s word for it that this is actually PX. Anyway…
On the first night open, the first couple small pours were a little heavy and musty. But after about 30 minutes open (kept stoppered in the fridge) the wine became smoother and more elegant, with riper flavors mostly of citrus (yellow grapefruit, lemon, slight green lime), some yellow and white melon, still a little texture to the taste, and acid on the stronger side but not quite crisp. I was certainly satisfied with my purchase.
The second night, however, the wine is very good, showing similar flavors but more forward, integrated and more obviously complex. It definitely moves from Drinkable to Thumbs Up!