A Fun, Nearly Extinct Abouriou

Today’s Story: Absentee Winery

Absentee Winery is a boutique winery established in 2016 by Avi Deixler in Point Reyes, California and is situated in a barn of a working dairy farm. Avi had to fight tooth and nail with the Marin County Planning Commission to establish his winery, but ultimately he prevailed and is the only registered winery in the North Marin Wine District. Before starting Absentee, Avi worked at wineries in California, Oregon, Australia, and France and ultimately gained an appreciation for natural wines and wanted to produce his own with ONLY grapes. Avi sources his fruit from the organic-certified Poor Ranch in Hopland, and his wines are produced using whole cluster fermentation and carbonic maceration with no additional yeasts, temperature control, or SO2 and sulfites. Also interesting is the fact that Avi “refurbishes” his own barrels by purchasing used barrels and hand sanding the interior to remove any residue, blemishes, and chemicals. Avi’s wines are produced in a hands-off style and bottled unfined and unfiltered, with the results embodying true expression of fruit unhindered by modern additives.

Today’s Wine: 2018 Flaws

100% Abouriou; 14.5% ABV

The 2018 Flaws is deep opaque purple in color, nearly black at its core. Once this opens up, which doesn’t take too long, the nose showcases aromas of black cherry, blackberry, black raspberry, violet, dried leather, loamy earth, vanilla, and slight woody spice. On the palate, I get notes of black plum, blackberry jam, tart cherry, anise, black pepper, baking spice, and underbrush. This is full-bodied with medium acidity, medium (+) tannins, and a long finish.

Note: Not sure what happened to the label of my bottle, it’s supposed to show half of a bear on roller skates. Looks like this guy got flipped upside down and printed both ways!

Price: $40. On a value perspective, this is a bit pricey. Particularly if natural wines are your style or you want to explore the arena, there are much better options when it comes to your wallet. However, this was purely a fun wine to try because I’d never before heard of Abouriou, the nearly extinct variety, and it was highly enjoyable. Pair this with barbecue pork ribs, grilled sausage, or roasted duck.

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