Ryan and Megan Glaab are the kind of winemakers that I'm always thrilled about being introduced to. Their small-production winery has slowly grown since 2007, focusing on varieties that are more obscure in California. Their love of old world wines, particularly those from Campania, Friuli, and Sardinia, was the catalyst for their label. The couple found that varieties which excelled in these regions for centuries also had relatively undiscovered homes in California.
Their goal was to make wines they themselves wanted to drink, using the rich history of these Italian appellations as a guiding force to show the ultimate potential that existed here at home. A visit with Ryan and Megan at harvest last year only solidified my strong impression of their wines. Their hands-on approach to every element of production embodies that contagious California spirit of adventure and never-ending exploration. Today we take close look at the three wines that capture the diversity of their influences and the magic they've created in Sonoma.
Ryan and Megan met while working harvest in Australia years ago. The couple quickly fell in love and returned back to California where each has worked at iconic wineries with a huge spectrum of styles like Pax Wine Cellars, Peay Vineyards, Marcassin, and Sin Qua Non. These invaluable, diverse experiences gave the couple the tools needed to execute the project they had dreamed of. With a sharp eye they honed in on vineyards from Paso Robles north through Mendocino.
The winemaking style is one of absolute minimal intervention, and sourcing comes from vineyards farmed with organic or sustainable practices. Ryme avoids cultured yeasts, temperature control, fining, filtering, enzymes, and other additives. Aging primarily occurs in neutral French oak barrels.
2014 Ryme Los Brisas Vineyard Vermentino "Hers"
$25 per bottle.
The cool and foggy Las Brisas vineyard (on the Sonoma side of Carneros) is an ideal home for this aromatic and late-ripening variety. From sandy silt and gravel soils heavily influenced by the San Pablo Bay and Petaluma Gap - An ideal location to give racy whites. "Hers" refers to the style of wine that comes from grapes pressed immediately off their skins and aged in a combo of stainless steel and neutral French oak. "Hers" is clean, bright, mineral, and refreshing, calling to mind northern Sardinia and the Ligurian coast of Italy where Vermentino reigns supreme.
2012 Ryme Vare Vineyard Ribolla Gialla
$43 per bottle.
The wines of Radikon in Friuli were a huge influence for this bottling. And it was Sasha Radikon himself who introduced Ryan and Megan to George Vare's vineyard at the base of Mt. Veeder in Napa, where the rare Ribolla Gialla was planted on 2.5 acres. The grapes were de-stemmed and then fermented on the skins with a total maceration lasting 6 months, giving it an orange hue. The wine was pressed to barrel and aged for 18 months prior to bottling. This is a deliciously savory and textured orange wine with tons of spice and impressive depth. A wine that continues to unfold in the glass over time.
2012 Ryme Luna Matta Vineyard Aglianico
$44 per bottle.
Aglianico is the foundation for the unrivaled age-worthy wines of Taurasi in southern Italy. The Luna Matta vineyard in Paso Robles is home to mainly Rhone varietals, but Aglianico is perfectly suited here. The grapes were fermented 100% whole cluster and aged for 3 years in neutral French oak barrels. An inky dark wine, with tremendous concentration and gorgeous savory notes. Structured with sweet fruit and acidity to provide excellent balance.