Producer: Va La Vineyards
Region: Pennsylvania
Grapes:  Tocai, malvasia bianca, fiano, pinot grigio and petit manseng
ABV: 14.1%
Price: $42*

* Review sample provided by the winery

Va La Vineyards 2013 La Prima Donna

92 points

This unique, skin-fermented field blend of tocai, malvasia bianca, fiano, pinot grigio and petit manseng -- all grown on a single hillside just outside of Philadelphia, is as complex and textured as any "orange wine" I've tasted from anywhere.

A melange of citrus aromas -- fresh citrus pulp and dried peel -- combine with notes of dried apricot, ocean air and fresh-cut hay on an effusive nose that morphs over the course of an evening.

On the palate, those same myriad citrus and apricot qualities are joined by notes of jasmine, black tea, and sandalwood on a weighty-but-nimble palate that is concentrated, full flavored and balanced. Textually superior with a nice combination of acidity and tannins, this is the rare "orange wine" that is both intellectually stimulating and hedonistically delicious to drink.

Give it at least an hour in your glass, or better yet, an hour or two in a decanter, to fully enjoy.

About Author

Lenn Thompson, a proud Pittsburgh, PA native, moved to Long Island more than a decade ago and quickly fell in love with the region’s dynamic and emerging wine community. A digital and content marketing and community professional by day, he founded in early 2004 to share his passion for the wines, beers and spirits of New York State. After running that site -- which became the premier source for independent New York wine commentary, reviews and news -- for 12 years, he launched in late 2016 to add the wines of Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont and beyond to his beat. Lenn currently serves as the wine columnist for The Suffolk Times weekly newspaper and is the former editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. He contributes or has contributed to publications like Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Beverage Media, Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End and Edible Hudson Valley. Lenn served on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and is the creator and founder of TasteCamp, an annual regional wine immersion conference for writers and trade. An admitted riesling and cabernet franc fanatic, he’s intensely passionate about eating local and the many local wine regions of America. Lenn lives in Miller Place, NY with his wife Nena, son Jackson, daughter Anna and their dog, Casey Lemieux Thompson.

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