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albania labelThis wine is from one of the more interesting wine projects in the U.S. Jerry Eisterhold of Vox Vineyards and TerraVox Winery near Kansas City is rediscovering long forgotten American grape varieties, most of them first cultivated by the legendary grape breeder T.V. Munson in the late 19th Century. The project has been under development since 1996 but went commercial in 2015. Wines such as Lenoir, Wetumka, and Lomanto are not familiar to most wine lovers but Eisterhold seeks to change that. I’ve tasted several of these varieties over the past couple years, and Albania is one of the most intriguing.

This white wine is pale lemon yellow in appearance and quite cloudy when first opened. Exotic scents of of tangerine, grapefruit, floral and mint  meld with wet stone to form an intriguing bouquet. On the crisp, textured palate, citrus and hints of red apple juxtaposed with searing, mineral-driven acidity give the wine a tense, energetic affect. Bone dry with no viscosity, the wine nevertheless has body, a function not of the weight of the fruit but of a slight granular mouthfeel from dry extract. It’s focal point emerges on the finish as the tart acidity is balanced by a flood of invigorating, spring water freshness .

An engaging wine and  a grape with great potential, with oysters this would be outstanding. It’s now sold out online but wait for the next bottling. This is a unique wine quite unlike any of the more familiar “zesty white” varietals.

It paired best with pretty, yet vigorous techno-pop such as the Brazilian Girls Jique.

Score: 88

Price: $30

Alc: 10.8%

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