Maddalena is a brand of the historic San Antonio Winery, on of the early Los Angeles wineries founded in 1917 by Italian immigrant Santo Cambianica. Nephew Stefano Riboli, Santo’s apprentice, and Maddalena Riboli took over the winery upon Santo’s death in 1956 and the winery is still going strong. Designated a Cultural Monument by the Los Angeles’ Cultural Heritage board, the winery still sits on Lamar St. in LA but now owns several brands including the ubiquitous Stella Rosa, and many vineyards scattered throughout the major wine regions of California.
This is a simple, semi-sweet Riesling with plenty of flavor featuring wet stone, honey, and apricot on the nose and picking up floral and pear notes on the palate. A burst of citrus arrives on the finish. It’s full bodied with some viscosity and the acidity is supportive, giving the wine a clean, transparent finish, but it isn’t zesty or dynamic. It comes off as flabby and cloying especially when it begins to warm up in the glass.
It’s an acceptable table wine if you’re serving sweeter dishes but lacks the crispness and verve that even a sweet Riesling should have. But add some playful, Latin pop with movement to punch up the acidity and you could spend an evening with it.
Price: $10 (available at Bevmo and Total Wine)