Simon Woolf is an award-winning English writer, and the author of the world’s first book on the full history of orange wines, the Amber Revolution. He is also the founder and editor of The Morning Claret, an online platform that celebrates the “lesser-known, wilfully obscure, and under-appreciated nooks and crannies of fermented grape juice”.
The Morning Claret is building the world’s largest catalogue of orange wine reviews, and we were lucky enough to have Simon review two vintages of our Nativo Amarillo, as well as our Red and White Blends. Here’s what he had to say:
Nativo Amarillo 2019
From organically farmed, unirrigated vineyards. This wild fermented “orange” has the kind of earthy, dried herb filled nose that I associate with similar wines from central Italy – Lazio or Umbria. It’s still quite tight and grippy on the texture, but noticeably softer and more filled out than its 2020 twin. The fruit – green plum and citrus – is on the lean side, yet it’s more than compensated by all the textural and herbal nuances.
Really enjoyable, low sulphites and a wine that stays enjoyable over many days open (if it lasts that long!)
Star rating: 4/5
Nativo Amarillo 2020
From organically farmed, unirrigated vineyards, this is made from skins leftover from Nativo’s classic white blend (if I’ve understood the tech sheet correctly!). Given that it’s just the skins from the press, it’s a damn fine wine!
Enticing aromas of tarragon, elderberry and roasted nuts. The tannins are pretty drying right now, so definitely a little more time needed. I’m reviewing this pre-release so very happy to make allowances.
What grabs me is the bright acidity, and a rustic sense of joy. If you’re mean spirited, maybe you’ll say it has a small amount of brett. Be that as it may, I think it adds fun and find it hugely enjoyable.
A fascinating comparison with the previous year (2019). Here, the addition of Chenin to the blend really seems to have turbocharged the excitement levels.
I added points for this wine, because 48 hours after I first popped the cork, it had really opened out and softened. So really great potential here, and a wine that should be drunk in 2022 or 2023, and preferably not now.
Star rating 4/5
Nativo Red Blend 2018
A really juicy, lively red blend that somehow manages to create harmony from grape varieties native to three different countries (France, Spain and South Africa).
There’s a subtle meatiness, some iodine and some perfumed berry aromas, and then all that wonderful cassis and raspberry fruit kicks in, together with a twiggy, sappy thing that reminds me a bit of lamb chops and rosemary sprigs grilling on a barbecue. At least, that’s what I’d love to pair this with.
What I love about this wine is its fresh, vivacious character. Still very much in the first flushes of youth, it isn’t especially refined or nuanced. But I don’t think I was either when I was three years old.
Star rating: 4/5
Nativo White Blend 2019
Ripe pear, creamy and rounded. Initially this feels quite broad, but there are salty, citrus notes that freshen up the finish.
Viognier speaks quite loud and clear on the nose, with candied fruits, pear & almond, but there’s a lovely limey quality that kicks in on the palate.
Expressive and quite complex, with loads of fruit definition.
Star Rating: 3.5/5
See The Morning Claret’s original reviews in their site here: