2017 GSM by Passaggio Wines, San Francisco

Tonight’s Occasion: 2017 GSM by Passaggio Wines, San Francisco CA

Deep ruby color. Bright aromatic nose with lots of red berries, raspberry, ripe strawberry and a touch of sweet mellon. A backdrop of sweet cedarwood leather, hint of eucalyptus, and red vines licorice. Yummy!

Bright body greets with a touch of acidity. This quickly gives way to a smooth silky, viscous body with hints of citrus, pomegranate and crisp caramel. Dark cherry skins provide a thin firm structure that permeates the experience. A slightly creamy mouth feel fades away leaving behind crisp tannins, a hint of cola and mild spice.

What a vibrant melodic interpretation of the iconic GSM blend. I love every single one of Cindy’s wines. Words that come to mind are: precise, crisp, subtle, rich, balanced, humble, unassuming. This blend embodies all of those. It reminds me of the Fiona GSM by Bumgarner I have previously reviewed on here.

Read more about Passagio Wines on WineSnob.

2019 Pinot Grigio (Orange Wine) by Passagio Wines, San Francisco CA

Tonight’s Occasion: 2019 Pinot Grigio (Albini Vineyards, Sonoma) by Passaggio Wines, San Francisco CA

Clear hypnotic copper color (skin fermented). Bright, slightly weighted nose which immediately presents a beautiful aromatic bouquet of passion fruit, honeysuckle and stone fruits especially ripe sweet cherries that remind me of Pinot Noir from Santa Rita Hills. Swirl vigorously to intensify the nose.

Precisely balanced body greets with a touch of acid and a touch of tannin in the form of white cherry skins going hand-in-hand. This quickly segues into a soft, plush, creamy body. A dash of clean, crisp neutral oak further softens an otherwise bone dry body. After the 3rd or 4th sip, a slight minerality makes it presence known through a slight mouth watering effect. Faint white cherries and cranberries frame the transition to finish that eventually leaves the palate otherwise slightly dry, with tart citrus notes and a gentle warm spice.

I fell in love with the first time saw this wine. A white wine with the personality of a sophisticated, Pinot Noir. The extra skin contact does wonders for its personality, character and expression. You can sip this wine at room temperature, slightly chilled or super chilled. The color draws you in and holds your attention while it gently convinces you, that this is the way Pinot Grigio was meant to be.

This is a one-time vintage. It may already be gone. I don’t think this winemaker will make another like this. Get a few and explore something truly unique and special.

Cindy you’re killing me!

Read more about Passagio Wines on WineSnob.

2018 Grenache (Heringer Estates) by Passaggio

Tonight’s occasion: 2018 Grenache (Heringer Estates) by Passaggio Wines, San Francisco, California.

Just look at the color. Wow. Nose is slightly shy out of the bottle with primary notes of a crisp sweet cherry cola. A damp old oak leather lingers in the back. Swirling vigorously unlocks a burst of bright, sweet cherry, strawberry and red vines licorice. Faint blueberries linger in the back. Ugghhh… Seriously!

Body is restrained and precisely balanced. A plush, cola greets the palate, imparting a soft bitter essence. Cherries and crisp oak add a soft, fleshy, palate-wetting, mouth feel. Bacon Fat! That’s it! Thin crisp tannins provide just enough structure while remaining almost unnoticeable. As it progresses, a firm heat slowly ramps up, fully engulfing the palate from front to back. Over time this heat falls way back. Giving way to a dry dusty finish with cola and cherry dancing into the sunset, as it comes full circle. At 13.4% ABV, I am going to thoroughly enjoy this occasion.

Cindy’s wines are highly understated, precise, balanced, crisp and beautiful. There’s a certain obsession with perfection I don’t see often. This starts with the color. Usually wines this good, have an element of creative chaos. Not her wines. I cannot say enough about this Winemaker’s work.

Cindy… Stoppit! You’re killin me!🍷😭👌🏽

Read more about Passagio Wines on WineSnob.

2018 Aglianico by Passaggio Wines

Tonight’s occasion: 2018 Aglianico (Heringer Estates, Clarksburg) by Passaggio Wines

The color is mesmerizing. Nose is a little shy out of the bottle with subtle hints of dried tart fruit. Swirl vigorously to unlock crisp plum, slightly ripe cherries and a wet loamy soil and driftwood underlayment typical of Clarksburg. Distant floral notes I can’t pinpoint, dance in the background. Gorgeous!

Body is crisp. Mildly acidic. That tart fruit carries forward, immediately accompanied by an unmistakable clean, crisp, refined caramel. Crisp, clean tannins provide a sparing framework without dominating. This is a massive beast of a varietal and I have never seen it tamed like this. Terroir is almost neutral. Transition to finish is seamless and ends in a subtle spice heat while those restrained tannins finally show themselves in the form of a long, dry enduring grip.

This winemaker took a chance with this beast of a varietal and I think it paid off. She also has another Aglianico made in the more typical/traditional style. I highly recommend getting them both together. They make a great study of this grape’s broad potential.

Cindy is a small artisan winemaker to follow closely. Her wines are all amazing if not head-scratching at at times.

Nicely done Cindy! 🍷😁👌🏽

Read more about Passagio Wines on WineSnob.