Usana Luck of the Gambler 2018

What was the biggest gamble with this wine?

Playing ‘what’s the vintage?’ there’s no indication of the year until you remove the wax covering the cork. Luckily (all puns intended), this was part of a Han Drinks Solo wine subscription that provides all the details, videos, tasting notes, and invitations to blind tasting evenings. If you’re smarter than me, you’ll make better use of Jono’s excellent service and not waste frown lines searching the label.

The Wine:

Medium copper in colour. The nose is initially shy but then opens up to persistent medium+ cherries, rhubarb, peaches, cinnamon, weak mint tea, sea spray, kelp, mushrooms, yeast, and soy sauce.

Dry, medium+ acidity, medium bodied, very faint tannins, with an intriguing savoury and slightly briny palate that also includes nectarines, oysters, mushrooms, yeasty cider, pomegranate seeds, and black tea. Stay with me for a moment…there’s a bitter floral sweetness that a sensible person would call musk, but that reminds me of spritzing perfume too close to my open mouth.  And a medium+ finish.


Balance (1) + Length (1) + Intensity (½) + Complexity (1)  = A very good wine 

Viti + Vini:

Stellenbosch grown Pinot Gris of which 70% was destemmed and naturally fermented on skins for 12 days. 30% was whole bunch fermented for 8 days. The wine was aged in mostly old French oak and also an egg for 10 months.


Final thoughts:

If this is your first skin contact rodeo, you’ll want to hold on for this ride. Don’t serve it too cold, give it a moment to open up, and then sit back and enjoy the evolution of aromas and flavours…as well as the deliciously slinky slippy texture.

Find the Wine:


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