Brian and Lori Nuss are the founders of Vinoce. The meaning of Vinoce (vin-o-chay) is a play on his name and German-Italian background. In German “nuss” translates as “nut”. In Italian “noce” means nut and thus Vinoce means “wine nut”. The winery sits high above the valley floor on Mt. Veeder (western side of the valley) and was founded in 1996. Known for their Cabernet Franc’s and Cabernet Sauvignon’s, they do offer two Sauvignon Blanc’s. The “Lori’s Lucky Penny” is from St. Helena in Napa Valley. To read about their Cabernet Franc’s and Cabernet Sauvignon’s see the following articles:
On the eyes a pale straw yellow and light-medium viscosity. The first expectations are a “meek and mild” Sauvignon Blanc, but hold on! You are then greeted with aromas of mild citrus qualities (not a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc), but rounded and milder blends of citrus and white stone fruits. On the palate the first flavor profile is passion fruit and star fruit. While lemon citrus is present it is subdued and contained. The finish provided an even “slightly sweet” (barely on the Rector scale) but counter balanced and added just enough to make the experience not a “lip smacking” Sauvignon Blanc. Minerality and a zesty finish with a rounded finish was exquisite. They produced about 120 cases each year and 30% sees new French oak and balance is neutral. It is in barrel for between 6 to 8 months. The grapes come from the Ashe Vineyard in Yountville. Available at the winery website at $45.
By the way, the name “Lori’s Lucky Penny” name for their “higher end” Sauvignon Blanc is from Brian’s late wife Lori. They were season ticket holders for the San Francisco Giants. As Brian stated in 2010 “she found a penny on the ground at the Giant’s stadium she called her Lucky Penny and she thought the lucky penny is why the Giants won the World Series”. She would pass it along to everyone in their section to rub for good luck at the games. The penny replica is on top of foil on the bottle!
The Food and Wine Pairing
Had the opportunity over one day to pair with a variety of foods. First pairing was with a sashimi with rice of Maguro (tuna), Hamachi (yellowtail) and Sake (salmon). The acidity was a perfect embrace with the raw fish. The second dish was a tuna casserole baked with a cheddar cheese topping. Again the acidity and smoothness allow the flavors of this wonderful winter time comfort food to shine through. The last dish was a Maguro only sashimi and rice. Again the acidity was truly complimentary.