2021 The Messenger Albariño, Vinho Verde, Portugal
Grown along the River Minho in northern Portugal where it is known as Alvarinho, this crisp, romantic and refreshing white wine is bursting with complex fruit flavors. The freshness of this wine is enhanced by the wonderful silky texture. Joyous while young, this wine will develop wonderful complexities if allowed to age in the bottle for a few years. Your choice!
Like words, wine can convey many meanings. The complexity of our wine comes from embracing the art of blending… layering vintages, vineyards & varietals to obtain luscious flavor. The result is a thousand stories, but only one message… Enjoy our wine for what it is, an expression of the land that grew it and the hands that have touched it.
As a child growing up in Australia, Rob would accompany his dad to one of the local wineries where they would ‘go around the back’ and find a designated barrel of Port wine with a unique chalk mark. Once the barrel was identified they syphoned the Port into their 5-gallon container. Doing this required sticking a hose in the barrel, sucking on it until the Port started flowing and then jamming the hose into the container without drinking or spilling too much. Rob figures his first taste of Port was probably around the age of 10, courtesy of this syphoning hose. Once the container was filled, they would hand some cash to the cellar guy and return home to carefully decant the Port into a selection of small barrels. To this day, Rob’s 94-year-old father still keeps a small barrel of Port at the ready to share with friends.
Rob’s fascination with Port grew from these early experiences and evolved into a love of Portugal’s famed Vintage Ports and eventually triggered a visit to Porto. Now, he was expecting the Ports to be glorious - and they were. The big surprise was how good the dry table wines were. Screamingly good white and red wines that were also very reasonably priced.
Kat and Rob discovered a small family farm growing grapes and making wine in both the Douro region near Porto and the Vinho Verde region further north. Standing out among their varied offerings were the Alvarinho (Albariño) and Touriga Nacional. The family has an unusual arrangement with another customer that prohibits us from using their name, which is a shame. However, the story of the Portuguese family and their wines took Rob back to his childhood and reminded him of the family his Dad would buy Port from. In every way, these wines are an expression of the land that grew them and the hands that have touched them.
Varietal: Albarino/ Alvarinho
Region: Vinho Verde
6x 2021 The Messenger Albariño, Vinho Verde, Portugal
12x 2021 The Messenger Albariño, Vinho Verde, Portugal
It started 20 years ago with an opportunity to work for a craft brewer in Western Australia. Showing up in Australia with a degree from the University of California, a good work ethic, and a “can-do” spirit was the perfect combination of the right place right time. After three years down under, Kat moved back to the US, and her husband, Australian Rob McDonald quickly followed.
They founded Old Bridge Cellars and began importing the legendary Australian wines they both loved…d’Arenberg, Jasper Hill, Yarra Yaring, Leeuwin Estate. Along the way, Kat took a break and went to law school, they planted vineyards in both Australia and the Napa Valley and began making their own wines including the eponymous named Mak.
In 2008, they founded Art+Farm Wine in Napa. Art+Farm is home to their single vineyard wines the girls in the vineyard, their outrageous blends-The Messenger, and their true varietals: Circadia.
Kat and Rob live in Napa with their two children and an odd-looking creature that is supposed to be a dog. Kat is a little obsessed with her heritage breed chickens and the eggs they lay and also her bees. Rob is obsessed with composting and growing the perfect tomato. Both are huge proponents of dry farming and see water as the single biggest factor in the future of agriculture.
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We got a case last offering, in the dead of winter, but it was still very nice. Definitely a summer wine, glad to see it back now that things are heating up, and the price is very right so will be in for a case.
Bought this last go round as well. A very well made Albariño, especially for the price. Crisp, minerally, extremely quaffable. So glad it’s back up since I just consumed the last of the previous case. A perfect Summer sipper.
I loved the offering last time, very well balanced and delightful. I even bought a case directly from the seller since I couldn’t wait for this offering. Automatic buy, in for a case - would buy 2 if had the space!