Portland, OR-based Libertine Wines has dropped a Cryo dry-hopped white wine that uses Citra and Mosaic hops for a grassy, pungent, spicy and fruity flavor and aroma. The matter-of-factly titled “White Wine with Hops” is a response to the increasingly popular craft beers taking inspiration from wine.
Made with grapes from two different vineyards and all Willamette Valley hops, Libertine Wines used a base of 60/40 Semillon / Riesling juice blend. White Wine with Hops was conceptualized during the 2017 wine grape harvest when winemaker Alex Neely heard about a locally made Rosé IPA and was discussing it with his cellarmate at Teutonic, where he works as assistant winemaker.
“We were aghast at their audacity to tap into our industry. You try to play in my court, and imma dunk all over your ass” exclaimed Neely in his signature satirical style. “The next year I created a dry hopped white wine and joined their hops arms race. I even called it a dumbass name like they do. You can’t out stupid this idiot. Hopped up on Goofballs is a product the world has never seen. The question is, should it? The decision is yours.”
Neely has a way with words; you may remember him from a former life as local celebrity food blogger, author of Cooking for Assholes. His satirical blog and Twitter feed was a popular source of adult humor, both making fun of the food and drinks scene as well as being a loving homage. An ex-chef and cheesemonger, Neely has remade himself into a winemaker. His day job is helping make the wines at Portland’s Teutonic Wine Company, and he has been producing wines under his own label Libertine Wines since 2015. Neely has always been a beer fan as well; he even guest wrote a post for The New School at one point.
Libertine is not the first to add hops to wine, check out write-up on Underwood Wines collaboration with Goschie Farms on a hopped wine Radler. Underwood’s product comes much closer to emulating beer, while Libertine’s dry-hopped wine is fiercely still a wine first and foremost.
Neely ferments all of his Libertine wines with wild vineyard yeast in neutral oak barrels. Other than the small amount of sulfites, his wines have no additives –that is, until he dosed this one with hops.
“I had to do many small batch trial runs over many months to dial in the recipe,” says Neely. He ended up with a 60/40 blend of Mosaic and Citra Cryo hops from YCH Hops. “I am the first winery to have a wholesale account with BrewcraftUSA.”
Neely only made 57 cases of his White Wine with Hops, and it’s already been quite popular and will likely sell out of local stores soon. It should be available at most New Seasons Markets, Hollywood Beverage (Sandy Blvd.) 45th Parallel Wines and Dame. Bottles retail between $23 and $25. Neely plans to make more dry-hopped wine in August when he bottles his next high end white wine.
If you can find a bottle of his Cryo hopped White Wine, Neely suggests drinking it chilled from a small mason jar.
Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding.
because a South Jersey winery did it that means its old news?
Wed May 1, 2019 3:43 PM
I should have known that someone in South Jersey, a premier wine region and at the forefront of cutting innovation, beat me to the punch. Turns out they don’t make it anymore but it looks like they have a delightful Raspberry Riesling and Blackberry Syrah.