California Dreaming with Tank Garage Winery
The Napa Valley gas station-turned-winery's new soulful release
On the shelf, there's little way to judge wine except by its label, and Calistoga, California-based Tank Garage Winery does an impressive job of conveying its uniqueness via image alone. A photo from a 1950s college chemistry lab denotes their experimental "Dark Science" red wine. For "The Heavy" Cabernet Sauvignon: a black-and-white portrait of John L Sullivan, the last heavyweight champion of bare-knuckle boxing (and the first heavyweight champion of gloved boxing, too). Cut-out stars within a label show off the ever-changing color of their rosé as it's consumed.
Tank's latest release coincides with the freaky warmer weather and the just-launched Lost at Last ($30) comes from their 2016 harvest with a twist: a white wine made like a red. Furthering a technique they've honed with their previous Van Zyl white wine, they've left the skins on the old vine Chenin Blanc grapes for three days (and blending some red wine varieties, Grenache and Mourvèdre), and resulted in what they call a "soulful orange color" and a flavor that's full of florals and tart fruit accents in each sip. The label's design enhances the natural orange hue further with a fitting sunset—a scene inspired by Joshua Tree.
The beauty of Lost at Last is its versatility: pair it with anything you would typically with a chilled white wine. Winemaker Bertus van Zyl has some favorites, suggesting lemongrass pork, salad or light bites such as tuna tartare and cashew chicken lettuce cups.
Visit Tank Garage Winery (open seven days a week) for tastings, and non-locals have a few options: purchase directly online (there's a sweet offer of $1 shipping with an order of 12 bottles) or sign up for their wine club for a delivery every quarter.
Images courtesy of Tank Garage