14 Dec Please The Palate Wine of the Week: LXV Blanc de Sangiovese 2021, White Hawk Vineyard, Santa Barbara County
Last July, the Capanna di Cencioni ‘Sangiobi’ 2019 Bianco Toscana IGT captured my attention. It was the first time I had a white Sangiovese and I was enamored. I was not the only one. Neeta and Kunal Mittal of LXV Wines in Paso Robles tried the 2018 Capanna di Cencioni ‘Sangiobi’ Bianco Toscana while on a trip to Tuscany. Inspired by this wine, they made their first vintage in 2021 of a white Sangiovese. That wine, the LXV Blanc de Sangiovese 2021, White Hawk Vineyard, Santa Barbara County is the Please The Palate wine of the week.
About LXV Wines
LXV Wines is owned by Neeta and Kunal Mittal. Both born in India, they met at Berkeley. It was a chance visit to Paso Robles just over 10 years ago when the fell in love with the region. Neeta and Kunal have traveled around the world and visited many regions but Paso captured their hearts. They purchased property in Willow Creek and relocated from Los Angeles. Their home vineyard Armaa.N is 13.5 acres planted to Kunal’s two favorite grapes, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon. They also source fruit from vineyards in Paso Robles and Santa Barbara County.
The name LXV represents the Roman numerals 65. The name was inspired by the 64 arts of living from old Indian scriptures. As wine is not mentioned in any of the 64 arts of living, Neeta and Kunal created the 65th art of living with the mantra “to heighten your senses through beautifully crafted wines and unparalleled spice pairings.”
Jeff Strekas, who is also the General Manager at ONX Wines and who I interviewed for the Wine Soundtrack podcast, has been the winemaker for LXV Wines since 2015. He made the first vintage of the white Sangiovese in 2021.
The Sangiovese was sourced from the White Hawk Vineyard in Santa Barbara County. The grapes were whole cluster pressed and removed from the skins immediately. Activated carbon is used to remove all color in the juice resulting in a clear, pale wine. The wine has an aromatic bouquet with notes of white cherries. The wine has a gorgeous texture and fresh acidity.
The aromatics, texture, and complexity of this wine make it very versatile to pair with food. Enjoy it with an oyster with an orange, shallot, and ginger mignonette or a crab cake. Neeta suggested the wine with chicken tikka masala with smoked jasmine. I enjoyed the wine on its own, as well as with Raclette cheese with violet oil and seared sous vide octopus with lemon.
Where to Purchase
Only 105 cases made of the 2021 LXV Blanc de Sangiovese, which retails for $65. This is a wine for wine club members only but if you happen to be at the tasting room in Paso Robles, you might be able to request a bottle, or two!
Coming in 2022, they will be making 150 cases of the white Sangiovese and are also making a sparkling white Sangiovese that will be available in a few years.