An elephant or a hat? Hat Ranch Winery’s DRY Moscato from Idaho

“Of all of the wine days to fall on my birthday,” says Sue plaintively,  “why Moscato? why must it be MOSCATO? It is by far NOT my favorite wine!”

If she could have her way, I bet she’d have been born on Cabernet Franc Day. But no.

Will this Hat Ranch Dry Moscato from the Snake River Valley in Idaho change her mind? Only our taste test will tell.

HAT Ranch Winery – 2015 – Dry Moscato – Estate Grown – Snake River Valley – Alcohol 12.7% 182 cases $18

When my son saw this bottle of wine, he asked: is it an elephant or a hat?

“I showed the grown ups my masterpiece, and I asked them if my drawing scared them. They answered:”why be scared of a hat?” My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant.”
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

In The Little Prince, we are reminded that as we age, how we see the world changes. We have certain expectations, and these expectations limit us, and our imaginations. When we were children, the world was fresh, and alive: we let our senses give us information, and we could imagine the extraordinary this way. (Read more about The Little Prince and imagination in this article from the Scientific American).

And so it can be with wine: been there, tasted that. Ho-hum.

Moscato Day.

Oh, just another one of those wine days.

But these wine days, as social media driven as they may be, give us an opportunity to see whether it’s a hat or a boa constrictor eating an elephant.  To think about a wine in a new way or to try a new style or region or compare various regions like we did recently with Sauvignon Blanc Day where we tasted seven different wines from five continents!

So if you’re feeling blasé about yet another wine day, or about Moscato, take another look: is it just a hat? or is it a boa constrictor digesting an elephant?

In this case, in the case of this Dry Moscato from Idaho’s HAT Ranch Winery in the Snake River Valley, it is definitely a boa constrictor digesting an elephant.

Yes this is a wine for your imagination!

The color of the wine is like water: against white this wine barely shows any color at all.

The nose is so aromatic: sweet, pretty, perfume, and floral just like a moscato should be. So inviting and complex! Now we find  dusty rose and lavender, wet stone, white peach, and cherry or plum blossoms, definitely red stone fruit blossom, and vanilla.

Front of the wine and at the end of the palate there is a racy, bright, acidic orange peel.

Bit it’s the nose of this wine just knocks you off your socks.

We love the nose, but at first, we’re not sure if the flavors stand up to the nose of the wine: just want to sniff and sniff. The flavors are much milder than the aroma. When you get all that sweetness and fruit on the nose, it is kind of a shock when it reaches your palate that this wine is not sweet. In some ways, it reminds us of Sake, a wine that Sue is fond of.

As we delved into it further, we find on the palate, apricot kernel, nectarine, and some super interesting kiwi with marzipan richness. As the florals continue to develop, they include honeysuckle, the dewey nectar when you suck on a honeysuckle, with a long lingering mineral finish. There are some qualities that remind us of mead without the cloying qualities of mead. This is more like the essence of honey or the essence of the pollen of the honey that is used to make the honey, the essence of the flower. The nose is crazy amazing. And there is a texture on the palate and a richness like iron, like blood. Very subtle, very fascinating!

This isn’t the moscato that’s Sue’s grandmother always had in the refrigerator. This completely different dry wine that is wonderful.

Hello, Idaho? You are making some amazing wines up there! But don’t tell anyone! Because then the prices will go up! And it will be even harder to get!

And YES! Dry moscato? A dry white wine of this complexity for only $18? Perfect for hot summer days? Poolside parties? Picnics? Late evenings sitting on the porch? Yes please!  And Sue is happy to have some for her birthday too! Happy Moscato Day!

“Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in The Little Prince

Happy Moscato Day!

This wine was sent to us as a sample for consideration from the Idaho Wine commission. (And there’s more to come!)  You can buy this and other wines from Hat Ranch Winery here.

And from one teacher to another:


2 thoughts on “An elephant or a hat? Hat Ranch Winery’s DRY Moscato from Idaho

  1. Pingback: Idaho Wine Month Part 1: Williamson’s Sangiovese and Viognier | wine predator

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