2011 Palmina Santa Barbara County Malvasia Bianca
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Exotic and extremely aromatic, with notes of lavender, flowers, mint, lychee nut and citrus blossom, the 2012 Malvasia Bianca is intense, laser-focused and yet also rich and layered on the palate. A knockout medium-bodied dry white, it should continue to shine through 2014. Drink now-2014. Without a doubt, Steve Clifton is producing some of the finest examples of Italian variety wines in California. While I think you get the most bang for the buck from Steves more inexpensive whites and reds, his upper-tier Nebbiolos and blends certainly have unique characters and offer high quality.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Pale yellow. Pungent, pure aromas of melon, lime, ginger and mint, with a hint of dusty minerals. Offers impressive density and power but also terrific cut, showing incisive flavors of underripe pineapple, citrus zest and white pepper. Finishes very long, spicy and vibrant, with persistent floral and herbal nuances. Clifton told me that this fruit was harvested at an extremely low 17.7 degrees Brix.
There are few wineries stateside who manage to do Italian varietals justice in the way that Steve Clifton of Palmina does.