Jonathan Yadegar & Omar Koukaz
Jumbo Time Wines
The Gift 2021
This orange wine is a 50/50 blend of Pinot Blanc and Riesling. The Pinot Blanc was sourced from Mendocino and separated into two lots, which were macerated on the skins for 7 days and 15 days respectively. The Riesling, from Monterey’s historic Zabala Vineyard (Organic and Lodi Rules certified), was divided into three lots with maceration times varying from none (direct press) to 15 days to 21 days. No sulfur additions. 12% alcohol.
Jonathan Yadegar and Omar Koukaz may not be seasoned winemakers, but make no mistake: a marketing bro side hustle this is not. Fueled by a winning combination of eye-on-the-prize dedication and boundless enthusiasm, Jumbo Time's co-founders have rolled out one of the most exciting — and smartly executed — natural wine projects in recent memory. Rather than downplay their inexperience, Jonathan and Omar openly embrace their status as newcomers, inviting us in to learn alongside them and to share in their success. This adds a welcome dimension of playfulness and relatability. It's also a fairly radical move within an industry plagued by pretension and a startling lack of transparency. This is not to say that the LA-based duo isn't dreaming big. Just look at the caliber of its collaborators: top talent like assistant winemaker Jason Phillips (formerly of Donkey & Goat) and consulting winemaker Jason Charles of Vinca Minor. Still, Jonathan and Omar are intimately involved in all aspects of production, from calling pick dates to determining the final blends, and everything in between. It’s this atypical framework of responsibility that makes Jumbo Time somewhat difficult to categorize — but it's also what fuels its originality. And did we mention that the wines stunningly delicious? Drink them and you’ll see firsthand that accessibility doesn’t have to come at the expense of quality.