We tasted this week (6/11/14) Some New Whites:
1. Dom. de Tariquet Classic IGP: Cotes de Gascogne (MeBaD; 45% UgniBlanc/35% Colombard/10% Sauvignon/
10% GrosManseng; 10.5%) FammilleGrama/Eauze 2013
: Light gold color; rather appley/pineapple light stony/tinny/
metallic rather simple nose; very/very tart/screechy/grapefruity/tangy/metallic slight stony/earthy/appley
rather painful flavor w/ very little fruit; very acid/searing/screechy/grapefruity some stony/metallic finish;
pleasant/simple enough nose but painfully searing on the palate; off to the distillery for this one. $10.00 (UdW)
2. PaixSurTerre UgniBlanc PasoRobles (13.3%; www.PaixSurTerreWines.com) Ryan&Nicole Pease/PR 2013
: Light gold color;
fairly fragrant floral/apple blossom/appley/mango light spicy/nutmeg quite attractive nose; somewhat tart fairly
rich/lush light appley/floral/apple blossom light stony/mineral flavor; med.long fairly tart light appley/apple
blossom/floral light stony/mineral finish; quite a nice brisk/refreshing white but a bit neutral on the palate.
3. Massican sauvignon NapaVlly (100% SauvBlanc; 13.9%; www.Massican.com) 2010
: Med.gold color; rather herbal/stony/
mineral slight honeyed/nutmeg/butterscotchy bit minty/spearmint/Dentine some fresh cut hay (it's a Kansas thing)/
clover complex very attractive nose; rather tart quite honeyed some nutty/aged/butterscotch rather fresh cut hay/
clover lovely/complex flavor; very long/lingering honeyed/clover/fresh-mown hay some honeyed/nutty/butterscotch
complex finish; showing some honeyed/mead-like/aged complex character; a beautiful/complex SB. $29.00
4. Massican Sauvignon JuilianaVnyd/PopeVlly/NapaVlly (100% SauvBlanc; 150 cs; 13.8%; Bttld: March 2012)
: Med.gold color; slight stinky/reduced/pungent some herbal/cat pee light stony/mineral rather fresh-cut
hay/clover light honeyed complex nose; rather tart/tangy more herbal/cat-pee/SB some stony/mineral new-mown hay/
clover slight mango/pineapple refreshing/lovely flavor; very long/lingering fresh/clean/clover/hay bit herbal/
cat-pee some pungent/funky bit honeyed complex finish; not as honeyed or complex as the '10 and more SB varietal
5. Massican sauvignon NapaVlly (13.7%) 2012
: Med.light gold color; very fresh/fragrant/perfumed fresh clover/hay/
spicy/floral light herbal/SB slight honeyed lovely clean/refreshing nose; rather tart/tangy fresh mown clover/
floral/honeyed/melony/spicy slight pungent/herbal/stony/mineral lovely flavor; very long/lingering fresh/clover/
floral/melony/mango bit herbal/pungent clean/refreshing/tangy/tart slight honeyed finish; very unlike most Calif
SB and much more Friuli in character; stands up well to the famed Miani. $27.00
6. Miani Sauvignon DOC: Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon (14.5%) 2012
: Med.gold color; rather perfumed talc/honeyed/
complex some floral/clover/springtime flowers bit spicy/nutmeg very/very perfumed/exotic/hard-to-describe/lush
beautiful nose; softer/lusher/riper bit tangy very spicy/nutmeg/floral/honeyed/mango/pineapple oily/textured
seamless/flawless/balanced complex beautiful flavor; very long/lingering honeyed/floral/nutmeg/very spicy/slight
herbal/pungent/insecticide very balanced/seamless textured/ripe/oily finish; very un-SauvignonBlanc but a
beautiful/complex/seamless white that's hard to come up w/ descriptors for; I blanched a bit at the price but
it may be worth it. $68.00 (AV)
7. Massican sauvignon SauvBlanc NapaVlly (14.1%) 2013
: Pale gold color; strong herbal/SB/pungent some fresh clover/
hay slight honeyed/spicy fairly perfumed/fragrant more classic SB nose; rather tart/tangy some stony/mineral
clean/refreshing/clover/hay some herbal/pungent/SB/pineapple bit spicy very attractive flavor; very long light
stony/mineral some pungent/herbal/SB/pineapple/ripe clean/clover/hay/refreshing finish; a bit simpler than the
others & needs some age; shows more pungent/herbal/classic SB character; lovely SB. $28.00
8. Borgo Conventi Sauvignon DOC: Collio (14%) RuffinoImport/Farra d'Isonzo/Collio 2011
: Med.light gold color; some
funky/reduced/pungent slight unclean/toe jam rather floral/dandelion some herbal/SB/earthy rather interesting nose;
rather soft some floral/dandelion/herbal some oak/vanilla bit earthy flavor; med.long slight funky/unclean some
earthy light floral/dandelion/herbal/stony finish; a bit on the funky side and a bit on the bland/innocuous side
but somewhat interesting and a great buy for a Friuli Sauvignon. $13.00
9. LaColombera Derthona Timorasso DOC: ColliTortonesi (13.5%; www.IndigenousSelections.com) PierCarlo Semino/
Vho di Tortona 2010
: Med.gold color; very attractive floral/tropical fruit/melony quite spicy/fragrant lovely
nose; lightly tart clean/floral/tropical fruit/melony quite perfumed/rose petal/spicy attractive flavor; med.long
bright floral/mango/tropical fruit/melony rather spicy bit tart finish; lots of Timorasso fruit but not much other
stuff; some like a spicy Calif Chard, some like a SBC Riesling; pretty wine. $27.00 (SFW&S)
10. Vigneti Massa Derthona VinoBianco (14%; 100% Timorasso) Monleale 2010
: Med.light gold color; bit ultraripe/
pungent/burnt caramel/butterscotchy slight aromatic/plastic/plastic trash can bit herbal/musky/ozone almost
muscatty/overripe apples/stewed apples rather exotic nose; lightly tart rather musky/muscatty intense floral/
caramel/butterscotchy/creme brulee/toasted marshmallows/pungent/smoked hot dogs/overripe apples rather complex/
exotic flavor; very long/lingering toasted marshmallows/creme brulee bit burnt very musky/almost muscatty finish;
a beautiful/complex/exotic wine. $37.00 (BWM)
11. Domaine Georges Vernay Viognier LePied de Samson VdP: CollinesRhodaniennes (13%; Martine'sWines) 2012
color; very strong ripe peach/pear/Viog some Condrieu-like/spicy quite perfumed/fragrant lovely nose; soft very
floral/Viog/ripe peach/pear slight earthy very Condrieu-like lovely flavor; very long/lingering floral/pear/ripe
peach/Viog/spicy quite aromatic finish; a lovely Viog and the most Condrieu-like I've had from the Collines; a
bit lacking in structure. $41.25 (Enoteca)
12. Failla Viognier AlbanVnyd/EdnaVlly (14.1%) 2012
: Med.light gold color; slight volatile very perfumed/aromatic
strong ripe pear/Viog/peach slight dusty/earthy somewhat complex/spicy beautiful nose; rather tart beautiful
ripe peach/ripe pear/Viog/very spicy structured/textured complex flavor; very long/lingering powerfully
aromatic ripe pear/ripe peach/Viog spicy fairly tart/structured/complex finish; a beautiful perfumed Viog that
blows away any Alban; amazing wine. $42.00
12a. Loken Viognier Reserve TumbasVnyd/AmadorCnty/Calif (Lot 15; 15.0%) NevadaWineCellars/Pahrump 2012
gold color; quite charred/toasty/oak/smokey/creme brulee some floral/perfumed/Viog slight herbal some valve
oil/petrol complex weird nose; very soft/fat strong smokey/burnt sugar/toasted marshmallow slight floral/perfumed/
ripe peach/Viog very ripe/porky flavor; med.long soft/fat very strong toasted marshmallow/burnt sugar/creme brulee
some Viog/very ripe peach finish; a very bizarre rendition of a DollyParton Viog slathered w/ melted marshmallows.
$25.00 (Sterbenz mystery)
13. Tatomer Riesling KickOnRanch/SBC (BA; B33R3N4USL3S3; 10.5%; 60 cs; www.TatomerWines.com; RS: 11.5%; SaH: 30 Brix;
Botrytis affected grapes) Lompoc 2011
: Light gold color; strong pineapple/JR/ripe/mango strong Mosel valve oil/
gout de petrol light botrytis/peach syrup/fruit cocktail very fragrant/perfumed beautiful nose; rather sweet
fairly tart very strong JR/valve oil/petrol intense pineapple/mango/JR ripe light botrytis/peach syrup lovely
flavor; very long/lingering strong valve oil/petrol/JR intense pineapple/mango/fruit cocktail/JR light botrytis/
peachy finish; not very intense botrytis but a beautiful very Germanic Riesling; should age forever; very fairly
priced at $38.00/hlf (DiV)
14. Ad'OP Muscat de SaintJean de Minervois Terres de Muscat VinDouxNaturel SelectionPetitGrain (15%) 2012
: Pale yellow
color; very strong muscatty/floral/perfumed rather simple nose; quite sweet soft/fat/underacid strong muscatty/
floral bit watery/lightweight/insipid simple flavor; med.short very sweet soft/fat strong muscatty/floral rather
watery/simple/insipid finish; much like a Muscato d'Asti w/o the bubbles; dull as dishwater.
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. UgniBlanc: This grape (and Colombard) are primarily used for making Cognac & Armagnac. Most of the versions I've
tried from Gascony have been totally uninspiring. This Tariquet was an exception...exceptionally undrinkable.
Ryan & Nicole are the first Calif UgniBlanc that I am aware of. Ryan thought I should try his wine and sent
me a sample for our group to try. He was inspired by the TablasCreek Vermentino to try UgniBlanc. This is,
by far, the best UgniBlanc (or Trebbiano) that I have yet tried. It didn't quite have the aromatics of the
Tablas Vermentino/Rolle but it was a very nice/refreshing summer white that has a nice stony/mineral component.
More than anything, it reminded me of the old Chalone CyrilSaviez NapaVlly FrenchColombard w/o the oak those
usually showed. Maybe more akin to the Carmenet from that vnyd. I think that beautiful old Colombard planting
has been grubbed up for Zinfandel.
2. Massican/Miani: Massican is the wine made by DanPetrowski. After spending time in Italy, Dan fell in love w/
the white wines of Friuli. His day job is making wines at LarkmeadWnry in Calistoga.
Miani is made by EnzoPontoni, somewhat of a cult winemaker figure in Friuli. His wines are very scarce and
highly sought-after, produced in tiny amounts. And expensive, obviously. He and Dan are fairly close friends
and Dan is a big fan of Enzo's wines.
I thought it would be interesting to put Dan's '12 Sauvignon up against the Miani '12. Though I somewhat
preferred the Miani to the Massican...I did notice that the other guy from Friuli flinched.
This is the most Massican sauvignons I've had the privledge to taste at one time. I'm not a particularly
big fan of Calif SauvBlanc and find the Friulian ones fit my taste profile better. They seem to have less of
the overt herbaceous/weedy character of Calif SauvBlanc and much more restrained use of oak. I think the
Massicans, especially if the get a bit of age, fits the Friulian mold better than any other from Calif.
I'd love to see what Dan could do w/ SauvignonMusque and Malvasia d'Istria.
3. Timorasso: This is a rare variety grown in the SE corner of Piemonte in the Derthona region, hard by the border
w/ Lombardy. It was brought back from near extinction by WalterMassa in the mid-'80's. I was first introduced
to the variety by DarrellCorti some 10 yrs ago. It's my favorite wine of all the Piemontese Whites, even
including the famed SutterHome White Nebbiolo. It has the power & texture of a good Chard, but the aromatics
of a good Arneis or Favorita.
The Colombera is a nicely done Timorasso that just showed up here in NM. Nice/smple expression of Timorasso.
The Massa was the most unusual Timorassos I've had of his. It was much different than the one I had at Bergamot
w/ SamBilbro a few months ago. This one seemed much more aged and exotic. Walter thinks Timorasso is a wine
that really needs to be aged. This one would confirm that claim.
4. Tatomer: These are the wines of GrahamTatomer. I've had his Gruners and Rieslings before and was quite impressed
by them. This is his first dessert Riesling that I've tried. The grapes, where were botrytis affected, came from
KickOnRanch, just NW of LosAlamos. I was totally flumoxed by the B33R3N4USL3S3 on the label. Brian explained
that it's hacker notation for "Beerenauslese", a term no longer permited on US labels. Quite clever, I thought.
For a BA, I was expecting a bit more botrytis along the lines of a German BA. But those are often below
20Brix before the botrytis sets in to drive the sugar up to 30Brix. This Tatomer BA was probably in the mid-
20Brix at onset of botrytis, so I expect the amount of botrytis on the grapes was less than it would be for
a German BA. Just speculating, of course. But it is as beautiful a Calif BA as I can recall of late.
5. The Muscat was a cheapie from TotalBeverage in ABQ. This is how SutterHome would make Muscat in Minervois if
they could. There was no identity of the producer on the label, other than a French ZipCode.