WTN: Gentilini Robola of Cephalonia 2003...(short/boring)

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WTN: Gentilini Robola of Cephalonia 2003...(short/boring)

Postby TomHill » Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:27 pm

Tried this wine last night w/ my paninni:
1. Gentilini Robola of Cephalonia (13%; http://www.Gentilini.Gr) 2003: Med.light gold color; lovely/fragrant/perfumed/floral/citrus slight metallic/minerally/chalky quite attractive nose; tart fairly rich/lush minerally/stoney/chalky delicate floral/citrusy rather perfumed flavor; med.long lush/tart perfumed/floral finish; a really lovely white at a very good price. $15.60
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A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. Got this wine a few weeks ago at the urging of DarrellCorti. Darrell comes thru again. The Robola grape, new to me, is a "noble" (what, exactly, makes a grape "noble"?) is an native/indiginous rare/ungrafted grape grown mostly on Cephalonia. It was long thought to be the same Ribiolla Giallo of Friuli, but DNA has shown no relationship. There is speculation that it, like PetiteSirah, may not be a single cultivar. Whatever it is, this was a really lovely wine. A wine worth tracking down. A variety worth trying in this country. It reminded me a bit of PinotGris transplanted to the Loire. Or GrenacheBlanc grown in the Rhone. Lovely wine.
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Re: TN: Gentilini Robola of Cephalonia 2003...(short/boring)

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:31 pm

Thanks, Tom! Glad you made it over!
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Re: TN: Gentilini Robola of Cephalonia 2003...(short/boring)

Postby Jenise » Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:38 pm

We're doing a Greek wine tasting in our neighborhood group this month (I've already sourced your past TN's on other Greek wines to use to track down good names) and this will be a perfect candidate. Hope I can find some--thanks.
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Re: TN: Gentilini Robola of Cephalonia 2003...(short/boring)

Postby Jamie Goode » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:29 pm

It's an old favourite - we had our honeymoon on the island of cephalonia in 1993, just as I was getting into wine and well before Corelli and Cage made it a trendy spot. Interesting stuff.
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Re: TN: Gentilini Robola of Cephalonia 2003...(short/boring)

Postby Peter May » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:55 pm

Agree. Very pleasant wine. I enjoyed its nutty lemony flavours. Until recently it was stocked (in UK) by the Oddbins chain.

Another example that there are a lot of good varieties out there that could do with more exposure.

OzClarke's wine grape book says "it is the same as the Ribolla of northe-eastern Italy and the Rebula of Slovenia"
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Rebola/Ribiolla

Postby TomHill » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:59 pm

Peter,
According to their WebSite, they claim that DNA testing has shown that the Rebola is NOT the same variety as Robiola of Italy. Don't know about the Slovene version, though.
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Re: Rebola/Ribiolla

Postby Peter May » Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:07 pm

TomHill wrote:Peter,
According to their WebSite, they claim that DNA testing has shown that the Rebola is NOT the same variety as Robiola of Italy. Don't know about the Slovene version, though.


Interesting - I wonder why they did DNA testing, and who did it.

When you read through Jancis's and Oz's books, and Anthony Hawkins guide there are whole load of suppositions. Isuppose one day DNA testing will clear them up, but so far it seemed to me that DNA testing of grape vines was only being done at UC Davis on very much a personal whim of Carole Meredith.
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Yup.....

Postby TomHill » Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:23 pm

Peter,
I gather the DNA testing is not a trivial nor inexpensive process (though, obviously they do it on criminal cases...funded by us taxpayers) and that there is just not a lot of $$'s out there available for testing for purely intellectual reasons. So much of the DNA testing that Carole did at UC/Davis was motivated towards a particular goal (identifying Zin or Petite Sirah, for example) and not just for pure intellectual interest. Certainly, UC/Davis was the pioneer in DNA testing for grapevines. I think a fair amount is being done in Oz as well. And I presume, nowadays, in France and Italy.
You are right that in both JanzisRobinsos's and OzClarke's grapevine books, there are suppositions and allegations about one variety being the same, or related to (like having a common parent, etc) strewn throughout the two books. Maybe DNA testing will, one day, lay these all to rest. We hope so.
Another complication is those friggin' grape farmers out there. They are an unruly/undisciplined lot. One farmer's PetiteSirah is not (always) identically the same as his neighbor's PetiteSirah.
Same sort of confusion over CabFranc/Mencia. I still haven't got a definitive answer on that one.
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Re: Yup.....

Postby Peter May » Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:15 pm

TomHill wrote:Peter,
So much of the DNA testing that Carole did at UC/Davis was motivated towards a particular goal (identifying Zin or Petite Sirah, for example) and not just for pure intellectual interest.


Surely it was intellectual interest? Was there a commercial sponsor asking for the answer and paying for the research? I thought it was a personal project.
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Re: TN: Gentilini Robola of Cephalonia 2003...(short/boring)

Postby TomHill » Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:49 pm

Peter,
Of course it was a big part intellectual interest by Carole to unravel with DNA typing the origin of Zinfandel. A definitively identify PetiteSirah in Calif vnyds. I doubt that there were any commercial operations waving big $$'s in her face to do this. I presume it was funded by UC funds. And, obviously, the results brought much good publicity to the UC/Davis Onelogy department. Good press never hurts when you want more $$'s for your department.
But the point is that there are thousands of these little mysteries out there and one could spend a lifetime and many $$'s unraveling them. There would be little incentive for Carole to demonstrate Ribolla is or is not identical to Ribiolla. That would be better done at a Greek university or, more likely, funded by the Gentili people.
Alas, university researchers are not totally free to play whatever games they desire in their sandbox in intellectual pursits. They, too, have to justify their work to the folks who control the pursestrings.
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