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by Tom Hill

A self-admitted wine geek, Tom lives in Northern New Mexico and works as a computational physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory doing numerical neutron transport & large scale code development. He has been tasting wines since 1971, participates locally with a couple of large tasting groups in his area, and is practically a fixture at most California wine festivals, such as the Hospice du Rhône, Rhône Rangers, and ZAP. Other interests: Tom is heavily into competitive sport fencing (foil & epee), biking, cooking, basketball, skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing.

Some More New Whites - May 29, 2013

We tasted tonight (5/29/13) Some More New Whites::

  1. Harrington Fiano LunnaMattaVnyd/PasoRobles (13.5%) 2012: Med.light gold color; strong appley/apple blossom/slight pineapple quite fragrant/floral/almost Viog-like some stony/earthy/ mineral/pungent very attractive/perfumed nose; rather tart lovely apple blossom/floral/pineapple/mango some waxy/mineral/stony rather rich/lush very attractive high-toned flavor; very long/lingering pineapple/ mango/apple blossom/floral some stony/mineral tart/rich finish; almost Riesling-like in its aromatics w/ lots
    of high-toned fruit & nice touch of stony/mineral; really lovely white. $25.00
  2. Harrington Terrane Fiano LunnaMattaVnyd/PasoRobles (13.9%; No added SO2) 2012: Med.light gold bit darker color; strng phenolic/apple cider some honeyed/pungent/mead/smokey some stony/earthy bir resiny-like low-fruit very strange nose; slighht spritz rather phenolic/apple cider/mead/honey some resiny/waxy/pungent some tart/tangy little fruit rather strange flavor; long tangy/tart/grapefruity some waxy/resiny bit mead/pungent/smokey/cidery finish w/ a noticible wet dog fur component way in the backtaste; doesn't show a lot of fruit, a bit pungent/resiny and somewhat on the bizarre side. $25.00
  3. d'Antiche Terre DOCG: Fiano di Avellino (13%; www.VillaItaliaWines.com; www.Danticheterre.It) 2011: Light yellow color; quite perfumed pear/apple blossom/floral slight earthy/stony/smoked meats lovely/fragrant nose; soft strong apple/ripe pear/floral slightly bitter/apple peel bit weak/watery flavor; med.short bit bitter/ apple peel slight stony rather perfumed apple/pear/apple blossom finish; rather attractive and classic Fiano nose but not much impact on the palate. $18.00 (WoP)
  4. LaValentina bianco fiano IGT: Fiano Colline Pescaresi (13%; www.DallaTerra.com) Spoltore 2011: Light gold color; rather fragrant pineapple/mango/R-like slight grapefruity/lemon/spicy/smokey very slight stony/chalky rather attractive nose; rather tart/tangy/lemony/grapefruity slight floral/mango/creamy spicy very light stony/chalky flavor; med.long tart/tangy/lemony/metallic/steely some stony/chalky very slight floral/carnations/mango/R-like bit lean finish; lovely fragrant nose & classic stony/mineral on palate; very nice Fiano. $27.50 (KK)
  5. Coenobium Rusticum IGT: Lazio Vianco (45% Trebbiano/35% Malvasa/20% Verdicchio; #1553 of 3000; 12.00%) MonasteroCistercensi S.O. Trappiste/Vitorchiano; NealRosenthal 2010: Deep golden/bronze/browning some murky/cloudy color; quite phenolic/cidery slight smoked meats/smoked
    hot dogs bit fumey/volatile rather earthy/dusty slight honeyed slight oxidized interesting/complex nose w/ no fruit; tart quite phenolic/cidery bit oxidized earthy/smoked meats rather tannic/bitter slight orangey/ honeyed flavor w/ no fruit; med.long tangy quite quite phenolic/cidery/bitter rather earthy/dusty/smoked
    meats slight oxidized finish; pretty classic orange wine taken to the max. $28.00 (WoP)
  6. Harrington MuscatCanelli FratelliVnyd/SantaClaraVlly (12.7%)
    : Light gold color; very intense muscatty/hair oil/spicy/orange blossom slight earthy very fragrant/perfumed lovely nose; quite tart/acid off-dry (0.8% rs?) intense spicy/hair oil/muscatty slight earthy balanced rich/racy flavor; very long/lingering intense muscatty/hair-oil off-dry tart but balanced finish that goes on & on; one of the best Muscats from Calif I've had...definitely cougar juice; very good balance of acid and sugar; not the bitterness you get in many Alsatian Muscats; reminds me more of Valle d'Aosta Chambave Muscat; lovely drinking. $25.00
  7. Vigna Dogarina IGT: ManzoniBianco/Veneto (12.5%; Riesling X PinotBlanc by Manzoni; DistinguishedBrands International/Littleton) Campodipietra di Salgareda 2008: Deep gold bit bronze color; intense resiny/honeyed/orangey/peachy very ripe bit botrytis/peachy/overripe slight oxidized/ phenolic complex nose; soft slight oxidized/honeyed/orangey/resined some botrytis/honeyed
    totally dry bit earthy flavor; long very slight oxidized/Jura-like/honeyed/resiny/orangey slight botrytis/ honey finish; not an orange wine that I can tell because of little phenolic character; seems made of
    overripe or botrytis grapes; a very weird duck of a wine but actually rather interesting. $18.00 (DiVino)
  8. Rivetto Matire Nascetta DOC: Langhe (13.5%; www.VolioVino.com; Volio/Denver) Sinio/Piemonte 2010: Light gold color; quite fragrant floral/peach blossom quite aromatic almost R-like perfume slight earthy nose; quite tart some mineral/stony/metallic rather floral/peach blossom/mango bit lean/tight quite aromatic flavor; very long slight weak/watery rather floral/peach blossom/mango some mineral/stony finish; quite an attractive perfumed white that resembles a Langhe Riesling. $29.00 (Arg)
  9. Abrente Albarino StewartRanch/Carneros/NapaVlly (13.0%) Morgan Twain-Peterson/Michael Havens 2012: Light yellow color; beautiful/fragrant very perfumed floral/pear/pear blossom powerful nose; quite tart/tangy/metallic very perfumed/floral/pear/pear blossom very grapey lovely flavor; very long/lingering tart/tangy fairly rich/powerful floral/pear/pear blossom finish; a beautiful very perfumed/ aromatic Albarino. $26.00
  10. Abrente Albarino NapaVlly (13.0%) Morgan Twain-Peterson/Michael Havens 2011: Light yellow color; less perfumed/fragrant almost GWT-like/grapey/floral slight stony/mineral more complex nose; bit richer/lusher tart some stony/mineral bit frizzante rather floral/GWT-like flavor; long bit frizzante floral/pear/GWT-like bit stony/mineral fairly lush/rich finish; a bit less intense fragrance and a bit more stone-fruit/complex; seems refreshed w/ CO2. $19.00
  11. Ferdinand Albarino Calif (13.8%; 140 cs) Napa 2010: Light gold color; very attractive floral/Albarino
    fragrant/perfumed bit understated slight vanilla/oak slight lemon/lime pleasant nose; soft bit fat low-key/
    understated floral/Albarino slight vanilla/oak some 7Up/sprite bit weak flavor; med.long soft/lush light
    floral/Albarino light vanilla/oak finish; a pleasant enough Albarino but not deliver that much on the
    palate; fairly priced at $18.00 (WoP)
  12. Ryme Vermentino LasBrisasVnyd/Carneros (Hers; 11.2%) 2012: Pale/near colorless color; beautiful very fragrant/perfumed floral/bright/Vermentino/peach/mango some metallic/grapefruity lovely nose; fairly tart some steely/metallic very bright floral/Vermentino/mango/peach light stony/metallic/mineral rather
    tangy/grapefruity flavor; very long some metallic/steely/flinty/mineral strong Vermentino/floral/mango
    finish; a beautiful expression of Vermentino; very fairly priced at $26.00
  13. Arnot-Roberts OldVine WW Compagni-PortisVnyd/SonomaVlly (2.5 brls; 13.5%) 2011: Light gold color; rather earthy/dusty/mineral bit Semillon/waxy light floral quite interesting rather quiet/low-key bit medicinal/insecticide/aromatic pleasant nose; tart/lean/eviscerated rather dusty/earthy/OV some waxy/ Semillon flavor; med.long some waxy/Semillon rather earthy/dusty tart/lean/pinched finish; a rather quiet/ low-key interesting white a bit like the Martini Semillons of old; not a lot of flavor on the palate. $35.00
  14. Carlisle Compagni-Portis SonomaVlly WW (13.5%; Planted im 1954; FieldBlend: GWT/ TrousseauGris/Riesling; 50 cs) 2011: Med.light gold color; beautiful GWT/hair oil/lychee some R/floral/ mango light earthy/dusty very aromatic/perfumed very spicy/exotic nose some like an AltoAdige R/GWT
    blend than Alsace; fairly tart big/rich/lush intense floral/GWT/lychee/hair-oil textured/glycerined wonderfully aromatic flavor; very long/lingering spicy/GWT/lychee/floral/mango/spicy tart rich/lush tart/balanced
    light earthy/dusty finish; powerful aromatics that speaks mostly of GWT w/ a wonderful balance of richness & acidity on the palate; amazing white much like an AltoAdige GWT (home of the world's greatest GWT's), but seems in the wrong-shaped btl. $34.00
  15. Tenor SauvBlanc ColumbiaVlly (Frmtd in concrete eggs; Skin contact; 14.6%) Aryn Morell/ Woodinville 2010: Light gold color; rather earthy/dusty light floral/herbal fruit rather vanilla/oak slight phenolic/cider/mead unusual nose w/ little/no SB character; dry/austere somewhat phenolic/cider/bitter slight herbal/SB/earthy rather tannic/astringent flavor; med.long some phenolic/cider/mead/astringent/ tannic very slight herbal/SB finish; fairly strong phenolic character; some like Cowan Isa but less fruit & more phenolic; interesting but not particularly attractive SB. $30.00

And the BloodyPulpit:

1. ManzoniBianco: There were not a lot of grape hybridizers in Italy. LuigiManzoni developed a number of hybrids in the early 1930's: ManzoniBianco, ManconiMoscato, ManzoniRosa. Supposedly to do well in the Veneto. This was the first ManzoniBianco I've tried. ElisabettaForadori makes one as well.

This wine was one really strange beast and probably not a good indication of varietal ManzoniBianco. The color seemed to indicate it was made as an orange wine, but it didn't have the strong phenolic signatureof those wines. Seemed to be made from very ripe, maybe botrytis, grapes. Strange stuff it was.
2. Nascetta: This is a near-extinct variety of the Piemonte that Valter Fissore of Elvio Cogno rescued from oblivion and made his first one in 1994. Since it was not an authorized LangheBianco grape, he labeled it as Nas~cetta. Unlike Tribidrag...the authorities pounced & fined him for using an unathorized grape name. Story is here: http://dobianchi.com/2010/08/24/nascetta/
3. Ferdinand: This is a wine that BrianGoehry at Wines on Piedmont recommended to me. There's not much information out there on the Net about this wnry..so they're a mystery to me. Followed them from the very start, I suppose.
4. Rusticum: This is a Giampiero Bea from grapes raised bu Cistercian nuns in the Lazio region of Umbria. Made w/skin-contact thru the 15 day fermentation and then extended lees contact. "Interesting" is about the highest praise you can give this wine. Because of the intense phenolic/ tannic character, it was not a pleasure to taste.

Well...this is a wine that needs food...some would say. I tried it w/a number of dishes, including BBQ beef brisket...none of which made it a pleasant wine to drink. I'm open to suggestions...what would this wine go well with??
5. Tenor: This was a new wnry for me, picked up by SteveCostigan. www.TenorWines.com. Winemaker is ArynMorell, who also makes the wines at Matthews and has recently started his own
label, Alleromb (www.Alleromb.com). Thought his SauvBlanc was a pretty interesting wine, some like the Cowan Isa, but somewhat more phenolic in character.
6. Harrington: Winery of BryanHarrington in SanFrancisco that sources a number of very interesting varieties. The MuscatCanelli is a beautiful wine, one of the best Muscats I've had in some time. Powerful aromatics but an acidity & balance on the palate that makes for great drinking.

Bryan makes the only Fiano in Calif that I have had. The regular, with wonderful aromatics, is one of the best expressions of Fiano that I've had. The Terrane wines of his are made w/ minimal/no SO2 additions. I was absolutely certain (LosAlamos guys learn to speak w/ absolutly authority...even when they know nothing on the subject) that the Terrane Fiano was made w/ prolonged skin-contact and in a slightly oxidative manner. Yet there was something out of whack for it to be an "orange" wine. The color was not right. It didn't have that strong phenolic/tannic character on the palate you find in orange wines. And Bryan corrected me that it is NOT a skin-contact/orange wine.

Bryan has been working since 2008 w/ an SO2 alternative from Switzerland called Protos. It is extracted from grapeseeds and is OPC (oligomeric proanthocyanidin). He had a friend run it thru a mass spec and it appears to have some very strange characteristics. Bryan is convinced, seen the evidence, that Protos can make really great/ageable wine and is convinced of its efficacy as an
anti-oxident. You can find more information on this product at:
http://geolife-naturally.com/food_beverage_preservation.html. He asserts that the wine went into the bottle absolutely clean and none of the weird character that I was finding. He says in the first year in the btl, it develops a slightly oxidative character and then comes out of it down the road. He served the '11 Terrane Fiano at Sat's OpenHouse and it was clean & no oxidative character whatsoever. In fact, Eric Lundblad thought it his favorite of the day. So my two remaining btls are going into my cellar and we'll revisit one in a yr or so.
7. Ryme: The winery of Ryan & Megan Glaab; he the asst.winemaker at WindGap. This Vermentino; known as Rolle in France and Favorita in the Langhe, Pigato in Liguria; comes from FrankMahoney's LasBrisas vnyd in the Carneros, one of the coldest Vermentino vnyds in the world (except some in
Liguria). They make a Hers and a His Vermentino. Megan's is made by convential SS fermentation, minimal oak. His is made w/ skin-contact. Both are quite good Vermentinos, but quite different in character. I'm partial to Hers for its powerful aromatics.


[Additional Wine Reviews from Tom Hill]


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