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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 New (Unusual) Whites - July 19, 2006

We tasted last night (7/19/06) Some New (Unusual) Whites:

  1. Txomin Etxaniz Getariako Txakolina DOC: Getariako Txakolina (EB; 11.5%) 2005: Pale
    yellow color; clean minerally/stoney rather floral/citric bit herbal almost Albarino-
    like nose; rich very tart/steely/minerally grapefruity/citrus stoney flavor; med.short
    stoney/citric/steely finish; rich but austere stoney bit floral/fragrant wine;
    has terroir in spades; bright/zesty/zippy white. $20.00
  2. Urindo DdO Bizkaika Txakolina Ibarretxe Zarriketa/Zaratamo/Bizkaia (11%;
    70% FolleBlanche, 25% HondarribiZuri, 5% SauvignonBlanc; MailetaMahasti Vnyd; 12%;
    www.DeMaisonSelections) Roberto Ibarretxe/Uriondo NV
    : Light gold color; bit H2S/stinky
    light earthy rather charred/burnt/oak bit SO2/oxidized low fruit nose; very tart/
    grapefruity/citric no fruit bit stoney flavor; very short screechy/acid grapefruity/
    citric no fruit finish; a bit hertey to drink; strange. $14.00
  3. Mont Corvin Matterhorn Fendant du Valais (12%) Charles Bonvin/Sion/Suisse 2005: Pale
    yellow color; light floral rather stoney/minerally nose; lean/acid off-dry light/
    bright/zippy light floral 7Up flavor; med. bright/acid/zippy green/austere stoney/
    minerally finish; a gtood fondue wine; interesting & austere. $16.00
  4. Chateau Bela Riesling Sturovo Region/Muzla/Slovakia (13%; Slovenske vyberove vino
    neskory zber) P&B by EgonMuller 2002
    : Light gold color; lovely/beautiful Mosel valve
    oil/minerally very floral/R/pineapply spicy/complex nose; rich/lush spicy/floral/
    Mosel valve oil very spicy/floral/R lovely slightly off-dry flavor; very long rich/
    lush Mosel valve oil/pineapply bit minerally finish; beautiful wine; tastes like
    a Slovak wine made in the Mosel; very attractive price. $27.00
  5. Kofererhof PinotGrigio DOC: AltoAdige Valle Isarco (14%) 2004: Light gold color;
    pleasant minerally/floral/aromatic slight earthy nose; soft floral/pineapply/spicy
    some minerally/metallic lovely flavor; long minerally/floral/aromatic finish; lots
    more fragrance and terroir than most It PG; lovely wine. $25.50
  6. Borgo Magredo PinotGrigio DOC: Friuli/Grave (12%) 2004: Med.gold color; some toasty/
    oak spicy/floral/appley bit minerally/earthy nose; soft earthy/minerally/floral slight
    toasty/oak green apple flavor; med. light toasty/oak soft light floral bit earthy
    finish; attractive interesting white at a good price. $13.00
  7. Jean-Philippe Fichet Bourgogne-Aligote (12.5%) 2004: Med.gold color; light low-key
    minerally/stoney/chalky light oak nose; tart/citric/austere earthy/minerally some
    Chablis-like flavor; tart/lean/citric/austere steely/minerally no fruit finish; much
    like a minor Chablis but little fruit. $20.00
  8. French Rabbit Chard VdPd'Oc (12.5%) 2004: Light gold color; pleasant/melony/Chard
    simple bit earthy nose; soft light/fruity/melony/Chard dry bit earthy flavor; short
    light melony/Chard soft bit earthy finish; a pleasant Chard for the price; blows away
    the 2$Chuck Chard any day. $8.00/1 L Tetra-Pak
  9. Emilio Bulfon Cividin VdT Bianco (13%) NV(??): Med.light gold color; light floral/
    earthy bit H2S/SO2 rather earthy interesting nose; very ripe pineapply/floral/earthy
    very spicy/rich off-dry complex flavor; long ripe/pineapply/appley/floral off-dry
    slight earthy finish; very interesting wine w/ lots of ripeness. $22.00
  10. Emilio Bulfon Sciaglin VeneziaGiulia (13.5: www.VinoTerra.net; www.bulfon.it) 2003:
    Med.gold color; slight earthy/dusty bit H2S/funky slight floral/earthy/hazelnutty
    minerally older Marsanne-like nose; soft bit quinine/bitter earthy/floral slight ripe/
    pineapply interesting flavor; long pineapply/earthy slight bitter finish; rather
    interesting but not that distinctive. $19.00
  11. Edi Simcic Takaj Goriska Brda/Slovenia (13.5%) 2002: Light gold color; earthy/dusty
    Marsanne-like light butterscotchy/caramel/oak slight oxidized/nutty some floral/
    perfumed complex nose; soft beautiful/lush earthy/Marsanne-like bit appley/hazelnutty
    complex flavor; very long/lingering slight metallic/minerally bit nutty/earthy some
    appley complex finish; very interesting/lovely white. $35.00
  12. Edi Simcic Rebula Riserva (13.5%) 2002: Med.gold color; earthy/dusty low-key/low-fruit
    some oaked/caramel nose; soft/rich/lush light floral/perfumed rather earthy/dusty slight
    nutty some caramel/oakvanilla flavor; med.long earthy/dusty slight floral bit oaked
    finish; far less interesting than the Takaj. Pricey at $38.00
  13. Movia Sauvignon Goriska Brda/Slovenia (12.5%) 2003: Med.gold slight cloudy color; very
    attractive floral/aromatic mango/tropical fruit slight herbal/SantaBarbara SB ripe
    interesting nose; tart bit thin attractive mango/tropical fruit/spicy light herbal
    flavor; med.long ripe/tropical fruit/mango finish; very interesting/attractive white;
    lots of tropical fruit character and much like a ripe SantaBarbara SB. $24.00
  14. Marco Felluga Molamatta DOC: Collio Bianco (13.5%; 40% TocaiFriuliano, 40% PinotBianco,
    20% RibillaGialla; www.MarcoFelluga.It) 2004
    : Light color; very fragrant/floral/pineapply
    some SantaBarbara/herbal light oak/vanilla nose; soft pineapply/floral slight earthy/
    herbal flavor; med.long floral/pineapply/earthy bit lean finish; very interesting
    white at an attractive price. $20.00
  15. Agricolas Vino Bianco da Tavola di Sardegna Angialis WhiteTableWine of Sardinia
    (13.5%) 1997
    : Burnished gold slight brown color; intense peachy/apricotty/orangey very
    ripe beautiful/complex nose; slightly sweet bit alcoholic intense orangey/mango/
    pineapply/apricotty very complex flavor; very long/lingering orangey/pineapply/
    apricotty/peachy slightly sweet very complex finish; a spectacular wine that's
    developing beautifully. Larry's mystery wine.
  16. Inama Vulcia Apres IGT: Veneto Bianco Vino Dolce (12%; www.DallaTerra.com) 2001: Med.
    dark gold color; slight earthy/dusty/wet concrete/piney very complex perfumed/fragrant
    beautiful nose; soft very lush/buttery/ripe loads of ripe fruit/mango complex quite
    sweet flavor; very long/lingering complex ripe/buttery/huge fruit finish; should live
    for many yrs. $28.00/hlf

The usual stuff from the BloodyPulpit:
  1. Txakolina: Pronounced Choc-o-leena. This is about the 7-8 ones of this blended whites
    I've had. It's not agonna set the world on fire, but it's an interesting white. Much
    like Albarino w/o the intense floral/fruity character.
  2. Slovak Wine: This was my very first Slovak wine, and a real beaut it turned out to
    be. Don't know if this qualifies me for following Slovak wines from the very start or
    not. Know nothing about viticulture/winemaking in Slovakia, but I've heard that it's
    an up&coming region to watch. Google of "Slovak wines" turns up a small amount of
    interesting info. Not sure if this Ch.Bela is typical of what's coming out of
    Slovakia, but I suspect Egon Muller knows a bit about winemaking and is, at least
    partly, responsible for its terrific quality.
  3. Bulfon Wines: Emilio Bulfon is a strange guy who has been specializing in bringing back
    indigenous Friulian varieties from the dead; a man w/ a mission. The wines are
    invariably interesting. But I have yet to taste any of the varieties that have knocked
    my socks off. That's not to say the varieties deserve to die, because I'm all for
    diversity in wines. Maybe in some other terroir, they'll produce one of the world's
    great wines. Who knows?? His WebSite (www.Bulfon.It) has a lot of interesting stuff;
    worth reading.
  4. Edi Simcic: I've long heard of this producer as maybe the best winemaker in Slovenia.
    They showed up (finally) up in Colorado, so I jumped on them to try. Really liked the
    Takaj (Tocai Friuliano) a lot. The Rebula (Ribiolla Gialla) was far less interesting.
    Both were well-made, but a bit on the pricey side for what they were.
  5. Passito wines: The two dessert/passito wines were pretty spectacular. Not sure if they
    were dried-on-the-vine passitos or dried-on-trays passito. I've followed the Italian
    passito wines from the very start (Darrell Corti turned me on the Dr.??'s Caluso
    Passito from the Erbaluce grape back in the mid-'70's) and there have been some
    spectacular ones over the yrs; one of the world's great dessert wines. It's always
    puzzled me why this genre has not been pursued in Calif, where the conditions should be
    ideal for it. It should make far more interesting dessert wines in Calif than most all t
    the freezer Ice Wines now being made.
  6. This was a pretty eccentric/ecletic collection of white wines. But the wines (except for
    the French Rabbit) were all very/very interesting. The diversity of wines throughout
    the world makes for some pretty amazing drinking.


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