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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 Wines of Slovenia/Friuli - Oct 14, 2009

We tried tonight (10/14/09) some Wines Of Slovenia/Friuli:

  1. Sirch DOC: ColliOrientali del Friuli TocaiFriulano Albana (14.0%) 2006: Light gold color; very perfumed/fragrant floral/aromatic/pineapply spicy almost GWT-like nose; very rich/lush quite floral/apples/spicy/pineapply/tropical fruits perfumed talc flavor; very long intense floral/pineapply/cotton candy finish; a beautiful intensely floral almost GWT-like wine at a great price. $23.00
  2. ChanningDaughters TocaiFriulano Hamptons/LongIsland (12.5%; 100% TF; 408 cs;
    www.ChanningDaughters.com) 2007
    : Light yellow color; pleasaant bit earthy/minerally light floral/
    perfumed nose; tart bit lean/austere light floral/perfumed some minerally/earthy bit citric flavor;
    med.long earthy/minerally light floral/aromatic finish; much more minerally and more typical of
    Friuli Tocai; nicely done Tocai. $24.00
  3. EdiSimcic Tokaj Kakovostno Vino ZGP (13.5%) 2002: Med.dark gold color; intense fruity/pineapple some overripe/rotted apple/cidery/piney/PineSol almost muscatty/floral nose; soft/lush very ripe/overripe
    rotted apple/apple cider some muscatty/floral bit perfumed talc bit minerally flavor; long rotted apple/
    apple cider overripe finish; a bit on the overripe fruit side but interesting Tocai. $25.00
  4. EmilioBulfon IGT Sciaglin VeneziaGiulia (13%) NV(L3-07): Dark gold color; rather minerally/pungent/ozone/WWII beacon some overripe/apple cider strange tinny/metallic nose; soft rather overripe/apple cider bit metallic/tin foil slightly bitter flavor; med.long pungent/ozone bit metallic/tinny/minerally some overripe/apple cider finish; rather strange wine but not altogetherr bad; I've had better examples of Bulfon's Sciaglin. $17.00
  5. EdiSimcic Sivi PinotGrigio (14%) 2004: Med.gold color; some earthy/minerally bit floral/perfumed slight
    alcoholic bit appley/spicy/cinammon/honeysuckle/Roussanne-like very interesting nose; soft very ripe
    strong floral/honeysuckle/Roussanne-like spicy/cinammon very textured exotic flavor; very long spicy/
    apple pie/cinammon bit floral/honeysuckle exotic finish; very exotic wine and atypical of PG. $25.00
  6. ChanningDaughters Ramato PinotGrigio (Frmtd on skins; old French & Slovenian oak; 12%;
    222 cs) 2008
    : Med.gold/burnished bronze/slight orangey/gray color; very exotic/fragrant/perfumed very
    spicy/appley/apple pie almost smokey/oak complex/lovely nose; soft/lush slightly bitter very spicy/
    apple pie/cinammon complex/exotic flavor; very long/lingering minerally/floral/apple pie/very spicy
    complex/exotic finish; a beautiful/exotic wine that I struggle to describe. $20.00
  7. Sirch IGT: RibollaGialla Delle Venezie (12.5%) 2007: Light gold color; pleasant/fruity/simple bit
    minerally/stoney nose; tart/lean/citric/austere some minerally/stoney light apple/fruity flavor; med.
    short appley/stoney light fruity finish; a pleasant/simple/lean/stoney white not nearly as good
    as the Tocai. $19.00
  8. EdiSimcic Rebula (13.5%; SmallVineyards LLC/Seattle) GoriskaBrda/Slovenia 2004: Med.dark gold bit orange color; strong ripe/overripe/rotted apples some floral/perfumed slight apple cider nose; soft some piney/resiny ripe/overripe/rotted apples/apple cider glycerined flavor; long/lingering some ginger ale very ripe/overripe/rotted apples/cider finish; seems o the overripe side but interesting. $25.00
  9. EdiSimcic Rebula Riserva (13%) 2003: Dark gold bit orange color; less overripe bit simple/fruity/earthy
    some very ripe/apple cider rather more restrained nose; tart/lean rather fruity some apple cider/ripe bit
    earthy/minerally cleaner/simpler flavor; long slight ginger/ginger ale/fruity bit ripe/apple cider
    somewhat lean/austere finish; not sure what makes this a Riserva and why the price is cheaper; pleasant
    enough Rebula but just that. $15.00
  10. EmilioBulfon IGT Forgiarin VeneziaGiulia (12.5%; VinoTerraImporters/Boulder) Valeriano
    : Dark color; very strong earthy/loamy/gout de terroir/dusty slight black cherry/licorice/
    pungent bit Languedoc-like, bit Blaufrankish-like interesting nose; soft rather tannic/rustic very
    earthy/loamy/dusty/gout de terroir slight pungent/licorice/tarry bit black cherry flavor; med.long
    rather hard/tannic/rustic/coarse slight black cherry/licorice/pungent slight peppery finish; a pretty
    hard/tannic/rustic country red. $23.00
  11. Hummel J.M. CabSauvg/Kekfrankos/Merlot Qualitatswein/trocken (12.5%; www.Weingut-Hummel.com) Villany/Hungary 2005: Med.dark color; some volatile/EA/fumey rather plummy/blackcurrants/Cab bit perfumed talc slight earthy nose; soft/smooth plummy/blackcurranty/Cab slight earthy/loamy flavor; med. soft/plump rather plummy/blackcurranty somewhat earthy finish w/ little tannins; a pleasant enough slightly earthy red.
  12. EdiSimcic Duet (13%; Merlot/CabSauv) 2002: Dark color; strong plummy/Merlot some earthy light spicy/pencilly/oak bit minty/menthol attractive nose; tart bit lean/tannic plummy/Merlot/curranty some earthy/loamy light pencilly/oak bit tannic/hard flavor; long some minty/menthol some pencilly/oak rather
    plummy/Merlot slight bretty/unclean bit tannic/hard finish; bit simpler & more rustic than the
    Riserva but also more interesting. $25.00
  13. EdiSimcic DuetRiserva (13.5%: Merlot/CS) 2001: Very dark color; deep/strong plummy/Merlot some earthy/loamy strong toasty/pencilly/oak very international/Bdx-like nose; deeper/richer strong plummy/curranty/Merlot strong toasty/pencilly/oak fairly tannic rather rich/powerful flavor; very long/powerful/rich deep plummy/Merlot/curranty strong toasty/pencilly/oak rather tannic/extracted finish; more of everything; seems to be made more in an international style and not as interesting. Way overpriced at $79.00.
  14. EmilioBulfon IGT PiculitNeri delle Venezia (13%) NV(L2-08): Med.light color; strong plummy/grapey/
    black cherry/licorice some perfumed/Beaujolais-like/grapey nose; soft/ripe plummy/spicy/black cherry/
    cherry bit Beaujolais-like/Pinot-like light peppery/spicy slight tannic/bitey flavor; long bit tannic
    black cherry/licorice/earthy some Beaujolais-like finish; maybe needs a yr or two; rather interesting
    wine. $22.00
  15. EdiSimcic Edijev Izbor Vino iz susenega grazdja (14.5%) 2001: Rather brownish/burnished bronze
    murkey/cloudy color; intense overripe/rotted apples/apricotty/canned peach syrup/passito bit earthy/
    dusty rather complex nose w/ little fruit; soft quite sweet/passito canned peach syrup/rotted apples
    very overripe fruit intense flavor; very long rotted apples/baked apples/canned peach syrup/apricotty
    some earthy/dusty finish; not a lot of fruit and very overripe/rotted fruit character; rather interesting but on the pricey side. $59.00/hlf

And the usual BloodyPulpit:

1. ChanningDaughters: I first met Christopher and LarryPerrine when I arranged a visit there about four yrs ago. I was back there a week ago and decided a spur-of-the-moment visit to CD would be in order. I only tasted thru some 4-5 of the wines because the tasting room was absolutely slammed. But the Ramato was the wine that most impressed me. In this tasting last week, I was even more impressed. I chatted a bit w/ Christopher about his Ramato (the name comes from the coppery color of the wine), made from PinotGrigio w/ some skin contact. He wants to explore the orange wine paradigm, but doesn't want to go as far as Radikon or Gravner. He wants to walk that fine line of making a wine that is unusual/interesting, but still brings pleasure to the drinker, which the Radikon/Gravner paradigm doesn't always do unless one can drink "out of the box", to quote an important wine critic.
Christopher also makes a wine called "Over and Over Variation n", which is a red wine made from
Merlot and Dornfelder, but using a combination of ripasso technique and a solera blending system.
It is described on their WebSite (www.ChanningDaughters.com). Alas, the wine is sold-out and it will some months afore the Variation 3 is bottled. I'm very much looking forward to trying one when it comes out.
All in all, I think CD is making some of the best and most interesting wines being made on
LonGisland. And not just for LonGisland....but by any standard.
2. PicultNeri: As best I can find out, PiculitNeri is not a black version of Picolit. It is a variety
that was resurrected from near-extinction by EmilioBulfon. It is also different from PiculitRosso del
Friuli, which is the local name for Refosco. I gatherr that Bulfon's PiculitNeri refers to the small
size of the berries and is not meant to imply a genetic relation to Picolit.
3. Simcic: Apparently the Simcic name is like "Smith" in this country....a very common name. Besides
Edi/Alexs Simcic, there's another Simcic that also makes good wine. Never had one, though.
On my latest trip to Boulder/Denver; I found all of these EdiSimcic wines, so thought I'd try them.
We've had his wines in the past and they're really the ones that opened my eyes to the Slovene wines; they were very impressive. This batch of Simcic were somewhat less impressive. Don't know if they're going in the direction of orange wines or not with them. But I found some of the whites to have a distinct overripe/rotted apples character to them. Some like baked apples right from the oven. Or like apples that had fallen to the ground in the Fall, lay there covered w/ snow, and than that stuff squeezes up between your toes when you take your first Springtime walk in the yard in your bare feet. That kind of rotted apple character....if you can relate.
The two Duets were the first EdiSimcic reds I've had. They did not impress me....but then they be
Merlot. Both had a distinct "gout de terroir/loamy/earthy" character, back when that was not a
praiseworthy character in a wine...back before "terroir" took on all the high-falutin' character that
is now associated with it.
I have no idea what the passito/dessert wine is about and the SmallVineyards WebSite says nothing about it. I don't read Slovene and as for the pronunciations...forget it.
4. EmilioBulfon: I continue to be impressed w/ the Bulfon wines. His WebSite (www.bulfon.it) makes for some very interesting reading. He specializes in Friulian indigenous varieties that he has rescued from near-extinction. They are not particularly profound wines...but they are always very interesting to taste and give a nice glimpse of history. For some reason, there is never a vintage date on the label...just a hand-scrawled Lot # on the back label that indicates (presumably) the vintage. The Bulfon labels are very ornate and quite beautiful...in a rustic sort of way.


[Additional Wine Reviews from Tom Hill]


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