1. Schioppettino, Refosco, and Tazzalenghe are all indigeneous Friulian red varieties. Schioppettino (sometimes spelled with one "p"), which translates as "little crack" or "gunshot" (wonder where the heck that name came from) is also known as RibollaNera. There was less than half an acre of the variety planted at MacBryde, which is near the intersection of CoveyRd & TrentonRd, just off RiverRd. Alas, the vnyd succumbed to Pierce's disease and the variety was not replanted. Bummer. There are apparently a few experiemental vines of Schioppettino planted elsewhere in Calif, but no producing vnyds to my knowledge. The variety is available from FPS/Davis. Somebody oughta jump on the bandwagon. It'll be the next Merlot craze.
There are a whole family (clones?) of Refoschi, with the Refosco dal PeduncolaRosso (Refosco w/ the red stalk) the most widely planted and apparently the most highly regarded. It also goes under the name, mostly in Slovenia, of Terran or Terrano. One of its parents is Marzemino. It was once thought to be identical or closely related to MondeuseNoir, but DNA has refuted that. There were a number of plantings of Refosco/Mondeuse in Calif, particularly at Antinori's AtlasPeakVnyd, but these have all been found to be MondeuseNoir (not a bad thing, of course). The only known planting of true Refosco is Steve&Jill Matthiasson's vnyd on the NW outskirts of Napa. Their first Refosco (not yet released) is actually quite good. There are also plantings on LongIsland (ChanningDaughters) and NewMexico (Paola d'Andrea/Deming), but the authenticity of those plantings is suspect. The variety is available from FPS/Davis. Somebody oughta jump on the bandwagon. It'll be the next Merlot craze.
Tazzalenghe ("tongue ripper") is another interesting variety. So called because of its high acidity and tannin levels. There are no known plantings in the USofA. It is not available from FPS/Davis. Somebody oughta jump on the bandwagon and bring some in. It'll be the next Merlot craze.
Of these three varieties we tried, I was most impressed by the Schiopettinos. They had a lovely black cherry character to them, quite spicy/peppery, and more high-toned & Calif in character than the other two. The Refoschi all showed that rough/slightly coarse character I get from Refosco, not quite as interesting. The two Tazzalenghe we had were not nearly as tongue-ripping as the other 7-8 Tazzalenghes I've tried. More like Tazzalenghe-Lite perhaps. Also very interesting wines as well. All of these should be being grown in Calif. Drive the friggin' Merlot market into oblivion.
2. Holdredge: I was mightly impressed with John's '07 version. He seems to have pulled back on the oak and really let the Schiopettino shine thru. All you could ask for in a good drinking red.
3. Bulfon: I would have loved to include some of Emilio Bulfon's wines (www.bulfon.it/) in this tasting, but not been up to Boulder of late to pick up any. He's a guy that specializes in Friulian indigenous varieties. His WebSite is very interesting if you can get by the cheesy/soporific music.