1. Marmezuelo: I gather from the K&L literature, this is the variety used in this wine. Cannot find anything out there about this grape. ListanBlanco & Malvasia are the traditional white grapes on Tenerife.
2. Blaufrankish: Also known in WashState as Lemberger (whatta marketable name that is). This variety is a cross between GouaisBlanc X unknown Frankish variety. GouaisBlanc was not highly regarded and, therefore, a grape for the peasants. But Gouais Blanc must have been quite a philanderer and spread his wild oats far & wide, as he's the ancestor of a great many modern grapes. Hardly any, if any, exists today.
3. Mondeuse: SteveLagier likes to refer to Mondeuse (Noire) as Syrah's bastard uncle. Syrah is Mondeuse Blanche X Dureza. The "uncle" may be a stretch because Wikipedia (source of all knowledge) claims that Mondeuse Noire and Mondeuse Blanche are not related, except by name.
The '93 Corti, one of several vintages Darrell made at Charlie's HarborWnry from grapes grown in the Antinori's AtlasPeak vnyd was labeled Refosco/Mondeuse; with the Mondeuse upside down on the label right under the Refosco. Back in those days, it was thought that Refosco and Mondeuse were the identical grape. DNA testing since then as shown that the Refosco being planted in Calif was, in fact, Mondeuse. The only true Refosco (dal PeduncolaRosso) planting in Calif is by the Matthiasson's. Those AtlasPeak Mondeuse plantings have since been pulled (so sad) and the '09
was the last crop from those vines. The wine was made at Trinchero. Bottled under screw cap. When I first tasted it on release; I described it as "fiercely tannic". Darrell took umbrage at that characterization. Over the yr's time, it has seemed to shed a lot of those tannins. Or my original taste was dead-wrong...it happens.
The Carlisle Mondeuse comes from the TwoAcres vnyd. Mike only makes this Mondeuse in infrequent yrs. In its youth, it tends to be a pretty rough/tannic wine; much like Savoie Mondeuse. Mostly the Mondeuse will go into the TwoAcres wine he makes; one of the great old-vine vnyds of Calif.
I first had the L-M Mondeuse as an under-the-table pour at RR or FamilyWinemakers last year. Tiny planting, about 1/3'rd acre as I recall just below the L-M manse up on MtVeeder. When I first tasted their Mondeuse, it reminded me a lot of the L-M Syrah. This btl, a year later, now speaks much more than that, more like a Savoie Mondeuse w/ a bit of rustic/earthy character. Amazing wine I thought. Wisht I'd bought more.
This was probably the biggest tasting of Calif Mondeuse ever held in the USofA. When I fiirst had Mike's Mondeuse fram barrel back around '96, I was most impressed by it and thought Mondeuse had a real potential in Calif. There was nothing in this tasting to make me change my mind. Hope they start planting more of it. Maybe even Poulsard. Maybe we can even start a SAP group (Savoie Advocates & Producers).
4. Maturato: This is the second time I've tried this wine. The previous one seemed somewhat more oxidized than this btl. Not sure how this wine is made, but it seems to be made as an orange wine w/ skin contact and in a slightly oxidative style. A bit on the ripe side, but quite interesting and rather exotic.
5. ListanNegro: This wine is genetically identical to the Mission grape of Calif. But this wine is totally different from any Calif Mission red wine I've had, which tend to be light in color and dull as dishwater. Despite the genetic identity, ListanNegro and Mission are classified as two distinct grape varieties. The Calif Mission is so far removed in time from ListanNegro that they bear very little similarity. The Calif Mission was brought from Spain by the Spanish padres and may have been propagated from seeds, which could explain the great differences.
6. Brachetto: Like most of this genre, this is such a frivolous/wonderful/good-drinking/non-serious wine to have around. It's amazing the anti-alcohol forces have not jumped all over wines such as this. This is a "gateway" drug that leads teen-agers raised on Nehi soda pop to go onto more serious drugs...like ScreamingEagle and SQN. Maybe wines this delicious should be banned before things get really bad.
7. Visciola: This is a sour cherry that is indigenous to the Marche in Italy. Pronounced vis-cho-la. It has long been used in TheMarches in winemaking under a variety of recipes. The cherries are harvested in late-June/early-July, then macerated in a sugar watter solution for a few days, the stuff filtered and preserved until Fall. Then they make a red wine from local grapes (often LaCrima de Morra d'Alba). When the red wine has completed fermentation, the preserved macerated cherry juice is then added to the wine and the fermentation takes off again, until completion. Sometimes, after the cherries are harvested and crushed, a standard cherry wine is made, w/ the addition of sugar to get a requisite level of alcohol. Sometimes the cherry wine is simply blended with the red wine. Sometimes, the cherry pomace is preserved, sometimes w/ sugar added, and then added to the fermenting, or just fermented, red wine and fermentation resumes, a la ripasso. I gather every family has their own secret recipe.
I'd never heard of this wine before. I was tracking down some CanaryIsland wines and LaCrima di Morra d'Alba at K&L a month ago and stumbled across this stuff and knew I had to try it.
I was mightly impressed with these two wines. They definitely spoke of bing cherries, but also of very good rich red wine. In fact, because of their intensity, some RS, and alcohol level, they are dead ringers for many a StaRitaHills Pinot!!! :-) They both spoke a lot of canned bing cherry syrup but the acidity & tannins made them seem much more balanced than drinking canned syrup.
The stated 12% alcohol levels seem very suspect. Two very exotic wines that I'm eager to try other versions. Surprised I never found this wine at Roberto's.