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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.

Even More New Wines - June 25, 2014

We tried last night (6/25/14) Some More New Wines:

  1. Marjan Simcic Ribolla (13%) GoriskaBrda/Slovenia 2011: Med.dark gold color; bit herbal very spicy some peppery/pungent/phenolic (skin-contact?) light stony/chalky rather mineral lovely nose; rather tart/hard some peppery/pungent/RG light stony/chalky/mineral somewhat austere flavor w/ slight tannic bite; med.short fairly tart/hard some peppery/pungent mineral/stony rather austere finish; speaks of RG but would like a bit more fruit; very fairly priced at $20.00 (AV)
  2. Matthiasson RibollaGialla MathiassonVnyd/NapaVlly (12.8%; www.Matthiasson.com) Napa 2012: Med.gold bit cloudy color; much more ripe fruit/melon/mango light peppery/RG/metallic slight honeyed very perfumed/fragrant beautiful nose; bit tart/tangy/metallic ripe/melony/honeyed/mango light peppery/RG slight mineral/chalky/metallic flavor; med.long tart/tangy/metallic ripe/melony/mango/honeyed light pungent/peppery/RG finish; lots of perfume/aromatics/lovely nose; speaks quietly of RG w/ a Calif accent; quite attractive RG. $50.00 (BWM)
  3. Tercic RibollaGialla DOC: Collio (13%; www.GranFondoWine.com) Matijaz Tercic/SanFloriano/Collio 2011: Med.gold color; rather mineral/stony some spicy/herbal/peppery/RG quite spicy rather perfumed/ fragrant nose; rather tart/tangy strong mineral/stony/chalky rather spicy/herbal/peppery/RG slight metallic/steely flavor; very long tart/tangy/grapefruity/citric spicy/herbal/peppery/pungent/RG some stony/mineral finish; probably the most varietally correct RG of the Friuli ones; quite an attractive/ interesting RG. $40.00 (BWM)
  4. Miani Pettarin DOC: Friuli Colli Orientali RibollaGialla (13.5%) EnzoPontoni/Buttrio 2012: Med.light gold color; very perfumed/fragrant light peppery/pungent/RG light mineral/waxy/honeyed/figgy/melony almost Riesling/floral rather restrained/elegant beautiful nose; slightly tart/tangy/grapefruity elegant/seamless/polished/balanced light peppery/pungent/RG/bit herbal some mango/pineapple lovely flavor; very long/lingering melony/mango/pineapple somewhat spicy/peppery/pungent very light stony/mineral finish; a beautifully crafted/seamless/understated/perfumed RG; not about power but more of balance & restraint; beautiful RG if a bit pricey. $100.00 (AV)
  5. Poderi Cellario Favorita DOC: Langhe (12.5%; www.PoderiCellario.It; Vermentino) Carru 2012: Med.light yellow color; slight stinky/reduced/skunky/dishwater light floral/fragrant/Vermentino/low-key slight chalky nose; bit tart/lean slight chalky/stony light floral/pineapple/fragrant flavor; med.short tart/tangy/lean some chalky/stony light floral/pineapple/tropical fruit finish; a light-weight/pretty enough wine but just that. $20.00 (BWM)
  6. Ryme Vermentino LasBrisasVnyd/Carneros ("Hers"; 12.8%) 2013: Med.yellow color; beautiful perfumed/fragrant/floral/carnations/spicy almost muscatty very aromatic nose; rather tart/tangy very perfumed/floral/carnations/spicy light mineral/stony lovely flavor; very long quite perfumed/aromatic Vermintino/floral/carnations light stony/mineral fairly tart finish; powerful aromatics almost like a GWT or muscat; beautiful Vermentino. $27.33
  7. EdmundsStJohn Heart of Gold ElDoradoCnty WTW (52% Vermentino/48% GrenacheBlanc; 13.5%)
    ThumbnailMoonlight/Fairplay 2012
    : Med.gold color; very perfumed/fragrant/ripe floral/Vermentino light stony/earthy/ElDorado lovely/aromatic nose; lightly tart rather ripe/melony/floral/pineapple slight stony/earthy lush/balanced flavor; fairly long tart/tangy rich/lush ripe/melony/floral/GB light stong/earthy/
    mineral finish; a ripe/lush quite aromatic white that speaks mostly of GrenacheBlanc; great value at $21.50
  8. EdmundsStJohn Heart of Gold ElDoradoCnty WTW (61% Vermentino/39% GrenacheBlanc; 11.9%) ThumbnailMoonlight/Fairplay 2013: Light gold color; much more mineral/stony/earthy light floral/ Vermentino/carnations slight SO2/pungent that blows off very attractive nose; fairly tart/tangy/metallic fairly stony/mineral/earthy light Vermentino/floral/carnations/spicy flavor; long rather stony/earthy/ mineral/chalky light floral/Vermintino/apple blossom/carnations rather tart/tangy finish; displays more terroir than the '12 but not at all lean & eviscerated; some like a Ligurian Vermention; more interesting than the '12; quite a pretty wine at a very good price. $23.00
  9. Henry Marionnet Les Cepages OubliesVdP: Val de Loire Gamay de Bouze (MeBaD; 12.5%; carbonic maceration) 2012: Dark color; rather earthy/dusty very CryBeauj-like somewhat grapey/Gamay nose; soft quite earthy/dusty/loamy some grapey/Gamay/lush/rustic bit simple flavor flavor w/ little tannins; med.short soft/lush very earthy/dusty/loamy grapey/Gamay finish w/ no tannins; some of the character of CruBeauj but not the structure; on the rustic/simple side. $22.50 (CB)
  10. BuenaVista TheCount'sSelection Valdigue Calistoga/NapaCnty (50 cs; #0415; 14.5%) Boisset Family Estates/Since 1857 2012: Med.color; very strange geraniums/framboise/raspberry extract/overripe intense floral/late harvesty/Zin/boysenberry confected bit pungent/ozone very weird nose; soft/fat intense late harvesty/boysenberry/jammy/confected/framboise/strawberry extract loads of new oak very weird flavor w/ light tannins; long soft/fat overripe/late harvesty/boysenberry/ jammy/ confected rather toasty/ vanilla/oak finish w/ light tannins; a very weird over-the-top/jammy/confected red; rather overpriced at $50.00 (Enoteca)
  11. EdmundsStJohn Bone-Jolly GamayNoir ElDoradoCnty (13.5%) 2013: Med.light color; attractive juicy/fragrant/ strawberry/Gamay light earthy/ElD quite perfumed/fragrant nose; fairly tart very juicy/grapey/strawberry/raspberry light earthy/ElD flavor w/ light tannic bite; med. juicy/strawberry/alpine strawberry/fragrant/Gamay light earthy/ElD finish w/ very light tannins; just a good-drinking frivolous/pretty Gamay w/ loads of strawberry fruit; not as confected as many DuBoeuf Beajs. $23.00
  12. EdmundsStJohn GamayNoir Porphyry BarsottiRanch/ElDorado (13.0%) ThumbnailMoonlight/FairPlay 2008: Med.dark slightly cloudy color w/ slight bricking; rather earthy/dusty/ElD slight herbal big strawberry/juicy/Gamay bit earthy/stony/loamy very spicy beautiful nose; bit tart strong earthy/dusty/mushroomy/ElD big strawberry/Gamay/juicy flavor w/ light/gentle tannins; very long earthy/dusty/mushroomy/ElD/bit loamy strong juicy/Gamay/strawberry/spicy/perfumed finish w/ light/smooth tannins; this is serious BeaujGrandCru stuff w/ more jucy/strawberry fruit and not the loamy/rustic character some BGC's show. $25.00

More nonsense TheBloodyPulpit:

1. Gamay de Bouze: This is a teinturier version of Gamay. It was discovered near the town of Bouze, near Beaune many yrs ago.
2. EdStJohn: Another very strong lineup from SteveEdmunds. The HoG is, yr in & yr out, one of my favorite bargain whites, along w/ the Ojai white. The '12 was noticeably richer/riper than the '13 but I preferred the latter because I found it a bit more interesting. Most in my group preferred the '12 because of its greater ripeness. Steve has one of the few true Gamay (Noir a jus blanc) plantings in Calif. Most of what is often labeled as Gamay is actually the Loire variety Valdigue, The TTB permits either naming I believe.
3. Ribolla: Another one of those God-forsaken grapes, according to word out of Monktown. When Darrell first turned me on to Friulian wines yrs ago, I fell in love w/ RG and TocaiFriuliano. RG has a subtle white pepper character w/ an underlying stony minerality. According to DarrellCorti, it is the 2'nd most tannic white grape variety after Furmint. Many of the Friulian versions of RG are made w/ skin-contact and they can often have a strong/tannic/savory character.

GeorgeVare fell in love w/ RG in a visit to Friuli and brought back cuttings to plant in his vnyd NW of Napa. He has been sharing his Ribolla grapes w/ a number of winemakers to see what they can do w/ the variety. They get together at RibollaFest once a yr to taste what they have wrought and discuss Ribolla. With George's death over a yr ago, it's not clear what will happen to the RG vnyd.

Of these four RG's, my preference was the Miani. Of the three Miani '12's I've tried (the Friulano and the sauvignon being the others), this RG was the least impressive. They have all been amazingly good wines and all seamlessly crafted. This RG was much more understated & restrained than the other two; less about power and more about balance. Amazing wines, the Miani's.

This Matthiasson is, I believe, Steve's first off their own Estate planting of RG. He has made RG from
George's grapes for a number of yrs now. It, too, was an impressive RG, w/ a Calif expression of the grape.

I hope there will be more interest in RG in Calif; despite it being labeled as a god-forsaken grape. The
Terrizzi's/Giornata have a new planting down in the TempletonGap and FloridaJimCowan is making RG from a RRV planting. So word is getting out, I think.


[Additional Wine Reviews from Tom Hill]


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