1. UgniBlanc: This grape (and Colombard) are primarily used for making Cognac & Armagnac. Most of the versions I've tried from Gascony have been totally uninspiring. This Tariquet was an exception... exceptionally undrinkable.
Ryan & Nicole are the first Calif UgniBlanc that I am aware of. Ryan thought I should try his wine and sent me a sample for our group to try. He was inspired by the TablasCreek Vermentino to try UgniBlanc. This is, by far, the best UgniBlanc (or Trebbiano) that I have yet tried. It didn't quite have the aromatics of the Tablas Vermentino/Rolle but it was a very nice/refreshing summer white that has a nice stony/mineral component. More than anything, it reminded me of the old Chalone CyrilSaviez NapaVlly FrenchColombard w/o the oak those usually showed. Maybe more akin to the Carmenet from that vnyd. I think that beautiful old Colombard planting has been grubbed up for Zinfandel.
2. Massican/Miani: Massican is the wine made by DanPetrowski. After spending time in Italy, Dan fell in love w/ the white wines of Friuli. His day job is making wines at LarkmeadWnry in Calistoga. Miani is made by EnzoPontoni, somewhat of a cult winemaker figure in Friuli. His wines are very scarce and highly sought-after, produced in tiny amounts. And expensive, obviously. He and Dan are fairly close friends and Dan is a big fan of Enzo's wines.
I thought it would be interesting to put Dan's '12 Sauvignon up against the Miani '12. Though I somewhat preferred the Miani to the Massican...I did notice that the other guy from Friuli flinched.
This is the most Massican sauvignons I've had the privledge to taste at one time. I'm not a particularly
big fan of Calif SauvBlanc and find the Friulian ones fit my taste profile better. They seem to have less of the overt herbaceous/weedy character of Calif SauvBlanc and much more restrained use of oak. I think the Massicans, especially if the get a bit of age, fits the Friulian mold better than any other from Calif. I'd love to see what Dan could do w/ SauvignonMusque and Malvasia d'Istria.
3. Timorasso: This is a rare variety grown in the SE corner of Piemonte in the Derthona region, hard by the border w/ Lombardy. It was brought back from near extinction by WalterMassa in the mid-'80's. I was first introduced to the variety by DarrellCorti some 10 yrs ago. It's my favorite wine of all the Piemontese Whites, even including the famed SutterHome White Nebbiolo. It has the power & texture of a good Chard, but the aromatics of a good Arneis or Favorita.
The Colombera is a nicely done Timorasso that just showed up here in NM. Nice/smple expression of Timorasso. The Massa was the most unusual Timorassos I've had of his. It was much different than the one I had at Bergamot w/ SamBilbro a few months ago. This one seemed much more aged and exotic. Walter thinks Timorasso is a wine that really needs to be aged. This one would confirm that claim.
4. Tatomer: These are the wines of GrahamTatomer. I've had his Gruners and Rieslings before and was quite impressed by them. This is his first dessert Riesling that I've tried. The grapes, where were botrytis affected, came from KickOnRanch, just NW of LosAlamos. I was totally flumoxed by the B33R3N4USL3S3 on the label. Brian explained that it's hacker notation for "Beerenauslese", a term no longer permited on US labels. Quite clever, I thought.
For a BA, I was expecting a bit more botrytis along the lines of a German BA. But those are often below 20Brix before the botrytis sets in to drive the sugar up to 30Brix. This Tatomer BA was probably in the mid-20Brix at onset of botrytis, so I expect the amount of botrytis on the grapes was less than it would be for a German BA. Just speculating, of course. But it is as beautiful a Calif BA as I can recall of late.
5. The Muscat was a cheapie from TotalBeverage in ABQ. This is how SutterHome would make Muscat in Minervois if they could. There was no identity of the producer on the label, other than a French ZipCode.