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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 New Whites - January 7, 2015

We tried last night (1/7/15) some New Whites, mostly Godellos:

  1. Carlisle TheDerivative SonomaCnty WW (14.2%; Planted between 1886 & 1920; 54% Semillon/30% Muscadelle/16% Palimino; 330 cs) 2012: Med.gold color; strong figgy/Semillon/earthy/graham cracker/waxy slight pungent/smokey quite perfumed nose; fairly tart strong waxy/figgy/Sem bit earthy/chalky aromatic flavor;
    very long tart/tangy waxy/figgy/graham cracker some earthy/dusty finish; very attractive aromatics; a rather
    old-timey white that reminds me some of the old LouisMartini MonteRosso Semillons. $33.50
  2. BedrockWineCo Compagni Portis Vnyd/SonomaVlly/SonomaCnty (14.2%; Planted in 1954; Farmed by PhilCoturri;GWT/R/TrousseauGris/RoterVeltliner/Chard/PinotGris + others) 2013: Med.light gold color; beautiful fragrant/perfumed/GWT/lychee/floral/spic slight earthy/dusty very aromatic nose; bit soft slightly metallic/tangy quite perfumed/spicy/lychee/GWT slight earthy/dusty flavor; very long lychee/GWT/spicy/floral/ perfumed bit mineral/dusty/earthy finish; would like a bit more acidity but quite a perfumed/aromatic Calif GWT; reminds a bit of AltoAdige GWT; this is how they'd make GWT in Alsace if they remembered how to. $27.00
  3. NikWeis St.Urbans-Hof Riesling (EB from OldVines; Deutscher Qualitswein; 9.5%; A.P.Nr. 3 529 290 16 14) 2013: Med.gold color; strong R/floral/light pineapple some slatey/Mosel valve oil quite aromatic lovely nose;
    very tart/tangy/citric off-dry quite floral/R/pineapple light Mosel valve oil/slatey bit leaner/sweeter
    simpler flavor; rather tangy/tart/citric leaner bit more RS pineapple/R/floral slight slatey finish; not
    quite the intensity or pedigree of #4 but awfully danged good Mosel at a great price. $18.50 (SFW&S)
  4. NikWeis St.Urbans-Hof Wiltinger AlteReben Riesling (Deutscher Predikatswein; 9.0%; A.P.Nr. 3 529 290 06 14; EB; www.Urbans-hof.com) 2013: Med.gold color; stronger riper/pineapple/floral/R bit steely/slatey/Mosel valve oil more perfumed/aromatic quite lovely nose; more rich/lush/riper off-dry/drier strong floral/R/pineapple
    bit Mosel/slatey lovely flavor; very long off-dry riper/lusher strong pineapple/floral/R bit slatey/steely/
    Mosel finish; seems more pedigreed than #3 and less off-dry; a beautiful Mosel that should go out 10-15 yrs
    and at a great price; how can they make a wine this good this cheaply? $18.00 (SFW&S)
  5. Paza de Monterrey Godello Dd'O: Monterrei (13%; L11235; www.PazosDelRey.com) Bodega Pazos del Rey/Monterrei/Galicia 2011: Med.light gold color; bit honeyed/honeycomb/mango/floral/rotted apple very ripe/overripe some attractive nose; soft/fat quite honeyed/honeycomb/mango/overripe rotted apple flavor; med.long soft/lush honeyed/honeycomb/earthy very ripe/mango/rotted apple slight oxidized finish; an interesting white but a bit too overripe to my taste. $15.00 (KK)
  6. AbadDomBueno Godello Dd'O: Bierzo (13%; FrontierWineImports/Dover/NJ; Only Natuurally Occurring Sulfites) 2011: Med.light gold rather cloudy color; quite pungent/ozone/burning metal some stinky/funky rather strange slight appley/earthy nose; very tart/tangy/metallic some pungent/burning metal bit earthy/steely/appley somewhat funky rather interesting flavor; long very tart/tangy/metallic/steely earthy/coarse bit appley finish; the
    nose really cleans up and loses its funkiness w/ time in the glass; a rather interesting if peculiar rendition
    of Godello; pretty much what you'd expect of a "natural" wine; I rather liked it for its eccentricity. $16.00 (KK)
  7. Peza do Rei Dd'O: RibeiraSacra (70% Godello/20% Trexadura/10% Albarino; 12.5%; ClassicalWines/Seattle) CesarEnriquez Dieguez/Ourense 2008: Med.dark gold color; rather ripe/overripe bit aged/resiny/apple cider slight oxidized/nutty nose; rather tart some nutty/oxidized/old whiteRhone some apple cider/overripe flavor; long tangy/metallic apple cider/oxidized/overripe/old whiteRhone finish; pretty bizarre and a bit too oxidized for my taste. $20.50 (KK)
  8. Abrente Godello BirdlandVnyd/SonomaVlly (14.1%; 75 cs); MTP+MichaelHavens 2013: Light gold color; slight
    cardboardy/TCA/corked some appley/pear/earthy rather beaten-down nose; bit soft slight TCA/corked/cardboardy
    slight appley/earthy/simple flavor; some pleasant character underneath the TCA but seems badly beaten down
    by the TCA; not nearly as good as the previous btl I tried; alas all gone. $24.00
  9. Louro Godello Dd'O: Valdeorras WW (13.5%; www.EuropeanCellars.com; EB; L91300) RafaelPalacios 2012: Med.gold color; quite attractive floral/appley/spicy/nutmeg slight earthy/chalky bit Chard-like nose; bit soft rather
    mango/floral/appley/spicy/nutmeg bit Chard/earthy/chalky somewhat rustic flavor; med.long bit soft some appley/
    floral/mango bit earthy/rustic finish; a fairly attractive white a bit on the rustic side; bit pricey for what
    it is at $24.50 (KK)
  10. Louro do Bolo Godello Dd'O: Valdeorras (13.5%; EricSolomonSlctns) RafaelPalacios/Ourense 2010: Med.gold color;quite subdued/low-key some mango/appley/floral bit earthy/stony simple/quiet nose; soft light appley/mango/earthy rather simple/dull flavor short soft light earthy/mango/appley finish; an Oakland wine..there's no there/there; a quite dullard of a wine that whispers of Godello; overpriced at $25.00 (AV)
  11. Avancia Cuvee de O Godello Dd'O: Valdeorras (13.5%; L201306; www.GrupoJorgeOrdonez.com) Bodegas Avanthia/Ourense/Galicia 2012: Med.gold color; attractive waxy/figgy/appley/mango/floral some earthy/mineral/chalky quite pretty nose; bit tart rich/lush strong ripe/mango/floral/figgy/very spicy some mineral/chalky flavor; very long floral/appley/apple blossom/mango/figgy some mineral/chalky very spicy finish; probably the most classic Godello I've had and maybe the best; beautiful white at a great price. $19.50 (KK)
  12. AvanciaJO Godello Dd'O: Valdeorras (14.5%; 35 yr old vines from 300 yr old Godello; JorgeOrdonezSlctn)Ourense/Galicia 2012: Med.gold color; strong toasty/smokey/oak rather leesy strong ripe/mango/floral/very spicy quite international complex nose; intense smokey/toasty/Fr.oak leesy/caramel/butterscotchy very ripe/floral/mango/pineapple/spicy mouthfilling/lush flavor; very long/lingering lush/ripe intense mango/pineapple/floral strong smokey/toasty/Fr.oak soft/leesy/caramel finish; a huge/mouthfilling wine that could be a Chard from anywhere and speaks neither of Godello nor Galicia; very fairly priced at $30.00 (AV)

And More Stuff from TheBloodyPulpit:

1. Godello: A variety indigeneous to the Galicia region of Spain. No known parents. A bit planted in Portugal under another name. The Abrente is the first Calif rendition I've had. In the '70's, the grape was verging upon extinction. Less then 700 vines existed in Galicia. Because of the dedication of two individuals, the variety has enjoyed a reniassance there, now over 2,400 acres. The first varietal Godello was released in the mid-'80's.
2. AvanciaJO: I assume that this JO stands for a JorgeOrdanez special bttling. It was a massive/heavy-weight (probably expensive) btl w/ a deep punt that extended 1/3'rd up into the btl. The wine was very good, quite ripe, full M-L and lees-stirring, strong toasty/oak. Everything you want in a great Calif Chard. But it was very international in style and did not speak of Godello. At least as I recognize it. Terroir?? Forget it.
This is a pretty standard modus-operandi. You go into some back-water region of Europe where they have old vnyds of indigenous varieties. You bring in a $hit-load of $$$'s, make the wine using all the modern/high-falutin' winemaking techniques that are sure to garner big scores back in Monktown, and sell the wine for 2-3 times what the local/dumba$$ hicks charge. PhillipeCambie as done it well in Macedonia. MicheleRolland does it all around the World. And now Jorge is doing it in Galicia. It's a formula that worked ever so well in the Priorat. They've pretty much driven the local Rancio wines of the Priorat into extinction. Sigh...a sad story.
3. NikWeis: Owner/winemaker of the St.Urbans-Hof Estate. He seems to be featuring his name on the label more in more recent yrs. Two beautiful Mosels at a great price.


[Additional Wine Reviews from Tom Hill]


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