What unusual wines/regions do you love?

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Howard Cooper
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What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#51 Post by Howard Cooper » June 4th, 2018, 8:58 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: Nice. Just dipped my toes into Taurasi a few weeks ago. More excited to try them now.
Any recommendations? I've tried one, liked it, but just not familiar with the producers.

Back to the OP, I really love mature Colares. Incredibly unique wines.[/quote]

As I said above, I have only had a few wines from Taurasi so far. The first wine I had was from Mastroberardino a few years ago. I liked it enough that I bought a few bottles that I am aging. A couple of years ago, I had at a restaurant a bottle of Taurasi from Contrade di Taurasi (Cantine Lonardo) that was quite good. Then, when in Rome last summer I had a 2010 Taurasi from Nero Ne that I liked, but not as much as the first two.
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#52 Post by R. Frankel » June 4th, 2018, 9:01 am

Very fun thread, lots,of great ideas. The challenge is - how to decide where to explore? Go deep on a new region? Or scrape the surface of everywhere? What I’m thinking about is where I want to vacation next. Starting to explore wine before (literally) exploring the region it comes from is a lot of fun.
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#53 Post by Julian Marshall » June 4th, 2018, 9:17 am

OK, Otto rightly mentioned Dingac and Postup in Croatia...but he didn't mention Hvar, so that's my little contribution! I've always liked Zlatan Otok red, which to me tastes like nothing else in Croatia or elsewhere.

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What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#54 Post by Howard Cooper » June 4th, 2018, 9:17 am

R. Frankel wrote:Very fun thread, lots,of great ideas. The challenge is - how to decide where to explore? Go deep on a new region? Or scrape the surface of everywhere? What I’m thinking about is where I want to vacation next. Starting to explore wine before (literally) exploring the region it comes from is a lot of fun.
Agreed. For me, I have two regions I buy and drink in depth - Burgundy and German wines. Then, I do some Bordeaux (including Sauternes), California Cab and Zin (really Ridge Zin), Champagne and Italian Piedmont. Then, third tier, I dabble in a few things - a few bottles of Loire (more Chenin Blanc than anything but some Cab Franc), Bandol, etc. You know, it might be fun to do a tasting comparing Bandol and Taurasi.
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What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#55 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 4th, 2018, 9:46 am

Julian Marshall wrote:OK, Otto rightly mentioned Dingac and Postup in Croatia...but he didn't mention Hvar, so that's my little contribution! I've always liked Zlatan Otok red, which to me tastes like nothing else in Croatia or elsewhere.
Oh yes, forgot the Croatian island wines from my list! I haven't had much wines from Hvar besides Dubokovic, but they are really great.

I have much more experience with the wines of Korcula and many of them are brilliant, Grk whites being my favorites.

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#56 Post by Julian Marshall » June 4th, 2018, 10:07 am

I used to go there on business, hence the reference...I read that the founder of Zlatan Otok, Zlatan Plenkovic, passed away unexpectedly in 2016. I don't know if the standard has changed, but if you know Grgic's wine, which I'm sure you do, Zlatan Otok is around the same level (IMHO) in that it's more silky, less firewater-like than the others. Talking about it has enabled me to find a French importer - so thanks - I'll get some in!

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#57 Post by Keith A k e r s » June 4th, 2018, 11:00 am

R. Frankel wrote:Very fun thread, lots,of great ideas. The challenge is - how to decide where to explore? Go deep on a new region? Or scrape the surface of everywhere? What I’m thinking about is where I want to vacation next. Starting to explore wine before (literally) exploring the region it comes from is a lot of fun.

if you're exploring a new region, why not then pick a city that you've wanted to go to really badly and then do two days in a region nearby? Basing yourself in Bilbao (for example) can easily lead you to doing some exploration of Basque wine country with it being more of a side thing as part of a wider trip to Basque country. The same can be said if you want to explore Etna wines. Just use that as a place for part of a wider Sicily trip. I think that would make it more fun and have a little less pressure on you to really dig into a region and you can still very much express being a wine geek to the producers and they will be quite happy with that.

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#58 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 4th, 2018, 11:19 am

Julian Marshall wrote:I used to go there on business, hence the reference...I read that the founder of Zlatan Otok, Zlatan Plenkovic, passed away unexpectedly in 2016. I don't know if the standard has changed, but if you know Grgic's wine, which I'm sure you do, Zlatan Otok is around the same level (IMHO) in that it's more silky, less firewater-like than the others. Talking about it has enabled me to find a French importer - so thanks - I'll get some in!
Did Grgic do just two wines, one red and one white? I really loved the white, surprisingly it was among the best Posip wines I've had, but instead their Plavac Mali wasn't that impressive - it was relatively dull with too much alcohol sticking through, relatively low acidity and some VA character that made the wine feel a bit unbalanced instead of interesting. I really should re-taste the wine because it might've been just kept in less-than-optimal conditions in Croatia.
Keith A k e r s wrote: if you're exploring a new region, why not then pick a city that you've wanted to go to really badly and then do two days in a region nearby? Basing yourself in Bilbao (for example) can easily lead you to doing some exploration of Basque wine country with it being more of a side thing as part of a wider trip to Basque country. The same can be said if you want to explore Etna wines. Just use that as a place for part of a wider Sicily trip. I think that would make it more fun and have a little less pressure on you to really dig into a region and you can still very much express being a wine geek to the producers and they will be quite happy with that.
This. I've went to numerous places and just dug into the local wine scene there. For example I was recently on a three-week trip in Japan so of course I had to make a detour to the wine-producing region of Yamanashi just to get the hang of the local wines.

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#59 Post by Andrew A r n t f i e l d » June 4th, 2018, 12:08 pm

A few odds and sods that I've enjoyed and would recommend:

REGION: Hungary > Felső-Magyarország > Eger
VARIETAL: Kékfrankos
SPECIFIC WINE:J & J Eger Kékfrankos Eged-Hegy Dülö

REGION: Slovakia > Južnoslovenská > Štúrovský
VARIETAL: Riesling
SPECIFIC WINE: Château Belá (Egon Müller) Riesling Dry
Müller's Slovakian Riesling project has produced some interesting if atypical Rieslings

REGION: Greece > Macedonia > Naoussa
VARIETAL: Xinomavro
SPECIFIC WINE: Boutari Naoussa and Boutari Grande Réserve Naoussa

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#60 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 4th, 2018, 1:06 pm

Andrew A r n t f i e l d wrote:A few odds and sods that I've enjoyed and would recommend:

REGION: Hungary > Felső-Magyarország > Eger
VARIETAL: Kékfrankos
SPECIFIC WINE:J & J Eger Kékfrankos Eged-Hegy Dülö

REGION: Slovakia > Južnoslovenská > Štúrovský
VARIETAL: Riesling
SPECIFIC WINE: Château Belá (Egon Müller) Riesling Dry
Müller's Slovakian Riesling project has produced some interesting if atypical Rieslings

REGION: Greece > Macedonia > Naoussa
VARIETAL: Xinomavro
SPECIFIC WINE: Boutari Naoussa and Boutari Grande Réserve Naoussa
I've tasted all of these and can vouch for every single one of them.

On average Slovakian Rieslings tend to be less interesting than the German examples, Grüner Veltliners less interesting than Austrian ones and Welschrieslings less interesting than the Croatian counterparts. However, Belá Riesling is a nice and interesting wine that stands well above its peers.

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#61 Post by Julian Marshall » June 4th, 2018, 1:43 pm

Did Grgic do just two wines, one red and one white? I really loved the white, surprisingly it was among the best Posip wines I've had, but instead their Plavac Mali wasn't that impressive - it was relatively dull with too much alcohol sticking through, relatively low acidity and some VA character that made the wine feel a bit unbalanced instead of interesting. I really should re-taste the wine because it might've been just kept in less-than-optimal conditions in Croatia.
Yes, that's right. I liked them both but I preferred the white too. BTW if you do ever come across Zlatan Otok wines, I recommend the standard cuvée rather than the oak one, which is more expensive but less interesting.

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#62 Post by Wes Barton » June 4th, 2018, 1:48 pm

R. Frankel wrote:Very fun thread, lots,of great ideas. The challenge is - how to decide where to explore? Go deep on a new region? Or scrape the surface of everywhere? What I’m thinking about is where I want to vacation next. Starting to explore wine before (literally) exploring the region it comes from is a lot of fun.
A lot of these wines are amazing young drinkers - some not intended for aging. In some regions its traditional holdouts. Others its a rediscovery. Scraping the surface, seeking out the most inspiring examples can be the way to go in some cases. Like, if some young whippersnapper is bringing back a near extinct variety, do you want an indifferent rustic example or a clean wine that really shows off how wonderful and unique this forgotten grape is?

Anyway, I dare you to try that Brancellao I recommended and not want to follow it up with a trip to Gallicia.
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#63 Post by Wes Barton » June 4th, 2018, 2:09 pm

Otto Forsberg wrote:
Keith A k e r s wrote: if you're exploring a new region, why not then pick a city that you've wanted to go to really badly and then do two days in a region nearby? Basing yourself in Bilbao (for example) can easily lead you to doing some exploration of Basque wine country with it being more of a side thing as part of a wider trip to Basque country. The same can be said if you want to explore Etna wines. Just use that as a place for part of a wider Sicily trip. I think that would make it more fun and have a little less pressure on you to really dig into a region and you can still very much express being a wine geek to the producers and they will be quite happy with that.
This. I've went to numerous places and just dug into the local wine scene there. For example I was recently on a three-week trip in Japan so of course I had to make a detour to the wine-producing region of Yamanashi just to get the hang of the local wines.
That's something to keep in mind. There are a lot of gems that just get consumed locally. With tiny production, there's no need. With no market recognition, how does it make business sense? If it's a wine that needs to be consumed within 6 months to show its flair, does it make sense to ship it across the pond, hope it gets distributed, purchased and consumed all within that window, all the while under stringent temperature control?
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#64 Post by Ramon C » June 4th, 2018, 2:19 pm

Fun thread.

I'll throw in Irouléguy wines from Pays Basque in France. Again, just repeating the caveat that the concept of unusual is relative.

In any case, I was impressed with these wines as they're abundant in minerality, combined with meaty/savory character and with some pebbly earth occasionally mixed in. And I'm just referring to the whites here. These are made from courbu, petit manseng and gros manseng grapes.

The reds are normally harshly tannic when young but they provide a whole new dimension and scope in understanding rusticity and regionalism on wines with more common grapes such as cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc and mixed in with the less common tannat varietal. I liked them for what they are and am happy that I learned about these when I visited the area about 10 years ago. Yet, because they're not widely available in my markets, I end up buying a few bottles of these at a rate of once or twice a year.
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#65 Post by Steve Slatcher » June 5th, 2018, 5:51 am

R. Frankel wrote:Very fun thread, lots,of great ideas. The challenge is - how to decide where to explore? Go deep on a new region? Or scrape the surface of everywhere? What I’m thinking about is where I want to vacation next. Starting to explore wine before (literally) exploring the region it comes from is a lot of fun.
I think surface-scraping does not give much insight, but can be fun regardless, and can give pointers for further exploration.

Go deep - reading and drinking - but, almost by definition, it will be difficult to dig too deep into unusual regions. A week or so visiting producers and drinking the wines of the region with meals helps a lot.

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#66 Post by Thomas Keim » June 5th, 2018, 8:30 am

Bugey and the Sud for me - long time fan of just about every little wine out of the Sud - Cahors & Madiran are the obvious choices, but I love the reds of Pecharmant, the Sauvignon Blanc from Bergerac, the gritty whites from Gaillac (made with Mauzac & Len de l'El).

And I love the simple Gamays out of Bugey, as well as the Chasselas based whites -
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#67 Post by Gray G » June 5th, 2018, 11:48 am

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Marchetti Verdicchio dei Castelli Jesi...fresh and lively, plus a sexy bottle

Opici Italian Selections Vino Bianco – clean, crisp and citrusy, plus fun fish Bottle....blend of Chardonnay, Sauv Blanc, Trebbiano, and Verdicchio

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#68 Post by Henry Kiichli » June 5th, 2018, 12:46 pm

NoahR wrote:
If you have not explored Swabia, you should. Spatburgunder/Pinot, Trollinger/Schiava and Riesling are the primary grapes. You should be able to find some Knauss, Beurer and Enderle&Moll though hip retailers.
Good point. I'll be there tomorrow. :)
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#69 Post by Matt Snow » June 6th, 2018, 1:37 pm

Ramon C wrote:I'll throw in Irouléguy wines from Pays Basque in France. Again, just repeating the caveat that the concept of unusual is relative.

In any case, I was impressed with these wines as they're abundant in minerality, combined with meaty/savory character and with some pebbly earth occasionally mixed in. And I'm just referring to the whites here. These are made from courbu, petit manseng and gros manseng grapes.

The reds are normally harshly tannic when young but they provide a whole new dimension and scope in understanding rusticity and regionalism....
Rimmerman offered an Irouléguy rosé a few years ago (Illaria) that was very interesting -- more tannic and less acidic than most rosés, and drank and aged more like a red. I can't recall what the grapes were.
Howard Cooper wrote: As I said above, I have only had a few wines from Taurasi so far. The first wine I had was from Mastroberardino a few years ago. I liked it enough that I bought a few bottles that I am aging.
Mastroberardino can age. A bottle of the 1981 base Taurasi, drunk a few years ago, was plush, balanced, and youthful, although not particularly complex.
Steve Slatcher wrote: Georgia (Republic of) is the area I am exploring most right now. One of the many things I like about the country is how wine drinking and making is so ingrained in their culture - along with hospitality, eating well, snging and dancing. So what seems exotic to us is normal and mainstream, including making wine in buried clay jars and hundreds of indigenous varieties.
Steve, would you be willing to share any interesting Georgian finds? One of my local wine stores has an owner of Georgian descent who imports a number of wines from there, and perhaps could source others. I've tried two that a salesperson there recommended (sorry, can't now remember exactly what, as they were of course obscure to me), but neither particularly struck my fancy.

As to what counts as unusual, I might throw out field-blend wines from regions where almost everything else is a varietal bottling -- such as Deiss in Alsace or Bedrock in Sonoma -- these aren't obscure but stand out from their peers -- and both definitely go in a category that I seek out because of their difference.

Txakoli, previously mentioned, is also not that obscure to wine geeks at this point, but presents very differently from most other wines one would enjoy in the same setting, and in a way that makes a real difference to me.

Finally, although mostly made from familiar grapes that one would see in French wines, a number of Swiss wines that I tried on a trip through Basel-Stadt and Luzern a few years back offered very different interpretations of their respective varieties that were a real pleasure to try. I expect none of the wines I tried would count as all that unusual in Switzerland, but since they are not much exported, they were unusual to me.

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#70 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » June 6th, 2018, 1:59 pm

I guess along with my newest TN, Okanagan valley Grenache from BC.

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#71 Post by Matt Snow » June 6th, 2018, 2:06 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:I guess along with my newest TN, Okanagan valley Grenache from BC.
I had a very happily surprising Okanagan Gewurztraminer a few years ago in Vancouver. I'd definitely explore Okanagan wines further if they were more available in the Northeast US.

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#72 Post by Jon A-K » June 6th, 2018, 10:42 pm

I really liked a bottle of Vlahiko I tried, from the Ioannina region of Greece, produced by Domaine Glinavos. I liked their semi-sparkling orange wine, "Paleokerisio," too; the unusualness/price ratio is through the roof on this one.

Loosely inspired by this thread, today I bought (in addition to more of that Vlahiko) some wines that will be new to me from Krk, Pelješac, Lanzarote and Nagy-Somló.
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#73 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 7th, 2018, 1:16 am

Jon A-K wrote:Loosely inspired by this thread, today I bought (in addition to more of that Vlahiko) some wines that will be new to me from Krk, Pelješac, Lanzarote and Nagy-Somló.
Now there's an impressive bunch! Care to give any names?

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#74 Post by Steve Slatcher » June 7th, 2018, 3:42 am

Matt Snow wrote:Steve, would you be willing to share any interesting Georgian finds? One of my local wine stores has an owner of Georgian descent who imports a number of wines from there, and perhaps could source others. I've tried two that a salesperson there recommended (sorry, can't now remember exactly what, as they were of course obscure to me), but neither particularly struck my fancy.
In general terms, it is the artisanal natural qvevri wines that are the most interesting. Most, but by no means all, of the "whites" have a degree of skin contact so they are actually orange wine, or amber wines as a lot of Georgian producers like to say.

However, over 95% of commercial wine production in Georgia is made conventionally, and like wine in most places most of it is pretty bland but drinkable. They will mostly be made from Georgian indigenous grapes, which provides some interest I suppose, and of course the quality varies with price. The top-end wines of larger commercial producers may also use qvevri at some stage of the production. I have not explored the larger commercial producers very much as there is more interest elsewhere but, from a Western point of view, I think their red wines are more distinctive than the whites, and even a middling Saperavi can be good and interesting.

Regarding the artisanal natural qvevri wines, for me the issue is normally what I can get my hands on rather than what is the best, and I have also found them to vary a lot from bottle to bottle, mainly I think due to how the bottle has been stored. But I'll mention a few names, even if I would hesitate to say they are the best. Pheasants Tears is one of the largest of this type of producer. Their wines, including those made from white grapes are big and tannic, typical of Kakheti (the main wine growing area in the East). I particularly like their Saperavi and Mtsvane which I drunk several bottles of, but that is doubtless personal taste. Another specific wine I will mention is Zurab Topuridze's Saperavi. That is in a much more subtle style, more typical of the West of Georgia, and is another of my favourites. There is also Okro's Wines, another producer from the same town as Pheasant's Tears, but they use less skin contact, and most of their grapes are from higher vineyards. I have tried and liked quite a few bottles from Okro's Wines. For UK readers - Cave de Pyrene import all these wines.

Beyond that, I have had many enjoyable tastes and bottles, but if I name them all it will start to look like a list of random qvevri wine producers, and however much I have enjoyed them it would be based on very limited experience. But if you are still interested in more ideas take a look at my blog. Here is a link to posts with my "georgia" tag:
http://www.winenous.co.uk/wp/archives/tag/georgia
I am still writing up some experience from a recent trip to Georgia, so a few more posts will be appearing in the next few weeks.

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#75 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 7th, 2018, 4:40 am

I doubt it's "unusual" enough for Otto ;) , but I do love Scheurebe. Used to only like the spatlese/auslese versions, but in recent years the trockens have started to hit the spot for me.
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#76 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 7th, 2018, 12:09 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:I doubt it's "unusual" enough for Otto ;) , but I do love Scheurebe. Used to only like the spatlese/auslese versions, but in recent years the trockens have started to hit the spot for me.
:D Well, barely. But I guess you could call them unusual enough - after all, you really don't find them much outside Germany and Austria and even there the plantings represent some 1% of the total acreage.

I've yet to find a good and interesting Trocken that I like, but I've had several sweet ones that have been really lovely.

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#77 Post by Jon A-K » June 7th, 2018, 7:50 pm

Otto Forsberg wrote:
Jon A-K wrote:Loosely inspired by this thread, today I bought (in addition to more of that Vlahiko) some wines that will be new to me from Krk, Pelješac, Lanzarote and Nagy-Somló.
Now there's an impressive bunch! Care to give any names?
2016 Šipun Žlahtina (Krk), 2015 Milos Frano Plavac Mali (Pelješac), 2017 Bodegas Los Bermejos Lanzarote Listan Rosado, 2012 Fekete Pince Juhfark Nagy-Somló.
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#78 Post by Collin Dahl » June 7th, 2018, 9:06 pm

Otto Forsberg wrote:
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:I doubt it's "unusual" enough for Otto ;) , but I do love Scheurebe. Used to only like the spatlese/auslese versions, but in recent years the trockens have started to hit the spot for me.
:D Well, barely. But I guess you could call them unusual enough - after all, you really don't find them much outside Germany and Austria and even there the plantings represent some 1% of the total acreage.

I've yet to find a good and interesting Trocken that I like, but I've had several sweet ones that have been really lovely.
Minges (Pfalz) splits the difference with a nice feinherb that is worth trying. Skurnik brings it in to the US, so it should be findable, or orderable.
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#79 Post by Matt Mauldin » June 7th, 2018, 10:27 pm

RichardFlack wrote:Santorini Assyrtiko. But maybe that's mainstream now. Sigalas particularly good and fairly available. Try ageing a bit!
From your intro I'm guessing you are probably already into non-Rioja Spanish wines.
Agree on Assyrtiko. I also have a big soft spot for Verdicchio.
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#80 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 7th, 2018, 11:38 pm

Jon A-K wrote:
Otto Forsberg wrote:
Jon A-K wrote:Loosely inspired by this thread, today I bought (in addition to more of that Vlahiko) some wines that will be new to me from Krk, Pelješac, Lanzarote and Nagy-Somló.
Now there's an impressive bunch! Care to give any names?
2016 Šipun Žlahtina (Krk), 2015 Milos Frano Plavac Mali (Pelješac), 2017 Bodegas Los Bermejos Lanzarote Listan Rosado, 2012 Fekete Pince Juhfark Nagy-Somló.
I've no idea about the first three of the wines, but they do sound very interesting!

However, the last one I'm fairly acquainted with; I have two bottles of that 2012 in my cellar and even a bottle of 2009. They are pretty rare stuff since the annual production hovers around 3000 bottles and there won't be more since the old man Bela Fekete retired in 2013. Some of the most stunning dry whites you'll find from Hungary.

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What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#81 Post by Jon A-K » June 8th, 2018, 1:19 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
Jon A-K wrote:
Otto Forsberg wrote:
Now there's an impressive bunch! Care to give any names?
2016 Šipun Žlahtina (Krk), 2015 Milos Frano Plavac Mali (Pelješac), 2017 Bodegas Los Bermejos Lanzarote Listan Rosado, 2012 Fekete Pince Juhfark Nagy-Somló.
I've no idea about the first three of the wines, but they do sound very interesting!

However, the last one I'm fairly acquainted with; I have two bottles of that 2012 in my cellar and even a bottle of 2009. They are pretty rare stuff since the annual production hovers around 3000 bottles and there won't be more since the old man Bela Fekete retired in 2013. Some of the most stunning dry whites you'll find from Hungary.
All I know is that some of the letters have unusual things on top of them, and that Lanzarote's vineyards definitely look unusual (at least to us non-lanzaroteños).
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What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#82 Post by Eric Ifune » June 8th, 2018, 1:27 am

At this moment, visiting the Dao and Bairrada. Spent yesterday at both Filipa and Luis Pato drinking Baga.

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#83 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 8th, 2018, 1:40 am

Eric Ifune wrote:At this moment, visiting the Dao and Bairrada. Spent yesterday at both Filipa and Luis Pato drinking Baga.
Ahhh, Baga = best.

How were Dão and Bairrada? I'd love to visit the regions.

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#84 Post by Eric Ifune » June 8th, 2018, 1:49 am

I love these areas. Can be hard to visit because the interesting producers are small. Had lunch at Filipa's house. They're experimenting with own rooted vines. I've seen this several places in Portugal lately. When replacing individual vines at an old hoary vineyard, they'll train a shoot from a neighboring vine into the ground to replace the dead one. Luis Pato has an entire vineyard with own rooted vines done this way. Small vineyards for the most part. 1-2 hectares. 20 is a really big one.

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#85 Post by R Roberts » June 8th, 2018, 7:43 am

Soave (“swah-vay”), an Italian white wine made of Gargenega (“gar-GAN-nehgah”) grapes grown around the medieval village of Soave in Northern Italy.

Also +1 for Kerner.
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#86 Post by Matt Snow » June 8th, 2018, 10:33 am

Thanks Steve, super helpful!

-- Matt
Steve Slatcher wrote:
Matt Snow wrote:Steve, would you be willing to share any interesting Georgian finds? One of my local wine stores has an owner of Georgian descent who imports a number of wines from there, and perhaps could source others. I've tried two that a salesperson there recommended (sorry, can't now remember exactly what, as they were of course obscure to me), but neither particularly struck my fancy.
[Long, very helpful response.]

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#87 Post by Eric Ifune » June 8th, 2018, 11:42 am

posted by Otto Forsberg
Ahhh, Baga = best.

How were Dão and Bairrada? I'd love to visit the regions.
100 year old Baga vines in one of Filipa Pato's vineyards.
P1010278.JPG
P1010278.JPG (40.73 KiB) Viewed 1021 times

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What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#88 Post by Doug Schulman » June 8th, 2018, 3:25 pm

AAgrawal wrote:
Doug Schulman wrote:Chateau Simone Palette Blanc -- weird, funky, super complex, very high quality in my opinion
Ooh... I have seen these and had no idea what to think about them. I'll find one. What about the Chateau Simone reds and roses?
I haven’t had the reds or roses. I’m curious about them.
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What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#89 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 9th, 2018, 1:54 am

Eric Ifune wrote:
posted by Otto Forsberg
Ahhh, Baga = best.

How were Dão and Bairrada? I'd love to visit the regions.
100 year old Baga vines in one of Filipa Pato's vineyards.
P1010278.JPG
I was just traveling around Yamanashi region in Japan, the old Koshu vines were simply ridiculously big. Some old vine vineyards had vines that were big and thick as tree trunks and they rose to the height of 1,5 to 2 meters / 4-6 feet. Based on one winery we visited who told their Koshu vineyard next to the winery was 30 years old and how relatively small the vines there were, the tree-trunk vines must've been something like 70-100 years old or even more.

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What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#90 Post by Paul Fountain » June 9th, 2018, 2:36 am

I was having a think about what might be considered unusual, both locally for me and the rest of the world. There's no doubt some of the Portuguese regions have some unusual and fairly unique stuff. I've tried a couple of Sousao wines from the Douro that were interesting.

In Australia, there is a lot of stuff that is unusual to us but only because it has been brought in from elsewhere relatively recently. Otto mentioned Semillon earlier on, but that's not so unusual for us as it is still one of the top handful of white grapes planted here and it is made in a lot more regions than just the hunter valley. I guess the Rutherglen Muscats are a little unusual, but are also pretty common for us here.
I thought that maybe red table wines made from Pinot Meunier might qualify. I have a version from Seppelt at home and it is a recent thing for them, but Bests in the same region have been making a version since the 1960s. Some of their Pinot Meunier Vines were planted in the 1860s. It's only in recent times that a few others have started making it.

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#91 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 9th, 2018, 2:51 am

Paul Fountain wrote: In Australia, there is a lot of stuff that is unusual to us but only because it has been brought in from elsewhere relatively recently. Otto mentioned Semillon earlier on, but that's not so unusual for us as it is still one of the top handful of white grapes planted here and it is made in a lot more regions than just the hunter valley.
I also mentioned that Hunter Valley Sémillon isn't that unusual in the very same post. [snort.gif]

Yes, it is planted all around Australia and in many other parts of the world as well. However, usually the wines I've had have been very simple and soft wines full of flabby tropical fruit - wines I'm really not interested in. The racy, almost underripe style of Hunter Valley that ages like crazy is basically the only style of Sémillon I love - apart from the honeyed dessert wines of Bordeaux and the surrounding regions based on Sémillon blends, of course.

I do have to admit that because of my aversion of non-Hunter Sémillon, I haven't had many varietal wines in a while, so perhaps, hopefully, some producers are making serious and enjoyable wines nowadays somewhere else as well.

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What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#92 Post by M.Kaplan » June 11th, 2018, 2:51 am

On Crete the past week, I’ve drunk and enjoyed Dafni, Plytos, Melissaki (ancient Cretan white varieties) and Liatiko rose. Check out Lyrarakis Winery; I’m a fan.
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Re: What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#93 Post by R Roberts » August 27th, 2018, 7:15 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
June 2nd, 2018, 11:04 pm
Try the Heitz Grignolino. I haven't had the '15 yet, but the '14 blew the minds of everyone I poured it for: https://www.klwines.com/p/i?i=1345985
Cracked this tonight.
  • 2015 Heitz Cellar Grignolino - USA, California, Napa Valley (8/27/2018)
    Intense rose water and candied strawberries on the nose. By contrast, the palate is wispy red fruit dominated by saline with faint tannin. Despite the delicacy, the finish is remarkably long.

    Interesting wine and while academically fun to have on its own, I wonder if it would be better off as a blending component.
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Re: What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#94 Post by Rajiv Ayyangar » August 27th, 2018, 11:36 pm

Wines that have piqued my interest in their respective categories:

Big reds:
- Priorat - an '04 Palacios Finca Dofi was super tasty and complex.
- Sagrantino (Bea) - I loved the Pagliaro, and the Cerrete didn't seem much better - both were fantastic and evolved over the course of the evening.
- Southern France Tannat - Irouleguy, Madiran! Humble wines but ones that satisfy my tannic dark-chocolate craving.

New California
- Jaimee Motley - Chenin, Mondeuse! Super tasty and interesting.

Greece
- Assyrtiko (Gaia and Sigalas) - high acid whites.

Australia
- Hunter semillon with some age... hard to get, but tastes like low-alcohol Puligny. An '05 Tyrell's Vat 1 was amazing. It's like a magic trick - oak out of thin air!
- You've probably tasted this but...2013 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Sémillon - was ridiculous. Everyone in the room including an MW blinded it as crazy high-acid Sauternes, though we could tell there was something off - turns out the alcohol was a lot lower.

Funky whites:
- Hungary - Somloi whites
- Italy - Gravner
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Re: What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#95 Post by dbailey » August 28th, 2018, 4:26 am

Properly aged top class Orvieto. Stunningly complex and refreshing wines with almost zero following outside the region itself.
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Re: What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#96 Post by Howard Cooper » August 28th, 2018, 5:39 am

Lee Short wrote:
June 3rd, 2018, 12:10 pm
red Chassagne-Montrachet
I am a big fan of these wines. I have had the most experience with Ramonet and I love those wines. I also have recently had some red Chassagne from Bernard Moreau and those are excellent also. A great place to find these is the Caveau in Chassagne Montrachet. Got some from there when I was in Burgundy in July and they will be shipped to me in the fall. Too bad that it is hard to find these wines in the US.
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Re: What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#97 Post by dbailey » August 28th, 2018, 7:24 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 5:39 am
Lee Short wrote:
June 3rd, 2018, 12:10 pm
red Chassagne-Montrachet
I am a big fan of these wines. I have had the most experience with Ramonet and I love those wines. I also have recently had some red Chassagne from Bernard Moreau and those are excellent also. A great place to find these is the Caveau in Chassagne Montrachet. Got some from there when I was in Burgundy in July and they will be shipped to me in the fall. Too bad that it is hard to find these wines in the US.
Me too. Really like the various pillot cm reds.
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Re: What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#98 Post by John Kight » August 28th, 2018, 8:41 am

NoahR wrote:
June 3rd, 2018, 6:27 am
Also, incredible wines from the South of Italy abound. Howard mentioned Taurasi, but Aglianico has many expressions, of which Taurasi is merely one. Would also explore Nerello and Negroamaro-based wines. Look at the wonderful wines of Sicily. Seek out Elena Fucci’s Titolo, just as a readily available example.

Agreed. Sicily has many gems....I seek out Calabretta in particular for the value at approximately $25-$30, but otherwise the usual suspects are all great (Occhipinti, Passopisciaro, Terre Nere, etc). For Aglianico, I buy Titolo most every year, as well as Terradora di Paolo, Mastroberardino Radici and Radici Riserva. (Montevetrano and Feudi di San Gregorio are also good if you like a heavier, more modern style of wine....personally I prefer the others, but some love these two and I've had some really good bottles as well). Galardi Terra di Lavoro is another great one, but pretty pricey (lists at $80-$90, but almost every year it pops up somewhere for $50, making it a much better buy).

Jura (France) is another fun region to explore, if you like much lighter reds and oxidized whites....Just kidding, there are some producers (Ganevat, etc.) producing amazing whites that are not oxidized, but mostly I am risk averse when it comes to buying Jura whites, knowing they may actually be closer to Sherry than normal white wine.

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Re: What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#99 Post by John Kight » August 28th, 2018, 8:56 am

dbailey wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 4:26 am
Properly aged top class Orvieto. Stunningly complex and refreshing wines with almost zero following outside the region itself.
I have not had aged Orvieto, but on a recent trip to Italy tasted some shockingly good Orvieto wines. I would also note that this is one of the most beautiful, underrated towns in Italy to visit. It's a gorgeous hilltop town with a lot fewer tourists than you'll encounter elsewhere. (Contrast with Siena, which is plenty attractive but completely overrun with tourists and has less to offer in terms of "nooks and crannies" to explore).

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Re: What unusual wines/regions do you love?

#100 Post by Jayson Cohen » August 28th, 2018, 9:14 am

Maybe this is mentioned above or in other WB threads, but my understanding is much of Chassagne was planted to Pinot Noir until about 50ish years ago when folks started pulling out PN vines and replanting to Chardonnay. Love red Chassagne.

Along a similar vein, I bought a bottle of the no-longer-existing ‘93 Jobard Blagny la pièce sous le bois at auction last year and am looking forward to opening it. I’ve liked the few examples of Blagny Rouge I’ve had in the past and keep an eye out.

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