off the beaten path

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Otto Forsberg
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Re: off the beaten path

#51 Post by Otto Forsberg »

JBrochu wrote: December 12th, 2020, 4:36 pm The producer I have access to is Domain Ligier. The importer also imports a Poulsard from this producer. Do you know anything about Ligier?
Haven't tasted any of them meself, but know it's a solid producer. Nothing particularly spectacular when it comes to Jura, but nothing to complain either. They are mainly known for their great Cremant.

They should have two Trousseaus; a lighter and fresher Cotes du Jura and a more robust effort made with old vine fruit from Arbois.

No idea about their Vin Jaune, but can't remember time when I didn't like a Vin Jaune. They're definitely unique and might be hard to appreciate. However, that importer sales pitch isn't correct in that Vin Jaune would be the highest level of oxidative Savagnin - that particular top tier is reserved for Chateau-Chalon.

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Re: off the beaten path

#52 Post by JBrochu »

Great - thank you for the info. Looks like they offer the Cotes du Jura Trousseau bottling. I'll also let the importer know about the Vin Jaune error when I place my order.
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Re: off the beaten path

#53 Post by Dan Kravitz »

Thanks and Damn to Otto for an earlier post.

I've been touting Grk on this board forever.

Yes, hard to find.
No, not cheap.
Yes, inconsistent.
But the best bottlings are fascinating, excellent and won't break the bank.

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Re: off the beaten path

#54 Post by JBrochu »

Otto Forsberg wrote: December 12th, 2020, 5:32 pm
JBrochu wrote: December 12th, 2020, 4:36 pm The producer I have access to is Domain Ligier. The importer also imports a Poulsard from this producer. Do you know anything about Ligier?
Haven't tasted any of them meself, but know it's a solid producer. Nothing particularly spectacular when it comes to Jura, but nothing to complain either. They are mainly known for their great Cremant.

They should have two Trousseaus; a lighter and fresher Cotes du Jura and a more robust effort made with old vine fruit from Arbois.

No idea about their Vin Jaune, but can't remember time when I didn't like a Vin Jaune. They're definitely unique and might be hard to appreciate. However, that importer sales pitch isn't correct in that Vin Jaune would be the highest level of oxidative Savagnin - that particular top tier is reserved for Chateau-Chalon.
Interestingly, the picture on their website for the Trousseau offering I bought is the Cotes du Jura, while the bottle I actually received was the Arbois. I'll have to let them know.

I'm not very impressed with the Arbois. I'm getting a plastic band aid type of thing on the nose and some astringent tastes but it has improved a little bit with air. I can't quite tell if it's off or if I just opened it too early. (I didn't realize I had received the more "serious" bottling until after I opened it. I expected the Cotes du Jura bottling and expected that to be more receptive to early drinking.)
J@hn

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Re: off the beaten path

#55 Post by LasseK »

Monastero Suore Cinstercensi's, Ruscum.

Macerated white made by nuns in Lazio. Blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia and Verdicchio. 15 days skin contact. It is pretty good.

Don't know if Jura is in this category anymore? Atleast in Copenhagen it is what everyone drinks haha.
But if you want some suggestions from Jura, i can give some. Think 40% of my cellar collection is Jura.
K n u d s e n - Copenhagen based.

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Re: off the beaten path

#56 Post by Joseph Grassa »

Kirk.Grant wrote: December 12th, 2020, 8:25 am Here are a few of the more unique or under the radar wines I've found to be palate broadening for me:

Bressan Pignol
Dr. Konstantin Frank Saperavi
Alois Lageder Kalterersee Classico Römigberg (Schiavia grape)
GD Vajra Freisa
Donabaum Neuburger Federspiel
Cambas Moschofilero
Anselmet Petit Rouge
DiFilippo Sagrantino di Montefalco
Laible Weissburgunder
Adelsheim Auxerrois
Caligiore Bonarda Reserve
Marco Martin Fumin Valle d'Aosta Lo Triolet
Foradori Teroldego
Domaine des Ardoisières Argile Blanc
This is great. Thanks. I have been getting ready to jump on a 1997 Bressan Pingol for just over $100. Any thoughts? Too old? Too pricy?

I have had just one pure Bonarda and it was enjoyable, available, and very inexpensive. 2019 Altos las Hormigas Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda

Any idea where to get the Vajra Freisa? I'm very intrigued by this but couldn't find much online. I'm getting ready to try a Chinato from Vajra soon. Never had before.

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Re: off the beaten path

#57 Post by Otto Forsberg »

Joseph Grassa wrote: December 20th, 2020, 4:02 am
Kirk.Grant wrote: December 12th, 2020, 8:25 am Here are a few of the more unique or under the radar wines I've found to be palate broadening for me:

Bressan Pignol
Dr. Konstantin Frank Saperavi
Alois Lageder Kalterersee Classico Römigberg (Schiavia grape)
GD Vajra Freisa
Donabaum Neuburger Federspiel
Cambas Moschofilero
Anselmet Petit Rouge
DiFilippo Sagrantino di Montefalco
Laible Weissburgunder
Adelsheim Auxerrois
Caligiore Bonarda Reserve
Marco Martin Fumin Valle d'Aosta Lo Triolet
Foradori Teroldego
Domaine des Ardoisières Argile Blanc
This is great. Thanks. I have been getting ready to jump on a 1997 Bressan Pingol for just over $100. Any thoughts? Too old? Too pricy?
Sounds pricey. The average price in CT hovers around 50€. I've had it once and if memory serves, it cost also somewhere around 50€. It was also rather earthy and musty - felt almost like corked, but not quite, and the earthy notes didn't seem to increase over time, so probably it was just bottle skunk.
I have had just one pure Bonarda and it was enjoyable, available, and very inexpensive. 2019 Altos las Hormigas Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda
I wouldn't consider Bonarda really anything off the beaten path, since it used to be the most planted variety in Argentina and still is probably the 2nd/3rd most planted variety. Normally made into inexpensive everyday reds. Haven't had that Caligiore wine so I really don't know if there is something more special in that one.
Any idea where to get the Vajra Freisa? I'm very intrigued by this but couldn't find much online. I'm getting ready to try a Chinato from Vajra soon. Never had before.
I've had some Vajra's Freisas and they have been from the very extracted and powerful end of the spectrum, often very high in alcohol with fruit character that can get quite sweet, occasionally even jammy. Quite impressive wines in their own right, but not really representative of Freisa. If you're interested in a good, classically built Freisa, I'd recommend to look for Burlotto. Also Giuseppe Rinaldi and both Mascarellos (Giuseppe and Bartolo) make terrific Freisas, but they might be harder to source. However, all these Freisas tend to be also more affordable than the Vajra Freisa.

Barolo Chinato is a terrific beverage. Definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but I love it.

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Re: off the beaten path

#58 Post by Joseph Grassa »

Joseph Grassa wrote: December 20th, 2020, 4:02 am
Kirk.Grant wrote: December 12th, 2020, 8:25 am Here are a few of the more unique or under the radar wines I've found to be palate broadening for me:

Bressan Pignol
Dr. Konstantin Frank Saperavi
Alois Lageder Kalterersee Classico Römigberg (Schiavia grape)
GD Vajra Freisa
Donabaum Neuburger Federspiel
Cambas Moschofilero
Anselmet Petit Rouge
DiFilippo Sagrantino di Montefalco
Laible Weissburgunder
Adelsheim Auxerrois
Caligiore Bonarda Reserve
Marco Martin Fumin Valle d'Aosta Lo Triolet
Foradori Teroldego
Domaine des Ardoisières Argile Blanc
This is great. Thanks. I have been getting ready to jump on a 1997 Bressan Pingol for just over $100. Any thoughts? Too old? Too pricy?

I have had just one pure Bonarda and it was enjoyable, available, and very inexpensive. 2019 Altos las Hormigas Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda

Any idea where to get the Vajra Freisa? I'm very intrigued by this but couldn't find much online. I'm getting ready to try a Chinato from Vajra soon. Never had before.
cancel the part about where to find Freisa. Must have been typing it wrong because I found it a few places now.

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Re: off the beaten path

#59 Post by Joseph Grassa »

Otto Forsberg wrote: December 20th, 2020, 5:40 am
Joseph Grassa wrote: December 20th, 2020, 4:02 am
Kirk.Grant wrote: December 12th, 2020, 8:25 am Here are a few of the more unique or under the radar wines I've found to be palate broadening for me:

Bressan Pignol
Dr. Konstantin Frank Saperavi
Alois Lageder Kalterersee Classico Römigberg (Schiavia grape)
GD Vajra Freisa
Donabaum Neuburger Federspiel
Cambas Moschofilero
Anselmet Petit Rouge
DiFilippo Sagrantino di Montefalco
Laible Weissburgunder
Adelsheim Auxerrois
Caligiore Bonarda Reserve
Marco Martin Fumin Valle d'Aosta Lo Triolet
Foradori Teroldego
Domaine des Ardoisières Argile Blanc
This is great. Thanks. I have been getting ready to jump on a 1997 Bressan Pingol for just over $100. Any thoughts? Too old? Too pricy?
Sounds pricey. The average price in CT hovers around 50€. I've had it once and if memory serves, it cost also somewhere around 50€. It was also rather earthy and musty - felt almost like corked, but not quite, and the earthy notes didn't seem to increase over time, so probably it was just bottle skunk.
I have had just one pure Bonarda and it was enjoyable, available, and very inexpensive. 2019 Altos las Hormigas Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda
I wouldn't consider Bonarda really anything off the beaten path, since it used to be the most planted variety in Argentina and still is probably the 2nd/3rd most planted variety. Normally made into inexpensive everyday reds. Haven't had that Caligiore wine so I really don't know if there is something more special in that one.
Any idea where to get the Vajra Freisa? I'm very intrigued by this but couldn't find much online. I'm getting ready to try a Chinato from Vajra soon. Never had before.
I've had some Vajra's Freisas and they have been from the very extracted and powerful end of the spectrum, often very high in alcohol with fruit character that can get quite sweet, occasionally even jammy. Quite impressive wines in their own right, but not really representative of Freisa. If you're interested in a good, classically built Freisa, I'd recommend to look for Burlotto. Also Giuseppe Rinaldi and both Mascarellos (Giuseppe and Bartolo) make terrific Freisas, but they might be harder to source. However, all these Freisas tend to be also more affordable than the Vajra Freisa.

Barolo Chinato is a terrific beverage. Definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but I love it.
awesome. I'm getting rocked on the shipping for that Bressan Pignol too, but can't really find any alternatives with any years on them.

Do you know anything about Vietti's Freisa? I can get it at a place I buy from regularly, but I am going to try to find any of the other 4 I can as well.

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Re: off the beaten path

#60 Post by Otto Forsberg »

Joseph Grassa wrote: December 20th, 2020, 5:47 am awesome. I'm getting rocked on the shipping for that Bressan Pignol too, but can't really find any alternatives with any years on them.

Do you know anything about Vietti's Freisa? I can get it at a place I buy from regularly, but I am going to try to find any of the other 4 I can as well.
Haven't had Vietti that one, but I think it is made in the same ultra-traditionalist way as Bartolo Mascarello's Freisa, i.e. bottled with a portion of unfermented must, giving the wine a bit of pétillance. The other wines (Vajra, Giuseppe Mascarello, Burlotto and Rinaldi) are vinified like red wine.

To my understanding, the Vietti version is a very traditional wine in the sense that they attempt to make it a fizzy, soft, easy-drinking red (as Freisa is a very tannic variety making powerful wines) like they did in the past. Bartolo Mascarello's slightly fizzy Freisa is a bit more powerful and structured; G. Mascarello, Burlotto and Rinaldi are classic Piedmontese red wines with high acidity and firm tannins; and Vajra is a more extracted, noticeably ripe and quite heavy effort, so quite removed from the old-school Freisa style.

In the end I suppose Vietti most likely is going to be good and very old-school, but probably quite different from all the other Freisas.

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Re: off the beaten path

#61 Post by Joseph Grassa »

Otto Forsberg wrote: December 20th, 2020, 5:55 am
Joseph Grassa wrote: December 20th, 2020, 5:47 am awesome. I'm getting rocked on the shipping for that Bressan Pignol too, but can't really find any alternatives with any years on them.

Do you know anything about Vietti's Freisa? I can get it at a place I buy from regularly, but I am going to try to find any of the other 4 I can as well.
Haven't had Vietti that one, but I think it is made in the same ultra-traditionalist way as Bartolo Mascarello's Freisa, i.e. bottled with a portion of unfermented must, giving the wine a bit of pétillance. The other wines (Vajra, Giuseppe Mascarello, Burlotto and Rinaldi) are vinified like red wine.

To my understanding, the Vietti version is a very traditional wine in the sense that they attempt to make it a fizzy, soft, easy-drinking red (as Freisa is a very tannic variety making powerful wines) like they did in the past. Bartolo Mascarello's slightly fizzy Freisa is a bit more powerful and structured; G. Mascarello, Burlotto and Rinaldi are classic Piedmontese red wines with high acidity and firm tannins; and Vajra is a more extracted, noticeably ripe and quite heavy effort, so quite removed from the old-school Freisa style.

In the end I suppose Vietti most likely is going to be good and very old-school, but probably quite different from all the other Freisas.
Perfect. Sounds even more interesting to me. Hopefully I can get some of the others as well, but I am going to buy the Vajra and Vietti asap, since I have easy access.

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Re: off the beaten path

#62 Post by Kirk.Grant »

Joseph Grassa wrote: December 20th, 2020, 4:02 am
Kirk.Grant wrote: December 12th, 2020, 8:25 am Here are a few of the more unique or under the radar wines I've found to be palate broadening for me:

Bressan Pignol
Dr. Konstantin Frank Saperavi
Alois Lageder Kalterersee Classico Römigberg (Schiavia grape)
GD Vajra Freisa
Donabaum Neuburger Federspiel
Cambas Moschofilero
Anselmet Petit Rouge
DiFilippo Sagrantino di Montefalco
Laible Weissburgunder
Adelsheim Auxerrois
Caligiore Bonarda Reserve
Marco Martin Fumin Valle d'Aosta Lo Triolet
Foradori Teroldego
Domaine des Ardoisières Argile Blanc
This is great. Thanks. I have been getting ready to jump on a 1997 Bressan Pingol for just over $100. Any thoughts? Too old? Too pricy?

I have had just one pure Bonarda and it was enjoyable, available, and very inexpensive. 2019 Altos las Hormigas Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda

Any idea where to get the Vajra Freisa? I'm very intrigued by this but couldn't find much online. I'm getting ready to try a Chinato from Vajra soon. Never had before.
Here is my note of the 1997 when I opened it in 2010. I'm not sure how helpful this will be...but I was pleased with the wine when I opened it. I think I paid $80 for my bottle.
  • 1997 Bressan Cru Pignol - Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Venezia Giulia IGT (12/19/2010)
    Color: Bricked ruby
    Smell: Pyrazines, menthol, & smoke
    Taste: Red fruits, thyme, herbs, hints of oak,
    Overall: Elegant, reserved, and earth driven with a significant overlay of menthol on the nose that seems to enliven the herbaceous flavors on the palate. (92 pts.)
    Image
Posted from CellarTracker
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Re: off the beaten path

#63 Post by Joseph Grassa »

Kirk.Grant wrote: December 20th, 2020, 7:41 am
Joseph Grassa wrote: December 20th, 2020, 4:02 am
Kirk.Grant wrote: December 12th, 2020, 8:25 am Here are a few of the more unique or under the radar wines I've found to be palate broadening for me:

Bressan Pignol
Dr. Konstantin Frank Saperavi
Alois Lageder Kalterersee Classico Römigberg (Schiavia grape)
GD Vajra Freisa
Donabaum Neuburger Federspiel
Cambas Moschofilero
Anselmet Petit Rouge
DiFilippo Sagrantino di Montefalco
Laible Weissburgunder
Adelsheim Auxerrois
Caligiore Bonarda Reserve
Marco Martin Fumin Valle d'Aosta Lo Triolet
Foradori Teroldego
Domaine des Ardoisières Argile Blanc
This is great. Thanks. I have been getting ready to jump on a 1997 Bressan Pingol for just over $100. Any thoughts? Too old? Too pricy?

I have had just one pure Bonarda and it was enjoyable, available, and very inexpensive. 2019 Altos las Hormigas Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda

Any idea where to get the Vajra Freisa? I'm very intrigued by this but couldn't find much online. I'm getting ready to try a Chinato from Vajra soon. Never had before.
Here is my note of the 1997 when I opened it in 2010. I'm not sure how helpful this will be...but I was pleased with the wine when I opened it. I think I paid $80 for my bottle.
  • 1997 Bressan Cru Pignol - Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Venezia Giulia IGT (12/19/2010)
    Color: Bricked ruby
    Smell: Pyrazines, menthol, & smoke
    Taste: Red fruits, thyme, herbs, hints of oak,
    Overall: Elegant, reserved, and earth driven with a significant overlay of menthol on the nose that seems to enliven the herbaceous flavors on the palate. (92 pts.)
    Image
Posted from CellarTracker
useful.. I didnt look back that far when I checked CT. Looks like I wish I tried it in 2010, but I'm still interested to see what its like now. Any idea if newer Bressan Pignol are in the same vein?

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Re: off the beaten path

#64 Post by Markus S »

Dan Kravitz wrote: December 13th, 2020, 5:43 pm ...
Yes, hard to find.
No, not cheap.
Yes, inconsistent.
But the best bottlings are fascinating, excellent and won't break the bank.
..
Sounds like a recipe for disappointment. rolleyes
$ _ € ® e . k @

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Re: off the beaten path

#65 Post by JBrochu »

LasseK wrote: December 20th, 2020, 1:21 am Don't know if Jura is in this category anymore? Atleast in Copenhagen it is what everyone drinks haha.
But if you want some suggestions from Jura, i can give some. Think 40% of my cellar collection is Jura.
Wow, that seems crazy to me! I would ask for suggestions but the most common retailers I use stock between zero and just over zero Jura offerings. And the ones they have seem to be chardonnay when I'm more interested in the more unusual varieties.

Do you know if brett is a common characteristic in Arbois Trousseau? And what about Arbois Poulsard?
J@hn

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Re: off the beaten path

#66 Post by Otto Forsberg »

JBrochu wrote: December 20th, 2020, 8:58 am Do you know if brett is a common characteristic in Arbois Trousseau? And what about Arbois Poulsard?
No. It's a common characteristic in wines made by naturalist and natural-leaning producers. There are quite a bit of such producers in Jura, but brett is not a common characteristic with any variety or region.

And when it comes to Chardonnay, I'm not too keen on the variety, but there are a few regions that make Chardonnays that very often tend to pique my interest; Burgundy, Champagne, Steiermark (Morillon) and, of course, Jura.

That is to say, Jura Chardonnay can be quite thrilling and often very unlike the stuff produced anywhere else.

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Re: off the beaten path

#67 Post by LasseK »

JBrochu wrote: December 20th, 2020, 8:58 am
LasseK wrote: December 20th, 2020, 1:21 am Don't know if Jura is in this category anymore? Atleast in Copenhagen it is what everyone drinks haha.
But if you want some suggestions from Jura, i can give some. Think 40% of my cellar collection is Jura.
Wow, that seems crazy to me! I would ask for suggestions but the most common retailers I use stock between zero and just over zero Jura offerings. And the ones they have seem to be chardonnay when I'm more interested in the more unusual varieties.

Do you know if brett is a common characteristic in Arbois Trousseau? And what about Arbois Poulsard?
Well Otto explained it perfectly. It has nothing to do with the grape variety, but the winemaking.
K n u d s e n - Copenhagen based.

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Re: off the beaten path

#68 Post by JBrochu »

LasseK wrote: December 20th, 2020, 9:29 am
JBrochu wrote: December 20th, 2020, 8:58 am
LasseK wrote: December 20th, 2020, 1:21 am Don't know if Jura is in this category anymore? Atleast in Copenhagen it is what everyone drinks haha.
But if you want some suggestions from Jura, i can give some. Think 40% of my cellar collection is Jura.
Wow, that seems crazy to me! I would ask for suggestions but the most common retailers I use stock between zero and just over zero Jura offerings. And the ones they have seem to be chardonnay when I'm more interested in the more unusual varieties.

Do you know if brett is a common characteristic in Arbois Trousseau? And what about Arbois Poulsard?
Well Otto explained it perfectly. It has nothing to do with the grape variety, but the winemaking.
Right, I meant is brett common to the style in the Trousseau and Poulsard produced in Arbois. Or was my bottle a likely aberration? I don't mind a hint of barnyard but I do not like when it gets strong, or when you get the band aid, or astringency. So I was trying to ask if this is common around Arbois and accepted in the style.
J@hn

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Re: off the beaten path

#69 Post by Kirk.Grant »

Joseph Grassa wrote: December 20th, 2020, 8:01 am
Kirk.Grant wrote: December 20th, 2020, 7:41 am
  • 1997 Bressan Cru Pignol - Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Venezia Giulia IGT (12/19/2010)
    Color: Bricked ruby
    Smell: Pyrazines, menthol, & smoke
    Taste: Red fruits, thyme, herbs, hints of oak,
    Overall: Elegant, reserved, and earth driven with a significant overlay of menthol on the nose that seems to enliven the herbaceous flavors on the palate. (92 pts.)
    Image
Posted from CellarTracker
useful.. I didnt look back that far when I checked CT. Looks like I wish I tried it in 2010, but I'm still interested to see what its like now. Any idea if newer Bressan Pignol are in the same vein?
I have stopped buying wines from this producer based on the my personal values. I believe it's probably best not to publicly make a statement that may be interpreted as political in a wine forum, so I'll leave it at that.
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Re: off the beaten path

#70 Post by Otto Forsberg »

JBrochu wrote: December 20th, 2020, 10:10 am Right, I meant is brett common to the style in the Trousseau and Poulsard produced in Arbois. Or was my bottle a likely aberration? I don't mind a hint of barnyard but I do not like when it gets strong, or when you get the band aid, or astringency. So I was trying to ask if this is common around Arbois and accepted in the style.
Your clarification did not clarify one bit. It is common to naturalist producers. There are several naturalist producers making funky wines in Jura, but there are also lots of conventional producers making squeaky clean wines as well. It is not common or uncommon to Jura. If you buy another Arbois it can be funky or not, depending on which kind of producer you're buying next. It has nothing to do with Arbois.

And astringency is related to tannins, not funk, brett, Arbois or anything. Trousseau can get moderately tannic, whereas no way in the world you can make a tannic Poulsard. If you don't like astringent wines, Poulsard might be more up to your alley, as Trousseau can be anything from a crunchy, easy-drinking red to a funk bomb that is tough as old boots.

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Re: off the beaten path

#71 Post by JBrochu »

Otto Forsberg wrote: December 20th, 2020, 10:28 am
JBrochu wrote: December 20th, 2020, 10:10 am Right, I meant is brett common to the style in the Trousseau and Poulsard produced in Arbois. Or was my bottle a likely aberration? I don't mind a hint of barnyard but I do not like when it gets strong, or when you get the band aid, or astringency. So I was trying to ask if this is common around Arbois and accepted in the style.
Your clarification did not clarify one bit. It is common to naturalist producers. There are several naturalist producers making funky wines in Jura, but there are also lots of conventional producers making squeaky clean wines as well. It is not common or uncommon to Jura. If you buy another Arbois it can be funky or not, depending on which kind of producer you're buying next. It has nothing to do with Arbois.

And astringency is related to tannins, not funk, brett, Arbois or anything. Trousseau can get moderately tannic, whereas no way in the world you can make a tannic Poulsard. If you don't like astringent wines, Poulsard might be more up to your alley, as Trousseau can be anything from a crunchy, easy-drinking red to a funk bomb that is tough as old boots.
I guess astringency wasn't the correct word to use, because what I was trying to describe wasn't from tannins.

But anyway, some regions certainly seem to have a much higher prevalence of producers making funky wines than others. But perhaps a better question would have been to ask if this particular producer was known for funky wines.
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Re: off the beaten path

#72 Post by Otto Forsberg »

JBrochu wrote: December 20th, 2020, 10:51 am I guess astringency wasn't the correct word to use, because what I was trying to describe wasn't from tannins.

But anyway, some regions certainly seem to have a much higher prevalence of producers making funky wines than others. But perhaps a better question would have been to ask if this particular producer was known for funky wines.
That I do not know, not having tasted any wines from the producer. If one wine is funky, it is certainly possible that the other wines are going to be as well.

It is certainly true that some regions have a higher prevalence of producers from the more naturalist end; Loire and Jura are quite high up on the list. And of course Beaujolais in Burgundy.

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Re: off the beaten path

#73 Post by JBrochu »

Otto Forsberg wrote: December 20th, 2020, 11:01 am That I do not know, not having tasted any wines from the producer. If one wine is funky, it is certainly possible that the other wines are going to be as well.
I'm drinking the Poulsard from the same producer now and there is not a hint of brett. It seems to be a rather simple but fruity and refreshing wine. I like it quite a bit so far.

I think I'll talk to the importer and ask if the producer is known for funk or if my bottle of Trousseau just happened to be off. Perhaps I'll try another bottle or try to find a few different producers. (Not an easy task through my normal retailers.) Thank you for your thoughts. I love trying new things and learning what I can.
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Re: off the beaten path

#74 Post by JBrochu »

Otto Forsberg wrote: December 20th, 2020, 10:28 am And astringency is related to tannins, not funk, brett, Arbois or anything.
If you google "astringency from brett" you will get many hits that confirm brett can add astringency to beer and wine. Just one example:

Is brett a flaw? Technically, yes. But it's not TCA taint or Volatile Acidity in my opinion. In small amounts I feel it does add nuance to a wine. I don't discount a wine completely when and if there's a little brett. Too much however, and yes, I would downgrade the wine. Typically if it shows up on the palate, resulting in some astringency and even a little spritz, then the wine is too flawed to be considered, in my opinion. If it's just an aromatic touch however - a hint of saddle leather, for example - I don't have a problem with that.

https://www.winespectator.com/articles/ ... rett-40387

So I think the astringency I was picking up was definitely from the brett and not tannins. It seemed distinctly different to me than tannins.
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Re: off the beaten path

#75 Post by Otto Forsberg »

JBrochu wrote: December 20th, 2020, 4:58 pm
Otto Forsberg wrote: December 20th, 2020, 10:28 am And astringency is related to tannins, not funk, brett, Arbois or anything.
If you google "astringency from brett" you will get many hits that confirm brett can add astringency to beer and wine. Just one example:

Is brett a flaw? Technically, yes. But it's not TCA taint or Volatile Acidity in my opinion. In small amounts I feel it does add nuance to a wine. I don't discount a wine completely when and if there's a little brett. Too much however, and yes, I would downgrade the wine. Typically if it shows up on the palate, resulting in some astringency and even a little spritz, then the wine is too flawed to be considered, in my opinion. If it's just an aromatic touch however - a hint of saddle leather, for example - I don't have a problem with that.

https://www.winespectator.com/articles/ ... rett-40387

So I think the astringency I was picking up was definitely from the brett and not tannins. It seemed distinctly different to me than tannins.
Yeah, um, well, no. I googled and basically all the results that say so are your link (and this would not be the first time I've seen Vinny being wrong) and one post by Crooked Stave. All the other links point seem to point out to pages where they discuss brett and astringency on the same page - the connection I saw most often was how brett's high attenuation (capacity to ferment sugars more effectively than normal saccharomyces yeast) can increase the perception of astringency in beer because of the tannins that come from malts (especially roasted / charred malts) become more perceptible as brett eats away sugars, making the beer drier and its body lighter - but couldn't find any that actually link them together.

This is basically because tannins are astringents (molecules that cause astringency). They sure are phenolics, just like 4-EP and 4-EG, which are the main metabolites of brettanomyces, but these two are not astringents. Brett also produces alcohol and can also produce ethyl acetate, acetic acid, THP and many other compounds, but not any molecules that are astringent - or at least definitely not in any number that could cause any noticeable effect. There are no actual chemical explanations that would make brett cause astringency.

Furthermore, as astringency means the phenomenon of drying your mucous membranes in your mouth, how is it possible that this effect is experienced differently from the one caused by tannins? How differently can your mucous membranes dry up and how you can differentiate which compounds cause it? I'm just simply confused here by your explanation.

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Re: off the beaten path

#76 Post by Mikael OB »

Kirk.Grant wrote: December 20th, 2020, 10:15 am
Joseph Grassa wrote: December 20th, 2020, 8:01 am
Kirk.Grant wrote: December 20th, 2020, 7:41 am
  • 1997 Bressan Cru Pignol - Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Venezia Giulia IGT (12/19/2010)
    Color: Bricked ruby
    Smell: Pyrazines, menthol, & smoke
    Taste: Red fruits, thyme, herbs, hints of oak,
    Overall: Elegant, reserved, and earth driven with a significant overlay of menthol on the nose that seems to enliven the herbaceous flavors on the palate. (92 pts.)
    Image
Posted from CellarTracker
useful.. I didnt look back that far when I checked CT. Looks like I wish I tried it in 2010, but I'm still interested to see what its like now. Any idea if newer Bressan Pignol are in the same vein?
I have stopped buying wines from this producer based on the my personal values. I believe it's probably best not to publicly make a statement that may be interpreted as political in a wine forum, so I'll leave it at that.
Stopped buying for the same reason...
have a few 1996 still drinking quite ok.

For pignolo, Ronchi di Cialla is producing a beautiful version, loved the 2014 bottling. Actually anything from Ronchi di Cialla is terrific. Including arguably the benchmark picolit (op original question) and Friulian wines. The breath of indigenous grapes and quality impressive. Cialla, Italy’s greatest least known cru?

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Re: off the beaten path

#77 Post by Joseph Grassa »

Mikael OB wrote: December 21st, 2020, 2:46 am
Kirk.Grant wrote: December 20th, 2020, 10:15 am
Joseph Grassa wrote: December 20th, 2020, 8:01 am

useful.. I didnt look back that far when I checked CT. Looks like I wish I tried it in 2010, but I'm still interested to see what its like now. Any idea if newer Bressan Pignol are in the same vein?
I have stopped buying wines from this producer based on the my personal values. I believe it's probably best not to publicly make a statement that may be interpreted as political in a wine forum, so I'll leave it at that.
Stopped buying for the same reason...
have a few 1996 still drinking quite ok.

For pignolo, Ronchi di Cialla is producing a beautiful version, loved the 2014 bottling. Actually anything from Ronchi di Cialla is terrific. Including arguably the benchmark picolit (op original question) and Friulian wines. The breath of indigenous grapes and quality impressive. Cialla, Italy’s greatest least known cru?
awesome. much more affordable than Bressan too. Any thoughts on what I should be expecting with age? It looks like Ronchi di Cialla I can only find much younger wines. I bought a 2003 Bressan last night, does it make sense to compare to a younger Ronchi di Cialla or are they very different to begin with?

Trying to land one of their Picolit now too. Any chance you know anything about La Roncaia Picolit?

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Re: off the beaten path

#78 Post by Jidhin R. »

Yann Durieux - Love and Pif, Aligoté. Burgundy's other white grape. Might be a bit difficult to find but offers both a lesser known varietal and a natural winemaking style. Probably any Aligoté though would be something different but still fairly available in the US.
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Re: off the beaten path

#79 Post by Otto Forsberg »

Jidhin R. wrote: December 21st, 2020, 7:29 am Yann Durieux - Love and Pif, Aligoté. Burgundy's other white grape. Might be a bit difficult to find but offers both a lesser known varietal and a natural winemaking style. Probably any Aligoté though would be something different but still fairly available in the US.
This wine was interesting all right, but a bit too natty and acetic for my taste as well (and I can tolerate quite wild wines). One could taste that high quality fruit has been used in making the wine, but unfortunately the wine has lost much of its varietal character and sense of place underneath the elevated levels of VA. I love a good, fresh Aligoté, but this wine didn't make me a fan.

And normally a solid Aligoté tends to retail at 15-25€, while IIRC this particular wine retails at 35-40€ - not really a bargain.

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Re: off the beaten path

#80 Post by Mikael OB »

Joseph Grassa wrote: December 21st, 2020, 6:52 am
Mikael OB wrote:
Stopped buying for the same reason...
have a few 1996 still drinking quite ok.

For pignolo, Ronchi di Cialla is producing a beautiful version, loved the 2014 bottling. Actually anything from Ronchi di Cialla is terrific. Including arguably the benchmark picolit (op original question) and Friulian wines. The breath of indigenous grapes and quality impressive. Cialla, Italy’s greatest least known cru?
awesome. much more affordable than Bressan too. Any thoughts on what I should be expecting with age? It looks like Ronchi di Cialla I can only find much younger wines. I bought a 2003 Bressan last night, does it make sense to compare to a younger Ronchi di Cialla or are they very different to begin with?

Trying to land one of their Picolit now too. Any chance you know anything about La Roncaia Picolit?
For the expectation of aging, perhaps two things to point out:

1. RdC has, as far as I am aware, not put Pignolo on the market for a longer period so for this grape and wine I don’t have a track record. However below are my notes:

Only started to open up on the third night (1/3 remaining).

“Dark berries, wood spice with quite unique tone. Dark fruits, still fresh flavors and vibrant acidity. Long terrific finish. We’ll beyond any expectations, especially given the 2014 vintage. Curious try a warmer year.“

The wine really started to open up on the 3rd night after opening, recall it being elegant as well. The wine was delicious at that stage but felt it ought to benefit from bottle age and gain complexity.

Ps. Reason for the positive surprised was that 2014 was a rather rainy year (many places but was in Croatia and Istria that year for holiday, we were lucky with catching the more or less only dry 2-3 weeks of the sun that summer). Learnt that parts of Friuli can handle rain due to the soil and winds after tasting a few other 2014...

2. RdC have track record for Schioppettino (if you didn’t try it, think of something like an elegant Nebbiolo and N. Rhône Syrah’s pepper side And add something excitingly wild to it), Refosco dP, and it’s Ciallabiaco (ribolla gialla, picolit and verduzzo). They all age very well and gain complexity over time. Perhaps Refosco dP more in sense of texture while the other two can transform and take up additional flavors.

With these points in mind I would be surprised if Ronchi di Cialla’s Pignolo would not age well.

Compared to Bressan my expectation is that RdC’s wine would be a more elegant and balanced in general based on winemakers (Bressan is more about power based on the wines I tried).

At least with the ‘96 Bressan the sediments were quite unpleasant and would do everything to make sure that doesn’t get into to your glass.

Never tried unfortunately, but if you can find some pictures of the grapes They grow, look for the cluster to see how many grapes on it. Might give you some clue of the quality. There are different clones/bio types and the higher quality ones are very extreme in that they only have around 15 berries per cluster! I guess normal for most grapes are +100 (?) per cluster. If you buy it, let us know about the differences/similarities!

Also if you search out some verduzzo please report back. Found it to be very interesting with a structure element you normally don’t find in white wines (dry or sweet).

[cheers.gif]

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Re: off the beaten path

#81 Post by Joseph Grassa »

Mikael OB wrote: December 21st, 2020, 2:13 pm
Joseph Grassa wrote: December 21st, 2020, 6:52 am
Mikael OB wrote:
Stopped buying for the same reason...
have a few 1996 still drinking quite ok.

For pignolo, Ronchi di Cialla is producing a beautiful version, loved the 2014 bottling. Actually anything from Ronchi di Cialla is terrific. Including arguably the benchmark picolit (op original question) and Friulian wines. The breath of indigenous grapes and quality impressive. Cialla, Italy’s greatest least known cru?
awesome. much more affordable than Bressan too. Any thoughts on what I should be expecting with age? It looks like Ronchi di Cialla I can only find much younger wines. I bought a 2003 Bressan last night, does it make sense to compare to a younger Ronchi di Cialla or are they very different to begin with?

Trying to land one of their Picolit now too. Any chance you know anything about La Roncaia Picolit?
For the expectation of aging, perhaps two things to point out:

1. RdC has, as far as I am aware, not put Pignolo on the market for a longer period so for this grape and wine I don’t have a track record. However below are my notes:

Only started to open up on the third night (1/3 remaining).

“Dark berries, wood spice with quite unique tone. Dark fruits, still fresh flavors and vibrant acidity. Long terrific finish. We’ll beyond any expectations, especially given the 2014 vintage. Curious try a warmer year.“

The wine really started to open up on the 3rd night after opening, recall it being elegant as well. The wine was delicious at that stage but felt it ought to benefit from bottle age and gain complexity.

Ps. Reason for the positive surprised was that 2014 was a rather rainy year (many places but was in Croatia and Istria that year for holiday, we were lucky with catching the more or less only dry 2-3 weeks of the sun that summer). Learnt that parts of Friuli can handle rain due to the soil and winds after tasting a few other 2014...

2. RdC have track record for Schioppettino (if you didn’t try it, think of something like an elegant Nebbiolo and N. Rhône Syrah’s pepper side And add something excitingly wild to it), Refosco dP, and it’s Ciallabiaco (ribolla gialla, picolit and verduzzo). They all age very well and gain complexity over time. Perhaps Refosco dP more in sense of texture while the other two can transform and take up additional flavors.

With these points in mind I would be surprised if Ronchi di Cialla’s Pignolo would not age well.

Compared to Bressan my expectation is that RdC’s wine would be a more elegant and balanced in general based on winemakers (Bressan is more about power based on the wines I tried).

At least with the ‘96 Bressan the sediments were quite unpleasant and would do everything to make sure that doesn’t get into to your glass.

Never tried unfortunately, but if you can find some pictures of the grapes They grow, look for the cluster to see how many grapes on it. Might give you some clue of the quality. There are different clones/bio types and the higher quality ones are very extreme in that they only have around 15 berries per cluster! I guess normal for most grapes are +100 (?) per cluster. If you buy it, let us know about the differences/similarities!

Also if you search out some verduzzo please report back. Found it to be very interesting with a structure element you normally don’t find in white wines (dry or sweet).

[cheers.gif]

great info! Thank you. I will definitely let you know as I try any.

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Re: off the beaten path

#82 Post by JBrochu »

Otto Forsberg wrote: December 20th, 2020, 11:20 pm
JBrochu wrote: December 20th, 2020, 4:58 pm
Otto Forsberg wrote: December 20th, 2020, 10:28 am And astringency is related to tannins, not funk, brett, Arbois or anything.
If you google "astringency from brett" you will get many hits that confirm brett can add astringency to beer and wine. Just one example:

Is brett a flaw? Technically, yes. But it's not TCA taint or Volatile Acidity in my opinion. In small amounts I feel it does add nuance to a wine. I don't discount a wine completely when and if there's a little brett. Too much however, and yes, I would downgrade the wine. Typically if it shows up on the palate, resulting in some astringency and even a little spritz, then the wine is too flawed to be considered, in my opinion. If it's just an aromatic touch however - a hint of saddle leather, for example - I don't have a problem with that.

https://www.winespectator.com/articles/ ... rett-40387

So I think the astringency I was picking up was definitely from the brett and not tannins. It seemed distinctly different to me than tannins.
Yeah, um, well, no. I googled and basically all the results that say so are your link (and this would not be the first time I've seen Vinny being wrong) and one post by Crooked Stave. All the other links point seem to point out to pages where they discuss brett and astringency on the same page - the connection I saw most often was how brett's high attenuation (capacity to ferment sugars more effectively than normal saccharomyces yeast) can increase the perception of astringency in beer because of the tannins that come from malts (especially roasted / charred malts) become more perceptible as brett eats away sugars, making the beer drier and its body lighter - but couldn't find any that actually link them together.

This is basically because tannins are astringents (molecules that cause astringency). They sure are phenolics, just like 4-EP and 4-EG, which are the main metabolites of brettanomyces, but these two are not astringents. Brett also produces alcohol and can also produce ethyl acetate, acetic acid, THP and many other compounds, but not any molecules that are astringent - or at least definitely not in any number that could cause any noticeable effect. There are no actual chemical explanations that would make brett cause astringency.

Furthermore, as astringency means the phenomenon of drying your mucous membranes in your mouth, how is it possible that this effect is experienced differently from the one caused by tannins? How differently can your mucous membranes dry up and how you can differentiate which compounds cause it? I'm just simply confused here by your explanation.
Ok, you've convinced me the astringency wasn't caused by the brett. Thank you for persevering and teaching me some new things.
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Re: off the beaten path

#83 Post by Joseph Grassa »

Otto Forsberg wrote: December 20th, 2020, 5:40 am
I've had some Vajra's Freisas and they have been from the very extracted and powerful end of the spectrum, often very high in alcohol with fruit character that can get quite sweet, occasionally even jammy. Quite impressive wines in their own right, but not really representative of Freisa. If you're interested in a good, classically built Freisa, I'd recommend to look for Burlotto. Also Giuseppe Rinaldi and both Mascarellos (Giuseppe and Bartolo) make terrific Freisas, but they might be harder to source. However, all these Freisas tend to be also more affordable than the Vajra Freisa.

Barolo Chinato is a terrific beverage. Definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but I love it.
Kirk.Grant wrote: December 12th, 2020, 8:25 am Here are a few of the more unique or under the radar wines I've found to be palate broadening for me:

Bressan Pignol
Dr. Konstantin Frank Saperavi
Alois Lageder Kalterersee Classico Römigberg (Schiavia grape)
GD Vajra Freisa
Donabaum Neuburger Federspiel
Cambas Moschofilero
Anselmet Petit Rouge
DiFilippo Sagrantino di Montefalco
Laible Weissburgunder
Adelsheim Auxerrois
Caligiore Bonarda Reserve
Marco Martin Fumin Valle d'Aosta Lo Triolet
Foradori Teroldego
Domaine des Ardoisières Argile Blanc
Had the 2015 GD Vajra Freisa tonight. Curious to see this at different ages. It was more similar to Nebbiolo than I expected. Maybe Nebbiolo vs Dolcetto? Maybe to Nebbiolo what Beaujolais Gamay is to Pinot? Words are escaping me tonight but I made some notes that hopefully I can clean it up into something coherent at some point. Certainly tannic and medium+ acidity. Do they age like Nebbiolo? If it does, which it seemed like it would, it should be excellent in 5-7 years. Didn't really have any fizzyness. I enjoyed it but feel like I caught it in quasi dumb phase, where the fruits weren't at their most brilliant, but it was not quite yet refined and silky. Still predominantly primary.

May open the 2017 Vietti Langhe Freisa Vicace tomorrow and/ or the G.D. Vajra Barolo Chinato alongside the most inexpensive barbaresco I have ever bought. (2015 Vite Colte La Casa in Collina Barbaresco) $35.84 for 1.5L. Good tip though. Enjoyed it and interested to explore more.

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Re: off the beaten path

#84 Post by Joseph Grassa »

night and day on the Vietti Freisa vs the Vajra. Vietti was, as you said Otto, much more tannic, much more fizzy, much darker. Without even knowing the wines it seems apparent that this was more traditional. Hard to tell these were the same grapes. Vietti was as "masculine" as a Barolo, while Vajra was twice as feminine as a barbaresco if that makes sense.

opened these in this order today.... the only that I had direct experience with prior was the Vajra Langhe

2019 G.D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo Clare J.C.
2017 Vietti Langhe Freisa Vicace
2015 Brigaldara Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
NV G.D. Vajra Barolo Chinato

I was the only one to care for the Chinato which I was very happy with. Freisa was the least fav among the group. The Amarone was too "port like" imo and I love Amarone. Tomorrow will be

2007 Tommaso Bussola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
2015 Tommaso Bussola Recioto della Valpolicella Classico

still wowed by the Chinato... not sure how people dont enjoy this, if they dont have specific expectations.

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Re: off the beaten path

#85 Post by Joseph Grassa »

Otto Forsberg wrote: December 20th, 2020, 5:40 am
Barolo Chinato is a terrific beverage. Definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but I love it.
Any chance you have some specific recommendations for Chinato? After this first go I'm about to buy a few more.

Also, thoughts on how age impacts them? Mine was fairly tannic.

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Re: off the beaten path

#86 Post by Otto Forsberg »

Joseph Grassa wrote: December 26th, 2020, 5:26 am Any chance you have some specific recommendations for Chinato? After this first go I'm about to buy a few more.

Also, thoughts on how age impacts them? Mine was fairly tannic.
I've understood that they benefit from aging, but it's always hard to verify, since the wines are very rarely labeled with a vintage designation. I've had only one older one (Michele Mascarello) and that one was quite stunning.

Although I've never been particularly fond of the modernist wines made by Conterno-Fantino, they make one of the most impressive (and expensive) examples of the style, Chinato Dr. Giulio Perin. The few times I've tasted the wine have been on a next level compared to a typical run-of-the-mill Chinato. However, since the style isn't that popular outside Piedmont and the bottles are quite hard to come by outside Italy, I haven't been tasting the wines that extensively. Nevertheless, they are definitely wines one can age easily for years.

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Re: off the beaten path

#87 Post by Noah C »

Coincidentally had a wine that I consider “out there” just the other day: Radikon Oslavje 2003. This is a akin contact wine, aged in amphora, mix of Chardonnay a new Sauvignon blanc. This was the color of an Arnold Palmer, had sediment up the wazoo, and was complex and ALIVE! A rather extended CT review is here https://www.cellartracker.com/m/wines/509429.

Also +1 for Colares! I love that stuff.
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Re: off the beaten path

#88 Post by Noah C »

Just a few more thoughts- Check out Eyrie from Oregon. They have some really interesting stuff like Chasselas (white varietal from Switzerland) and a still red out of 100% Pinot Meunier. I had a 1989 Cellar Release Chardonnay this year for my birthday that was out of this world. A 30 year old Oregon Chardonnay seems pretty "off the beaten path" to me!

Peter Lauer makes ridiculously long aged sparkling Riesling. Had a 1984 Reserve Sekt disgorged in 2017 that was very interesting.

As mentioned before, Italy has lots of interested esoteric varietals. A favorite recent discovery of mine is Pelaverga. The version I had is from Fratelli Alessandria, and it makes a wonderful light Beaujolais-ish type wine that is highly recommended.

Fabio Gea makes some wild stuff out of Barbaresco. The varietals he uses are not weird (nebbiolo, barbera, dolcetto), but his methods are way out there, and his wines (even Nebbiolo) are typically meant to be drunk fresh and young. His wines are delicious and I really like them. Weird wild stuff!

Bouzy Rouge are still red wines, typically made from 100% Pinot Noir, in Champagne. I've only had one- a 2007 by Jean Vesselle, that was lovely. Cool climate Pinot at its best. Mine was 13 years old and was in the perfect window.

I don't think Chateau Simone from the tiny Provence appellation of Palette is necessarily officially "off the beaten path", but I had their blanc for the first time this year, and many of the flavors are very unusual and quite unlike anything I've ever tasted before. I thought it was delicious.

A surprise winner for me this year was Brick and Mortar Vin Rubis a mixture of approximately 50/50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that works surprisingly well.

Finally, not sure how attainable this might be, but give aged Barbera a try. I was lucky enough to purchase a bottle of 1967 Bersano Barbera d'Asti Conti della Cremosina Riserva Speciale. I never thought of Barbera as a varietal that ages well, and this wine died within a few hours of opening, but it had a brief and blindingly glorious peak that is, thus far for me, truly unique.

Good luck!
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Re: off the beaten path

#89 Post by Otto Forsberg »

Noah C wrote: December 27th, 2020, 10:08 pm Just a few more thoughts- Check out Eyrie from Oregon. They have some really interesting stuff like Chasselas (white varietal from Switzerland) and a still red out of 100% Pinot Meunier. I had a 1989 Cellar Release Chardonnay this year for my birthday that was out of this world. A 30 year old Oregon Chardonnay seems pretty "off the beaten path" to me!
Old Oregon Chardonnay sounds quite off the beaten path; I had a month or two ago a 25-yo Chardonnay from Arizona that was outrageously good, managed to beat all my expectations! However, I wouldn't call Chasselas pretty interesting. It might be interesting since so very little has been planted outside Switzerland, but the variety tends to be fairly neutral and invariably low in acidity, producing rather dull, flabby and soft whites. I've had wines young and old, from big co-ops to esteemed quality producers and never had a wine that would've been particularly interesting. Chappaz Fendant has been the best thus far, but even then I'd rather buy any other Chappaz wine.
Peter Lauer makes ridiculously long aged sparkling Riesling. Had a 1984 Reserve Sekt disgorged in 2017 that was very interesting.
These are definitely esoteric and off the beaten path, but less often that successful. I've had that 1984 and a few other vintages as well, but most often they've been quite funky and dull with aromas of decomposing old wood, wool socks, some reductive stink and so forth. And the 1984 had also some rather unpleasant notes of vegetal greenness as well.
As mentioned before, Italy has lots of interested esoteric varietals. A favorite recent discovery of mine is Pelaverga. The version I had is from Fratelli Alessandria, and it makes a wonderful light Beaujolais-ish type wine that is highly recommended.
Pelaverga is one of my favorite Piedmontese red varieties. Never particularly challenging, but always downright delicious. Fratelli Alessandria makes great wines, but I think the best ones come from Burlotto. They do need a few years of age though - I've tasted some recent releases and they've been so primary they feel like candied cheap wines. A year or two tends to be enough for them to drop that sweetish primary fruit.
Fabio Gea makes some wild stuff out of Barbaresco. The varietals he uses are not weird (nebbiolo, barbera, dolcetto), but his methods are way out there, and his wines (even Nebbiolo) are typically meant to be drunk fresh and young. His wines are delicious and I really like them. Weird wild stuff!
I've had a few Fabio Gea wines and to me they've tasted like he is trying to make Priorat out of Nebbiolo. Super-huge, monolithic, overripe and clocking at 15% in alcohol. I probably need to taste some cooler vintages, because I haven't been particularly impressed nor do I understand the hype. The wines I've tasted (which have been, admittedly, from warmer vintages 2009 and 2011) have been nothing I like.
Bouzy Rouge are still red wines, typically made from 100% Pinot Noir, in Champagne. I've only had one- a 2007 by Jean Vesselle, that was lovely. Cool climate Pinot at its best. Mine was 13 years old and was in the perfect window.
Coteaux Champenois reds are quite pedestrian stuff, since so many producers make them nowadays. They do age remarkably well though - this year in a tasting I tasted a Paul Bara Coteaux Champenois Pinot Noir 2002 blind, but I was the only one who thought the wine was over 10 years old (I guessed 2008) - everybody else thought it was much younger! Truly a testament to how well these light and fresh red wines can age.

If you want something more off the beaten path, Herbert Beaufort makes a Bouzy Blanc - i.e. a still white Chardonnay from the village known for their Pinot Noir! Terrific stuff, reminds me of a wel-made Cru Chablis.
I don't think Chateau Simone from the tiny Provence appellation of Palette is necessarily officially "off the beaten path", but I had their blanc for the first time this year, and many of the flavors are very unusual and quite unlike anything I've ever tasted before. I thought it was delicious.
Palette is so small that probably it could classify as off the beaten path, although Simone is by far the largest producer out there. They make wonderful red wines and really impressive, wonderfully ageworthy rosé wines (that tend to require some breathing after opening a bottle). However, I've tasted quite a bit of their white wines, and while they are fascinating, I think they often are a bit too dull and flabby - they tend to be quite high in alcohol and relatively low in acidity. A short while ago we had a Palette Blanc tasting where we had two verticals of Palette Blancs side-by-side: Chateau Simone 2017-2012 vs. Henri Bonnaud Quintessence 2017-2011. With every vintage Bonnaud Quintessence was as good or better. So if you like Simone's white, do check out Bonnaud's Quintessence if you can - it's made in a similar style (although Simone has a more esoteric blend of white varieties in the mix) but is lower in alcohol, higher in acidity and ages more gracefully. The best vintages really seem wines built for the long run.
A surprise winner for me this year was Brick and Mortar Vin Rubis a mixture of approximately 50/50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that works surprisingly well.
This is a new name to me, gotta keep my eyes open.
Finally, not sure how attainable this might be, but give aged Barbera a try. I was lucky enough to purchase a bottle of 1967 Bersano Barbera d'Asti Conti della Cremosina Riserva Speciale. I never thought of Barbera as a varietal that ages well, and this wine died within a few hours of opening, but it had a brief and blindingly glorious peak that is, thus far for me, truly unique.
Aged Barbera is a crapshoot. It's true that people don't think that Barbera can age, while I've had a good handful of old wines that have been just wonderful. Nevertheless, for each good old Barbera I've had a few that have been completely in pieces. And I've also had many younger (but not young) Barberas that have started to feel already quite old and tired, so obviously not all Barberas are made to age. I guess I should stash some of my Scarpa Barberas away, because those are very old-school and can age like crazy (for example their La Bogliona bottling is normally released at the age of 6-7 years).

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Re: off the beaten path

#90 Post by LucyREdwards »

Otto Forsberg wrote: December 9th, 2020, 12:24 pm
Jayson Cohen wrote: December 9th, 2020, 12:10 pm Otto, re: Lahaye Champagne Grand Cru Brut Nature Le Jardin de la Grosse Pierre. I don’t know how long he has been making it. But the Aubrys have been making their blends from a multitude of grape varieties for at least a couple decades including using a lot of Arbanne, Petit Meslier, and Pinot Blanc. They used to use all 7 allowed varieties in a single wine in the ‘90s but it’s not clear to me they still do.
Yes, there are several of those, for example Laherte's Les 7 as well. And Drappier's Quattuor Blanc de Quatre Blancs is made with all the four white permitted varieties. I've also had numerous micro-cuvée Champagnes made from the four lesser permitted varieties, including monovarietal Champagnes from all the four different varieties.
The Drappier Quattuor is definately worth the detour. Charline shared her thoughts on the potential of the "forgotten" varietals here:

Etienne Calsac's Les Revenants from the Cote de Sezanne is also excellent.

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Re: off the beaten path

#91 Post by Otto Forsberg »

LucyREdwards wrote: January 10th, 2021, 11:50 pm Etienne Calsac's Les Revenants from the Cote de Sezanne is also excellent.
This definitely sounds interesting! I've had some Calsac wines, but not this one. Need to keep my eyes open in case I happened to come across a bottle.

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Re: off the beaten path

#92 Post by LucyREdwards »

Les Revenants 2017 (released late 2020) is a blend of 3 of the 4 forgotten varietals: 50% Pinot Blanc, 43% Petit Meslier, 7% Arbanne. Throughout the whole champagne region, the plantings of these three vines make up less than 100ha (of 34 thousand, so less than 0.3%) so it is incredibly rare to have a wine made entirely from these varietals. Etienne believes that these varietals are the future of champagne and panted as soon as he took over the domain in 2010. He has a small lieu dit in the Sézannais area and makes one single 600 liter barrel. Less than 800 bottles are released to market with zero dosage. So definitely worth hunting down and stocking up on.

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Re: off the beaten path

#93 Post by Adam Frisch »

I used to buy quite a bit of Feudo San Maurizio made from the almost extinct Mayolet grape. I love these cooler climate Valle D'Aosta wines. The winemaker is also a very interesting character - a bar manager in the local village who decided he wanted to make wine from some of the local stuff nobody cared about. He's completely self taught and basically harvests everything himself from these precarious vineyards clinging to the hillsides. Excellent wine and great QPR and at least a few years ago, was readily available in the US. Try it, you won't get disappointed.
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Owner, proprietor and winemaker at Sabelli-Frisch Wines. I make wine from low-impact vineyards, focus on rare, forgotten, under-appreciated or historic grape varietals. Mission grape is my main red focus. IG: sabellifrisch

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Re: off the beaten path

#94 Post by Tvrtko C. »

Otto Forsberg wrote: December 9th, 2020, 11:42 am2014 Bire Grk - or any Grk for that matter. Probably the greatest white variety in Croatia. Unctuous like a Viognier, but shows more structure and remarkable depth. The difficulty in growing Grk is that the vines have only female flowers, so the vines won't cross-pollinate themselves. You have to rely on bees and other insects and keep your fingers crossed. That's why there is so little Grk to go around.
OK, this really is a bit off the beaten path :-). To all practical intents, Grk is endemic to the village of Lumbarda, itself a microscopic area. There are, to my knowledge, no more than four or five producers that even bottle it for commercial purposes, and maybe two or three known producers elsewhere. "Commercial purposes" is also a bit of a relative concept here, as no more than three producers have a (very limited) degree of availability anywhere other than their own cellar door.
(I used to like Bire's Grk when he first started out and still made a single Grk bottling, but he's since joined the hipster parade a little :-), and I don't think the wines are the better off for it. But that's probably just me: he definitely gets the sacred cow treatment on the Croatian wine scene these days :-)).
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Re: off the beaten path

#95 Post by Tvrtko C. »

Otto Forsberg wrote: December 9th, 2020, 11:42 am Probably the greatest white variety in Croatia.
Ha! For what it's worth, I am not really sure too many people in Croatia itself would agree with that. Personally, though, I find your observation very intriguing. Just out of curiosity, what exactly is this probability based on?
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Re: off the beaten path

#96 Post by Otto Forsberg »

Tvrtko C. wrote: January 11th, 2021, 1:42 pm
Otto Forsberg wrote: December 9th, 2020, 11:42 am Probably the greatest white variety in Croatia.
Ha! For what it's worth, I am not really sure too many people in Croatia itself would agree with that. Personally, though, I find your observation very intriguing. Just out of curiosity, what exactly is this probability based on?
Personal opinion, of course! :D

While visiting Coratia, I managed to taste three different Grks (Bire, Cebalo plus one of which name I didn't catch, since I never saw the bottle in a restaurant) and every single time they managed to leave a very lasting impression.
Tvrtko C. wrote: January 11th, 2021, 1:31 pm OK, this really is a bit off the beaten path :-). To all practical intents, Grk is endemic to the village of Lumbarda, itself a microscopic area. There are, to my knowledge, no more than four or five producers that even bottle it for commercial purposes, and maybe two or three known producers elsewhere. "Commercial purposes" is also a bit of a relative concept here, as no more than three producers have a (very limited) degree of availability anywhere other than their own cellar door.
(I used to like Bire's Grk when he first started out and still made a single Grk bottling, but he's since joined the hipster parade a little :-), and I don't think the wines are the better off for it. But that's probably just me: he definitely gets the sacred cow treatment on the Croatian wine scene these days :-)).
I don't know a single thing about Bire nor the Croatian hipster scene. I've had it only once (that 2014 vintage) and I have no idea whether the wine is before or after he has started to make multiple Grk bottlings. I also know nothing about Croatian wine scene apart from the stuff I've personally tasted so I honestly don't know who's who and where they stand, who are the hot shots, etc.

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Re: off the beaten path

#97 Post by Tvrtko C. »

OK, I understand, and thanks for your reply! Sounds like I probably strayed not just off the beaten path but straight into the thicket :-).
As for "probably the greatest white variety in Croatia", should you be interested in re-opening and expanding on that over a couple of "relevant samples" :-), please, feel free to give me a call if you're ever in Brussels once this nightmare is over.
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Re: off the beaten path

#98 Post by Otto Forsberg »

Tvrtko C. wrote: January 12th, 2021, 4:39 am OK, I understand, and thanks for your reply! Sounds like I probably strayed not just off the beaten path but straight into the thicket :-).
As for "probably the greatest white variety in Croatia", should you be interested in re-opening and expanding on that over a couple of "relevant samples" :-), please, feel free to give me a call if you're ever in Brussels once this nightmare is over.
I definitely will! After all, I might be strong in my opinions, but I'm always more than happy to change my opinions, if one produces enough facts or examples to prove me wrong. And I always welcome any and every chance to be proven wrong, because that's one effective way to learn something new! [cheers.gif]

Hopefully I get to visit Brussels as I've never been to Belgium, even though I have been planning to go there for the longest time, as I have a weak spot for Belgian beer as well. However, it looks like any plans of traveling are going to take awhile. At the moment our could, snow-ridden, dark and bleak country might not be the most pleasant place to be, but seeing how we've managed to deal with covid here, it's not that bad after all.

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Re: off the beaten path

#99 Post by Tvrtko C. »

Otto Forsberg wrote: January 12th, 2021, 7:09 amI definitely will! After all, I might be strong in my opinions, but I'm always more than happy to change my opinions, if one produces enough facts or examples to prove me wrong. [cheers.gif]
Just to avoid any misunderstanding, I never meant to suggest that you were "wrong", quite the contrary: I said I found your take intriguing. FWIW, even if I am not sure I would place any of the other versions of Grk currently being made squarely in Croatia's Top 10-15, I myself consider specifically Branimir Cebalo's Grk to be one of Croatia's very best white wines, particularly over the recent run of vintages (i.e., post 2014, more or less). But it's a fast-changing landscape these days, and I very much suspect there are a handful of other white varieties along Croatia's coast which, when done right, might give Grk a run for its money...
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Re: off the beaten path

#100 Post by Otto Forsberg »

Tvrtko C. wrote: January 12th, 2021, 9:05 am
Otto Forsberg wrote: January 12th, 2021, 7:09 amI definitely will! After all, I might be strong in my opinions, but I'm always more than happy to change my opinions, if one produces enough facts or examples to prove me wrong. [cheers.gif]
Just to avoid any misunderstanding, I never meant to suggest that you were "wrong", quite the contrary: I said I found your take intriguing. FWIW, even if I am not sure I would place any of the other versions of Grk currently being made squarely in Croatia's Top 10-15, I myself consider specifically Branimir Cebalo's Grk to be one of Croatia's very best white wines, particularly over the recent run of vintages (i.e., post 2014, more or less). But it's a fast-changing landscape these days, and I very much suspect there are a handful of other white varieties along Croatia's coast which, when done right, might give Grk a run for its money...
Sure! And it's been 5 years since I visited Croatia, so if things are progressing fast, some of my knowledge might be already outdated.

But I'm curious, which wines / producers would you then list in the Croatia's top 10 (or top any number you're comfortable with)?

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