TN: 2017 Sandlands Refosco (USA, California, Napa Valley)

  • 2017 Sandlands Refosco - USA, California, Napa Valley (3/27/2020)
    Another fun one from Sandlands…from the Casa Nuestra vineyard in St Helena Napa…have loved the Turley Casa Nuestra which is a field blend of pretty much everything! Don’t know if this is 100% Refosco…or 75+% with other field blends? Dark red berry fruits here…brambly like a Zin…plush and monolithic like a Petite Sirah…more on the crisp and snappy med bodied style though. There is some REALLY intriguing aromas and flavors in this…raspberry jam and tar…tilled lavender field, violet florals…licorice, underbrush, white pepper spice, crushed granite salinity. Tart and refreshing…I like a little chill on this…plenty of contemplating complexities…but I don’t think any age is going to make it better. FUN stuff…enjoy now! (93 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Well, Buzz…I’m a bit suspicious it’s actually Refosco unless it was from a recent (last 10 yrs) planting. For many yrs, FPS was selling what they thought was Refosco, but DNA showed it to actually Mondeuse. Which is not a bad thing for those old Refosco plantings.
Your TN suggests it might be Mondeuse.

“From our friends the Kirkham family, who own and operate Casa Nuestra Vineyard and Winery, the Refosco is ½ acre planted in 1999 on the east side of St. Helena in beautiful gravelly loam soil.”

Beat down, but what about the 2018?

to Tom Hill,

Thanks for enlightening this poor old soul! I’ve heard for half a century that Refosco and Mondeuse (Mon Dieu! It’s a Mongoose!) are the same grape. Having just Googled this I now learn from another reliable source that they are in fact different. Over the decades I’ve sold a bit of Mondeuse (maybe 250 cases in 25 years?) and tasted at least a dozen Refoscos. Nothing I’ve tasted under either name would have led me to believe they are different grapes. And I like them both. Dark in color, light in body, buzzing with black fruit and acidity, these are vigorous, idiosyncratic wines suitable for early spring and late fall. Try with steelhead trout, pork roast or a Greek salad.

Dan Kravitz

Mr. Tom Hill-
Refosco Nostrano it is. The story goes like this. When the Kirkham family owned what is now referred to as Oakville Farmhouse vineyard they were told that they had a good chunk of Refosco in that beautiful treasure of a vineyard. The only issue was that it had a bit of virus. When Davis told them they were getting some cuttings from a source in Friuli Gene Kirkham said, “I want some of that to plant next to our propagated section in St. Helena. So, in 1999 the grated a 1/2 block of the Friuli selection. As the grafts took and the shoots started to grow they recognized that the two were not the same. What UC Davis has identified as Refosco (Oakville Farmhouse) turned out to be Negrette even though they then discovered that they actually had a few vines of Monduese in the vineyard. So, the Kirkham’s wound up with 1/2 acre of “real” Refosco and they decided to keep it in the ground.

Pfffffffftttttthhhhhh. Yeah like we’re just supposed to trust some guy on the internet who’s a founding member of the historic vineyard society and dedicated his professional career to studying and farming vineyards. rolleyes

Yeah, why do that when we can take some random physicist’s word instead? [cheers.gif]

Thanks for clarifying that, Tegan. Refosco it is.
And Negrette is not a bad thing, you know??

Gene Kirkham being Gene Kirkham has since planted some new Negrette. Turkey took it this year (it’sfirst harvest) and threw it in with the mixed planting at the Casa Nuestra estate. Interesting fact is that Gene is a Thatcher boy, as they call themselves. Other notable Thatcher boys are the late Auty Hayne, My dear friend Matthew Rorick, wine writer turned Vintner Wolfgang Weber and ay familial association Sherman Thatcher who’s Thatcher winery in Paso Robles is making some of if not the most interesting “drinkably deliscious” wines in Paso Robles.

Awesome thread!!!

I only thought I knew of one place that had Negrette - Ron Siletto’s in the Cienega Valley. I’m glad to hear there’s stuff elsewhere!

Cool story on the Refosco, Tegan! Bryan Harrington really wanted to get some Refosco fruit from McEvoy Ranch in Marin County but they have so little of it and the fruit was never available to sell. We did make 2-3 vintages of Negrette from Ron Siletto’s vineyard in San Benito County.

I believe there’s other plantings of Negrette down in SanBenitoCnty.
In the '70’s, when Alamaden was getting a lot of folks to plant grapes for them down there, PinotStGeorge was one of them.
EdFriedrichs made several PStG under Almaden’s premium CharlesLeFranc label that we’re quite good. Then Almaden left those growers high & dry and Ed went on to make premium wine in Georgia (state of).
In the '80’s, PStG was identified as Negrette and KennyVolk made the first Negrette from SanBenito grapes at WildHorse in Templeton/Paso. It was quite good, if a bit rough/rustic.
It’s a good grape. The Harrington is excellent.

Thanks for your input Tegan, very much appreciated!