TN: Some Interesting New Reds....(long/boring)

We tasted tonight (11/19/14) some interesting New Reds:

  1. MarcoDonati Orme DOC: Marzemino (13%; “On the footprints of dinosaur”) 2011: Very dark color; very pretty/
    fragrant strong strawberry/boysenberry/classic black cherry some high-toned bit Refosco-like some dusty/
    earthy bit alcoholic very perfumed nose; quite tart/tangy/bit metallic rather earthy/dusty strong boysenberry/black
    cherry/bit strawberry/Marz flavor w/ some hard tannins; very long/lingering fairly tart/metallic/tangy strong
    black cherry/boysenberry/plummy/strawberry bit dusty/earthy/loamy rich finish w/ some hard tannins; a much
    bigger/brawnier Marz than most I’ve had; lovely stuff much like a Friuli Refosco. $33.00 (WE)

  1. Harrington Marzemino HuxVnyd/Lodi (14.1% Only planting in Calif; 25 cs) 2013: Very dark/near black color; strong
    earthy/loamy/mushroomy/Lodi ripe boysenberry/black cherry/black cherry cola bit RCCola/DrPepper/spicy bit
    ripe/alcoholic quite attractive nose; very tart/acidic rather Lodi/mushroomy/earthy/loamy strong black cherry cola/
    boysenberry/DrPepper/spicy/some Marz flavor w/ light/angular tannins; very long strong earthy/loamy/mushroomy/Lodi
    rather acidic/sharp strong black cherry cola/boysenberry/Marz/DrPepper/spicy finish w/ light/bitey tannins; the
    Lodi terroir seems to overwhelm the more delicate aspects of Marz; would love to see what this grape gives in
    Paso or Mendocino or SBC; quite high acidity for a Lodi wine; a very/very interesting wine and will be fun to
    watch how it evolves w/ time; very fairly priced at $25.00

  1. Arnot-Roberts Trousseau NorthCoast (Luchsinger/Bohan/Bartolmei vnyds; 1 Foudre/4 Puncheons; 12.1%)
    : Med.light ruby/garnet bit cloudy color; light toasty/oak light/bright/cherry/Trouss/very spicy some
    whole-cluster/Rhonish/dusty quite pretty/fragrant/attractive nose; quite tart/lean/austere some peppery/WC/
    Rhonish/smokey light bright/cherry/strawberry flavor w/ light tannins; med.short some cherry/strawberry/Trouss/
    floral/rose petal some peppery/WC-frmt finish w/ light tannins; somewhat lean/austere on the palate buut lots
    of perfume & some WC/peppery/Rhonish character; quite a pretty/good-drinking lightish red. $30.00

  1. Dom.Badoz Trousseau AC: Cotes du Jura Vignoble des Roussots (EB; 13.5%) Poligny 2012: Med.light garnet color;
    strong earthy/dusty/slight loamy strong white pepper light cherry/strawberry/floral/rose petal somewhat
    perfumed nose; some tart/lean rather earthy/dusty/mineral some cracked white pepper bit cherry/floral/bright
    flavor w/ light tannins; med. rather earthy/dusty/mineral/pepper light cherry/floral finish w/ light tannins;
    quite an interesting Trousseau w/ more pepper/earthy character and less fruit than the Calif ones. $25.00 (KK)

  1. Terrane Trousseau SilettoVnyd/CienegaVlly (13.9%) 2012: Med.dark color; rather herbal/thyme/rosemary some earthy
    slight funky rather floral/black cherry/cherry/perfumed quite attractive nose; slightly tart some earthy/dusty
    light floral/rose/black cherry/cherry fairly bright flavor w/ light/gentle tannins; med.long bright/cherry/
    black cherry bit tart slight earthy finish w/ light tannins; a bit on the lean/tart side and some earthy/Jura-
    like character; interesting/drinkable Trousseau. $35.00

  1. Harrington Trousseau SilettoVnyd/CienegaVlly/SanBenitoCnty (14.1%; 53 cs) 2013: Med.color; light earthy/dusty/
    mineral some floral/cherry/black cherry/strawberry quite perfumed/aromatic lovely nose; some tart/lean very
    bright/cherry/black cherry/strawberry/very spicy very slight earthy flavor w/ light/lean tannins; very long
    bright/cherry/strawberry/black cherry quite spicy slight earthy/dusty finish w/ light/gentle tannins; a quite
    perfumed/aromatic Trousseau more Calif in style than Jura; lovely expression of Trousseau. $30.00

  1. LaQuerciaEstates DOC: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (13%; SmallVnyds/Seattle) Antonio Lamona/Morro d’Oro/
    Abruzzo 2012
    : Very dark color, very strong chocolaty/licorice/grapey/very ripe some earthy/dusty nose; soft/
    ripe/lush/fleshy/bit porky chocolaty/licorice/grapey/ripe some earthy/rustic rather coarse flavor w/ light/
    hard tannins; med. rather soft/fat/lush/ripe strong chocolaty/grapey/licorice/very ripe somewhat rustic/coarse
    finish w/ light/coarse tannins; pleasant enough Md’A but on the coarse/rustic side. $16.00 (AV)

  1. ValleReale DOC: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Vigneto do Popoli (13.5%; L13262; WinebowImports) 2009: First btl was
    horribly corked; Very dark color; rather skunky/funky/bretty/unclean some earthy/grapey/plummy/licorice some
    boysenberry/Montepulciano rather ripe rustic/coarse/interesting nose; soft/fat rather plummy/boysenberry/earthy/
    dusty ripe rather unclean/bretty/barnyardy coarse/rustic flavor w/ light/hard tannins; med.long earthy/dusty some
    unclean/barnyardy/goat pen/bretty some plummy/grapey finish w/ light/hard/coarse tannins; a rather typical Abruzzi
    red on the unclean/coarse side. $21.50 (KK)

  1. Harrington L’Avventura Calif (Abruzzo inspired; 56% Montepulciano/44% Sangiovese; Inspired by MonicaVitti;
    20 cs) 2013
    : Dark color; very strong boysenberry/black cherry/bit chocolaty rather spicy slight earthy/dusty
    lovely nose; slightly tart ripe/boysenberry/black cherry/chocolaty light earthy/dusty light oak flavor w/ some
    hard tannins; very long boysenberry/chocolaty/cherry/black cherry slight earthy/dusty rather structured light
    oak finish w/ some firm/hard tannins; more structure & aromatics than any Abruzzo red that I’ve had; I suspect
    the Sangio is a big contributor to the brightness and structure; a wonderful blend at a very good price.

  1. Harrington Secateur Calif RW (Charbono/Teroldego/Carignane/Trousseau/PinotNoir; 195 cs; 14.1%) 2012: Med.color;
    rather ripe strong boysenberry/blackberry/slight chocolaty bit earthy/dusty/metallic light toasty/oak rather
    perfumed nose; bit tart some earthy/funky/dusty strong blackberry/cherry/boysenberry slighht chocolaty light
    toasty/oak flavor w/ light/gentle tannins; long some ripe/chocolaty/boysenberry/cherry bit funky/earthy/dusty
    light toasty/oak finish w/ light/smooth/graceful tannins; some hought it had a bit of brett/band-aid but I only
    picked up a slight funkiness; a very attractive almost Grenache-like very drinkable blend at a great price.

  1. Harrington Secateur Calif RW (14.1%; Charbono/Teroldego/Carignane/PinotNoir; 200 cs) 2013: Med.dark color;
    more earthy/dusty lighter blackberry/boysenberry/chocolaty slight herbal/thyme/musky light toasty/oak rather
    perfumed/spicy nose; soft/rich/lush ripe/black cherry/blackberry/framboise slight chocolaty/licorice slight
    earthy light toasty/oak flavor w/ modest/ripe/smooth tannins; very long/lingering soft/ripe/lush some
    blackberry/black cherry/framboise light pencilly/oak slighht herbal/musky/thyme bit chocolaty finish w/ some
    soft/ripe tannins; a terrific Calif red blend at a great price. $22.00

  1. Harrington Charbono FratelliVnyd/SantaClaraVlly (12.9%; 66 cs) 2012: Very dark color; rather earthy/dusty/OV
    some peppery/PS-like slight bright/cherry very slight EA/volatile some complex nose; very tart slight spritz/
    tangy/pickle juice somewhat earthy/dusty/OV bit peppery/PS-like flavor w/ light tannins; med.long earthy/dusty
    some peppery/PS-like/musky finish w/ light tannins; seems to have a bit of a prickle/spritz on the palate
    and a slight EA/pickle juice character but not alcoholic/fumey; almost a Pinotish rendition of Charbono;
    not unlikable or flawed but on the eccentric side. $25.00

  1. Harrington Charbono FratelliVnyd/SantaClaraVlly (14.1%; 66 cs) 2013: Very dark/near black color; intense
    blackberry/boysenberry/licorice/chocolaty/PS-like peppery quite lush/ripe nose; soft/ripe/lush chocolaty/
    boysenberry/licorice/PS-like light toasty/oak ripe flavor w/ soft/ripe tannins; very long soft/lush/ripe
    blackberry/boysenberry/chocolaty/licorice slight toasty/oak finish w/ ample soft/ripe tannins; a bit like
    the Turley Charbono but more fragrant/high-toned character; a bit like JacobFranklin PS; should go out
    another 3-6 yrs; quite a tasty rendition of Charbono at a very good price. $25.00

  1. Reunion Bonarda AltaAgrelo/Mendoza/Argentina (13.5%;; 2011: Very
    dark color; rather earthy/loamy/dusty slight plummy/licorice/pungent some charred/burnt/oak rather rustic nose;
    soft strong earthy/loamy/duusty coarse/sour/rustic some burnt/charred/oak slight licorice/plummy flavor w/ some
    coarse/hard/agressive tannins; med.short soft slight metallic/tangy quite earthy/loamy/compost pile slight
    licorice/plummy coarse/sour finish w/ some coarse/hard/rustic tannins; a paucity of fruit and domonated by a
    coarse/earthy/loamy character; maybe some age would help but doubt it; pretty much a poster child about what I
    dislike about SA reds; no relation to the Harrington Charbonos I can detect. $14.00 (PrimaIlC)

Stuff from TheBloodyPulpit:

  1. Charbono: This is a variety whose greatest heights have been reached in Calif. It is not to be confused with
    Charbono Piemontese, a totally different grape variety. It is actually, by DNA, a variety from the Savoie known
    as DouceNoir. I’ve never seem one from the Savoie. It is also, DNA wise, identical to the Bonarda grape from
    Argentina. Never had a Bonarda I particularly liked.
    Charbono is a grape I have trouble wrapping my mind around. It tends to not have strong aromatics or varietal
    character. It tends to have an earthy/clunky side like some PS’s and not a lot of brightness. Like PS, they
    can sometimes (not often) age into a pretty interesting wine. I’ve had some old Inglenook Charbonos that
    I thought exceptional. I tend to like the Turley’s and this '13 is one of the best young Charbonos I’ve had.

  1. Marzemino: This is one of my most favorite of Italian grapes. It is also Mozart’s favorite grape…so I guess
    I’m in good company. It originated in the Veneto, travelled west into Friuli, and eventually found its home
    in the Trentino. Teroldego X SomeUnknownGrape ===> both Marzemino and Lagrein, so the latter two are siblings.
    Marzemino is a parent of Refosco dal PeduncolaRosso of Friuli.
    I generally like Marzemino because it has a lilting strawberry-like fragrance, not too unlike Brachetto or
    Freisa, generally a lighter/brighter sort of wine than most from Trentino. This Donati, which showed that
    Marzemino/strawberry fragrance, was perhaps the best Marzemino I’ve yet had. Much bigger than most, it more
    resembled Refosco than a Tinker-Bell Marzemino I’m familiar with. I also liked the Harrington, but I think the
    Lodi terroir probably overwhelmed the more delicate character of Marzemino. The Hux vnyd is the only planting
    (that I’m aware) of Marzemino in Calif. I’d like to see how it’d do in a colder area.

  1. Trousseau: A variety that apparently originates in the Jura. Also known in Portugal as Bastardo, often going into
    Madeiras. Not so much plantings of it in Calif, but it’s become a darling of the hip somms. The Gris version
    of Trousseau was once widely planted in Calif, where it was known as GreyRiesling.

  1. Harrington: This would be BryanHarrington in the scenic industrial bottoms of SanFrancisco. He started out,
    like many afore him, inspired by PinotNoir. I first encountered his wines because of his Nebbiolo. His PinotNoirs
    I like a lot and are some of the most elegant/aromatic/high-toned Pinots made in Calif.
    Somewhere in his journey beyond PinotNoir, Bryan went off the deep-end. He, like MattRorick/Forlorn-Hope,
    but even more-so than Matt, has been seeking out unusual & obscure varieties to try. He’s doing an amazing job
    of that. I didn’t even know that Marzemino existed in Calif. Though I still love his Pinots, this other
    bizarre stuff is what most interests me. Alas, some of them are made in tiny quantities. You have to move fast.
    Not all of them are great successes, but they’re always interesting. And, as illustrated above, he makes some
    amazing & interesting, if unusual, blends. A winemaker worth getting to know. Alas, KenZinns owns the bragging
    rights to “followed him from the very start”. But I ain’t far behind!!
  1. Trousseau: A variety that apparently originates in the Jura. Also known in Portugal as Bastardo, often going into Madeiras. Not so much plantings of it in Calif, but it’s become a darling of the hip somms. The Gris versionof Trousseau was once widely planted in Calif, where it was known as GreyRiesling.

One minor detail, Bastardo while found on Madeira, was never common and almost went extinct on the island. Making kinda comeback, there’s still less than one hectare there.

I had the Arnot-Robert Trousseau - I think the 2012 two weeks ago. It was, to be polite, somewhere between very bad and awful. I was told by the woman who brought it that she had problems with a bunch of bottles from the same case, which she had bought direct. There was a mixture of acetone, mud and stewed fruit. Nothing like what you describe. Glad to read that it is not inherent in the wine. Maybe it got cooked in shipment, because the one I had was definitely DNPIM.

The Siletto ‘Trousseau’ is actually a variety called Mourtaou. As far as I know, there is not true Trousseau in San Benito.

What a thread – a comparative tasting of marzeminos and trousseaus from both sides of the Atlantic corrective information about mourtauo plantings in San Benito County.

We need a new icon for uber-geekiness.

Oh, and I love it!

Awwww, John…just another ordinary day at the office on WB!!! [snort.gif]

Holy crap this is a great thread.


We still don’t know for sure what the vines are at Siletto that we source the Trousseau from. There have been a couple of people who have done DNA testing of vines in the area with somewhat differing results. And to clarify, the Mourtaou result was from a different vineyard, not Siletto, and we’re not 100% sure of the source of the Siletto vines, or if they’re all from the same source. We don’t really know how diverse the planting is there either - may well be some genetic diversity in all those vineyards. The original plantings are reputedly 80+ years old (though the Siletto vines are more recent).

But the Siletto Vineyard fruit is sold from the grower to Harrington as Trousseau, and discounting the obvious differences in terroir, it sure does bear many similarities to Trousseau I’ve had from the Jura in terms of color, aromatics, and structure. And if it’s not actually Trousseau, sounds like it would be something even more obscure and geeky, maybe even more so than Marzemino! [cheers.gif]

Edit: FWIW, just found out some additional info from the grower that he sourced his vine cuttings from a different vineyard from the one that had its vines tested as Mourtaou. Supposedly planted in the 1890s by Portuguese immigrants with various varieties including Bastardo (as Trousseau is known in Portugal). So who knows…


As far as I know, both vineyards were sourced from the Gimelli vineyard next to Wirz, as was the Enz vineyard. The differing results you’re speaking of were before Davis had Mourtaou on the books (it was just genetically mapped last year), so the closest they came up with was Gros Verdot but the information we received from Davis said that was a mistaken association.

There is no Cabernet Pfeffer or Pfeffer Cabernet listed anywhere else in California.
I’d love for someone to pull some samples and invest some time and money into figuring out exactly what Ron’s is, as we did with the Wirz block. The idea that Mourtaou is persisting in a forgotten corner of California spawned from the carcass of Almaden is wonderful. Geek-freaking-city!

BTW, I’ve spoken with Ron about his block. He told me some people said it was actually Trousseau, others that it was Gros Verdot but he didn’t know.

Either way, I’m glad you guys are enamored with some of the weirdness coming out of San Benito. Some very, very cool stuff hidden back up there.


Tom, regarding your wine #4, the Badoz Trousseau.

I had a bottle of their 2010 Cotes du Jura Trousseau recently, a brief note is posted on the current charity thread, Week 2 Virtual Tasting. That bottling can be found on the producer’s website, but not the one you had.

Are you familiar with the winery? If so what are the differences of the two wines?

Correction, Pat Wirz has sent cuttings off to Santa Maria and Arizona.

There are similarities and genetic relationships between many of the indigenous varieties of North-East Italy. I don’t have several of my wine books at hand. A wikipedia search came up inconclusive. Under “Refosco” it says Marzemino is a parent, under “Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso” it says the opposite, Refosco is the parent. Both give the same reference to Robinson’s Oxford Companion to Wine. [welldone.gif]

Can anyone clear this up, from Robinson or a better source if one exists?

Once more, Google (the evil empire) is your friend.

I found the original Italian source.
R030_1005_1022_Grando.pdf (174 KB)
Even if you can’t read Italian there’s a clear and simple diagram outlining the case. Rather, hypothesis.

Yes, that’s it, Ian. From what I understand, the Siletto cuttings came from the old El Gavilan (now Gimelli) vineyard. And that makes sense about the Mourtaou / Gros Verdot situation - I figured they might be genetically close. It would be interesting to do a test on exactly what we’re getting from Siletto at some point.

Harrington got some Negrette (which was once called Pinot St. George in California) from Siletto a few years ago but we didn’t continue with that one. That was what first drew us to the vineyard, and we’ve been trying out more things from them since then. There are definitely some cool, largely-forgotten varieties out there in San Benito. Ken Volk has certainly played around with a number of them, and it sounds like you’re finding some interesting stuff out there as well. And whether it’s Mourtaou or Trousseau that we’re getting, the main thing is that we’ve been really happy with the wine! [cheers.gif]

So from that diagram, it looks like without Marzemino we would not have Valpolicella or Amarone as we know them!

We’d still have the Lamarein, which is better than most Amarone anyway! :wink:

Clueless about the differences. I’d never even heard of this producer until stumbled upon this
btl here in NM.

Thanks for the background, Ian. I, of course, followed the Charles LeFranc wines “from the very start” (as they say). I really like
those CabPfeffers they made. Believe that was EdFriedrich who was the winemaker.
I first got excited about the “weirdness” from SanBenitoCnty when KennyVolk, then at WildHorse, started sourcing Negrette
from up there.
Bryan’s receipt for the grapes from Ron says “Trousseau”. So that’s what he’s going with. Man…if Bryan found out that he
actually had Mourtaou…he’d have a cow over that one. Whatever the grape, Bryans “Trousseau” is very delicious stuff.

All…well…just yet another day of geekiness in the WB office!!! [snort.gif]