TN: Some New/Aromatic Whites...(long/boring)

We tasted tonight (5/29/13) Some More New Whites:

  1. Harrington Fiano LunnaMattaVnyd/PasoRobles (13.5%) 2012: Med.light gold color; strong appley/apple
    blossom/slight pineapple quite fragrant/floral/almost Viog-like some stony/earthy/mineral/pungent
    very attractive/perfumed nose; rather tart lovely apple blossom/floral/pineapple/mango some waxy/
    mineral/stony rather rich/lush very attractive high-toned flavor; very long/lingering pineapple/mango/
    apple blossom/floral some stony/mineral tart/rich finish; almost Riesling-like in its aromatics w/ lots
    of high-toned fruit & nice touch of stony/mineral; really lovely white. $25.00

  1. Harrington Terrane Fiano LunnaMattaVnyd/PasoRobles (13.9%; No added SO2) 2012: Med.light gold bit darker
    color; strng phenolic/apple cider some honeyed/pungent/mead/smokey some stony/earthy bir resiny-like
    low-fruit very strange nose; slighht spritz rather phenolic/apple cider/mead/honey some resiny/waxy/
    pungent some tart/tangy little fruit rather strange flavor; long tangy/tart/grapefruity some waxy/resiny
    bit mead/pungent/smokey/cidery finish w/ a noticible wet dog fur component way in the backtaste; doesn’t
    a lot of fruit, a bit pungent/resiny and somewhat on the bizarre side. $25.00

  1. d’Antiche Terre DOCG: Fiano di Avellino (13%;; www.Danticheterre.It) 2011: Light
    yellow color; quite perfumed pear/apple blossom/floral slight earthy/stony/smoked meats lovely/fragrant nose;
    soft strong apple/ripe pear/floral slightly bitter/apple peel bit weak/watery flavor; med.short bit bitter/
    apple peel slight stony rather perfumed apple/pear/apple blossom finish; rather attractive and classic Fiano
    nose but not much impact on the palate. $18.00 (WoP)

3a. LaValentina bianco fiano IGT: Fiano Colline Pescaresi (13%; Spoltore 2011: Light gold color;
rather fragrnat pineapple/mango/R-like slight grapefruity/lemon/spicy/smokey very slight stony/chalky rather
attractive nose; rather tart/tangy/lemony/grapefruity slight floral/mango/creamy/spicy very light stony/chalky
flavor; med.long tart/tangy/lemony/metallic/steely some stony/chalky very slight floral/carnations/mango/R-like
bit lean finish; lovely fragrant nose & classic stony/mineral on palate; very nice Fiano. $27.50 (KK)

3b. Coenobium Rusticum IGT: Lazio Vianco (45% Trebbiano/35% Malvasa/20% Verdicchio; #1553 of 3000; 12.00%)
MonasteroCistercensi S.O. Trappiste/Vitorchiano; NealRosenthal 2010
: Deep golden/bronze/browning some
muurky/cloudy color; quite phenolic/cidery slight smoked meats/smoked hot dogs bit fumey/volatile rather
earthy/dusty slight honeyed slight oxidized interesting/complex nose w/ no fruit; tart quite phenolic/cidery
bit oxidized earthy/smoked meats rather tannic/bitter slight orangey/honeyed flavor w/ no fruit; med.long
tangy quite quite phenolic/cidery/bitter rather earthy/dusty/smoked meats slight oxidized finish; pretty classic
orange wine taken to the max. $28.00 (WoP)

  1. Harrington MuscatCanelli FratelliVnyd/SantaClaraVlly (12.7%) 2012: Light gold color; very intense muscatty/
    hair oil/spicy/orange blossom slight earthy very fragrant/perfumed lovely nose; quite tart/acid off-dry
    (0.8% rs?) intense spicy/hair oil/muscatty slight earthy balanced rich/racy flavor; very long/lingering
    intense muscatty/hair-oil off-dry tart but balanced finish that goes on & on; one of the best Muscats from
    Calif I’ve had…definitely cougar juice; very good balance of acid and sugar; not the bitterness you get
    in many Alsatian Muscats; reminds me more of Valle d’Aosta Chambave Muscat; lovely drinking. $25.00

  1. Vigna Dogarina IGT: ManzoniBianco/Veneto (12.5%; Riesling X PinotBlanc by Manzoni; DistinguishedBrands
    International/Littleton) Campodipietra di Salgareda 2008
    : Deep gold bit bronze color; intense resiny/
    honeyed/orangey/peachy very ripe bit botrytis/peachy/overripe slight oxidized/phenolic complex nose;
    soft slight oxidized/honeyed/orangey/resined some botrytis/honeyed totally dry bit earthy flavor; long
    very slight oxidized/Jura-like/honeyed/resiny/orangey slight botrytis/honey finish; not an orange wine
    that I can tell because of little phenolic character; seems made of overripe or botrytis grapes; a very
    weird duck of a wine but actually rather interesting. $18.00 (DiVino)

  1. Rivetto Matire Nascetta DOC: Langhe (13.5%;; Volio/Denver) Sinio/Piemonte 2010: Light
    gold color; quite fragrant floral/peach blossom quite aromatic almost R-like perfume slight earthy nose;
    quite tart some mineral/stony/metallic rather floral/peach blossom/mango bit lean/tight quite aromatic
    flavor; very long slight weak/watery rather floral/peach blossom/mango some mineral/stony finish; quite
    an attractive perfumed white that resembles a Langhe Riesling. $29.00 (Arg)

  1. Abrente Albarino StewartRanch/Carneros/NapaVlly (13.0%) Morgan Twain-Peterson/MichaelHavens 2012: Light
    yellow color; beautiful/fragrant very perfumed floral/pear/pear blossom powerful nose; quite tart/tangy/
    metallic very perfumed/floral/pear/pear blossom very grapey lovely flavor; very long/lingering tart/tangy
    fairly rich/powerful floral/pear/pear blossom finish; a beautiful very perfumed/aromatic Albarino. $26.00

  1. Abrente Albarino NapaVlly (13.0%) Morgan Twain-Peterson/MichaelHavens 2011: Light yellow color; less
    perfumed/fragrant almost GWT-like/grapey/floral slight stony/mineral more complex nose; bit richer/lusher
    tart some stony/mineral bit frizzante rather floral/GWT-like flavor; long bit frizzante floral/pear/GWT-like
    bit stony/mineral fairly lush/rich finish; a bit less intense fragrance and a bit more stone-fruit/complex;
    seems refreshed w/ CO2. $19.00

  1. Ferdinand Albarino Calif (13.8%; 140 cs) Napa 2010: Light gold color; very attractive floral/Albarino
    fragrant/perfumed bit understated slight vanilla/oak slight lemon/lime pleasant nose; soft bit fat low-key/
    understated floral/Albarino slight vanilla/oak some 7Up/sprite bit weak flavor; med.long soft/lush light
    floral/Albarino light vanilla/oak finish; a pleasant enough Albarino but not deliver that much on the
    palate; fairly priced at $18.00 (WoP)

  1. Ryme Vermentino LasBrisasVnyd/Carneros (Hers; 11.2%) 2012: Pale/near colorless color; beautiful very
    fragrant/perfumed floral/bright/Vermentino/peach/mango some metallic/grapefruity lovely nose; fairly tart
    some steely/metallic very bright floral/Vermentino/mango/peach light stony/metallic/mineral rather
    tangy/grapefruity flavor; very long some metallic/steely/flinty/mineral strong Vermentino/floral/mango
    finish; a beautiful expression of Vermentino; very fairly priced at $26.00

  1. Arnot-Roberts OldVine WW Compagni-PortisVnyd/SonomaVlly (2.5 brls; 13.5%) 2011: Light gold color; rather
    earthy/dusty/mineral bit Semillon/waxy light floral quite interesting rather quiet/low-key bit medicinal/
    insecticide/aromatic pleasant nose; tart/lean/eviscerated rather dusty/earthy/OV some waxy/Semillon flavor;
    med.long some waxy/Semillon rather earthy/dusty tart/lean/pinched finish; a rather quiet/low-key interesting
    white a bit like the Martini Semillons of old; not a lot of flavor on the palate. $35.00

  1. Carlisle Compagni-Portis SonomaVlly WW (13.5%; Planted im 1954; FieldBlend: GWT/TrousseauGris/Riesling; 50 cs)
    : Med.light gold color; beautiful GWT/hair oil/lychee some R/floral/mango light earthy/dusty very
    aromatic/perfumed very spicy/exotic nose some like an AltoAdige R/GWT blend than Alsace; fairly tart big/rich/
    lush intense floral/GWT/lychee/hair-oil textured/glycerined wonderfully aromatic flavor; very long/lingering
    spicy/GWT/lychee/floral/mango/spicy tart rich/lush tart/balanced light earthy/dusty finish; powerful aromatics
    that speaks mostly of GWT w/ a wonderful balance of richness & acidity on the palate; amazing white much like
    an AltoAdige GWT (home of the world’s greatest GWT’s), but seems in the wrong-shaped btl. $34.00

  1. Tenor SauvBlanc ColumbiaVlly (Frmtd in concrete eggs; Skin contact; 14.6%) ArynMorell/Woodinville 2010: Light
    gold color; rather earthy/dusty light floral/herbal fruit rather vanilla/oak slight phenolic/cider/mead
    unusual nose w/ little/no character; dry/austere somewhat phenolic/cider/bitter slight herbal/SB/earthy
    rather tannic/astringent flavor; med.long some phenolic/cider/mead/astringent/tannic very slight herbal/SB
    finish; fairly strong phenolic character; some like Cowan Isa but less fruit & more phenolic; interesting
    but not particularly attractive SB. $30.00

And the BloodyPulpit:

  1. ManzoniBianco: There were not a lot of grape hybridizers in Italy. LuigiManzoni developed a number of hybrids
    in the early 1930’s: ManzoniBianco, ManconiMoscato, ManzoniRosa. Supposedly to do well in the Veneto. This
    was the first ManzoniBianco I’ve tried. ElisabettaForadori makes one as well.
    This wine was one really strange beast and probably not a good indication of varietal ManzoniBianco. The
    color seemed to indicate it was made as an orange wine, but it didn’t have the strong phenolic signature
    of those wines. Seemed to be made from very ripe, maybe botrytis, grapes. Strange stuff it was.

  1. Nascetta: This is a near-extinct variety of the Piemonte that Valter Fissore of Elvio Cogno rescued from
    oblivion and made his first one in 1994. Since it was not an authorized LangheBianco grape, he labeled it
    as Nas~cetta. Unlike Tribidrag…the authorities pounced & fined him for using an unathorized grape name.
    Story is here:

  1. Ferdinand: This is a wine that BrianGoehry at Wines on Piedmont recommended to me. There’s not much
    information out there on the Net about this wnry…so they’re a mystery to me. Followed them from the
    very start, I suppose.

  1. Rusticum: This is a Giampiero Bea from grapes raised bu Cistercian nuns in the Lazio region of Umbria. Made w/
    skin-contact thru the 15 day fermentation and then extended lees contact. “Interesting” is about the highest
    praise you can give this wine. Because of the intense phenolic/tannic character, it was not a pleasure to taste.
    Well…this is a wine that needs food…some would say. I tried it w/ a number of dishes, including BBQ beef
    brisket…none of which made it a pleasant wine to drink. I’m open to suggestions…what would this wine
    go well with??

  1. Tenor: This was a new wnry for me, picked up by SteveCostigan. Winemaker is ArynMorell,
    who also makes the wines at Matthews and has recently started his own label, Alleromb (
    Thought his SauvBlanc was a pretty interesting wine, some like the Cowan Isa, but somewhat more phenolic
    in character.

  1. Harrington: Winery of BryanHarrington in SanFrancisco that sources a number of very interesting varieties.
    The MuscatCanelli is a beautiful wine, one of the best Muscats I’ve had in some time. Powerful aromatics
    but an acidity & balance on the palate that makes for great drinking.
    Bryan makes the only Fiano in Calif that I have had. The regular, with wonderful aromatics, is one of the
    best expressions of Fiano that I’ve had.
    The Terrane wines of his are made w/ minimal/no SO2 additions. I was absolutely certain (LosAlamos guys
    learn to speak w/ absolutly authority…even when they know nothing on the subject) that the Terrane Fiano
    was made w/ prolonged skin-contact and in a slightly oxidative manner. Yet there was something out of whack
    for it to be an “orange” wine. The color was not right. It didn’t have that strong phenolic/tannic character
    on the palate you find in orange wines. And Bryan corrected me that it is NOT a skin-contact/orange wine.
    Bryan has been working since 2008 w/ an SO2 alternative from Switzerland called Protos. It is extracted
    from grapeseeds and is OPC (oligomeric proanthocyanidin). He had a friend run it thru a mass spec and it
    appears to have some very strange characteristics. Bryan is convinced, seen the evidence, that Protos can
    make really great/ageable wine and is convinced of its efficacy as an anti-oxident. You can find more
    information on this product at:
    He asserts that the wine went into the bottle absolutely clean and none of the weird character that I was
    finding. He says in the first year in the btl, it develops a slightly oxidative character and then comes
    out of it down the road. He served the '11 Terrane Fiano at Sat’s OpenHouse and it was clean & no oxidative
    character whatsoever. In fact, EricLundblad thought it his favorite of the day. So my two remaining btls are
    going into my cellar and we’ll revisit one in a yr or so.

  1. Ryme: The winery of Ryan & Megan Glaab; he the asst.winemaker at WindGap. This Vermentino; known as Rolle in
    France and Favorita in the Langhe, Pigato in Liguria; comes from FrankMahoney’s LasBrisas vnyd in the Carneros,
    one of the coldest Vermentino vnyds in the world (except some in Liguria). They make a Hers and a His Vermentino.
    Megan’s is made by convential SS fermentation, minimal oak. His is made w/ skin-contact. Both are quite good
    Vermentinos, but quite different in character. I’m partial to Hers for its powerful aromatics.

Thanks for these notes Tom. I had very similar impressions of Bryan’s two Fianos… loved the Harrington version but the Terrane not so much. I didn’t drink them side-by-side but within a few days of each other (I had to open the Harrington after a bizarre showing by the Terrane). I found the Terrane oxidative but also a strange mix of tart, tangy yellow fruit with a weighty, waxy texture. Not a great advertisement for no-sulfite or Protos wines imo. I missed the open house this weekend but had some friends who went who also shared my bottle of the Terrane, I’ll ask them about it and report back.

Was that the two '11s? Those were both Fratelli Vyd. In '12 Bryan made three, with a regular Fratelli and using Luna Mata fruit for the regular and Terrane side-by-side. We tried the two Luna Mata Fiano’s just after bottling in January. The regular was tight, but seemed to have a lot going on, needing a few months to settle down. The Terrane was amazingly complex with a real wild sense. He poured the regular Luna Mata Saturday, and it has opened up well, but not the Terrane. Remind me and I can bring one as a “pre” sometime soon.

Bartolo in Santa Cruz used to make a Fiano from that Fratelli fruit. It was quite good, so I don’t know why they gave it up.

It’s easy enough to get an idea of the sub-obvious effect of SO2 in a wine by comparing the before and after when you do an add. The post-add wines are always heavier, darker character, duller. Interesting how much of an effect SO2 has on a wine, even when it’s at a level you can’t perceive it as such.

I had the two '12s from the spring release, both from Luna Matta I believe, so the same ones Tom reported on. The Terrane was definitely complex but oxidative and not in balance. Would love to try another bottle sometime if you want to bring one. I should be at Ross’s at least a couple of times in June.

I think your last paragraph comparing the two is really interesting because I had a quite opposite impression from bottle.

Wes, I also remember that the '12 Terrane Fiano was really nice when we bottled it, but that was the case with the '11 as well and that did go into a really weird phase for some time after bottling. I’m not sure I’d had one of the '11 Terrane Fiano since it came out of that phase until Saturday’s open house, but it was drinking really well - very bright and aromatic. So I imagine that it will be best to hold off on opening the '12 Terrane Fiano for another 8-12 months.

Not sure what it is about the (no-added-sulfite / Protos) Terrane wines but I sense brighter acidity in them compared with the regular SO2 versions, despite everything else being the same between them - and presumably the actual acidity is identical. The '09 Terrane Pinot from the old-vine Mendo fruit was the same way on Saturday.

Great fun reading these, Tom. Happy to see California producers continuing to try their hand with these types of grapes, seemingly with some startling successes based on your notes. I’ll never see a one of these up here, but will look for them on my next California trip if I remember.

A bientot,




Tom - Ferdinand is made by Evan Frazier who works at Kongsgaard. There is a lot of excitement around Albarino in Napa.

Bryan suggested I wait on popping a '12. That makes sense if it’s going to show kinda funny. Since so little was made and I only have a couple, I’d rather drink/share them at their best (which I have high hopes for). Zach - I could bring an '11 instead.

I’d guess the brightness is a perception thing. A lot of components in a wine can affect our perception of something else. SO2 seems to dull wine a bit.

I am drinking the '15 Ferdinand Albarino and to channel Tom, I am “mightily impressed”. Imagine the initial attack of a gewirtz but without careening into overt gewirtz spice, the grassiness of Sauv Blanc without carreening into fresh mowed lawn or cat pee, and the grip of a bone dry aged chablis. It’s to my mind better than most Spanish “the real things” though I hardly claim to have seasoned palate and tasting memory for Spanish Albarino.

The Abrente Albarino, the Ryme Hers Vermentino, and the Carlisle Compagni-Portis are all delightful, reasonably priced wines that I have enjoyed in the past year. These are some of the reasons why I have been increasingly open to white wines after becoming a red wine chauvinist from my early childhood in northern California. Thanks, Tom, for bringing so many to the attention of the board.