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 signatureof those wines. Seemed to be made from very ripe, maybe botrytis, grapes. Strange stuff it was.
2. 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: http://dobianchi.com/2010/08/24/nascetta/
3. 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.
4. 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??
5. Tenor: This was a new wnry for me, picked up by SteveCostigan. www.TenorWines.com. Winemaker is ArynMorell, who also makes the wines at Matthews and has recently started his own
label, Alleromb (www.Alleromb.com). Thought his SauvBlanc was a pretty interesting wine, some like the Cowan Isa, but somewhat more phenolic in character.
6. 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:
http://geolife-naturally.com/food_beverage_preservation.html. 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, Eric Lundblad 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.
7. 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.