We tasted last week (4/4/18) Some Off-Beet Varietals:
1. BallaGezaWnry Mustoasa de Moderat Vin Alb Sec DOC: Minis (12.5%; www.Ballageza; Lot 298) Arad/Romania
: Med.light gold color; rather floral/bit CB-like/very appley/pear/bit citrus/spicy slight earthy/
stony quite attractive perfumed nose; fairly tart/tangy/metallic light bodied quite floral/CB-like/pear/
green apple/spicy light earthy/mineral/chalky quite attractive flavor; very long tart/tangy/bit metallic
very floral/appley/CB-like/pear some stony/mineral/chalky finish; a light-weight very attractive perfumed
white much like a Swiss Fendant or Savoie Jacquere. $17.00 (BDW)
2. Forlorn-Hope King-AndrewsVnyd/SuisunVlly WW (47 cs; 12.48%; WhiteFieldBlend: Chasselas/CheninBlanc/
GreenHungarian/Vermentino/TrousseauGris) Murphys 2016
: Light gold color; lovely very spicy graham cracker/
angel food cake very fragrant floral/apple blossom nose; bit soft/lush slight graham cracker/spicy/
angel food cake very floral/apple blossom/peach fairly spicy flavor; very long/lingering lovely spicy/
graham cracker/apple blossom/poached pear/floral finish; a terrific white that has really evolved since
release; beautiful aromatics. $28.00
3. Forlorn-Hope Albarino RorickVnyd/CalaverasCnty (11.90%; 107 cs) 2015: Light gold color; very fragrant floral/
Albarino slight stony/mineral bit perfumed talc/chalky bit saline quite attractive nose; fairly tart/tangy light
bodied quite floral/Albarino bit tangy/mineral/savory/saline flavor; very long/lingering tangy/mineral some
saline/savory very perfumed/floral/Albarino finish; a lovely Calif rendition of Galacias Albarino that shows
a bit of the mineral/saline character that you get from breezes off the nearby Atlantic. $28.00
4. Forlorn-Hope Dragone Ramato PinotGris RorickVnyd/CalaverasCnty (Skin-frmtd;187 cs; 11%) 2016: Deep golden/
burnished bronze/bit orange-red color; very light phenolic/resiny rather orangey/honeyed very fragrant
strawberry/Trousseau-like bit earthy/graham cracker complex nose; bit soft very light phenolic/resiny rather
orangey/honeyed/honey comb bit tannic/astringent graham cracker rather savory complex exotic flavor; very
long/lingering light phenolic/resiny strong honeyed/honey comb bit strawberry/Trousseau-like slight earthy/savory
complex finish w/ light astrigent tannins; obvious tannic/astringent character that should drop w/ age;
light phenolic/resiny character; a lovely skin-contact white/rose that will benefit from 3-6 yrs of age. $30.00
5. Batic Angel Grande Cuvee Rezerva V.O. Vipavska Dolina (13.5%; Biodynamic; 40% Pinela/20% Chard/
20% Malvazija/10% Rebula/7% LaskiRizling/2% Zelen/1% Vitovska; www.batic-wines.com) 2009
: Deep golden/burnished
bronze color; very light phenolic/resiny/skin-contact lovely orangey/honeyed/honeycomb slight graham cracker/earthy
slight caramel/flan very exotic/complex beautiful nose; lightly tart very light phenolic/resiny/skin-contact honeyed/
honeycomb/orangey/tangerine slight graham cracker balanced exotic/complex flavor w/ light tannic bite; very
long/lingering light phenolic/resiny exotic/savory/rich/lush/balanced honeycomb/honeyed/orangey complex finish w/
slght tannic bite; low-key phenolic character but lots of exotic other stuff; maybe the best skin-contact white
I've tried at a great price. $30.00 (BDW)
6. Batic Zaria v.o. Vipavska Dolina ZariaVnyd (13%; www.Batic.Si; Brl.#3/5 for www.BlueDanubeWine.com;
55% Pinela/20% Zelen/14% Rebula/5% Vitovska/3% Klarnica/2% Rumeni Muskat/1% Chardonnay) 2014
: Same burnished bronze
color; much stronger phenolic/very resiny/skin-contact/cidery light orangey/honeycomb slight Zweiback teething biscuit
bit dusty/earthy complex nose; quite tart/tangey fairly phenolic/resiny/skin-contact light Zweiback biscuit rather
savory/saline/metallic slight oxidative bit earthy/dusty complex flavor w/ light astringent tannins; very long/
lingering strong phenolic/very resiny/skin-contact bit orangey/honeycomb slight earthy/dusty bit Zweiback biscuit
some complex finish w/ modest astringent tannins; not as exotic and smooth on the palate as the Angel but should
age very well and may one day be the equal. $40.00 (BDW)
7. Forlorn-Hope Suspiro del Moro Alvarelhao SilvaspoonsVnyd/AltaMesa/Lodi (12.47%; 643 cs) 2015: Very dark color;
strong mushroomy/Lodi/earthy very fragrant/plummy/spicy bit floral slight Mataro-like lovely nose; soft smooth
plummy/Mataro-like some earthy/Lodi/mushroomy slight tangy/metallic flavor w/ light smooth/ripe tannins;
very long earthy/mushroomy/Lodi/loamy fairly plummy/Mataro-like slight floral finish w/ light ripe tannins;
fairly perfumed/aromatic and vaguely Portugese-like w/ lots of Lodi/mushroomy character; quite a nice if bit
rustic red. $26.00
8. Harrington Alvarelhao SumuKawVnyd/elDoradoCnty (13.2%; 28 cs) 2016: Dark color; rather earthy/dusty/ElDorado
strong plummy/Mourv-like rather spicy quite attractive nose; lightly tart/tangy/metallic some earthy/dusty/
ElDorado rather ripe/plummy/Mourv-like fairly structured flavor w/ some hard tannins; very long/lingering
lightly tart strong plummy/Mourv-like/slight herbal rather earthy/dusty/ElDorado structured finish w/ some
hard/gruff tannins; a more serious expression of Alvarelhao but a bit on the rustic side; needs more age yet;
great price at $23.00
9. Forlorm-Hope Viuda 25 RorickHeritageVnyd/CalaverasCnty (13.6%; 52 cs; 80% Graciano/20% Tempranillo)
Murphys 2014
: Very dark/near black color; some toasty/oak very strong black cherry/boysenberry/licorice some
spicy/smokey rather intense nose; rather tart some toasty/oak strong black cherry/boysenberry/licorice/bit
pungent quite structured lovely flavor w/ ample hard/crunchy/ripe tannins; very long/lingering strong black
cherry/boysenberry/licorice light toasty/oak structured fairly extracted finish w/ some hard/crunchy tannins;
a bit on the expensive side for a F-H red but this is a serious red; a bit Rioja-like w/o all the oak; quite
a good red that needs age. $43.00
10. Benandants Charbono ShypokeVnyd/NapaVlly (15%) Enrico&Letezia/ArbeGarbe/StHelena 2015: Black color; intense
very perfumed/aromatic bit toasted/coconut/oak intense blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah-like slight earthy/loamy/
licorice slight herbal/pungent/thyme bit sauvage complex nose; lightly tart very rich/lush/structured light
ZagNut/coconut/oak intense boysenberry/blackberry/licorice/Syrah-like slight earthy bit herbal/thyme slight
alcoholic flavor w/ ample hard/ripe tannins; verl long/linger intense blackberry/boysenberry/licorice/Charbono
slight earthy/rustic dusty/OV some oak finish w/ ample ripe tannins; maybe one of the best Charbonos ever made;
maybe worth the hefty price tag; very structured and should age for yrs; a stunning expression of Charbono.
11. Forlorn-Hope Ost-Intrigen St.Laurent RicciVnyd/Carneros (11.15%; 143 cs; www.ForlornHopeWines.com)
Napa 2016
: Dark color; very strong blackberry/StL/licorice bit earthy/mushroomy/metallic/burning metal/bloody
bit herbal rather Burgenland-like light floral/lilacs fragrant complex beautiful nose some tart/tangy bit
herbal/loamy/earthy strong blackberry/StL/licorice light toasty/oak flavor w/ light ripe/smooth tannins;
very long/lingering strong blackberry/StL/licorice slight herbal light toasty/oak bit tart/metallic/pungent
finish w/ modest smooth tannins; probably Matt's best StL yet and some of the earthiness you get from
Burgenland; beautiful StL at a great price. $28.00
12. Juris StLaurent reserve (14.0%; www.Juris.At) A.u.H. Stiegelmar/Gols/Burgenland 2009: Very dark/near black
color; nvery fragrant/perfumed strong blueberry/blackberry/licorice/plummy some earthy/very loamy intense
Burgenland/StL complex nose; lightly tart/tangy rather earthy/loamy strong blueberry/boysenberry/licorice/StL
complex flavor w/ modest ripe/smooth tannins; very long/lingering strobg blueberry/blackberry/StL/licorice
rather earthy/loamy lightly tart complex finish w/ some ripe tannins; speaks loud & clear of Burgenland StL;
maybe the best Burgenland StL I've yet had; a like the Moric (rather Burgundian) and the RosiSchuster a lot,
but this may be the best yet. $40.00 (BDW)
More barfreeble from TheBloodyPulpit:
1. Mustoasa de Moderat: This is a grape that is probably indigenous to Western Romania. Obviously, one that
should being planted all up&down the coast of Calif. One person in my group keeps track of all the different
grape varieties he's tasted (on little 3x5 file cards...would you believe). This brought him up to 198.
The countdown to 200 is starting. I am such an enabler.
2. F-H King-Andrews: I Pobega'd this wine when it first hit my doorstep and was rather underwhelmed by it. It was
a bit of an "Oakland" wine...no there/there. I was mightly impressed by it now. It has really put on some weight
and developed wonderful aromatics.
MattRorick had convinced RogerKing to plant some GreenHungarian for him. It came from a single vine in the
LibraryVnyd in StHelena & Matt had it propagated. Thus far, the GH, on its own, has been pretty lean & acidic.
But I have the utmost confidence that Matt will one day return GH to its glory days it enjoyed under
FredWeibel and GusSebastiani.
3. Benandants: This is an alternate label of Letezia & Enrico of ArbeGarbe, one of my favorite producers. Enrico
also has an Amarone Charbono in barrel.
Charbono is a grape known as Douce Noir and thought to originate in the Savoie when it was under Italian
control. There is a small but passionate group of Charbono fans. Wish there were more planted in Calif, but
most of it is planted in the high-rent district known as NapaVlly. It is mostly grown in Argentina, where it
is called Bonarda. No relation to the several Bonardas of the Veneto region.
4. Alvarelhao: A Northern Portugal variety grown mostly in the Alto Duoro and the Dao. At one time, FPS distrubuted
an Alvarelhao, but it was later identified as the Port variety Touriga Nacional. It's not known if these two
are authentic Alvarelhao or not. Of these two Alvarelhaos, I slightly preferred the Harrington as a more serious
5. Viuda: This is a new wine for Matt. I was pretty impressed by its somewhat Rioja-like character.
6. Batic: Another impressive performance from Miha Batic w/ the Angel. We had this about a month ago & I was blown
away by it. I sent my TN to FrankDeitrich/BlueDanube and he urged me to try the Zaria. So ordered more of the Angel
and a Zaria to try.
I was again blown away by the Angel. I liked the Zaria quite a bit as well, but preferred the Angel. Whether the
Zaria will equal the Angel w/ 5 yrs more of age...I have no idea.
When I visited the TIC in Vipava, the guy there found out I was interested in wine and hustled me across the
alley-way to the tasting room and started pulling corks. Of the wines I tried, the Batic wines stood out for me.
Miha Batic is the primary driver of the operation, though I gather his father is still heavily involved. The
vnyds are all BioDynamic. They are farmed by the PCS (Physics-based Cropping System). Though my physics credentials
are probably rather weak, I have no idea what this system means. But if it uses Physics, it's gotta be good.