We tried these wines over Fri/Sat dinners:
1. NicheliniFamilyWnry Muscadelle OldVine NapaVlly (13.0%) AimeeSunseri/5'th generation winemaker 2010
: Pale yellow color; rather stony/earthy light fragrant/musky/herbal/olive slight floral/bit muscat-like rather old-timey Calif white nose; tart/lean stony/earthy/dusty some musky/herbal/olive slight spicy/oregano/rosemary/herbal flavor; med.long herbal/olive/oregano/dried herbs rather stony/earthy/dusty/wet pavement finish; a quite interesting old-timey Calif white. $19.00 (CB)
2. DomenicoClerico CapIsm E.E DOC: LangheNebbiolo (14%) Monforte d'Alba 2010
: Fairly dark color; some earthy/dusty rather pungent/smokey/tarry/coffee/earthy bit plummy/floral Nebb nose; bit tart quite hard/tannic/bitey pungent/tarry/espresso/coffee bean little fruit flavor; med.short rather hard/tannic/bitey rather tart little fruit rather pungent/tarry/coffee bean finish; seems to be made in a modern Piedmontese style from the color; a lean/hard/tannic utterly charmless Nebbiolo; maybe 10 yrs down the road, but not for me now; the poster child of what's wrong w/ modern Piedmontese Nebbiolo; overpriced at $31.00
3. EugeneCarrel et Fils Jongieux AC: Vin de Savoie (100% Jacquere; 11.5%) 2009
: Pale yellow color; strong mineral/stony/wet pavement/rocks from a mountain stream some spicy/fennel/pear/apple attractive nose; quite tart/lean mineral/chalky/stony/wet pavement after a rainstorm tangy/grapefruity light fennel/spicy flavor; med.long stony/mineral/granite lean/tart finish; a minerally scintillating kind of white; all you would want in a Savoie white; well priced at $12.00 (CB)
4. ArbeGarbe Ribuele NapaVlly RibollaGialla (GeorgeVare vnyd; 14.5%; www.ArbeGarbeWines.com) 2009
: Light gold color; strong grapey/peppery/spicy/celery seed slight smokey/pungent/Roussanne-like very perfumed/aromatic beautiful nose; fairly tart/rich spicy/celery seed light smokey/peppery/pungent some mineral/chalky flavor; very long/lingering rich/lush/tart spicy/celery seed light pungent/peppery lovely finish; as good as any Ribolla as I've had from Friuli; almost Roussanne-like in texture and richness; lovely/lovely wine. $27.00 (CB)
And a wee BloodyPulpit:
1. Muscadelle: Now I am really confused by this wine. My understanding is that what was known in Calif as SauvignonVert is really TokajiFriuliano. And some sources declare that what was known as SauvignonVert is the same as Savigononasse or Bdx's Muscadelle. But I've not seen anything that says TokajiFriuliano and Muscadelle are the same grape variety.
These same grapes go to DanPetroski/Massican, where he makes a really austere/fragrant/lean wine he labels as TokajiFriuliano in his Annia blend. So I'm still confused.
I remember tasting a few Nichelini wines back in the early '70's, found them to be rather old-timey and not very interesting, lacking in fruit, probably aged to senility in redwood vats. This is the first Nichelini wine I've had in probably 40 yrs. The vnyd/wnry was founded in 1890 by Swiss immigrants. AimeeSunseri is their winemaker. I know her as winemaker at NewClairvauxWnry, North of Scaramento. DarrellCorti is a big fan of her wines. I was not aware she was also the winemaker at Nichelini.
This wine was a very interesting old-timey Calif white. Reminded me some of Morgan Twain-Peterson's whites. I'll have to give a visit to the Nichelini tasting room when I'm out there in a few weeks.
2. ArbeGarbe: This is the NapaVlly wnry of EnricoBertoz & Letizia Pauletto, specializing in Friuli-style wines. Both hail from Friuli. Enrico was winemaker at Nonino (producer of Italy's best grappas) and then Dorigo before he came to this country. Worked at Valentino's in LosAngeles afore entering the wine industry up North with FloraSprings.
I had this '09 Ribuele (Friulian dialect for Ribolla) last year and thought it quite a pretty wine. It seems to have put on a lot of weight over the last year and developing a lot more interesting character.
Enrico & Letizia also make a Malvasia that us absolutely beautiful and very perfumed. Is Traminer, last crop of old-vine Traminer from SaraLee's vnyd, was one of the best Traminers/GWT's I've had from Calif. Definitely a wnry to watch.