Taos Refoschi Monday, May 1, 2006
1. BonnyDoon Rosato di Refosco MontereyCnty (12.5%) 2003: Pale rose petal color; pleasant
plummy/cranberry/spicy simple nose; very tart/lean/austere slight cranberry/strawberry
bit astringent flavor; med.short rather bitter/astringent light spicy/cranberry/strawberry
austere finish; much like PinkFroid (Nebbiolo rose) or Grignolino rose; pleasant nose
but pretty astringent on the palate. $15.00
2. diLenardo Refosco dal Vigneto Vigne de Lis Maris (13%) DOC: Friuli/Grave/Gonars
2004: Dark slight rose petal color; dusty/earthy slight plummy/fruit nose; tart lean/
hard/astringent dusty/earthy very low/plummy/berry flavors; lean/astringent/tight rather
dusty/earthy very light fruit finish; a paucity of fruit and mean/astringent on the
palate; some like Savoie Mondeuse w/o the intensity or richness; not very attractive.
3. Pecorari Refosco dal Peduncola Rosso IGT Venezia-Giulia (12.5%) 2004: Very dark color;
deep black cherry/plummy bit spicy/sausage slight dusty/floral interesting nose; rather
tannic/astringent somewhat licorice/plummy/black cherry spicy/sausage/floral flavor;
med.long astringent/tannic some plummy/black cherry/floral finish; needs several yrs age;
quite an attractive Refosco at a very good price. $12.00
4. Villa Frattina Refosco dal PeduncolaRosso IGT: DelleVenezie (12.5%) Prata di Pordenone
2000: Med.dark color; earthy/dusty bit cedary/rose petal/forest floor some complex/aged
nose; softer/smoother bit metallic some cedary/pencilly/aged/old Chianti/faded rose petal
flavor; med.long aged/rose petal smooth/round bit cedary/tar finish w/ little tannins;
seems old before its time; interesting aged Chianti-like red. $15.00
5. Ronco Vieri Refosco dal PenuncolaRosso (13%; 14%) DOC: Colli Orientali del Friuli/
Nimus/Udine 2002: Med.dark color; deep plummy/black cherry/loads of fruit slight licorice/
pungent/tarry some peppery/dusty very interesting nose; strong black cherry/plummy/SmithBros
cough drops rather tart/astringent quite spicy flavor; long strong black cherry/plummy/
plummy/spicy tart rather astringent/tannic finish; needs 2-5 yrs; most fruit of all and
quite an interesting wine; needs food; one of the best Refoscos I've ever had; thank
you Roberto. $22.00
6. Davide Moschioni Refosco dal PeduncolaRosso DOC: ColliOrientali del Friuli (13.5%) 2001:
Very dark color; rather bretty/funky slight plummy pretty unclean/bacterial nose; tart
rather funky/bretty very astringent/tannic very little fruit flavor; long/astringent/
dried-out bretty/unclean finish w/ no fruit; another high-end nasty/unclean Italian red;
stupid price. $42.00
7. Girolamo Dorigo Refosco dal peduncola rosso Vigneto Montsclapade DOC: Colli Orientali
Del Friuli/Buttria (14%) 1999: Black color; rather herbal/black curranty/Cab-like complex
toasty/oak plummy bit creosote/pungent/tarry very interesting nose; tart very astringent
herbal/plummy/black currant/black cherry tarry/creosote/charred rather toasty/oak flavor;
long very astringent/tannic/hard pungent/burnt/creosote/telephone pole on a hot Summer day
some black curranty/plummy finish; needs more age yet; clearly an International-style
rendition of Refosco; liked the wine quite a lot but speaks more of Italian high-end
Cabernet than Refosco; very good red wine if you don't worship at the altar of typicity.
Rather pricey at $48.00.
8. Vivac MimbresVlly/Deming Refosco 2004: Very dark color; quite fragrant/floral/violets
very aromatic bit sage/herbal/sagebrush some cherry/black cherry very exotic nose;
tart/astringent very floral/aromatic/violets/plummy/cherry sagebrush/spicy/rosemary/
pungent very unusual flavor; long exotic/floral/violets some plummy/cherry spicy/sage
finish w/ fair tannins; needs more age; not strongly Refosco (should NewMexico refosco
taste like Friuli Refosco??) but a very well-done/exotic wine. $18.00
9. Vivac MimbresVlly/Deming Refosco 2005: Dark color; strong plummy/black cherry/lots of
fruit some floral/violets less exotic bit simpler nose; softer/rounder more plummy/
black cherry less floral/perfumed bit hard/tannic flavor; med. plummy/black cherry
finish w/ strong tannins; just recently bottled and seems a bit tight/closed right now;
not quite as interesting as the '04, but maybe some 3-5 months down the road things
will be different.
10. Camauco DOC: Cagnina di Romagna (9%; http://www.JGWines.com
) Casa Vinicola Bernardi/Verucchio
NV: Dark color; intense grapey/black cherry/plummy/tons of grapey fruit slight earthy/
dusty very unusual nose; soft/lush rather sweet (3%-5%) very intense grapey/black cherry/
plummy/Cheracol huge/ripe fruit some tannic flavor; very long very intense grapey/black
cherry/plummy slight earthy/astringent finish; age?? who knows?? Pretty unusual/exotic
And from the BloodyPulpit:
1. A month or so ago, Chris & Jess Padburg, owners of VivacWnry up in Dixon, asked me for
some suggestions of Refoscos to try, to compare with the one they make. I suggested that
I'd put together a tasting for them. This was the result. Alas, I couldn't find my btl of
Carlisle Mondeuse, and didn't round up any Savoie Mondeuse.
2. So...what is Refosco grape?? It, like Pinot Noir, is a whole family of grapes, sharing,
presumably a common DNA. It may, also, be like PetiteSirah; several varieties (non-common
DNA) lumped under the same varietal name. It is a variety that originated/indigeneous to
Friuli. The most common cultivar there is the Refosco dal PeduncolaRosso, the Refosco w/
the red pedicle. There is also a Refosco Nostrana. In Romagna, it is known as the Cagnina
grape and commonly accepted as the Refosco dal PeduncolaRosso; though one reference said
it was CannioloNera. In addition to being the MondeuseNoir of the Savoie and also known
as GrosSyrah. The French viticulturists deny their Mondeuse is Refosco, but they're probably
just French guys being French, unable to accept that one of their great grapes may actually
be non-French. It is also known in Friuli as Terran, after the Slovene variety Terrano.
One Site identified Cagnina as the same as Durif, but that's undoubtedly wrong. Another
(wine label) Site identified it as a white grape, but the color of these wines suggests
In addition to Italy and France, it is planted in Greece, Switzerland, Australia
(Victoria), and Calif (mostly as Refosco, but some known as Mondeuse).
There...that's about all I know.
I've probably tasted some 20 or so Refoscos over the yrs, but only one at a time; never
this many all together. The character I get from Refosco is plums and black cherries. They
seem to have quite a bit of acid and some pretty fierce tannins oftentimes. But their
richness & lushness can often lift them far above Dolcetto and Nebbiolo, two other
varieties that are high in tannins and acids. The world's next GREAT grape?? Probably not.
But a very interesting alternative when you want a change.
3. VivacRefosco: The grapes for their wine comes from Paolo d'Andrea's large/hodge-podge
vnyd down in Deming. Pretty torridly hot down there for primo grapes. But Barbera and
Refosco probably do better there than about anything.
I first had the '04 from tank over a yr ago and was quite impressed with the wine,
before it went to French barrels. The wine then was light and very fragrant/perfumy.
To beef it up on the palate, they added a bit of Cab/CabFranc and some hybrids. When
I first had it from btl about 2 months ago, the same black cherry fragrance was there
but it seemed much coarser/rougher on the palate. In the intervening 2 months, the wine
has really come together nicely and lost most of that coarseness. It's not Italian
Refosco but pretty exotic wine. Alas, all sold out save the 12-1=11 library btls.
It was my WOTN.
At the recomendation of their distributor, the '05 was put into btl earlier to preserve
more of the Refosco perfume. It's a bit too early to tell if that was the right decision
I think, but I much preferred the more exotic/complex character of the '04. We'll see what
it's like in 4-5 months. Due for release in June at the tasting room.
Anyway, with only two vintages of Refosco under their belt; I think Chris & Jesse are
making a very interesting and well-made rendition of Refosco.
4. Cagnina: Never even heard of this wine until LarryArchibald dredged up a btl. Pretty rare
and exotic stuff. Reminded me a bit of Lambrusco in style but w/o the fizz. Not sure
what I'd pair this wine with. Maybe charcuterie as well, like Lambrusco??
5. The tasting was held under idylic conditions as can only be found in NorthernNewMexico
at BRAVO! restaurant in Taos. Much thanks to Jo-Ann Carolla for hosting us. Dinner
afterwards, with a Provisor HillClimber Syrah '02 was typically terrific.