Frankly, it’s sad, because there are more grapes and bottled expressions of each of them than I could ever hope to quantify. By not exploring, we do ourselves an injustice. I understand that you don’t want to be disappointed, but not exploring the obscure is like saying that you don’t like pistachio ice cream because your mom only fed you chocolate and vanilla.
I urge you to read on and do a little exploring. And please understand that in a world of inflated scoring from most wine critics, an 88-point wine from me is still pretty darn good.
NV Franz Strohmeier Blauer Wildbacher Schilchersekt - The nose showed white florals with vanilla, hazelnut, pepper, lime and copper laden minerals. On the palate, it started out bitter but opened up with time in the glass with sour cherry, spiced orange peel and hint of yeast. The finish was long and fresh with notes of sour cherry. (90 points) Find it on: Wine-Searcher!
2007 Ravines Wine Cellars Keuka Village - The nose showed pear, vanilla and candied cashews with a hint of funk and green stems. On the palate, it was clean and focused with juicy acidity showing flavors of kiwi, lemon and inner floral notes. The finish was a bit short, yet still left me feeling satisfied and refreshed. (88 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!
2010 Ryme Vermentino Hers Las Brisas Vineyard - The nose showed grapefruit with spice and floral notes and lemon peel. On the palate, it had a lush, textural body with peach juice and roasted nuts. The finish receded slowly from the palate and showed the mouthwatering acidity that you'd expect from Vermentino. As Italian varietals in California go, this was simply not my cup of tea; I would honestly rather have a Vermentino from Italy. (86 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!
2010 Burja (Primož Lavrenčič) Zelen - The nose was enticing with floral notes of roses and stems with hints of green herbs, spices and funk. On the palate, it was fresh and juicy with floral, pepper and spice notes that carried over from the nose. The finish was staying yet fresh, clean and ultimately enjoyable. This is a wine that's not for the uninitiated. However, fans of Northern Italian whites and Gewurztraminer, take notice. (89 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!
2006 Királyudvar Tokaji Sec - The nose showed beautifully with rich peach nectar, honeysuckle, dried apricot and dates. On the palate, it was smooth, yet clean with citrus, stone fruits and minerals. The finish fell short of what I had expected, yet this wine was still very enjoyable. (88 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!
2010 Cascina 'Tavijn Grignolino d'Asti - The nose showed dried red berries, green stems and black cracked pepper. On the palate, it was aggressive with an initial burst of acidity, tapering off to flavors of sweet red berries, herbs and pepper. The finish was focused, yet short and a little bitter. (87 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!
2006 Heinrich Mayr (Nusserhof) Tyroldego Vino da Tavola - The nose showed ripe red berries, potpourri, undergrowth and wild herbs. On the palate, it was light with zesty acidity and flavors of cranberry and mountain herbs. The finish was fresh, juicy and clean. (89 points)
2007 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Il Quadro delle Rose Feudo di Mezzo - The nose was a kaleidoscope of sweetshop versus earth with cherries dipped in vanilla and cinnamon sugar, offset by mountain herbs, soil and black tea. On the palate, it was juicy and balanced with finessed red fruits, sweet and sour sauce and sweet spices. On the finish, the tannic structure shows through and promises years of further development. (93 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!
2008 Heitz Cellar Grignolino - The nose showed red berries with floral notes, spice and candy sugar. On the palate, it was broad with red berry fruit and herbs. The finish showed a pleasant hint of violet candies. (89 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!