Unusual Varietals
Diversity in Wine
Page 9

J. Lohr
Valiguie was widely grown in France, but now has considerably less plantings than California where it was thought to be the Gamay of Beaujolais and labelled as Napa Gamay. Jancis Robinson is dismissive of the variety, but the Californians make a good wine from it. J. Lohr label the wine under its true name, the first one I have encountered.
See also the Sutter Home Napa Gamay label.
French Colombard
Dry Comal Creek

Dry Comal Creek winery is about 7 miles from New Braunfels on the road to Broene, shortly before the turn to Natural Bridge Caverns. Both are well worth visiting.
French Colombard is a the name by which Colombard is known in the USA. Here is an unusual example from Dry Comal Creek winery in Texas, between Austin and Corpus Christi. Winemaker Frankin D Hauser is a welcoming jovial host, generous with his tastings, and I can thoroughly recommend a visit to his modern attractive winery set next to rows of vines. The temperature was in the 100s (40C) when I was there and keeping the wine I bought cool in the car was an impossibility. All the same it proved to be a pleasant drink when I got it back to my apartment and chilled it in the sink with the entire contents of the icemaker.
French Colombard is a variety more popular in the United States than it is in France,
See also the Colombard from South Africa on the previous page.
Vranac Montenegro
This Vranac from Montenegro was a pleasant hearty red wine that went well with dinner. Anthony Hawkins says it may be related to Zinfandel, but I didn't detect the spicyness of that variety in this wine.
Nero d'Avola
This is a great wine, opaquely ruby-black coloured, with a dense and chewy fullness about it. Damsons, cherries and black chocolate flavours are present. I could find little information about the Nero d'Avola grape. Jancis Robinson just says it is one of the best in Sicily, is capable of great aging and adds quality to blends.
The name Inycon is taken from the Ancient Greek name for the village of Meni that houses the winery
Bleasdale Vineyards
Verdelho is most usually thought of in connection with Madeira where it is blended in the eponymous wine of that island. It is the most planted variety there. There are also small amounts grown in Australia where it makes a zingy white wine. This wine has a refreshing acidity and a very long aftertaste, with a surprisingly hefty 13.5% alcohol. I found it to be a delightful wine.
This particular wine won a silver medal in the 1998 Perth competition.
Orange Muscat and Flora
Brown Brothers
This is a perfumed sweet dessert wine. The late harvested berries are from Orange Muscat and Flora. But untangling the identity of those grapes makes my head go dizzy. They are both types of Muscat, which has countless strains, but Flora is also known as Orange Flora and following the name trail I find it shown as a synonym of Orange Muscat!
Whatever. The wine is superb and very good value. Its not heavy or sticky, has a good refreshing acidity underlying a pleasnt clean honeyed taste. I enjoy a glass of this after dinner with dessert.

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12 August 2000