Unusual Varietals
Diversity in Wine
Page 10

Chautauqua Winery
Defuniak Springs
Carlos is a bronze coloured Muscadine hybrid cultivar used for white wines, and grown in Florida because of it's resistance to Pierces Disease. This scourge prevents the state sucessfully growing vitis vinifera vines and thus they are unable to make wines with the famous names everyone knows. However that may not be an impediment. Patrick McGinnis says "I visited the Chautauqua Winery in Defuniak Springs, Florida (in the northwest area of the state). They sell non vintage native and hybrid grape wines. The person in the tasting room said that next year they will be selling Chardonnay and Merlot wine. I told her I didn't know they grew those grapes in Florida and she said 'Oh, we are going to just use the same grapes we have.' Talk about truth in wine labels!"
Patrick goes on to say he expects they were just the innocent comments of an uneducated tasting room employee.

Many thanks to Patrick McGinnis for the label and information.

Petite Arvine
Frederic Varonne
A bright crisp refreshingly dry white wine with citrus flavours is made from this very rare grape from Switzerland.
Only forty hectares of this variety exist in the world. Swiss wines are expensive in their home and even more so when exported, but I did not regret paying a premium for this delightful singular wine.
Three Choirs Vineyard
Siegerrebe is a white grape from a Gewürztraminer/Madeleine Angevine cross developed in Germany. This is a popular grape in England and also grown in Washington State and New York in the US as well as Germany. It ripens early, commonly harvested in September in England. Three Choirs say it is not a large cropper but has very good quality with high sugar and low acids.
I enjoyed this wine which is aromatic with a refreshing spicy flavour.
Brown Brothers
Tarrango was developed in Australia in 1965 by crossing Touriga and Sultana. It makes a light quaffing wine with low tannins. I really enjoyed this wine and found myself quickly refilling my glass. The wine seems quite sweet on first taste and though it is dry it doesn't feel it. An ideal wine for someone who can't handle reds, or a drinker new to red wines. Or anyone fed up with thin acidic Beaujolais!
Grand Vidure Cabernet
Vina Carmen
Maipo Valley
Another old varietal almost vanished in Europe that has found a home in Chile (see Carmenere).
We remarked on the dark colour of the wine as it was poured - it was slmost black. One taster remarked that it tasted like concentrated blackcurrant juice, with a leathery undertaste. It was certainly a remarkable wine, full of flavour and depth. Very drinkable.
So what is it? The sources say it is an synonym for either Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. But I can't recall having drunk any that had such a depth of flavour without the dryness or woodiness that the others show. I reckon it it a variety closely related to them, but not identical.
La Riojana
Famatina Valley
This grape came to South America from the Galicia region of Spain where it is now very rare. But it has succeeded in South America where it is one of the most widely grown white wine grapes in Argentina. This is not surprising as it is a fresh lively drink - with hints of peach and layers of citus. I enjoyed it as an aperitif and it would be excellent with food.
This example, from the Famatina Valley in Argentina's Rioja region, was produced for the UK supermarket Tesco, and is keenly priced.

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24 September 2000