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Unusual Varieties
Diversity in Wine
Page 21

Mencia label
      My first taste of Mencia and I enjoyed it. Light, fruity and inviting with some balancing tannins.
      It is grown in north-western Spain, and is said to be the same as Jaen grown in Portugal. I have also enjoyed the Jaen's I have had -- only problem was getting their darn label off....

Manzanares, La Mancha
Airen Label       Surprising we don't see more Airen varietal wines, since the variety is one of worlds most prolifically planted white grapes

     This example may explain why. Although made from hand picked certified organic grapes and cool fermented in stainless steel there wasn't much to say about it. It is a clean, fresh but neutral wine that is good to drink, enjoy but it is forgettable.

      Thus much of it goes to be distilled into brandy or blended with other varieties

      Tasting note: Clean, fresh but neutral, went well with grilled fish. April 2006

Refosk/ Refosco
Refosco label
      Refosk - known as Refosco in Italy, but here grown and made in Slovenia and making a pleasant rustic red wine with some acidity .
      Take another look at the label. The label was designed during the communist era, yet the shape of the 't' makes it clear this wine is named after Saint Thomas.

Vrhunsko Vino ZGP
Traminec label
      Traminec is the local Slovenian name for Traminer, but whether this is the same as the more famous Gewürztraminer clone is uncertain. The back label says it is semi-sweet (demi doux) but I didn't think so, more off dry. There was an intriguing acidity under-pinning ample fruit with a little spiciness, and the wine was quite delightful.
      Its importer was unable, however, to enthuse enough customers and this was the last of a bin-end. I think with an English language back label and a rethink of its front label this wine could do well. 8 Februray 2006

Trollinger label
      We don't see many red German wines outside its borders. This was brought from Germany especially for a tasting of German wines.
      Trollinger is the German name for the Italian Schiava variety.
      This wine was, unusually for a red wine, in a clear bottle. It showed a lot of black sediment and I think it was past its best. The colour was pinky brown onion skin, and what remaining fruit it had offered some sweetness before the wine faded to a sour finish. tasted January 2006

Cayuga White
Swedish Hill
Finger Lakes
New York
cayuga label
      The Cayuga White variety dates from 1972. It was developed especially to suit local conditions at Cornell University Experimental Station in Geneva at the northern end of Cayuga Lake in New York State's Finger Lakes wine region.
      The variety is used for both sparkling and still wines. As a still wine it can be found in dry and off dry versions. I preferred the dry versions with food, where it makes a crisp quaffer.
      This 2002 vintage wine from Swedish Hill Vineyard had an apple blossom nose and was off dry with 2% residual sugar. It was lively and clean and had an attractive fresh aftertaste. Has 15% Riesling and 5% Viognier and cost $7 from the winery in November 2003.
      For more about my visit to Finger Lakes see here. The Swedish Hill web site is at www.swedishhill.com

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8 October 2006