2016 Massican Gaspare Bianco Friuli Colli Orientali

A collaboration between Californian and Friulian winemakers

2016 Massican Ronco del Gnemiz Gaspare Bianco Friuli Colli Orientali

Gaspare is the result of a collaboration between Massican winemaker Dan Petroski and two friends from Friuli, the winemakers Serena Palazzolo and Christian Patat of Ronco del Gnemiz. The trio began sourcing fruit for this wine in 2014, and 2015 was its first vintage. It’s a cuvée of 43 percent Tocai Friulano, 29 percent Ribolla Gialla, and 28 percent Chardonnay, a blend that’s a near doppelgänger of Massican’s Annia, which is grown and made in California.

They are altogether different wines, naturally. This wine is fuller bodied, with more ripeness and mouth-coating texture. It’s a little sour, somewhat green-grassy like hay, and rasps the tongue with rustic acidity. The aromas are likewise herbaceous but rounded, too, like a fruit orchard just before it quickens into ripeness. The fruit notes in the wine skew toward green pears, honeydew, and the astringency of quince. Shades of sage and sweetgrass add a field note. The wine has moderate body, but the finish has a pleasing sour bitterness that begs for food.

Pair it with a mixed cheese course targeting young and milky cheeses, especially those made from goat’s and cow’s milks. Also good with briny fish and seafood dishes punctuated by green olives and dressed in fruity olive oil.

 

13.5% abv | $26 (sample) Imported by Massican; 375 cases made
Massican Winery

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7 Comments

  • Thanks for checking in on this. Sounds like it has fleshed out a bit since I tried it directly after release.

  • Another year later, and it’s showing very well, with a rich mid-palate, and a splash of spice over the crisp, green fruit. Reminds me more than a little of Dan’s Hyde Chardonnay, but not so refined.

  • Hi, David. Hi, Meg.

    I am in agreement about this wine right now. The 2016 vintage in Friuli (and Napa) was classic. Near perfect weather, average to above average yields, very good balance. During the blending process, I was thrilled with the potential for this wine, but when I first tasted this wine out of bottle, I got goosebumps. I always thought the idea of making a wine in Italy would be my last hurrah, something I did when I retired, but to be able to do this during this peak era of making the Massican wines, it is truly remarkable. And that is what this wine is to me, more than the aromas and flavors and textures, but about a dream come true! But on a more serious note, the first time I tasted it after the wine landed stateside, I immediately put this wine in the category of one of the best Massican wines ever bottled (and after 10 years there is close to 50 of them!). I’m not sure if this story adds any value to the conversation about how the wine is doing, but I just wanted to share my joy for this wine.

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