Obscure Grape Varietals

Sommelier Jill Mott came by Jazz88’s Morning Show to talk about some of the lesser-known grapes that make delicious wine.

Bodegas Cueva Super Tack 2017
This is one of natural Spain’s most reclusive winemakers. I’m happy to tell you the story of my visit with him last summer, however the gist of it is, he really doesn’t show many people his wines. It took two hours of us conversing, him feeling me out when he finally asked, “Want to taste some wine?” I had to eat fermented fish sauce that was years old, weirdly fermented, crazy bean curd, and other fermented concoctions to get this far.
This wine is made from the grape Tardana – so rare in fact, it doesn’t even have a Wiki link. It’s late-ripening (hence the name Tardana, after tarde in Spanish, meaning late). This wine has no added SO2. The grape itself is very golden in color and tends to oxidize very quickly hence the hue of the wine being very soft and eggshell-like.  Vinified in stainless steel. Also available at Henry & Son.
Bichi Pet Mex 2018

Branden Tracey Romorantin 1998
This is such a subtle wine, people need to taste it to believe it! Romorantin is a grape most folks think drinks a little like Chenin Blanc, is not age-worthy and is an aside to otherwise regal white grapes of the Loire Valley (Melon de Bourgogne, Chenin and Sauvignon Blanc). This wine is a sign that anything is possible in the Loire especially, when a barrel is lost, a barrel is found, voile growing atop the wine that was never topped up (voile/flor is that veil of yeast that forms on a partially full barrel/tank of wine thus giving it myriad amounts of complexity but also preserves the wine and adds certain acids the wine would otherwise not have). Romorantin is generally only found on wines labelled with the region, Cour Cheverny, but the fact this wine is over 20 years old, was affected by voile and isn’t the typical sprightly little quaffer, it does not qualify for the CC labelling. Plus, it’s WAY cooler and more interesting than most CC bottlings. Unfiltered, one barrel bottled; Bar Brava is the only location to have it in the state (in addition to Henry & Son wine shop), no SO2 added. Also, here’s a link to Branden Tracey’s story – a hip dude indeed.

Originally aired Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 on the Morning Show with Emily Reese.

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