The Refosco has a huge and captivating nose of white pepper, almonds, tropical fruit, and smashed berries.
The flavors continue with marzipan, berries, and a distinctive iron-y and stony minerality. The tannins and concentration are very strong, but the moderate alcohol and balanced acidity keeps the palate lively and clean.
The Refosco represents 3 rows in our home ("MATTHIASSON") vineyard in the Western Oak Knoll area of Napa Valley. It was grafted onto 15 year old Merlot vines. Refosco (Nostrano) originates in the Friuli region of Italy and Slovenia. While most Refosco in the U.S. is misnamed, and is actually Mondeuse noire, true Refosco budwood was imported from Italy and officially released in the late ‘90s. We have one of the only plantings in California. An ancient grape, Refosco was first mentioned in print in 1409 at a banquet for Pope Gregory XII. It is distantly related to Syrah and Pinot noir. The wine is 100 percent Refosco. The 2014 vintage is our sixth crop. We grafted the budwood onto mature Merlot vines in 2008. Refosco thrives in our moderate marine-influenced climate at our home down in the foggy and breezy mouth of the Napa Valley.
The grapes were destemmed and crushed, and fermented in a very small stainless steel tank. We did a mixture of manual punch downs and pump-overs.
We pressed after 18 days on the skins, and aged the wine in neutral barrels for 18 months. We bottled unfined and unfiltered.