Massican is a very small winery in Calistoga that was founded by owner and winemaker Dan Petroski in 2009. The grapes are sourced mostly in Napa Valley and production is limited to white wines with current annual production around 1200 cases. The wines are available from the winery (with a release date each April) and in limited retail distribution in seven states. In 2014 production is increasing with another wine, Gemina, which is a blend of Greco and Pinot Grigio also being added.
I recently tasted three 2013 Massican white wines that are very special. Following is background information taken from the website:
Massican is named after the coastal mountain range on the southern Italian peninsula in the region of Campania. Monte Massico garnered its mythological wine-fame when Bacchus took refuge in its foothills with a farmer named Falernus. Bacchus was so enamored with his host’s generosity that when the man slept, Bacchus cultivated his hillside fields into the most sought after white wine grapes in all of Italy.
At Massican it is our pursuit and love of unique, memorable white wines; wines that we wish to share. Iinspired by our roots in Italy, made here in Napa Valley. The winery was founded, with our first vintage, in 2009.
The history of our name resides in the south of Italy. However, the inspiration for the wine comes from the North. The Massican wines are a blend of grape varieties with the hope of promising a new, unique approach of what white wine could be – modern, spirited, different – taking the best of what California vineyards have to offer and approaching the winemaking with intellectual verve and passion.
We harvested four grape varieties in and around Napa Valley and Sonoma County in 2013 – two North East Italian white varieties, Tocai Friulano and Ribolla Gialla, coupled with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. We made three wines channeling the style and the blends made famous by such wineries as Borgo del Tiglio, Jermann, Lis Neris, Meroi, Miani, Ronco del Gnemiz, Venica & Venica and Vie di Romans, to name a few.
The wines in 2013…
Annia : a blend of Tocai Friulano, Ribolla Gialla and Chardonnay
Gemina : one-hundred percent Chardonnay
Sauvignon : one-hundred percent Sauvignon Blanc
My notes on each of these wines follow below. They are really lovely – refined, beautifully balanced, and very pure. To sign up for the mailing list click here ).
2013 Massican Annia Napa Valley White Wine
The production of this wine was 585 cases. It is a unique wine made with 44% Tocai Friulano, 36% Ribolla Gialla, and 20% Chardonnay. The Tocai Friulano grapes are harvested from vines that are nearly 70 years old.
Light yellow in color the wine has a lovely floral spice perfume with hints of melon and almond. Bright and crisp with a wonderful purity, it is light and refined with only 12.5% alcohol. Very easy to drink with lovely citrus and apricot nuances accented by a faint mineral tinged spiciness and a floral undertone, this is irresistibly delicious and a wonderful complement to lighter foods – Outstanding. $28
2013 Massican Gemina Chardonnay Carneros Napa Valley
The grapes for this wine came from 21 year old vines in Hyde Vineyards. The production was 280 cases.
Light yellow in color with a faint golden hue this Chardonnay has a lovely floral perfume with hints of pear and white peach. Balanced and harmonious with lots of very pure fruit suggestive of peach with a faint floral spice, this wine has a wonderful bright freshness which really accentuates the fruit. It is lovely to drink now, but I would think that a few years additional bottle age would reveal even more complexity – Outstanding. $45
2013 Massican Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
This is one of the best California Sauvignon Blancs I have had in many years. The grapes came from vineyards in Pope Valley and the production was 335 cases.
Light yellow in color the wine has a stunning perfume with floral and herbal notes. With great fruit and intensity it is rounded and lush with a distinct lemon lime note accented by hints of grapefruit, lychee, and fresh herbs. The bright acidity gives the wine a lift and freshness that is remarkable. Matched with fresh Dungeness crab, this wine was perfect – Outstanding Plus. $28