Eye-Opening: Friuli by Way of California - 2012 Massican Annia

Posted by Joe Salamone

Friuli by Way of California
2012 Massican Annia

We don't focus a ton on California white wine, but Massican's 2012 Annia caught me off-guard and really impressed me.

There's a texture, a bright sparkle of minerality that's really captivating.

Above all, there's a purity of expression and a vibrancy to the Annia that make it stand out. The wine clocks in at 12.7% alcohol. This low alcohol shows in the refreshing and nice acid edge, but impressively this doesn't come at the expense of palate presence or length.

The only issue is with just 485 cases of Annia made in 2012, it's very limited.

Over the past year or so, it's become very clear that a new crop of winemakers have turned California into one of the most exciting and fascinating places happening in wine.

Massican's Dan Petroski captures not only the ethos of this "new California," but also delivers quality in a big way. It's one thing to experiment working with different grapes, to work in a different idiom than what seemed like a sea of high-alcohol Cabernet and Chardonnay, but it's another when doing so results in something truly eye-opening.

Annia is an unusual, Friulian-inspired blend of Ribolla, Friulano and Chardonnay. The way that the blend plays out is really, really lovely: you feel the acid, steely streak of the Ribolla Gialla, the floral slightly nutty quality of Friulano and then, the weight and depth of Chardonnay. The result is a mineral laden, ripe citrus infused wine with melons, white flowers and subtle notes of toasted almonds.

Dan Petroski started life in publishing, but got obsessed with wine and went to Italy to work in winemaking. Today, in addition to making wines at Massican, Petroski is assistant winemaker at Larkmead. The idea for his Annia was to deliver the mineral, fairly intense wines of Friuli in California. He sources his Ribolla Gialla from George Vare's vineyard (the only plantings of the grape in the U.S.), Friulano from a vineyard planted in 1947 and Chardonnay from Larry Hyde's famed vineyard in Carneros.

This is highly recommended. This is just a wine that pulls off what it sets out to do very well. This may sound small, but only a small percentage of wines achieve this. I'll leave it at that.

To order, reply to offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits