IDTT Podcast #265: Graham Tatomer
2014 Tatomer Grüner Veltliner Meeresboden
Graham Tatomer started working in wine at sixteen. He ended up following one of the more unusual trajectories in California wine.
One that led him to specialize in Grüner Veltliner.
Basically, in Santa Barbara, you're looking at a sea of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Then there's Tatomer who's turning out shockingly compelling expressions of Austria's native grape. He does produce a small amount of Pinot and very good Riesling, but the novelty and success of the Grüner makes it impossible not to focus on.
IDTT: 265 - Graham Tatomer
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Graham Tatomer's interview provides a fascinating look not only at winemaking and the intrepid spirit of California wine, but also lots of insight into Austrian wine.
He started off making Alsatian varietals. He was essentially the only person working with these grapes and pretty much learned in a vacuum.
Some years in, he decided to spend time in Austria working with Knoll. Tatomer's timing was excellent. As he says in the interview, it was a period when a younger generation in Wachau were about to take the reins from their parents and had accumulated an immense amount of knowledge while still having the time to share it with Tatomer.
The 2014 Grüner Meeresboden makes clear that he learned plenty from Knoll along with Alzinger and other Wachau luminaries. The wine is nicely composed, showing great balance with ripe citrus, herbal notes and an impressive underlying minerality. Meeresboden translates as "ocean to soil" and there's clear saline, sea breeze minerality present.
The 2014 Grüner Meeresboden is very drinkable and a great value. It's also an intriguing expression of the grape and will only become more so after listening to the interview.
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