2022 Massican Winery, Annia, White Wine, Napa Valley.
The beautiful and aromatic Massican Annia white from the talented Dan Petroski is a unique blend of Ribolla Gialla 41%, 33% Tocai Friulano, both grapes found in Northeast Italy, and 26% Chardonnay. The ’22 starts with a bouquet of white blossoms, peach and lemon peel before a medium bodied palate emerges with steely mineral, lemon/lime, white peach and apple fruits, along with clove spice, bread dough, wet stones and a hint of hazelnut in a wine that stays vibrant and energetic, but fills out with pleasing generosity and richness. This bottling is Petroski’s flagship wine and, as he notes, is sourced from small vineyards around the Napa Valley and explains that these three grape varietals, Tocai Friulano, Ribolla Gialla and Chardonnay, are harvested separately and fermented independently in French Oak and stainless steel tanks until blending six weeks before bottling. According to Petroski the Tocai (or just Friulano) and the Ribolla build the aromas and primary flavors in this delicious wine, while, as he says, the Chardonnay adds to the wine’s structure, which I feel plays a key role in the palate impact and presence in this vintage. Dan adds that his Annia is supposed to be fresh and subtle wine and should also reward the patient, continuing that it fulfills the promise that he had hoped when he set forth years ago to bottle memorable white wines, that would be unique among the wines of California, which looks accomplished with his latest set. I look forward to seeing what other wines come along from Massican, the upcoming offerings looks to expand and it is very exciting times for Italian white grapes!

Dan Petroski, who is the winemaker at Napa’s historic Larkmead Winery, is also well known for his own Massican label, which focuses on the bright style of Mediterranean white wines and Italian varietals, using an intriguing selection of grapes like Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Pinot Grigio, Falanghina and Greco di Trufo, along with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, as seen in this Annia. His work has many fans, especially Gallo, who have invested in a big way here to build the Massican Winery into a leader in producing a new future of California, in particular Napa Valley, white wines. This will allow Petroski to focus on what he does best, make wine and give him a solid base from which to succeed with his plans to create a consistent elevated set of wines, as well as help secure top vineyard sites to up the quality. The kick on effect with help growers that have these unique varietals planted to keep them and even add more acreage, giving everyone more confidence for the future here. The Massican lineup includes some really interesting stuff, along with this Annia, there’s the Gemina which reaches beyond the Napa Valley and is made from Southern Italian varietals, including Greco di Tufo andFalanghina. Petroski explains that Gemina is the name of an ancient Roman grape planted in the region around the Massican hills of southern Italy, hence the name he chose for the winery. The Greco grape, who’s history originates in Greece, and according to Dan, dates back to the first century when it was first called Aminea Gemina. I also tried the 2022 Gemina and loved its mouth watering crispness, mineral tones, salinity, bitter almond and verbena notes, full review to follow. I really loved these impressive Massican wines, they are serious food wines and I highly recommend them!
($32 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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