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Copyright © 2018
Forkmedia LLC


by Fred McMillin
for April 12, 2000


Tamas for the Boss


Tamas Reserve Dear Fred,

    My wife submits,
    and I obey,
    She always lets
    Me have her way.
— Henpecked

    PS—Her way
    Is Chardonnay.
    What's a good one?

Dear Henpecked,

    A Chardonnay won Best White in my last blind tasting. Let me tell you about it.

The Rest of the Story—Tamas Tidbits

1966—Steven Kent Mirassou Sr. And his cousins began selling wine under the Mirassou label. In the following years he got to know a former Hungarian freedom fighter who was working for Robert and Peter Mondavi at the Charles Krug Winery. His name was Ivan Tamas Fuezy.

1984—Steve and Ivan decided to strike out on their own, forming the Ivan Tamas Winery. They knew California vineyards, bought grapes, and made their wines in the Livermore Valley.

1993—With plenty of smarts, they did well. Robert Parker, Jr. wrote: "They are producing terrific wines that represent excellent bargains. The Chardonnay is full-bodied, concentrated, rich and exuberant." The same year my panel gave the 1989 Reserve Tamas Chardonnay a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED in the San Francisco Independent.

1996—Steven Kent Mirassou Jr. joins Tamas and the next year buys Ivan's share.

2000—Father and son have proved to be a very effective team, with production now over 50,000 cases annually. One of their best wines is the 1,500 cases a year Reserve Chardonnay, which is our...

Wine of the Day

1996 Ivan Tamas Reserve Chardonnay
Source of grapes—33% Livermore Valley, 67% Monterey County
Aging—Held two years before release.
Malolactic fermentation—Half went through malo to increase depth and creaminess.
My panel—Nice pineapple-like fruit
Price—$20 range
Contact—Steve Sr. or Jr., (925) 456-2376, FAX(925) 456-2381

Postscript—Another Tamas Wine

Whatta conversation piece. Tamas is the U.S.A.'s leading producer of the grape praised two millennia ago by such greats as Pliny the Elder and Galen, the physician of the Roman emperors. It's the Tamas Trebbiano, $10. (See WineDay Oct. 19, 1999)

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


This page created April 2000