Three Italian wines over the last few days, of all hues and from various regions, with a South African interloper there too.
With pasta baked with Feta, tomatoes and garlic - this Sardinian Nuragus:
Cantina Santadi, ‘Pedraia’ Nuragus di Cagliari 2021
I think we only had Nuragus once, perhaps twice, in Sardinia - so it was nice to be able to pay attention a bit more this time round.
Not the most expressive or aromatic nose, but the fruit (Honeydew melon, ripe pears and apricots) was fresh and inviting, and there was an interesting whiff of yoghurt - maybe even cheese curd - there too. Soft and rounded on the palate, the fruit (melons, Mirabelle plums and apricots) was lively and underlined by a touch of honey; the medium finish left a bitter citrus pith note. Not complex, but well-made and in a way offers a rather unique flavour profile.
With Iberico Pork chops and mash we drank this Lagrein - bottle 2 of 3:
Kellerei Bozen, Lagrein aus Gries ‘Baron Eyrl’ 2019
An absolutely smashing example of Lagrein, a grape that is unlikely to ever become a blockbuster - which is not necessarily a bad thing!
Lovely semi-opaque purple in the glass, the nose had inviting notes of cherry yoghurt, plums and liquorice with a background note of dusty earth. Similar notes on the palate - ripe plums, blueberries and cherries, with liquorice and cinnamon and parma violets. Bright and appetising acidity and a pleasing tannic grip gave it good structure, the mouthfeel was rounded yet zesty and the finish quite long and spicy. What a delightful, food-friendly and joyous wine!
This evening, with ham hock leftovers made into a stir fry, this Tuscan rosé:
La Spinetta, Il Rosé di Casanova, 2020
Bought in a recent GWC sale (paid £12 rather than £21), this is a 50/50 blend of Sangiovese and Prugnolo Gentile. I thought PG was another name for Sangiovese, but perhaps it’s more of a local biotype? Anyway, this is a fantastic rosé!
The colour is not unlike a Friuli Ramato, the nose first hits with Med herbs and with some more swirling notes of peach, white currants and blossom emerge too. We love the palate - it’s got a wonderful chewy texture, with notes of peach kernel, blood orange and those Med herbs again, underlined by a zesty minerality. Long finish! One for food
The South African interloper was the Graham Beck Rosé Brut NV, currently part of ‘10 for £10’ deal in Waitrose:
I just love this sparkling rosé! A touch of biscuit, redcurrants and strawberries on both nose and palate, and a very fresh pink grapefruit zest on the finish. Easy drinking, yes, but interesting and flavoursome at the same time. A steal at a tenner, though I’ll keep the other two bottles I bought for summer. @Aaronb - I wonder if you were unlucky with a duff bottle, or one kept badly? Although it’s equally possible that it’s just not to your taste
We’re off to Israel tomorrow to visit my family, which we haven’t seen since just before the pandemic. We’re probably going to stick to Israeli wines as much as possible whilst there…
Hope everyone has a good Easter when it comes!