Zafeirakis New Age Limniona 2018 in Bodegas Rio_Jano tonight, served cellar cool. On the nose, it’s slightly yeasty, though that isn’t necessarily unpleasant. Then a sip and it’s all sour cherry, pomegranate, whiff of blueberry, leading into some nice minerality, acidic bit, smallish amount of tannin. A refreshing spring wine. Sampled blind, I would have said decent Beaujolais, which is No Bad Thing At All
Edit: as this has warmed up, it’s got a bit more sweet strawberry-like. I think this retailed at just under £15, which seems a bit steep. But, nevertheless, glad to have widened my vinous horizons with another greek number.
The start of spring usually signifies bone dry Riesling where I originate from.
This is benchmark stuff and the bottle age has added waxy lemon richness and complexity.
Not bad for some supermarket plonk
…a Ribeira Sacra ‘Lapola’ 2017 from Dominio do Bibei. It’s a blend of godello, albarino and dona blanca. somewhere in the region of 70:20:10.
A really distinctive and original nose which I can’t pin down. So far it’s put me mind of dill, roasted and crushed coriander seeds. something floral and orchard fruits. If I smell something in a wine I usually taste it so all of that again on the palate. Fresh and complex with a creamy texture, a lovely balance between fruit and acidity, and good length of flavour on the tangy finish. Super stuff !
…after reading an article, earlier this week, on what makes an authentic paella it certainly wasn’t that but it was lush all the same. The shellfish stock I made last weekend definitely made a difference though.
All the best for the weekend everyone, I hope you all have a great time.
Goodness what a busy week. Also included a mid week wine tasting group of Portuguese wines. Other end of the continent tonight with this Greek white. Muscat, muscatel, tsaousi and vostolidi. Pronounced citrus, peach and passion fruit and nut aromas. Dry and delicious.
Medium red centre, light red rim. Medium nose. Strawberry, raspberry. Notes of red cherry. Medium minus palate. Silky tannins. Fresh acidity. Plush red fruit. Ripe strawberry. Red cherry. Red currant and raspberry. Touch of cranberry. Medium plus finish.
Gorgeous young Barolo. First time trying this producer and I highly recommend Voerzio Martini Barolo La Serra 2017.
Decanted 3h and after 1h or so in the glass started evolving from dark cherries, tar and roses to a confectionary nose and later was more savoury and rounded.
Blimey, some impressive and esoteric wines on show this weekend.
My entry for the most esoteric is this one, a 100% Ancellotta from Bodegas Vista Alegre (est. 1857), in Ica, Peru where we visited today, tasted, and succumbed to some cellar door purchase temptations, including this, their top cuvée. We have opened this with a pizza from the restaurant here at Vinas Queirolo; on our last night here before going Tourist. Corkage is not something they seem to bother about.
JRWG downplays this variety - from Modena in Emilia-Romagna, and we have had it before in Brazil, but this one is turbocharged despite the modest 13.5% abv. In Italy normally used as a blending / darkening partner rather than as a single variety cuvée.
Golly - It is lovely and complex and long; totally unexpected and arguably wasted with a pizza. We got plum tomato, bayleaf, smoked bacon, chocolate, blueberries and mint on the finish. Boy do I wish I’d bought another one, but hey it is what it is.
My head is a little sore after this line-up for ‘an evening with Renato Vezza’ of Bricco Ernesto. 2015 Rosso was a surprise appearance, brought over from Italy, a possibility illegal wine!
A fantastic evening tasting through the vintages with the winemaker, a real privilege. The reds (100% Nebbiolo) were great, each reflecting the different vintage conditions, but with a consistent line of elegance and silky tannins. Despite being served from magnum, even the 2018 and 2019 (took more time, but opened up beautifully to become probably my favourite red of the evening) were approachable. Good with meat
If the reds were great, the whites (100% Arneis) were outstanding. Skin contact and (I think I recall) some oak during fermentation only serve to enhance the finished wine to give wines of intensity and richness, gorgeous texture. Food wines to be sure (they were served with our starters), improved with air - I think I’d decant - and served the at same temperature as white burgundy. Very hard to believe these were Renato’s first two white vintages.
I went to Humble Grape Battersea last night continue my exploration of wine bars within walking distance of me.
Nice atmosphere somewhere between bar, restaurant and wine shop. Everyone else I was drinking with was either late or still ill, so I sat on me tod with a glass of moderately tasty Maconais (2017 Luzy Macarez Saint Veran Les Conquete). Nothing mind blowing complexity wise, but high on the pleasure stakes.
Next up was a “wine flight of the month” which this month celebrated female wine makers (each paired with a snack).
Quinta de Saes Colheita Branco, 2021, Dão, Portugal
A Riesling from Central Ortago that I can’t make out my own writing on
Bodegas Adria Vega Montán, 2018 Mencia
Bartinney Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016, Stellenbosch
The first and last were the standouts. The Dåo was really complex but also fresh and fun. The South African Cab Sav was very Bordeaux in the best possible way (for a fraction of the price, I’d say £30 of this could easily be twice that for a Bordeaux).
On Thursdays and Friday’s they have an “Icon” or two open. This week is was Rombauer Vineyards, Merlot, 2017 and Rombauer Vineyards, Zinfandel 2018. We had one of each between us. I’m not the biggest Nappa fan as I usually find them far too big for my tastes. These were far to big for my tastes, but also they were balanced enough for me to cope (and even gasp enjoy!). The Merlot was clearly the star. It was very smooth, but with a lot of structure and incredible length. Text book Merlot flavours of plum and blackberry, but with a bit of freshness that you don’t normally get in “international” Merlot. The Zin was a bit of a block buster. All show up front but very little to back it up. So much fruit and a little game/iron up front, but a very short finish. It was perfectly pleasant.
The bar was also perfectly pleasant and I’ll probably visit again (probably pretty soon as SWINC-Mrs-Pig is starting to feel well enough and wants a go for herself).
After a spectacular meeting of the north London wine society’s chapter on Thursday, I was nursing a slightly sore head yesterday. While I didn’t finish all of my 17 50ml pours, the sheer level of quality made it hard to resist polishing off most of them, so relatively quiet Friday night.
Parents up to visit today and popped one of there with a lunch of 5hr smoked ribs, slaw and potatoes.
Delicious. Comes on like a cross between a rose, a lighter red and an orange wine. Quite viscous and full bodied, lots of orange and red fruit (orange, raspberry, pomegranate) and a definite hint of that tomato leaf character that Xinomavro so often has. This also has a slightly bitter, herbal character.
Very much a food wine, this has amazing complexity and length. Not really one for those more used to pale Provençal rose, but I loved it.