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Showing posts with label Sangiovese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sangiovese. Show all posts

30 December 2013

Italian "reds of the moment"

Featuring a couple of well-known names from northeastern Italy and a slightly more senior one from Tuscany (another Tuscan will follow too), all suitably red, full-flavoured and New Year-y...
Le Tobele Valpolicella Ripasso 2011 (13.5% abv) – 'volatile' balsamic notes on the nose, turns to very Italian morello cherry and almond aromas/flavours, floral and fruity with peppery edges; nice ripe cherry fruit with dry yet soft tannins vs fair acidity adding freshness, kirsch notes and perfumed crunchy fruit with attractive bite vs maturing savoury flavours. Nice 'sweet and sour' thing going on, fruity vs savoury balsamic, has good depth too. Went well with a creamy mushroom risotto. €10.99 Lidl Wine Cellar (Ireland, will confirm £ price in UK).
Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010 (15.5% abv) – the initial nose is a little heady/porty, chunky and austere when first opened too; turning to dried plum with balsamic meaty gravy notes even, thick tannins with a touch of oak texture/flavour, that alcohol's quite punchy vs lush cherry and olive fruit; it's still pretty firm powerful and 'porty' vs attractive sweet/savoury fruit. Quite good, the other dearer Amarone (links to note on that) Lidl 'wine cellar' has is better and finer (and dearer of course); this one's more in your face but is still attractive. Good with chocolate pudding. £15.99, €17.99
Casato dei Medici Riccardi 2008 Brunello di Montalcino (14% abv) – surprisingly herby/earthy tones at first (for its age, this went with airing though) vs mature smoky notes, dried fruits (morello/kirsch) with savoury 'cheesy' edges, balsamic and black pudding too! Smooth mature palate with dried cherries and meaty flavours, melted-in tannins although still has a bitter twist of grip and structure too, a bit of oomph vs balanced finish. Nice old-fashioned red, not 'top top' but reasonable quality and authentic style for £19.99 – Brunello can be mega expensive.

30 March 2013

Italy: Tuscany - San Polino, Brunello di Montalcino

According to their site, Luigi Fabbro, Katia Nussbaum and family practise "permaculture and biodynamic-organic farming..." at their four hectare estate (10 acres divided roughly into two thirds / one third of vines and olives, which are made into their own extra-virgin olive oil) up in the pretty Montalcino hills. I've never seen or heard the former term used by a winery before, which apparently implies an element of sustainable design or building within a self-sufficient and environmentally friendly farming model (man). The vineyard is planted entirely with the Sangiovese grape, and their first Brunello, as they call this variety here or rather the local 'clone' of it, was released in 2001 following several years of restoration and replanting work between 1991 and 1998. Winemaker and viticulturist Alberto Gjilaska, originally from Albania, has been on the team since those early days. Importers include Integrity Wines in the US, Vintage Roots (£ prices below) and Dynamic Vines in the UK; € prices quoted are approx. cellar door. So, chill out and enjoy the view (copied from www.sanpolino.it)!


2011 Sant Antimo Rosso di Montalcino - lovely fruity vs 'inky' red with dark morello cherry flavours, easy going and tasty. €7
2008 Brunello di Montalcino - light toasted coconut tones, rich vs firm palate, quite extracted and chewy yet has nice tannins and plenty of ripe 'sweet/savoury' fruit, some fresh acidity lingering too on its balanced long finish. €20 £27-£30
2008 Brunello di Montalcino Helichrysum - perfumed floral wild herb and minty notes vs dried fruits, attractive maturing fruit yet still firm and dry mouth-feel, tasty concentrated 'sweet/savoury' finish. €30 £52
2007 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva - similar profile but more developed and softer, lovely dried fruits with meaty edges, still structured with subtle concentration but riper tannins and long finish.

20 September 2012

Australia: Grenache and 'Med reds'

Turkey Flat Grenache
from  turkeyflat.com.au
Friday 21 September is International Grenache Day, so here's my special topical report!
Besides straight Shiraz (click there to browse recent post immediately below this one), or sometimes blended with a small dollop of Viognier, there's also an exciting, and logical, trend in Australia towards making 'Rhone' or 'Mediterranean' style red varietals and cocktails, with increasing interest in planting more e.g. Spanish, Italian and Portuguese varieties in certain hot regions. This isn't totally new of course, given that there are a few plots of 100+ year-old Shiraz and Grenache still standing and producing in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale (see wines below e.g. d'Arenberg and click here to read about that in my Aus Grenache report last year). What I call Mediterranean varietals and blends, for the sake of argument and in addition to Grenache and Shiraz/Syrah, includes Mourvèdre aka Mataro or Monastrell, which some winemakers are really getting to grips with, on its own or in a mix with S and G. While other wineries are experimenting further with Spanish grapes such as Tempranillo, or Italian imports like SangioveseI've also thrown in a delicious Port style fortified wine from Grant Burge, which does fit neatly into my hot Med/Rhone red category being unashamedly GMS, even if it's nothing like the others... Retail prices are for Ireland in euros; many of them will be available in the UK, North America etc.

Barossa Valley

Yalumba 2009 Bush Vine Grenache - enticing ripe liquorice tinged nose with peppery edges, quite soft mouth-feel with savoury vs 'sweet' fruit, dry tannins and a bit of kick on the finish but it doesn't really show up. €18-€20
Two Hands Wines 2010 Yesterday's Hero Grenache - herby berry vs spicy/sweet liquorice aromas, tasty juicy fruity palate with power and grip; delicious stuff. €30
Turkey Flat 2009 Grenache - savoury and leather tones vs 'sweet' liquorice and spice, concentrated and weighty with nice grip, meaty vs ripe flavours, rich vs dry finish. +€20
Two Hands Wines 2010 Brave Faces Grenache Shiraz Mataro - attractive 'sweet' berry fruit, spicy and soft with punchy length, dry vs ripe lingering flavours. €27
Turkey Flat 2010 Butcher's Block Red (Shiraz Grenache Mourvèdre, 14.5% alc) - subtle oak layered with lovely ripe blackberry/cherry fruit and savoury black olive notes too, soft and juicy mouth-feel then finishing firmer and punchy, bitter twist vs 'sweet'/savoury flavours; different. €15-€18
Turkey Flat 2007 Mourvèdre - browning colour with meaty wild black olive hints, powerful and chunky mouth-feel vs concentrated and lush, attractive herby bitter twist too; old-fashioned 'Bandol' style! +€20
Grant Burge 10 Year Old Tawny (Grenache Mourvèdre Shiraz, 19% alc) - complex Port (or 'red Madeira' even!) style with dried berry and caramel aromas, oily maturing nutty flavours vs sweet dried fruits vs punchy finish. Lovely fortified wine. €20+ 
John Duval 2006 'Plexus' Shiraz Grenache Mourvèdre - minty vs savoury nose, mature vs solid palate, still quite tight vs smoky flavoured on the finish; fairly understated actually. €20+

McLaren Vale

d'Arenberg 2009 Stump Jump GSM - smoky savoury nose, chunky yet mature palate, oxidising a bit vs some oomph left on the finish. €10-€12
d'Arenberg 2007 d'Arry's Original GSM - mature nose with 'tar' and leather tones, savoury vs lush dark berry and spice flavours, concentrated chunky grippy finish; lovely wilder style with power vs enticing maturing savoury side. €18-€20

Willunga 100 2010 Grenache - a bit 'reductive' on the nose, moves on to juicy 'sweet' liquorice fruit vs dry grip, dark peppery and lush with bitter chocolate twist, taut and firm finish; needs time to open up. €12-€15

Victoria

Brown Brothers 2010 Dolcetto & Syrah (10% alc) - perfumed 'Nouveau' nose with cherry and cassis fruit, lightly frothy 'frizzante' style with a bit of sugar and lively cherry finish; refreshingly different! €10-€12
Brown Brothers 2010 Tempranillo (14.5%) - slightly earthy nose, perfumed and creamy red and black fruit palate, turning more 'sweet/savoury' with firm and dry vs drinking well finish. Nice 'Med' style. €10-€12

Western Australia - Margaret River

McHenry Hohnen 2007 Three Amigos red (SGM) - smoky meaty developed nose vs ripe berry and cinnamon, has a bit of oomph and subtle concentration vs soft tannins and enticing maturing 'sweet/savoury' fruit finish. Good stuff. €20+