Current Favourites…

Here you can find a list of wines that we think are currently drinking well; wines that we have enjoyed recently and would like to share with you! 

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White Wines

Honorio Rubio, “Tremendus” Rioja Blanco (Rioja, Spain)

The vineyards surround the small town of Cordovín in La Rioja Alta 20km south of Haro, 30km south east of Logroño. This area is famous in northern Spain for making “El Clarete de Cordovín”, a light refreshing rosé style wine. The family Rubio-Villar owns a total of 37.1 acres (15 hectares) spread across the region of Cordovín in La Rioja and controls production of another 150.5 acres (50 hectares) owned by wine growers from whom the family have purchased grapes for many years.

This simple Viura is the vinous equivalent of Schweppe’s bitter lemon, being tangy and refreshing – in fact, quite a tonic.

Domaine Champalou, Vouvray “Cuvee des Fondraux” (Vouvray, France)

Didier and Catherine Champalou have been established in the heart of the appellation since 1983 and have acquired over 20 hectares of Chenin. Their philosophy is simple: to create wines that respect the grape variety, the terroir and the nature of the vintage. The Champalous are registered with the Terra Vitis programme, a charter that promotes sustainable farming and respect for the environment by maintaining a good balance in the soil, the terroir and the plant and limiting chemical applications. Didier Champalou makes beautiful, ethereal Vouvray. His wines have a rounded, tender, almost buttery texture with suggestions of apples and ripe quinces sheathed in delicate threads of honey.

The Cuvée des Fondraux, a demi-sec, is from densely planted 50-year-old vines propitiously located on slopes of argilo-silicieux terroir. An enticing golden colour draws you to nose an exotic bouquet of lavender honey, sweet grape and marzipan; the palate reinforces this delightful impression. Chenin Blanc like this works well with many types of food; it will accompany wild salmon, white meats and various cheeses

Red Wines

Clos de l’Azerolle, Minervois “Le Rouge de l’Azerolle” 2013

Located in Badens due east of Carcassonne in the south west part of Minervois, Raymond Julien is a grower to watch.  Le Rouge de l’Azerolle is a super-drinkable, fruit forward red from 50 year old Carignan vines with a modern style, but very well done.

Bernabe Navarro, “Tragolargo” Monastrell (Alicante, Spain)

These are pure, “minimal intervention” wines at the forefront of Spain’s slow move towards more elegant, terroir driven styles from Alicante, South-East Spain where the climate is hot, humid and Mediterranean near the coast becoming drier and more continental further inland.

This Rafa’s ‘drinking’ wine, and it’s a varietal Monastrell, no added sulfites. A vital, fresh, grippy wine with a nose of fresh cherry and berry fruits. The palate is fresh, vivid and grippy.  Really fresh!

San Ferdinando, Ciliegiolo 2013

This estate specializes in,  and has an ancestral passion for, growing indigenous, Tuscan grape varieties.  Ciliegielo is one of these and the estate comments ”our aim when we produce this wine in every vintage is to allow it to display its fresh, style which is always enhanced with a good level of acidity, so that we highlight the aromas and drinkability of a grape variety that has been, in our opinion, too easily rejected in favour of international grape varieties”.

The Ciliegiolo grapes were manually-harvested in late September from eight-year-old vines that are farmed according to ”lotta Guidata” ( fighting disease and pests with reasonable force), which is similar to organic farming in that no pesticides nor herbicides are used in the vineyards.  The vines are planted in a soil that is mostly potassium-rich clay.  Alcoholic fermentation by wild yeasts (it is paramount to this estate to use indigenous yeasts in order to obtain wines that are a true reflection of their place of origin, and of the vintage, and of the actual vineyard and winery where they were produced) in stainless steel vats with temperature control then aged for 5-6 months on the fine lees.

Deep ruby red with violet highlights, on the nose, notes of plum emerge, and also of Marasca cherries, and spices, while on the palate there is a clear freshness, and good acidity.  It is however, soft and rounded with a persistent finish.  This is a youthful wine, to drink within two years of the vintage.

Tom Shobbrook, “Didi Novello” Nebbiolo (Barossa Valley, Australia)

Tom picked up the Gourmet Traveller/Wine Australia medal 2010 for Best Young winemaker. He’s self taught, learning much of his trade in Italy. He built the shed in which he works, by hand. He’s into biodynamics in the vineyard and minimal intervention in the winery. He doesn’t do cultivated yeasts, uses only minimal sulphur, doesn’t add acid and doesn’t do fining. “Didi” Wines are directly inspired by Tom’s time in Italy rather than an unscheduled stop in Knotty Ash. The fruit is sourced from the cooler part of the Adelaide Hills and allow Tom to create wines of great structure and finesse. There are several styles under this label including a Pinot and a Nebbiolo. These are the ultimate hand-made wines.

His “Didi Novello” is made from Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. Left on skins for four weeks and an additional full month in old oak it’s instructive to see how the extra time on skins and oak has affected the wine and infused it with flavour and subtle texture. As you’d expect, it’s a light red – more colour, fruit and structure. A food wine of finesse – roses and a little tar. What delights is Tom’s ability to create such an appealing acid structure with oh-so-soft (integrated) tannins that feel so nice in the mouth.

Posted by Virginie on 18-Nov-2014. Permalink
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