Fellow Wine Lovers,
Glass of Pinot Grigio, Wayne? Don’t mind if I do….
And so we signed off last week’s email.
Friday and Saturday saw many of your tasting the wines on show and numerous positive comments were made regarding our first ever Pinot Grigio tasting – the general consensus being it was pretty darn good. Imagine our amazement when this email arrived on Monday morning:
As customers of Di Lenardo’s Pinot Grigio, we are sure you will be pleased to hear the recent success of this talented producer at the first Pinot Grigio International Challenge with his Pinot Grigio Ramato Gossip (see below article). These are much-deserved awards for a fantastic wine and the fact Gossip has received not one, but three awards, should generate interest amongst your Pinot Grigio fans, Ramato or otherwise.
Huge Success for Di Lenardo’s Ramato Gossip
Best Pinot Grigio Ramato of the World, Best Pinot Grigio of Friuli and Second Best Pinot Grigio of the World… The awards seemed endless for Massimo di Lenardo at the first ever Pinot Grigio International Challenge in Corno di Rosazzo near Udine, Friuli, this June.
The competing wines came from over Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Alto Adige, Trentino, Sicilia), France, Austria, South Africa, Australia and the USA. Renamed ‘Winebledon’, the judging took place much like a series of tennis matches; the wines directly battling it out in pairs, and following a tournament structure. The Challenge also held conferences over the commercial challenges presented to Pinot Grigio on the current world market, the reasons for its immense popularity and the ways in which its image may be improved.
Di Lenardo’s ‘Gossip’ is made from Pinot Grigio grapes which have spent 18 hours fermenting in contact with their skins; enough time to achieve a beautiful, coppery hue otherwise known as ‘Ramato’. The wine then stays on the lees until bottling. This delicious wine’s luscious aromas include both fresh red fruits and aromatic dried fruits with delightful additional notes of wild flower meadows, hay and almonds.
Di Lenardo has achieved a delicate balance of robust fruit and crisp acidity, characterising the complex palate with flavours that mirror the wine’s bouquet.
So to everyone that thought the wine was delicious give yourselves a pat on the back, you were right!!
Not a great deal to report – Andy Murray loses to an extremely capable young man named Novak, England grind out a tedious win in a friendly football match and our boys in flannels watch a masterclass in One Day cricket that should only surely result in a serious change of personnel.
Phone/photo hacking sweeps the USA as the Cloud seems to be pretty much the least safe place to store confidential files but also shows an interesting celebrity idiosyncrasy – I’m beautiful therefore I must take some photos of my beautiful naked body over and over again – the argument for Polaroid’s has never been stronger!
If it’s September, it must be Chile.
Over the last few years we have made September a chance to focus on the wines from this long, slim South American country partly linked to the fact that Chilean Independence day is on the 18th and the Wines of Chile chaps always send us some nice maps and goodies!
So the focus of this month’s tastings will be Chilean wine plus our Case Club this month is also a Chilefest, replete with a couple of Wayne’s favourite recipes!
For those of you wondering what this ‘Case Club’ thing is, allow me to elaborate. Each month we select 6 wines, 3 white and 3 red normally, write up tasting notes and charge £50 for the box of six – a discount of anywhere between 13-20% off the shelf price. We offer to deliver this case locally to you or you can pick it up from the shop – it’s a wine club like many other wine clubs the difference being you know who we are, where we live etc etc.
Should you be interested in joining in the fun just let us know and we’ll add you to the list. At the beginning of each month we send you the tasting notes, you then say ‘yes, please’ or occasionally ‘no, thank you’, we then deliver and you pay us. Pretty simple, much like us!
Here are the notes for this month’s case, to give you an idea of what we do:
Oyster Shack Chardonnay 2013, Central Valley – £7.29 This Central Valley Chardonnay is unoaked with lively ripe red apple and tropical fruit flavours with a touch of leesy complexity. Nice and crisp in the finish, we’re looking at some early season pumpkin risotto, or if you’re looking for something authentic how about Ave Palta, a chicken and avocado sandwich.
Aromo Viognier 2012, Maule Valley – £8.49 Maule is one of Chile’s traditional wine growing areas, just about 250km south of Santiago. There’s not a great deal of Viognier planted there but when you taste this you’ll wonder why. Lovely and fresh with stone fruit character nicely balanced into a good finish. Tasty with a creamy prawn pasta dish, but how about Ostiones a la Parmesana, clams in butter and parmesan.
Gallardia del Itata Muscat 2012, Itata Valley – £12.99 Itata is about as far south as winemaking gets in Chile and is where some of the earliest vineyards were planted. This Muscat is, quite frankly, delicious. We listed it following this tasting note: “almost a Viognier nose, nowhere near as floral as you might expect from Muscat – very south Chile region, nice texture and more floral Muscat on the initial palate then we move into more wine character – minerals, herbs and a sniff of spice. Delicious, dry and lasts forever. Yes.” Nuff said.
Casa Azul Pinot Noir 2012, Casablanca Valley – £9.99 Hooray is all I can say! The one thing we know about Pinot Noir is that it is often either very expensive or not very Pinot Noiry, which can sometimes lead to disappointment. Here in Casablanca though the cooler coastal climate really works for the grape. We think this chap is bang on the button – lovely red fruits, light tannins, no bitter finish. It will go with everything from grilled tuna, crisps or how about Costilla de Chancho, a rack of ribs roasted or barbecued.
De Martino Legado Carménère 2 012, Maipo Valley – £12.49 100% Carménère. They were the first carbon neutral winery in South America and the first winery to export Carménère, so why did we choose this wine? Because it tasted good, that’s why! Black fruits and freshly spiced raspberry (spiced raspberry?); velvety, well-rounded and fresh in the finish, maybe a hit of espresso in there. On the sustenance front we’re going for Baste a la Pore, a dish of steak, onions chips and with a fried egg on top.
Carmen Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Colchagua – £10.69 We figured it’d be rude to wander around Chile without popping a Cabernet Sauvignon in to your glass. We read somewhere that all the antioxidants in Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon are especially good for you. We’re not qualified to comment on that front, but we would mention the dark black fruits overlaid with hints of cassis, eucalyptus and allspice. Rich and velvety smooth on the palate with excellent weight into the finish. We’re suggesting Pastel de Choclo with this one which is similar to Shepherd’s Pie, which would also work.
All this, for £50, marvellous.
As predicted we’ll be putting Chile in your glass too. I think we’ll dip into the selection above to start with and try the Muscat from Itata and whilst we’re towards the south, how about the Cabernet Sauvignon too?
Lot’s about wine this week, one of the most focused emails we’ve written for a long time!
Wayne & Alex