sabato 19 maggio 2018

Minervois new wave

Benjamin Taillandier in the Minervois AOC in the Languedoc make wines less concentrate and alcoholic ... Lighter, fresher and lower in alcohol ... However his wines are full of liveness and are also vindesoif .... VITI VINI BIBI is a cuvee of grenache, cinsault, carignan with very low level of so2 ...
He start in 2007 after finish winemaking school and work under Jean Baptiste Senat at Domaine Senat... For Benjamin Jean Baptiste is a mentor and with the technique and ideas he learned with his master; he decide to make is own wines. In 2007 he settled in his family’s hometown of Caunes-Minnervois, he purchased less than 6 hectare of vine under Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Terret Gris converting the farming in organic with the goal to convert in a future all his vines in biodynamic farming. 
He achieved Ecocert certification. 
Benjamin make fresh, mineral and full of flavour wines for the Minervois appellation..
A producer to watch ... #mineralwine #schist #marble #sandstone Minervois is a terroir driven wines

In Summer running a great bar a vin in the town for the tourist...



Drinking and listening sculpture sound: Abruzzo & Melbourne
wine / spirit / lambic / drinker

domenica 13 maggio 2018

Domaine Les Genestas

Gobelet vignoble et Galet terroir 

Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues is a Co-ops in the south of Rhone, with a really interesting new way of the classic bulk massive production. They  takes a fundamentally different approach; starting in 1995 the ten different growers in this co-op began to vinify their wine separately and make single cuvées from their best plots. All the approach is #naturalwine making, any chemically in the vineyards and any correction in the winery. Michael Trebillon is the winemaker at Domaine Les Genestas this cuvee is 40% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Carignan black fruit, sweet spice and orange peel .. plush palate with sauvory spicy notes ... The price of this wine are amazing ...( A different similar concepts happening in Italy with I Vigneri of Salvo Foti ) ...

From a  France website VIN BIO 

Les vignerons d'Estezargues est un groupement de vignerons des plus qualitatif. Les vins produits par les vignerons du groupement sont naturels et pour certains certifiés bio. 
Situé au cœur des Côtes du Rhône Villages, à 1 km au Sud de Lirac, le terroir d'Estézargues est typique des grands sols de l'appellation : galets roulés sur argile exposés plein sud. Il génère de petits rendements et produit des vins de caractère. Pionniers de la viticulture raisonnée, les vignerons d'Estezargues ont à coeur de respecter leur terroir (travail du sol, traitement raisonné, élaboration en cave rigoureuse...). Les rapports qualité/prix sont au rendez-vous de ces superbes vins de plaisir !

Drinking and listening sculpture sound: Abruzzo & Melbourne
wine / spirit / lambic / drinker

domenica 6 maggio 2018

Suenen | Leclapart | Selosse | Prevost

Suenen is a small new RM located in the Cote des Blancs. A small family Champagne house run by  Aurelien the son of Daniel, who took over in 2008 suddenly after his dad was diagnosed with cancer. 
Aurelien found himself with a great responsibility, but with the willing to do a great job; start to be inspired after visiting producers as Pascal Agrapart and Anselme Selosse. From this visit he start to take care of the the soil of his vineyard. Between 2009 and 2011 all the chemical was banned in his soil.  Emanuel Bourguignon help him to better understand the soil collaborating with LAMS the Laboratoire D'Analyses Microbiologiques des Sols. 
Suenen owns just over 3 hectare of vineyards in the villages of Cramant, Oiry, Cuis and Chouilly. 
Be in the Cote des Blancs the subsoil is very chalky with a very white topsoil showing great minerality and tension. 
The Rose is mainly Chardonnay with less 10% Pinot noir to give a beautiful rose colour. Acacia, Meyer lemon, citrus blossom with pastry and creamy lemon curd... Tension with a touch of dosage. 
The Vintage was done in September 2010 and was disgorged on September 2013 with 5g/l. 

David Leclapart is a very hot producer in the commune of Trepail in the Montagne de Reims specialized in biodynamic viticulture. In the same circumstance of Aurelien Suenen around 1995 he was called to help his family harvesting the grapes in Trepail, at that time he was working at Leclerc Briant as a biodynamic adviser. 
For him was quite difficult to move from that position and to go back to the family business, but with great courage and commitment he bottled his first vintage 1998, 6000 bottles. However this was refused by the appellation status by the Comitè of Champagne. However he continued to do his artisan job and after some time he received the accolade he deserved. Nowadays Leclapart champagne are in high demand and very hard to find. 
L'Astre was very detailed on chalky minerality with super salinity with pleased elegant oxidative note and taste, the colour was a Rose even if is not; it is considered a Blanc de Noir 100% PN...  an Oeil de Perdrix colour (a few years back at the Return the Terroir winefair; David told me about his ways to include the second pressing of the Coquard in his cuvee, so phenolic extract  will go into the wines and of-course release little pigmentation) Palate was nourished and full of tension with tart red fruit.  Zero dosage for a 2014 vintage. 

Jacques Selosse Rose is 90% Chardonnay from Avize and 10% Pinot Noir from Verzy and Ambonnay, a Brut style but you cannot feel any sweetness on the palate, the dosage was well done. 
Here we are talking about a Master of Champagne in Avize. 
The Colour was brilliant rose with beautiful nose of raspberry, Pastry notes as Lemon tart, Grapefruit anglaise, orange zest and bergamot... Salty flakes as fleur de Guerande almost a Vin Jaune palate from Overnoy. 

Jerome Prevost is the man with a single vineyard Pinot Meunier in the village of Gueux in the Montagne de Reims, the Lieu dit is "Les Beguines". 
100% Meuneir makes two cuvee 
La Closerie Les Beguines Extra Brut 
La Closerie Fac Simile a Rose style. 
Lately he made a cuvee called Climax a long ageing on lees of the La Closerie Les Beguines Extra Brut.
Jerome is an enthusiastic vigneron who started working with Anselme Selosse, then he met Claude and Lydia Bourguignon and realized the importance of the expression of healthy soil. Jerome and his wife Agnes did some research on the village of Gueux and found this lieu dit Les Beguines had a historical importance and they started to vinified Meunier from that vineyard. 
Production is around 13000 bottles per year and only a vintage champagne even if not stated on the bottles. 
The Rose Facsimile 2014 was red fruit mainly cherry, rose and violet water, crushed textural rose petal, delicate palate with finesse and elegance with a nice long finish  .....  a complex Rose...



Drinking and listening sculpture sound: Abruzzo & Melbourne
wine / spirit / lambic / drinker

mercoledì 11 aprile 2018

Arpepe, Antoniotti, Franchino, Paolo Veglio, Anselma

Nebbiolo Dinner .…

Nebbiolo is definitely the king grape varieties of Italy.
From Northern Italy on the West part, mainly on the region of Piedimonte and Lombardia.
Barolo and Barbaresco are the main Appellation or Denomination which made him “Nebbiolo” famous around the world.
These two denominations are producing cellaring wines to be drunk after a while of the state vintage, long ageing potential and definitely great pleasure with food.
Nebbiolo takes his name from the foggy layer or dust on the skin of the grape; a foggy resemblance.

This grape varieties before release needs time in barrel to give a softened element to the tannin which are the main characteristic of this variety.

Long ageing process result a elements of oxidative notes  through nose and palate: dry rose petal, violet, licorice and sour red fruit… element of minerality as tar, dusty rocks and leather which come from the calcareous stony bed rock soil of this area. With ageing, more tertiary character will develop the complexity of the wine. 

In the northern part of Piedimonte there is an area called ALTO PIEMONTE with more heroic viticulture with psophourous, lime and clay soil. The Nebbiolo locally called Spanna is made here, it is still having a great ageing potential, however the different soil and this more austere climate definitely 100% continental, will give to the wines fresh crispy tension acidity but with finer elegant tannin with the core of minerality you expect on the brother Barolo and Barbaresco.

In Lombardia region in the north part there is another denomination called Valtellina, that perfectly capture the pure essence of Nebbiolo and here the vines are all built on terrace perimeter by ancient stone wall. Soil is calcareous and full active limestone, Nebbiolo locally called Chiavennasca is bright cherry, mineraand silky present tannin.

In Melbourne last week we organise a dinner showing 5 different producer in different denominations around this beautiful grape.
The First wine was

Arpepe Rosso Valtellina DOC 2015   

The Perego family have been tending vines on these sheer granite terraces in the mountainous Valtellina since 1860. The vines are so far north into the alps they are practically in Switzerland.

They work only with Nebbiolo, or Chiavennasca as it is called in these parts, growing the grapes up to 700 metres above sea level on sheer, south-facing, sunlit vines that dig straight into rock. The resulting fruit is intensely mineral.

Production is very much of the old-school and labour is intense. The hills, making it very difficult to reach the fruit at all. Everything in the vineyard is done by hand and in the cantina "Winery" the family exercises a soft touch with great patience, leaving the wines to rest until they are deemed ready for release.
The transparency of the grape, the singular landscape and the Peregos' gentle hand in the winery lend these wines a remarkable sense of place.
The wine was bright ruby and translucent, youthful with fresh cherry nose along beautiful floral notes as violet and rose petal. Classic minerality with smooth tannin almost a Pinot noir phenolic silkiness.
The alcohol was medium and very pleasant. Great introduction of the Chiavennasca in this DOC... Vlatellina has their single site called Inferno, Maroggia, Valgella, Sassella and Grumello and with more ageing process make pretty cellaring wine.
In the Swiss part the name can appear as “Stagafassli”.

Brioche con Porchetta, Vitello Tonnato, Crostini di Polenta,  

Peperoni e Bagna Cauda.

The next dish was done with the two following wines:
Gattinara is a red Italian wine (DOCG) Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, produced from Nebbiolo grapes grown within the boundaries of the commune of Gattinara. Located in the hills in the north of the province of Vercelli, northwest of Novara in the Piemonte region. It was awarded DOC status in 1967 and received its DOCG classification in 1990.
The wine is made primarily from the Nebbiolo grape variety (known locally as Spanna) which must constitute a minimum 90% of the wine and may be blended with up to 10% Bonarda and no more than 4% of Vespolina.
The ageing requirement is 35 months with minimum 18 months in barrels. For the Riserva is 47 months with minimum 36 months in barrels. The soil is rich on calcareous (high active ironstone and phosphorous).
Mauro Franchino is one of the oldest producer in Gattinara, he has harvested more than 50 vintages and he has only 3 hectares of vines.
The wine 100% Nebbiolo is fermented in concrete vats and aged in Botti for 3 years. Only 3000 bottles are made each year.

Gattinara Mauro Franchino 2012

The wine show pretty red fruit as wild cherry and raspberry with a tart element along notes of leather fresh crispy acidity and long ageing with great finesse... Elegance as a burgundy "Morey St. Denis" complexity as a great Brunello but it is a great Nebbiolo form one of the most beautiful Denomination in the Alto Piemonte. 

Bramaterra is another D.O. Denomination of Origin from the neighborhood of the Gattinara DOCG, sharing the same soil rich in iron, potassium and manganese.
Result high in Mineral content in the wine.
Here as well the Nebbiolo is called Spanna and is blended with an endemic grapes variety in the area called Croatina, Vespolina and Bonarda.
By the legislation the Nebbiolo need to be minimum 50% to maximum 80%.
Antoniotti is another old producer in this area; his Bramaterra is 70% Nebbiolo, 20% Croatina, 7% Vespolina, and 3% Bonarda. 
The wine is aged in Large botti 1250L for 30 months.
By Law the requirement of ageing is 22 months with 18 months minimum in barrels.

Riserva is 34 months with 24 months in barrels. 

Antoniotti Bramaterra 2012

The Antoniotti was more austere, very close nose with the minerality as a core of the wine. Slighty dusty but stony and granitic, very masculine tannin with energy and droit acidity. 

                                                    Paglia e Fieno al sugo di lepre.

The Main course was with two wines a Barolo and a Barbaresco: 

Barolo is a (DOCG) Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, produced in the northern Italian region of Piemonte. It is made from the Nebbiolo grape. The zone of production extends into the communes of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and parts of the communes of Cherasco, Diano d'Alba, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Monforte d'Alba, Novello, Roddi, Verduno, all in the province of Cuneo, south-west of Alba. Clones authorized are Lampia, Michet and Rosae.
The Barolo is a single vineyard called Collaretto in the Commune of Serralunga d’Alba, on white soil full of Limestone called “Serravallian” from Miocene era alternating layers of beds of sand and sandstone layered with marls and sandy marl. The wine tonight ageing only in Big Slavonian Oak Tree Botti.
Barolo before release spend 34 months in the cellar with 18 months in barrels.
The Riserva 58 months with 18 months in barrels.
Botti is a traditional producer, Barrique is a modern producer.
Anselma "Collaretto" Barolo Serralungha D'Alba 2010

2010 a lovely vintage the wine is a super traditional producer, long maceration on primary fermentation and ageing for over 2 years in big Italian botti. Collaretto is a Cru in the Serralungha commune just next to the prices and fancy "Great" Vigna Rionda vineyard. Masculine Barolo with cherry liquer, rose, violet and liquorice... Great oxidative hint with a lovely volatile acidity which give freshness and musk the 15% Alcool... A must.. 


Is the cousin of Barolo made in the Comune of Barbaresco, Treiso, Neive.
Very similar soil but the ageing profile is a bit shorter with a final result a silk wine, in some way more feminine style. However sometimes some Barbaresco can be more powerful than a Barolo. All is coming from the vineyard size and the producer.
As well as in Barolo here there are the Traditional producer ageing only in big Botti
and the modern boys ageing in French Barrique. Some does a mix of the 2 types.
By law the Barbaresco ageing is 22 months with 9 months in oak.
Riserva 46 months with 9 months in oak.
The wine tonight is from a single vineyard and a traditional style producer.

Cascina Roccalini Barbaresco 2014

From the Roccalini Vineyard in the commune of Barbaresco; made by Paolo Veglio in his Propriety called Cascina Roccalini.
Tannin were stronger of the Barolo but the nose more floral. The structure was very complex with a long finish. The wine was support by the tension of the acidity with a tight spine energy. 

                                    Brasato di Manzo al Barolo con Purea al Tartufo

The restaurant Michelangelo in the CBD in Melbourne run by Matteo and Ilaria 
Thanks for their hospitality and amazing food ..




Drinking and listening sculpture sound: Abruzzo & Melbourne
wine / spirit / lambic / drinker