venerdì 27 dicembre 2013

Femme de Champagne 2000

Chardonnay from the grand cru of Choully on the village Mont-Aignu, grand cru of Avize in the village Chapelle, Grand cru Oger in the village Terre de Noel and the last from the grand cru Le Mesnil sur Oger the villages Chetillon and Ailerrand all vinified separately in oak barrels to improve vitality, elegance and structure. Also a touch of Pinot noir just 5% in the blend to give a the final glass roundness and character. Only 6 grams of residual sugar at the bottling. This is the best champagne of the NM Duval - Leroy only made in exceptional years as 1990, 1995, 1996.
Yellow gold colour with extremely fine bubbles, mineral flavors, very aromatic, floral, lemon candy, hints of orange and brioche, vanilla coffee and halzenut in undertone with butterscotch in the final, creamy and stylish alternating aroma of yeast, oaky and citrus element.
Duval Leroy is located in Vertus in the heart of " La Cote des Blanc" cultivated 200 hectares,,, massive number. Two family come together in 1859 to create this prestigious brand.

mercoledì 25 dicembre 2013

Saumur Blanc

Saumur blanc appellation is a Chenin blanc in the district of Anjou in the Loire valley region. Chenin Blanc also know as Pineau de la Loire need to be at least 80% in the appellation Saumur blanc.
Soil consistent on loose gravel, close to the bank of the Loire river you find this yellowish fragile sedimentary rock formed during the Turonian era roughly 90 millions years ago called Tuffeau. A combination of sand and marine fossils with the gravel character makes this rock extremely porous, absorbing water rapidly and releasing it slowly. This well drainage is very suitable for the growing of vines, so the vines can draw excess of water and hold reserves that stop the vines from shutting down entirely during drier periods.
The Foucault family's "Clos Rougeard" own 10 ha of vines in Saumur-Champigny and produce three red cuvees and one white.
Clos Rougeard is a cult estate that produces arguably the finest Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc in the  world. The Foucault brothers Nadi and Charlie took over the family business in 1969. They harvest in a very small yelds, vinify in barrel and leave the wine there for a couple of years in regards of the vintage 18/24 months all in a cold cellar and bottle without filtration.
Clos Rougeard Breze Saumur Blanc 2008.
Incredible rare, old vines Chenin Blanc. Gold color star bright, complex notes of crush rock, shellfish and flint, dried fruit and nuts and a touch of honey and excellent acidity.

Breze stand for the name of the clos in Saumur, like Corton Charlemagne in Aloxe-Corton.
To watch the son of Charlie Foucault which his name is Antoine, he has his own production called Domaine du Collier… Have a taste if you can…Awesome..
                                                                photo stole on the web
The Next wine I honorably had from Saumur was Domaine Guiberteau Clos de Guichaux 2010.
coming from a younger vines grown in a clay limestone terroir in a pure chalky bed rock near  Breze made with massale selection on the Breze clos; the wine spent 10 months in old barrel. Very electric, fine spine acid; tension trough mineral component citrus element and smoky fruit, dry finish with tonic character

lunedì 23 dicembre 2013

Vouvray Huet

In the center of Touraine district lies a beautiful appellation called Vouvray which celebrating the versatile of Chenin Blanc.
The Vouvray designation AOC was made in 1936, cover the commune of Vouvray in the department of Indre et Loire, and the neighboring villages of Chancay, Noizay, Reugny, Rochecorbon, Sainte-Radegonde-en-Tourraine, Vernou-sur-Brenne and part of Parcay- Meslay.
The appellation regulations dictate that the wines must consist almost entirely of Chenin Blanc but in theory can contain a small amount of Arbois grapes.
Vouvray can be affected by the soil; clay soil may tend towards a fruity flavors, flinty clay soil may taste more mineral. Also siliceous-clay and limestone clay soil embrace the different of Terroir. The cool climate ensure good acidity, which balance the distinctive character of the Chenin fruit profile and acid structure and the mineral quality are impart by the soil. The vineyard are subject, in a good years, to botrytis cynera, the old responsible for most the worlds greatest sweet white wines. In this years, harvest is delayed until well into November and they may be several pickings in order to harvest the grapes at their moment of optimus ripeness. In other years only dried wines are made.
Vouvray come in 5 different style:
Sec, Tendre, Demi Sec, Moelleux,Petillant.
From Domaine Huet I had the Clos du Bourg 2002 Moelleux.
Le Clos du Bourg is a 6 hectare vineyard and a true clos, being surrounded by an ancient stone wall. It is acknowledge as the oldest cru in the appellation. The vineyards of le Clos de Bourg is the most recognize source for moelleux, from grapes that have been affected either by botrytis or passerilage.
The wine was pure aromatics, sweet but with a perception of dry finish pear, cream and lifted lime.
Palate was concentrated which rich texture honey and melon, great spine acid structure doesn't make the wine overly sweet.. Very good one

Le Mont sec 2001 by Huet.
Gold color. Very complex nose full of mushroom, nuts, rich herbs "rosemary", almost a truffle edge. Palate savory with honey and mushroom character, yellow ripe peach and mandarin cook in brandy. Awesome.
Le Mont is a site recognized since the 15th century, also know as Perruches for the greenish tinged clay with pebbles of flint.

lunedì 16 dicembre 2013

vincent dancer 2010 Les Grands Charrons, Chassagne Montrachet 2011

Vincent Dancer is one of the most exciting young winemakers to emerge in Burgundy in recent years.
Vincent started in 1996 cultivated his vineyard with love and care in respect of the mother Nature.
Only 5,5 hectare of vineyard owned by this young vigneron of the Cote de Beaune in all superb site.
Tete Du Clos a premeir cru on Chassagne Montrachet.
La Romanee in Chassagne also. Vincent should label them as Morgeot.
In Mersault Vincent Dancer make great wines as premier cru Les Perrieres and with the lieu-dit Les Grand Charrons next to the premier cru Goutte d'Or. As a grand cru he made Chevalier Montrachet which belong only in the village of Puligny Montrachet.
His tiny estate in Chassagne-Montrachet in a decade has climbed the hierarchy of white wine mans of the Cote de Beaune. His approach is focus in develop an artisan approach of is business. In the first years the production was very low 4,000 bottles and some wines was sold to commercial companies. 
In 2003 he decide to bottle all the wines and using his names on the label, the production increase to 20,000 bottles in all his 5,5 hectare. 2012 would be the first vintage certify on the label.
was great, subliminal minerality, notes of ripe orchard fruit, lime zest, white stone peach, flint and wet stone, limestone, clay and nuttiness with lemon curd on the equation. Very young and a bit unclear in color. Only 800 bottles produces

The other wine I had was his village Chassagne Montrachet for 2011 very young and close with a great spine acid…. Needs time, but good example to understand the potential of white burgundy with a great producer. Vigorous, complex with fine acid.
Ps look at the web-site or blog of Vincent is a great photographer:

domenica 8 dicembre 2013

Zidarich Vitovska 09

Friuli Venezia Giulia Carso Doc
Red, iron rich soil with a limestone content leads the wines an acidity characteristic  and mineral notes.
Vitovska seems to be the queen of this special terroir a crossing of Malvasia Bianca Lunga, Prosecco Tonda and Terrano a red which come from the Refosco Istriano Family.
Vitovska is a thicker skinned variety that can withstand cold winters, summer draughts and the strong wind of the Bora.
Zidarich is a small producer in the small town Prepotto only 24.000 bottle on only 8 ha of vineyard.
His Winery looks like a cathedral  sculpted from the hard rock a perfect meeting of nature and human ingenuity.
The wines are very particular and strongly traditional. The whites are made crushing the berry and leaving the juice with own skin during the cuvaison (fermenting must).  A true craftsman grower with a real understanding of the Carso terroir.
The Vitovska form 2009 was cloudy golden straw yellow. Floral and mineral with citrus zest and candied orange, notes of cloves, mushroom and under bush character, wet mint and mediterranean herbs. Sapid, punchy and very persistent 24 months in large barrels.
An hint of V.A. was very pleasant on the nose and palate, a very good handling winemaking.

venerdì 29 novembre 2013

Mineral Agrapart 05

                                                     Photo from Agrapart website

Was my birthday not long ago and I had the pleasure to drink this beautiful champagne from Avize the champagne grower is Agrapart  in the Cote blanc, they make outstanding champagne, 6 styles in total:

-7 cru brut:
 made in chardonnay 100%  in 7 different villages which represent the domaine of the house. They are: Madreuil, Oger, Bergeres les Vertus, Avize, Cremant, Oiry and Avernay Val D'or.
Normally the wine is an assemblage of two vintage which are previously aged in barrel with the malolactic done completely and 3 years on lees.
-Terroirs extra brut:
100% chardonnay, malolactic completetely and 4 years on lees with elevage in oak before la liquere de tirage. Two vintage blended together.
-Complantee extra brut Grand Cru:
cepage are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc, Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Chardonnay only on the Grand Cru Avize. 4years on lees with 5 g. of sugar in the Dosage.
-Mineral extra brut blanc de blanc
Chardonnay 100% on old vines in the grand cru of Avize and Cramant on calcareous and limestone soil with a chalky bed, with 5 years on lees.
-Avizoise extra brut:
blanc de blanc on the grand cru Avize on 55 years old vines on clay and chalky soil, with 5 years on lees.
-Venus brut nature:
blanc de blanc on the grand cru of Avize with vines planted in 1959 which have been worked only with a horse called Venus… Hommage to the horse.
Agrapart has a great style with the aging of the cuvee in barrel to achieve the malolactic, which I love the texture I find in the palate. Great respect from the biodiversity on the vines with none of the chemicals spray, healthy drink my friends.
The 05 Mineral was gold in color with green watery rim fine and persistence perlage showing on my glass all the time; the mousse creamy and soft the natural Co2 was pleasant on my palate. A glass of heavy still water with good calcium match the drink perfectly (very important to drink still water with champagne, especially if pairing your food). Nose, golden apple and ripe pear with a citrus line, yeasty, biscuit, warm shortbread and salty and sugar doughnuts, white truffle great multi layer of aroma.
Great maison on Champagne.

domenica 24 novembre 2013

Emanuel Brochet 2006 Villers aux Noeuds . R.M.

Emmanuel Brochet Villers aux Noeuds . R.M.
2,5 ha Pinot noir, Meniuer and Chardonnay Bottles produced annually 6.080.
Located beyond the city of Reims, in direction for Epernay there is a tiny village Villers aux Noudes where he works and lives-Emauelle Brochet a small vigneron in Champagne.
The vineyard are training organically with AB certified, but you will not find written on the label.
Small traditional press are used "Coquard" (the wooden square base).
All his Cuvèe born and mature in wood for over a year, but the tone is never woody too obvious with an incredible balance acid structure. First vintage was 2002, but be careful, because it can rely on vines planted in 1962 and 1986.
His millesime 2002 with an elavage on wood 11 months, show bright colour with golden hue, elegant fine bubble note of pistachio, brioche, apple and citrus zest a note of vanilla really clean and fresh on the palate with a tension acid… Linear and energetic.

Love Champagne.

domenica 17 novembre 2013

Nicolas Joly Les Vieux Clos 2010

Nicolas Joly's Chateau de la Roche aux Moines 7 hectares of one of the most celebrated Savennieres producer which has an AOC on his own as a monopole Coulee-de-Serrant.
The father of the biodynamic in France started back in the 1981, which today is still a leading spokes person for the "trendy" of Biodynamic around the world as a leader of the association Le Reinassance des Appelations in english called Return the terroir.
Since 2006, Virginie his daughter takes a position as an oenologist in her fathers winery, she has
contributed to the production of more recent vintage.
 Savennieres  as i wrote previous on this blog is a great Appelation in the Loire valley in France just in the  Anjou section.
 Savennieres is also called the kingdom of dry white wines; the AOC area is limited to the three communes to the south of Angers, on the right bank of the Loire, Savennieres, Bouchemaine and La Possonniere.
There are two distinct denominations within the appellation La Roche aux Moines and La Coulee de Serrant.
145 ha in total including 33 ha for Savennieres-Roche-aux-Moines and 7 ha for Savennieres-Coulee-de-Serrant.
The soil are made up of sandy shale, volcanic and schist. The highest point of the appellation is around 75 meters
Grapes varieties of course Chenin blanc…
Normally I find the wine of Nicolas Joly very inconsistence especially for la Coulee de Serrant to many bottle variation; however lately i had a few bottle of his Les Vieux Clos from 2010 a really beautiful expression of Chenin blanc with fully matured berry with 20% of noble rot berry to enrich color and complex aroma in a completely schist, quartz and sand soil with an average of 20 years old vines.
The wine is a pure expression of the appellation mineral complexity, a bed of chalk, crush rocks and fine saltiness, peach and mature nectarine spine acid present but overlooking the length of the wine, constantly developing in the glass, honey, cereal, wet leaves and wet mushroom with a truffle edge … Ofcourse high in alcohol very pleasant though.

lunedì 4 novembre 2013

New world cabernet Dry red wine N°1 2005

Yarra Yering Dry red wine N°1 2005
Cabernet ° Merlot ° Malbec ° Petit Verdot
Honestly I never understand cabernet red wine, first are very expansive, second are very hard to enjoy due their tannin structure and powerful.
However last night a friend of mine from Yarra Valley let me try this wine from his personal cellar; we did the tasting blind.
A first glance the purity of the fruit the smooth tannin the oaky character as moka, coconut and chocolate the slight oxidative component the hint of brett, farmyard, forest floor let me conclude the tasting, a spanish wine with cabernet into. I said this is Vega Sicilia or some good outstanding Rioja, I was definitely in the old world truly enjoyment wine.
Black cherry, rasberry jam, cook beetroot, dusty, dark flesh plum and tomato leaf. Lots of pleasant oak sweet spice and vanilla. Lovely tar and charcoal minerality.
We discovery the bottle and bang Cabernet blend from Yarra Valley, "Yarra Yering" awesome. I know I'm shit taster but I don't see that as a problem I don't want to be an expert…
I know this winery make really cool wine I drunk a lot of his reserve bottle fermented sparkling super  complex as Enoteque, Bollinger, Ouriet but without the chalky minerality which the only great champagne can give you.
However thank's to Cam to let me try this expansive bottle of wine a truly enjoyment drink.
Looking forward to a new tasting of Yarra Yering.

domenica 3 novembre 2013


The small village of Volnay one of the most sorted Pinot Noir from the Cote de Beaune in between Mersault and Pommard mostly compared from the Chambolle Musigny of the nord of Burgundy for is finesse and elegance coming from similar soil of Chambolle, high active chalk content and low clay.
115 hectares of premier cru vineyard 35 in all with the best premier cru:
Les Taillepieds
Clos des Chenes
Mikulski is a polish guy with an attitude to do a great wine in the Cote de Beaune start in the early 1990  with this incredible non classic label in homemade writing, so cool. Mr. Mikulski is a non interventionist  guy, essentially organic a "lutte raisonee" he balance his work around the health of the soil and the biodiversity of the vineyard.
His Santenots du Milieu from 2009 was rich and masculine lots of red fruit some mature and sour, dry branches autumn tree, mushroom character, forest floor, red apple skin and smoky meat aroma; with some licorice and tobacco… You can feel the oak in this wine they are quite big, however the time will smooth them. 
We don't need to forget Francois Mikulski had some training in California with Ted Lemon the winemakers of Littorai winery and also he work side by side with Roulot in Mersault.
He loves the oak…

Saint Aubin premeir cru

St Aubin is a burgandy lovers paradise, located between Chassagne and Puligny Montrachet. Only 500 acres which is almost white wine production with less than 25 percent of red wine made, which are not perfumed and complex when you compare with Volnay-Pommard area. The best sites in St Aubin are 
En Remilly, 
Les Murgers des Dents de Chien.
 Les Murgers is arguably the village’s best vineyard: very stony and chalky. There is very little soil here, and the vines can suffer in difficult years; but when the grapes ripen fully, they give the most powerful and elegant wines of St Aubin.
 En Remilly is slightly less stony and the wines can be a touch broader.
 The same is with La Chatenière, a steep vineyard with a fine southerly exposure.

One of the producers I really like in the area is Domaine Hubert Lamy, along with Marc Colin which are perhaps the best producers in this appellation. 
For many years, the domaine production was sold to the negoce, but since 1997 everything has been bottled at the domaine.
 Olivier, the son of Hubert is now in charge of the Domaine - gained experience at Meo-Camuzet in Vosne-Romanee, introduced an adopted organic farming, replaced artificial fertilizer with compost, Olivier also experimented with planting density to capture more from the terroir. Most of the domaines vineyard have a limestone base and a very stony soil, with a south eastern exposure. 
 Olivier was one of the early to adopt the use of larger barrels to retain the purity of his fruit while getting just the right balance of oxygenation from the wood. The wine matures for 12months in barrel before bottling and the filtration is done only if needed. 

Lately i tried St Aubin premier cru Les Frionnes from 2010. The wine showed a beautiful apple character with citrus peel, white stone fruit, some kernel and mushrooms. Buttery component on the middle palate, lovely acidity with long flower intensity. Quite power and precise. A great wine for a common cru for a red production.
From the great Phillip Pacalet, i drank Les Murgers des Dents de Chien 2010. On this bottle the mineral content was very palatable, wet stone, crushed rocks, limestone, citrus and orchard fruit with lemon zest. Third character on the palate - wet leaves, lemon curd with a hint of custard. Very long length, great balance and fresh acidity was the key of the wine.

domenica 6 ottobre 2013

Aligotè 100% n2

 Lalou Bize Leroy… Perhaps the most dynamic and important lady on the wine business in the world; a major shareholder of D.R.C. as well as owner of Domaine and Maison Leroy and the owner of Domaine D'Auvenay. She began her career as an intern in a Domaine in Gevrey Chambertin, learning how to make wine and how to taste. In 1955 she start running Maison Leroy and in 1974 Lalou also took over her father role's as director of D.R.C.. In conflict of interest in 1992 left the role as director at Domaine de la Romanee Conti at her sister Pauline and also Domaine Leroy lost the distribution of the wine of D.R.C. for owning some expansive Clos or village in the Cote D'or; her version of Richerbourg and Romanee St Vivian seen as competitor in some eyes in D.R.C.
Lalou in Domaine Leroy was among the first of Burgundy big name to choose biodynamic viticulture. Nicholas Joly in Savennieries help her to understand the philosophy of Biodinamique culture and speed her up on the changeover, the whole domaine was converted in 1989. For all the wines in Domaine Leroy e D'Auvenay all the works are done in the vines 90%, 10% is the sufficient job dedicated in the winery. In the cellar old oaks vats for the fermentation and temperature control. Whole bunches are used, no destemming for the pinot noir therefore the fruit has to go over two triage table, and the triage is savage. New barrel are used in different percentage, the vintage dictate the use of it.
The 2007 Domaine D'Auvenay Bourgogne Aligotè Sous Chatelet:
Wax, yeast, citrus peel, wet stone, smoke with good concentration and balance. On the palate very tight with vibrant acidity with notes of old oak; kernel and earthiness.
Very long minerals at the end limestone and chalky, superb.
The problem of this wine?
 The sulphur are very high, matches character are very present as happening in many big named in burgundy…
Someone believed is a distinctive burgundy landmark… not for me however. Was a good wine and good drink
I recommended it

The wine at the back is perhaps one of the best chardonnay in Australia Giaconda Estate vineyard 2011 in Beechworth wine region in state of Victoria. Keep update I'll talk about it on my next post...

venerdì 27 settembre 2013

100% Aligotè

Recently I open this beautiful wine from Morey Sant Denis, "Clos des Monts Luisant" made from 100% Aligotè grapes in the heart of Cote de Nuits by Domaine Ponsot a monopole with great integrity and terroir driving. Aligotè is normally see as secondary grape varieties but Ponsot made with this clos a queen of white burgundy production, made with ancient vines make an outstanding wine to buried in your cellar .
Ponsot considers biodynamics to be a dream, as from a practical point of view it is close to impossible to practice in a pure way. The vine are relatively short pruned - son not so many bunches - spraying is kept to minim and everything is harvest by hand. Ponsot is almost the last vineyard to be harvested.
Jean Marie Ponsot was also one of the pioneers of the clonal selection of Pinot Noir in Burgundy during 1960, many of the most respected Pinot Noir clones (113, 114, 115, 667) were selected from the estate Clos de la Roche. Ponsot doesn't use new oak, preferring to use minim five years old barrel from domaine he knows well, the barrel aging varies from vintage to another. There is no filtration and no fining expect for the 1985. Sulphur dioxide is avoided as much as possible. The closure of the wine are plastic cork made by italian company called Ardea a decision to guarantee the consistency between bottle to bottle.
Up on the slopes above Clos de la Roche lies one hectare vineyard which is a truly unique Premier cru vineyard from Aligote grapes considered an unfashionable grape in regards of the famous Chardonnay.
"Clos des Monts Luisant" 2006
 was light crisp color. Subtle nose a bit reductive at the begging. White flowers, almond skin, apple character, pistachio very mineral, limestone and shellfish hint with wet stone sea reminiscent. long and complex and harmonious. Grip and steeliness, very fine wine. Acid structure is the key of the wine. Rarely the wine go under malolactic fermentation due the very small percentage of malic acid in the must.

mercoledì 11 settembre 2013

La Stoppa Ageno

La Stoppa is an ancient winery located in Piacenza area in the region of Emilia Romagna all the vineyard are in the hill of the Val Trebbiolo on top of the river Trebbia.

In 1973 the Pantaleoni family bought the property, and today the company is run by Elena Pantaleoni and Giulio Armani the winemaker and also owner of the winery Denavolo; all the vineyards are managing under organic farming and certified by "Ente Suolo e Salute".
The property account on 30 hectare of vineyards dedicated around different grapes varieties indigenous in the area as Ortrugo, Trebbiano, Malvasia di Candia Aromatica are the white and the red are Bonarda and Barbera. The soil consist of heavy clay and limestone. The climate are very hot in the period of growing season with a daily cool nights which help the wine to rest and extend the growing season and also help retain freshness on the wine "acidity" and the loss of volatile aroma. A minimal intervention approach is taken in the cellar and the wines fermented on their native yeast, sulfur is never added during vinification only in a small doses at the bottling. Long skin contact is the key of the winemaking process in regards of the warm climate the winemaker prefer extract as much as possible the polifenol, tannin and all the nutrient present on the skin. Stainless steel and concrete are used for fermentation and small and large barrels for aging.
The wine I had was the Ageno 2006 Amber in color dried apricot and jasmine with honey and spicy notes. Good structure savory and fresh. Honey and almond on the finish. A fairly tannin structure on the palate very pleasant .
The age of the vineyards are 40 years old, the juice sat on the skin for 30 days. The elevage are 12 months between steel and old barrique, two years on bottle… Unfiltered.
60% Malvasia di Candia Aromatica and 40% Ortrugo and Trebbiano.

Emilia Romagna great wine….

domenica 8 settembre 2013

Barolo cru tasting

Barolo a DOCG wine produced in the northern italian region of Piedmont, made with Nebbiolo grape variety which are Lampia, Michet and Rosè clones. Clusters are dark blue and grayish with abundant wax that dresses the grapes. Their form is lengthened, pyramidal with small spherical grapes. Compared to other grape varieties Nebbiolo is one of the first varieties to bud and last varieties to ripen, with harvest taking place in mid to late October. In some vintage, other producers are able to pick and complete fermentation of their Barbera and Dolcetto before Nebbiolo is ready.
Barolo tend to be rich, deeply concentrated with pronounced tannins and acidity. The wines are almost always light in color varying from ruby to garnet in their youth to more brick and orange hues as they age. Like Pinot Noir, Barolo are never opaque; every time brilliant and translucent, tar, rose and violet are common notes. The soil area is divided by two different types; Tortonian soil and Helvetian soil.
Tortonian soil is composed of calcareous marl that is more compact and fertile mostly in the commune of Barolo and La Morra there are clay deposits and soil with enough alkalinity to tame the naturally high acidity.
Helvetian soil mostly in the commune of Serralunga, Monforte and Castiglione Faletto is a compact sandstone with high level of iron and phosphorus.

Cavallotto Bricco Boschis 2006 vigna S. Giuseppe in Castiglione Faletto; one of my favorite producer:
the Cavallotto winery is a reference point for traditional style Barolo, it all started after the second world  war with the purchase of the Tenuta Bricco Boschis with a careful selection of the grapes, long fermentation and the use of Slavonian oak barrels.
The wine is mineral with iron tones, with complex aroma of licorice, violets, tar, smoke and incense with marked tannins and balanced persistence.  Really potential aging.

Marcarini, located in the hill top town of La Morra. Marcarini has two cru Barolo, Brunate and La Serra in Serralunga D'Alba, are quite different. The Bruante shows fabulous intensity and depth, menthol, pine, raisin, balsamic notes, violet, licorice, tar, sour plum and preserved strawberry. The wine fermented for fifteen days, followed by another forty days on contact with the skin. The wine then spends two years in large neutral cask and then raked into steel before bottled. Will be ready in 2027.

E Pira and Figli, a small winery in the heart of the commune of Barolo, from the Cannubi and Via Riogna vineyard. Certified organic, approx 10,000 bottles are produced. The barrique are the key of this new modern Barolo. The wine are deep and precise, licorice and coffee blend, blackberries and jam, austere and compact. Muscular, deep, dense, ripe tannin and two years on barrique. Not my style of Barolo, however a good drink.

In the commune of Serralunga d'Alba, with the cru Vigna Rionda, Margheria and Marenca another new style of Barolo. The Vigna Rionda 2005 was solid and refreshing with lively tannins. Jam, licorice blackberries and mint, austere and complex style. Barrique, f@%k barrique.

Brezza family produce 8,000 bottles per year with 16 hectors of wineries. A family business in the heart of Barolo. The Cannubi 2008 show on the nose fresh cherries, strawberry jam and wild strawberry, violets, licorice, chamomile, rose and thyme, sold and balanced with dense tannin, large barrels is the key of the elevage.

The Sarmassa 2008 from Brezza is very old school. Berries, dry leaves, licorice, cherries, herbs, mineral tones. Lively, powerful and smooth with ripe tannin. Long and juicy.

domenica 25 agosto 2013

Cappellano Barolo

Hi I know I already reviewed this wine a year ago, that was back in Italy, I tasted this again last night in the south hemisphere where I'm actually leaving now in Melbourne. The wine as soon I opened it was so closed and dirty which my mind though was off, very vinegar balsamic on the nose; i sip a bit and felt the tannin and fruit in my palate and in my mind I said "you need time".
After a couple of hours the wine was pure red fruit, amazing concentration. Notes of medicinal herbs and mint, ripe cherries, blueberries, rose and violet. Great structure ripe tannin. A superb wine.

Teoblado Cappellano passed away on February 21 - 2009, with his unique philosophy and his meticulous winemaking a legend in Barolo was the exceptional artisanal grower with great personality. He banished everyone that wanted to score his wine with numbers, he loves his review without score. He was a president of the influential "Vini Veri" group and also leader of Italy sustainable agriculture movement.
Cappelano made fewer than 800 cases of Barolo per year, all vilified traditionally: a fermentation of 14 to 21 days with indigenous yeast and aging in well seasoned "botti" for at least three years. He made two Barolo both from the legendary Gabutti vineyard on Serralunga best slope. He removed the Gabutti designation from his label to protest on the extension of the site.
Two thirds of his barolo are Barolo Rupestris a parcel planted on grafted rootstock n the 1940.
His other Barolo is the mythic Pie Franco which means ungrafted vine with Nebbiolo Michet clone, a Barolo before Phylloxera.

mercoledì 21 agosto 2013


Pommard Premier Cru "Les Pèzerolles" 2006

The Domaine de Montille is a family winery located in Burgundy in Volnay back to the 18 century.
They farm 20 hectare of vines, essentially Premeir cru and Grand cru in both Cote de Nuits and Cote de  Beaune covering 20 appellation; is one of this winery which tend to polarize people.
Hubert the father of the family transmitted his love for Burgundy to the sons which currently manage the winery first to Etienne than to Alix. The brother and sister have taken the reins of the Domaine and love Burgundy and continue the philosophy Hubert started. Etienne vilifies the Pinot and Alix she look after the Chardonnay. Etienne is the one converted the total production of the domaine is an environmental friendly farming in 1985 they stopped to use fertilized and herbicide and the move to full organic farming in 1995 and the transit in Byodinamics in 2005. The Domaine is certified Ecocert Bio in 2012. Etienne also add at the wine a slightly change, give at the pinot production note of charm, velvet texture and additional aromatics from whole cluster fermentation to the authenticity elegance and capacity to age which his father Hubert initiated.
 Alix De Montille she looking after the white production, she think the red wines remains obscure for her. With a diploma in enology and experience in the business working at the negociant house of Alex Gambal and Ropiteau developed her knowledge. Particular she had the call for a white wines after meet  Jean Marc Roulot in Mersault. In 2003 she create Maison 2 Montille, a boutique negotiant label established with his brother Etienne to make white wines she like for purchased grapes.
The wine I'm going to talk about is their Pommard from 2006 on the clos Les Pezerolles.
Pommard is one of the larger viticultural area in the Cote de Beaune not far behind Beaune in terms of bottles producers. In between Beaune and Volnay there are no Grand Cru and today every things is red production. The appellation is conventionally split into north and south side the soil are brown with a mixture of limestone, but the soil is not very deep so the roots very quickly come in contact with the bedrock give to the wine a slightly minerality with an open bouquet.
The wine was fruited on the nose a touch sweet with a pronounced floral character with a bright mineral. Warm cherry with subtle spice and ginger tones. Slightly chewy in the mouth with full of ripe tannins balance by slightly soft acidity with a great freshness in the palate.


lunedì 12 agosto 2013

Pithon Paillè Loire Valley

From the website of Pithon Paillè:
The creation of a wine merchant business (négociant-eleveur) Jo Pithon’s dream has always been to set up a ‘négociant’ business, similar to those in Burgundy and the Rhone Valley, offering top quality wines grown on different terroirs. The idea of vinifying and aging wines made from the Chenin and Cabernet Franc grape using the different soil-types of the region was too tempting to resist... At the beginning of 2008, Jo Pithon and Isabelle Pithon, changed direction as only wine growers and decided to create a négociant-éleveur business with Joseph Paillé, Isabelle’s son, and Wendy Paillé, his wife, still retaining 5 hectares of their original estate, notably the famous Les Treilles, for they remain vignerons at heart! Now in 2013 the estate has grown to 13 hectares. The idea is to work hand in hand with growers, using predominantly Chenin and Cabernet Franc grapes. A work plan with vine growers have been created as follows : Careful selection of the plots, with a preference for organic production Supervision in the vines throughout the year. Deciding on the harvest date This means having a trusting relationship with the different wine growers and a profound knowledge of the Loire Valley. This knowledge Jo gained by spending much time in cellars all over the world over a period of thirty years, glass-in-hand! But of course everything started in the Loire Valley. The idea of maturing wines and improving their quality, nurturing them a bit like one would a child, to bring out the best in them, appeals to Jo. The process is a marriage between time and micro oxygenation. Maturation is mainly in burgundy barrels, the wines being left from 10 to 18 months depending on the style.
A chenin blanc from Anjou 2010
Light color. Delicate stony nose, with firm minerality, very good acidity honeyed with a nutty character streak from barrel aging. Rich and slightly unctuous with a refreshing note of acidity on the finish.
The wine perfectly show the clay, gravel shale on decomposed schist of Anjou. A perfect entry level of Chenin blanc from a good young growers

lunedì 5 agosto 2013


The Savennieres appellation begin in the west limit of the Angers commune. The vines spread west for approximately eight kilometers along the right bank of the Loire river encompassing the 3 commune of Epirè, Savennieres and la Possoniere. A series of plateaux which are essential small valleys running perpendicular down to the river and whose steep slopes offer a perfect south-west facing orientation. The plateaux of Epirè, Savennieres and la Possoniere are set up 2 km back from the river and are more open and exposed with vine, the appellation highest point, being an altitude of around 75 meters.
The only permitted grape varieties is Chenin blanc, historically, the vines were propagated through massal-selection rather the using specific clones. The variability of massal-selection dictates that flowering is not homogeneous and therefore neither is the ripening; this ensures that in almost every vintage it is necessary for the wines to be picked in two or three passage, although in some vintage and depending on the philosophy of the growers it may be more. The warmest vintage often require the least number of tries. In addition to Chenin one other varieties plays an official part in the appellation Verdelho de Madere and some Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Caberent Franc and Sauvignon; but it is clear that Savennieres is not Chenin Blanc, it is just made from Chenin Blanc; a taste from the landscape.
The soil of the appellation are potentially more complex than any other french viticultural region.  A short walk through any one parcel of vines, illustrate how varied the soil type and the mechanical make up can be. It is based on hard rocks, different shists made up of blue granite, quartz, sand stone and volcanic debris such as the red/yellow rhyolite, black phtanite and spilite; red/brown in colour, and created through the reaction of lava being cooled quickly by sea water.  The sub-soil remains the same impermeable shist, which can occasionally be seen rising to the surface but, for the most part there is a covering of sand deposit by the action of wind driven up from the river below.  This sand offer little in terms of nutrition for the vines and acts only as a mechanical support. This vineyard are often inaccessible as they become waterlogged in winter or after heavy rain as the water doesn't really drain away due to the impervious makeup of the rock below, whilst in summer or periods of drought the sole becomes baked making it difficult to work.  The success of the vines here comes from their ability to locate fissures in the shists below and find the necessary nutrition and minerals. Savennieres being just 120 kilometers in land from the Atlantic coast enjoy all the benefits that the Gulf Stream brings. In terms of temperature, the average is between 11.5° and 12° between December and February with an average in July/August of around 19.5° and Autumn here is often extended into October, ideally for late ripening Chenin. The fact that the vineyards lie on the north bank of the Loire river means that they are at the higher altitude than those across the river in the Layon. This results in better exposure to Summer breeze with the vineyards being generally cooler and suffering less humidity  than those across the river. In addition the fact that the soil here are much less fertile means that botrytis remains a possibility, the incidence of noble rot for the production of sweet wines is much less likely.
Domaine Baumard produce Clos St Yves which is one of the most important specific area in Savennieres with a schist soil condition and lately i had his 2007. Pale yellow, day bright appearance, clean but closed on the nose, a bit reductive. Well textured with good richness, flowers of quince, lemon pit, stone fruit, good length with a hint of bitterness on the finish. Not very expressive as yet but shows class, very promising.
CLOS de la BERGERIE 2008
Also i had Clos De La Bergerie from Nicolas Joly. From the vineyard Roches-aux-Moines, Joly Bergerie is named for the fact he has actual sheep roaming the property.  Aromas of golden apple cider, raw onion repeated on the palate, soft and around the edge, well balanced with acidity, wide, complex, honey dew, kernel character, slightly forest floor, slate, flint, impressive minerality, a wine from a desert island.

domenica 28 luglio 2013

Mt Etna Biondi Outis

MOUNT ETNA eurupted
Last night I toured back to Italy. I bought in the morning a bottle of Etna Bianco by Biondi winery the Outis from 2009.
The vines are cultivated in all Etna D.O.C. on sandy soil with volcanic origin, are planted to 600 meter to 1000 meter above sea level often an heroic viticulture.
The ampelographic heritage is extremely interesting composed of centuries old vines such as Carricante  and Catarrato the two main grapes varieties used to produced the Etna bianco D.O.C. and Etna Bianco Superiore. The white Minella is rarer.
The wine of Biondi have got the 3 varieties in different percentage with predominately Carricante.
Gold in color a bit unclear with brilliant vivacity, a great viscosity for a white wine. Nose was citrus, lemon zest, orange blossom, acacia, flint, tufa and sandy some kernel and a touch of honey. Palate great mouthful, lovely intense minerality, tonic, wet stone, fossil marine, sapid and superb drinkability.
Thanks to Etna, is the top!!!!!!!!!

Pinot noir Patagonia Bodega Chacra

Argentina has a winemaking history back some 450 years. Currently is thee fifth largest wine-producing country in the world.
Argentina vineyards lies close to the Andes mountain 1500 Km from the province of Salta in the north to Rio Negro and Nequen in Patagonia. Historically because the heat, most vineyards were planted in pergola system, Know locally as Parral.
This system lifted the grapes away from the searing heat close to the ground.
The real problem disease of the vineyard is called Nematodes, tiny roundworms that live in the soil and feed on plant roots by puncturing the root tissue with hollow. Once the Nematodes sink this structure deep into the grape's root tissue, they suck out the plant's juices. Symptoms of Nematodes damage can sometimes be hard to positively identify because they can look like several other problems, such as too little or too much water, unsuitable temperatures, disease or the lack of proper nutrients. Once those important roots are destroyed, the plant is unable to take up enough water and nutrients to sustain itself and also produce fruit.
To solve this problem Argentinian producer tend to grafted their vines to reduce the damage. Philloxera, although present is not regarded as a serious problem.
In Patagonia in the subregion of Rio Negro I had the chance to try a Pinot Noir for Bodega Chacra 200 Km north of Tierra del Fuego and equidistant to the Andes mountains and the Atlantic ocean. The Rio Negro itself is a glacial bed 30 Km stretching to 450 Km along the rivers bank at an elevation of 300 meters above sea level. The cooling influence is clearly not the altitude, but the latitude. The climate is dry surrounding by desert as a natural barrier result in a complete absence of Philloxera and vine disease. During the growing season the temperature varied by daytime around 28° and at night time 9°. The season are precisely defined, with hot summer, cold winters and mild spring and autumns.
The vineyard are planted in 1932 and the pinot noir are planted in their own rootstock and producer tiny small concentrated berries. Porous soil are dominated by gravel and significant limestone context. Very minimal intervention in vineyard with biodinamique concept, a very small amount of sulphur and semi carbonic maceration technique with a punching over. Old french barrique are used to aging, make this wine quite interesting.
A dense colour with translucent appearance, rose petal, spice and red fruit, raspberry, plum, cranberry
tar and earthiness, eucalyptus, mint, fennel savory. In the palate has an outstanding depth with impeccable balance and velvety texture and silky finish red fruits are succulent and sweet with a lovely fine tannin . Just incredible.

domenica 21 luglio 2013

MantonicoOz L'Acino

Calabria south of Italy an incontaminated  region where the landscape is still married with mother nature.
Recently I had the pleasure to drink a Mantonico grape juice from a very small boutique named L'acino.
The wine was clear with medium intensity gold color day bright with a light amber rim with a fine viscosity. The nose show some developing character as dried chamomile, acacia and white blossom flowers, bruised apple and pear…. Minerality are quite high with dried stone, steely, wet leaves and floor, brown mushroom and a undertone of honey character.
The acidity is high in balance with alcohol, body and flavor intensity mid palate was stony, mineral and complex with a very low tannin "polifenol" perception.
Seemed like I was watching a Samuel Fuller movie, iconoclastic, idiosyncratic and almost a new wave punk attitude.
Thanks to the owner Dino Briglio! Some shots of the slope of the winery of the Mantonico Pinto:

Thanks to Naz to let me try the wine @
                                                         Forty Guns Samuel Fuller...