A Charismatic Catalan

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The simply excellent Carisma Gewürztraminer and Riesling blend has been knocking around the shop since a few weeks before Christmas, but I hadn’t gotten an opportunity to sample it until last week-end and now i can see why it was so popular at our Christmas Tasting. The wine has a complex nose that develops in the glass. Some peach and lychee but with distinct mineral, stone quality. On the palate the wine has pronounced acidity, great length and weight. The finish is a lovely lingering off dry flavour of luscious tropical fruits, think mango pineapple and lychee.

The wine is named after the charismatic Carles Ribes Masana who first planted these vines high up in the village of his birth, Montanissell. The climate in Montanissell is Alpine – with extreme cold in the winters and warm summers. The day night temperature differential is dramatic and can be as much as 25 to 30 degrees. The vines are situated at 1,200 metres above sea level, making them the highest in Spain. Carles died tragically before he could see his grapes become wine but today, together with his brothers, Nuria Altes of Herencia Altes continue his dream with the wine that bears his initials and continues his spirit.

The vineyard is planted to 50% Riesling and 50% Gewürztraminer. The Gewürztraminer is picked late September and taken to winery in refrigerated vans to be vinified. The Riesling ripens much later, around later October, and is vinified separately. The two wines are blended post ferment and left sur-lie for 5 months before bottling in May. The style of the wine is distinctly northern European, Alsatian like, and is capable of ageing for several years in bottle.


We’re off to try the Wonderful Wines of OZ

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2013 Aus

All our favourites from O’Leary Walker, Logan and Yalumba are included as is all fine wine. Call in and see what stunning wines are coming out of Oz. 20% Off to help you raise a glass.

Zwei Wunderbare Rotweine

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Yesterday was International Zweigelt Day, again we missed the day they all appear to be on Sundays! A relative new arrival on the scene Zweigelt was developed by Fritz Zweigelt in 1922, It is a crossing of Blaufrankisch and St. Laurent, two grape varieties found in Austria, where Zweigelt is now the most planted red grape variety. It has a relatively short growing season as it buds late and ripens early making it suitable for growing in cooler climates, and mostly avoiding the bad weather. It produces high yields so is often treated with less respect than it deserves. But when treated with care it can produce wonderful wines capable of medium term cellaring.

The most common style of Zweigelt is a bright cherry fruit driven reds similar to Bardolino, which are great for sipping. But when a bit of oak attention is paid to it, it can produce deep concentrated richer reds with deep cherry and red berry fruit flavours and a lovely spicy/peppery note. We have two excellent Zweiglets in the shop, both from our good friends a Weingut Muller, the fresh and fruity Zweigelt selection and the bolder and more complex Zweigelt Reserve


Boys & Girls it’s Refosco not Bosco

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Refosco is a grape found in Northern Italy, it is grown principally in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region in northeast Italy and the nearby Venezia and Treviso provinces of the Veneto region. The grape has been well-known since antiquity and is believed to be indigenous to northeast Italy. Various ancient Roman writers and personalities sang the praises of Refosco wines.

Historically, most Refosco wines were consumed locally and very few found their way into the international markets. However, Refosco wines have benefitted from the upsurge of interest in recent years in wines from the Friuli region in general. More Refosco wines are exported today than ever before and some Refosco wines have found their way to retail shops all over Europe and the USA. But, Refosco wines receive little notice and are not heavily marketed, like other Italian wines such as Chinati and more recently Prosecco. It’s safe to say that they are not on the radar screens of most  wine consumers.

Well hopefully that will all change this week as we have Nicola and Lino from Antonutti one of our favourite Italian wineries in the shop Wednesday tasting a selection of their wines including a wonderful Refosco. This deeply colored wine is medium to  full-bodied with discernible tannins yet polished and supple with black fruit flavours.  It has a long finish with notes of plums and currants. The Refosco’s good acidity, makes it a good partner to a wide variety of foods, especially grilled meats and other hearty meat entrees.

Friulano it’s not your day but……

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We love you. I had planned on posting this blog later in the month on the 30th of January to be exact as that is the day set aside as international Friulano day, but the wine is just so good I had to let you guys out there know about it. First a little bit of History Friulano was known as Tocai Friulano or simply Tocai until a few years ago when the EU decided there could be only one wine called Tocai/Tokji and this lovely grape lost out to the Tokaji region in Hungary. It appears to be the same as Sauvignon vert (Sauvingonasse), which is cultivated in Chile but quite rare in France.

Friulano produces a wine that is yellow and straw-yellow in colour with greenish hints. Delicate, pleasant aroma, dry, fresh, softy, and velvety, typically with a slightly bitter note of almond and citrus.  We like to think of it as classy Pinot Grigio!

As you’d expect with a name like Friulano, it is grown widely around Udine, in the Province of Friuli. You can find out more about this lovely grape and even sample some this day next week when Lino and Nicola from Casa Antonutti will be in the shop tasting their range of wines, including a beautiful Friulano.

Antonutti Tasting

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Join Lino & Nicola in store from 5pm – 7pm

Join us on Wednesday January 23rd from 5-7pm to welcome Lino and Nicola from Casa Antonutti, one of our favourite suppliers. Many of you will be familar with Antonutti’s range of wines, aprticulary their Pinot Grigio which is one of our best selling wines. On the evening we will be sampling a series of their wines from the Antonutti line and the Vis Terrae line. It si sure to be a fun and informative evening all are welcome.

Some great Austrian’s to MULL ovER

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Due to the phenomenal success of the two Gruner Veltiners and Zweigelt we brought in from Muller in Austria during 2012 we’ve decide to take a punt on their wonderful Riesling, Zweigelt reserve and for those of you with a sweet tooth their luscious Eiswein.

  • Muller ‘Gottweiger Berg’ Riesling 2011 €14.95

    The grapes for this lovely Riesling come from the Gottweiger Mountain. Cool fermentation gives this wine light green-yellow in the colour glass, juicy stone fruit aromas on the nose, compact on the palate with refreshing apricot and citrus fruits, a wine with a fresh minerally finish. A great alternative to German and Alsatian wines.

  • Muller ‘Gottweiger Berg’Zweiglet Reserve 2010  €17.95

Selected Zeigelt grapes are aged in small oak casks for 12 months prior to bottling. More body and depth than it’s little brother   this wine displays ruby and garnet colors in the glass, beautiful scents of cherries and fine spices develop in the nose, with nice oaky tones,powerful and substantial on the palate; a wine with a good aging potential.

  • Muller ‘Gottweiger Berg’ Gruner Veltiner Eiswein 2008 €29.95

https://i2.wp.com/www.weingutmueller.at/wp-content/uploads/et_temp/gv-eiswein-1502225_212x340.jpgThe grapes come from various locations around the mountain in the southern Göttweiger Kremstal. The grapes for the Grüner Veltliner Eiswein, are selected  from prime locations in Muller vineyards; only the best and ripest grapes are left hanging. These grapes are ripened until the end of December in order to achieve a good sugar content. On 31 December 2008, it was so far, the temperatures were low enough at 9 ° C and 31 ° KMW all the grapes were harvested and rapidly brought into the cellar. The frozen grapes were pressed to obtain the typical characteristics of icewine. Then the must was fermented and stored for several months on the lees.

Bright golden yellow, ripe nose of mango and melon on the palate, soft caramel tones, and peach. Spices on the finish, very good fruit-acid structure, and a wonderful recurring finish that lingers for what seems like an age afterward.

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