More than just Spa & Hotel – Cantina Altarocca

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wine-tour-experienceOrvieto is one of the beautiful locales in all of Italia, and Cantina Altarocca just may be the crown jewel of this historic hilltop. With one of Italia’s most beloved and picturesque hotels, Altarocca is an aesthete’s delight; set in a rich color palate of dark, asperous earth, deep-green vines, gentle sage, and blue sky, the villas are sprinkled about, connected by sunwarmed cobblestones.

First and foremost, however, Altarocca, or “high rock,” is a vineyard. Specializing in lush, international varietal wines, this estate delivers surprising–if not shocking–character from familiar grapes, with both authenticity and polish. Owner and winemaker Emiliano Sirchio, a young man with a zest for life, races motorcycles, bicycles (basically, anything on two wheels), and along with his family, manages the gorgeous hotel and even more impressive vineyard. Not to be confused with a tired, rustic Umbrian estate, or (if you’ll pardon the expression) a “ratings chaser” from Bolgheri, Altarocca is a confident, modern estate with deep roots in one of Central Italy’s most historic places. A “bucket list” place to visit, with wines worthy of savoring.

The dedication and passion of the Altarocca Winery in respect to this territory drove us to become organic, for which we obtained certification in 2016. Theirs was an ethical choice combined with the genuine wish to adopt an approach, by which human intervention follows the biological rhythm of nature and no systemic products or phytopharmaceuticals are used. Altarocca has also always been involved in the initiatives for the protection of typical regional wines and quality improvement programs for grapes and winemaking techniques. They are proud to offer a quality brand made with passion, dedication and care.

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Cantina Altarocca ‘Librato’ Organic Rosso Orvietano 2017

A blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot. A ruby red color and violet hues. Intense and harmonious in the nose, rich with notes of red fruit and a vegetable scent. In the mouth is full and balanced, with elegant notes of fruit and smooth tannins.  Best coupling with first courses based on meat, roast and grilled meat, cold cuts and medium aged cheese. €19.95

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A Remarkable Garden – Chateau Val Joanis

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Château Val Joanis is a winery located in the Vaucluse Department of France, in the region of Provence-Alps-Cotes d’Azur. The wines it produces are classified Cotes du Luberon and the gardens of the winery are listed by the Committee of Parks and Gardens of the French Ministry of Culture as one of the Remarkable Gardens of France. Producing wines since Roman times, today the estate is owned by the Roozen family, who are continually striving to produce delicious wine, whilst protecting their environment. A beautiful estate of 400 hectares, the 186 hectares of vineyard spread over the hills at altitudes ranging from 280m to 499m, the site of the famous plot ‘Les Griottes’. If you are in Provence do visit this beautiful estate, admire the wonderful gardens, and try its splendid wines!

 

5_1Our personal favorites are the Chateau Val Joanis ‘Tradition’ Rouge 2016, a well structured and balanced wine, supple and round with a deep purple colour. A slightly spiced wine with notes of blackcurrant and red berries. Offers a juicy core of dark licorice, plum and blackberry coulis flavours, maintaining good focus and tension through the finish. Syrah and Grenache. €19.95

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And the Stunning Chateau Val Joanis ‘Joséphine Rosé 2017 made with a selection of best juices, the cuvée Joséphine is aged on lees for some months. The result is a charming, fruity and elegant rosé. Perfumed notes of raspberry and red currant are juxtaposed by bramble and crushed stone on the nose of this elegant rosé. It’s irresistibly juicy—full of red berry and cherry flavors yet revitalizing and fresh, with a cooling salt- and mineral-laced finish. €23.95

 

You can check out our full range of wines from Chateau Val Joanis here

Weingut Hofmann

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Anyone who has called into the shop lately will have noticed we have started moving things about, adding some new wines and removing some others. One of our new additions is Weingut Hofmann from Appenheim in Rheinhessen, about an hour east of Frankfurt. The estate which was mixed agriculture, was converted solely to wine production in 1971 by current winemaker Jurgen Hofmann’s parents. Jurgen produces Riesling, Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and some other german varieties like Silvaner. But it is his Rieslings and Sauvignons that really wowed us.

Grhttps://i0.wp.com/www.schiefer-trifft-muschelkalk.de/en/standards/images/weine/content/Hofmann_Riesling_trocken.jpgapes from the Rotliegend slate soils of the ‘Roter Hang (Red Slope)’ and the limestone dominated soils surrounding Appenheim fuse together in this estate-level Riesling bursting with stony spice and minerality. Aromas of dried apricots and exotic spice dance hand in hand in a racy yet breathtakingly elegant tango. This is an entry-level dry Riesling that will leaving you wanting more.

His Sauvignon Blanc ghttps://i2.wp.com/www.schiefer-trifft-muschelkalk.de/en/standards/images/weine/content/Hofmann_Sauvignon-Blanc.jpgrapes are harvested sequentially from multiple sites as each vineyard reaches its own optimal ripeness. Cool, fresh notes of gooseberry, elderberry, and green asparagus blend with a tropical breeze reminiscent of the variety’s origins — and the small, lively kiwi bird that also calls New Zealand home. This wine is the perfect marriage of Sancerre and Marlborough styles, but from Germany!

Quinta dos Pocos Branco

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Pocos BrancoQuinta dos Poços (of the Wells) is named after the many water springs that sprout up after heavy rainfall. Another reason given is because it is located in front of the point 130 or Point of Puddles described by Baron of Forrester on his map “O Douro Portuguez e Paiz Adjacente” in 1848.

Located in the World Heritage area of the Douro, Valley. It is one of the oldest estates in the region, the main house being a typical rural manor house from the 18th century. It was there that french troops of the General of Brigade Loison – the “Maneta” (one-handed) – stationed, by the time of the first Napoleonic invasion, in 1808.The Quinta belongs to the family of Prof. Doctor José Manuel da Costa Mesquita Guimarães, who can be seen on the label of the white wine with his wife.

The Pocos Branco (White) wine is a blend of Rabigato, Viosinho and Gouveio and is completely unoaked. this give it a very light yellow citrus colour. Aromas are very fresh and mineral with  citrus, tropical fruits and floral notes quite typical of the white wines of altitude of Douro. Fresh flavour fruity flavour in the mouth with a love lively zesty refreshing dry finish. This wine is excellent as an aperitif, with grilled fish, seafood, pasta and pizzas.

One from the diaspora: O’Leary Walker Cabernet Malbec.

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OLW CabMalWe’re getting really topical today, with the talk of giving the vast Irish diaspora a vote in the general election we decided to raid the shelves for an interesting Irish conection wine. Now many of you are familiar with our good friends David O’Leary (not the footballer) and Nick Walker, the two driving forces behind the eponymous O’Leary Walker Wines, but todays wine is a new one to their stable. It has more conections to Ireland beyond David’s surname as the wine is produced in the Clare valley named after the Banner county. Anyway on to the wine.

The two varieties are sourced from two sub regions within the Clare Valley. The Cabernet Sauvignon is organically certified from the ‘Doctor’s block’, located in the Polish Hill River Region, a superior cool climate vineyard which is dry grown and low yielding. The Malbec is from the O’Leary Walker Wines winery block situated in Watervale. The two varieties are fermented seperately then racked to oak barrels (25% new French oak; 75% two-three year old oak) for a total of two years.

Incredibly perfumed with red forest fruits, sweet cassis and intense florals. This powerful blend is textural and concentrated with generous flavours. The gorgeous florals follow on to the palate with juicy tannins and acid length. This elegant style of Cabernet Sauvignon is complemented by the dusty tannin structure of Malbec. Classic forest fruits and intensity of oak. Pair with fresh Easter lamb or some nice fillet steaks.

hâteau Cossieu-Coutelin 2013, a December hit.

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The magic of a terroir can inspire the finest chemistry. At Château Cossieu-Coutelin, the wine and the “murrain” oak merge exquisitely, creating perfect harmony.The vines of Château Cossieu-Coutelin, in the prestigious appellation of Saint-Estèphe in the Haut-Médoc, are planted in a clay and limestone soil which contributes to its outstanding quality. The vineyard was bought in 1977 by Marcel and Christian Quancard.

The Vineyard

Location : Saint-Estèphe
Terroirs : Made up of relatively high gravelly hilltops
Surface area : 3,30 hectares
Planting density : 8 000 Vine / ha
Yield : 50 hl / ha
Grape varieties : Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot
Average age of the vine : 28 years

The wine

Blend : 52% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Vinification : Cold fermentation for 4 days then gentle fermentation at 27°C for 32 days.
Ageing : At the end of vinification, the wine is matured for 12 months in french oak barrel (60% new barrels)
Ageing potential : Ready to drink now, this wine will reach its full potential around 2021-2023.
Tasting : Elegant colour with beautiful glints of ruby. The rich, complex nose is dominated by notes of burnt wood and dried flowers. On the palate, this wine presents a superb harmony with the distinguished character of the great terroirs.
Food pairing : Enjoy with red and white meat, poultry and also with soft cheese.

Awards

  • Silver, Challenge Internationnal du Vin Blaye-Bourg, 2016
  • Silver, Concours de Bordeaux Vins d’Aquitaine, 2016

Welcome back to some old Friends.

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We’re delighted to welcome back some old friends the lovely wines from William Cole Vineyards. William Cole Vineyards lies deep within Chile’s prestigious Casablanca Valley—often called “Chile’s Burgundy.” This cool climate vineyard near the coast, which is comprised of over 129 contiguous hectares, provides a long, warm growing season with cool nights to develop excellent acidity. Owned by Bill Cole and family, the winery specializes in cool climate varieties, and the wines are crisp, clean and complex. We have welcomed back the 3 wines above along with a great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but today we’ll look at the Bordeaux varieties.

William Cole ‘Colombine Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014 €17.95

The nose has inviting citrus and tropical fruits followed by notes of peach and white flowers. The palate is fresh and vibrant with crisp lime and citrus flavours over some nice white peach. Excellent cool climate white.

William Cole  ‘Colombine Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 €17.95

This Cabernet Sauvignon has a ruby colour of great depth and intensity of black fruits predominate, such as blueberry and blackberry, with some notes of oak spice. The palate has a round silky feel that is bristling with black currant and damson, fine grippy tannins give and excellent long finish. Great paired with lamb.

William Cole  ‘Colombine Winemakers Reserve’ 2012 €17.95

50% Cabernet Sauvignon 25% Merlot 25% Carmenere. This wonderful blend employs Chile’s “Signature” grape Carmenre. The boquet gives hints of walnut, all spice and red pepper over concentrated cassis and redberry. The palate is juicy with nice oak notes and flavours of tobacco, strawberry and rich blackberry. The tannins are smooth and integrated perfectly, giving this wine a long distinguished finish.

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