Fragrant? Yes. Sweet? Yes. Creamy? Yes.

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A Classic Moscato from Italy

What do you look for in a white wine at your local independent retailer? Does the wine need to have lots of fragrant aromas working together in harmony? Does it include a sweet creamy texture with a strong depth of tropical flavours? If you find yourself answering yes to all the questions above then look no further! The La Vita Moscato D’Asti 2017 by Cossetti has all the characteristics and more to satisfy your thirst for sweet white wine!

The small town of Asti is located in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. It is widely known for making the classically light fizzy Moscato with typical notes of white peach, white flower, and bright citrus. La Vita Moscato D’Asti 2017 is no exception! Coming in at only 5% abv it is deliciously approachable with full of bold flavours. The aromas of peach and elderflower are big and fragrant. On the first sip, elderflower notes take over before a medium finish of lovely lychee with a small touch of that classic fizz in the background. This Moscato is full of light creaminess and sweetness and is perfect for sunny days or even for breakfast (it must five o’clock somewhere!). If you are looking to pair with food, any fruity desserts would be excellent. If you are planning to pack a picnic basket, make sure to take some apricot Wensleydale cheese with some crackers. I promise, you will not regret it!

Sunny Weather Calls for Tasty Rosé

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Rosé is that aesthetically attractive pink coloured wine which is the embodiment of Summer in a glass. Drunk mostly on days when it is warm and bright outside due its main flavours of red fruits, flowers, and citrus. For example, the Pungirosa 2018 by Rivera (Castel del Monte, Italy) has aromas of wild strawberry, grapefruit, and subtle floral notes. Medium-light bodied with a little acidity and a dry finish on the palate. A nice balanced wine to quench your thirst when it is sunny and 20°C.

Credit: http://www.winefolly.com

A common misconception about rosé wine is that it is made by blending red and white wine together. Whilst this is only true for very few sparkling wine regions like in Champagne, it is rarely made in this process for still rosé.

The most common way in producing rosé is through a maceration process. After the grapes are harvested and pressed, the grape skins are left to macerate in the juice usually between 2-24 hours. This allows the red pigment from the skins to leech out into the grape juice. A longer maceration time usually results in a darker colour in the final product. After macerating it is strain and then fermented without the skins. On the other hand, red wine is usually fermented with their skins, seeds and all then strained. This is one of the main differences in making rosé and red wine in addition to barrel and/or bottle ageing in reds amongst other things.

Wine is always more appreciated when the atmosphere is right, so let us hope it will be a sunny season this year so we can enjoy more barbecues, more picnics and most importantly, more Rosé!

Sensational ‘Sanroc’

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Or biggest selling Gewürztraminer is the sensational Bolognani ‘Sanroc’.  The picture on the label is evocative of the “Bear of Vigolana”, which is a dark shape that appears on the snow-covered North Wall of the Vigolana mountain, which stands over the vineyard.

Sanròc: an exclusive vineyard on the South-Eastern hill of Trento, in San Rocco, on the edges of the Bindesi forest, bordering above, with the famous Aquiloni nature trail, which was specifically created to allow even partially-sighted persons to autonomously enjoy this natural oasis. The Sanròc is Bolognani’s premiere white, which is planted in rows (guyot) of only Gewürztraminer grapes, which they attentively grow caring for their environment. In mid-September the grapes are hand-picked and the best bunches selected to make into wine; the wine is then rested on its lees for eight to ten months, which highlights its character. It is bottled at the end of summer and after at least eight to ten months of ageing in bottle is released.

 

Intense and full of flavours such as rose water, lychee, orange blossom, melon and jasmine. While rich this wine is balanced by the fresh aromatic flavours. Ideal for fish-based platters, especially seafood, or simply on its own, to enjoy the flavour of a great white wine.

Normally €24.95 but currently on promotion with 20% at €19.96

Soave – a superb Summer sipper!

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Soave (“swah-vay”) is a small Italian village near Verona and Venice which is famous for its white wines made mainly from Gargenega grapes. It is full of citrus fruit flavours, like melon and it has a touch of almond. As great as Soave is, and it is great as a Summer sipper it is much maligned by years of cheap bulk crap served in Italian restaurants in Ireland!

Coffele‘s delightful Castel Cerino Soave Classico exuberantely draws in the taster, keeping its excellent harmony and elegance. With the passing of each year, its youthful quality changes and becomes more mineral in the flavour and complex in the taste. Exclusively from their  organic hillside vineyards in Castel Cerino, in the heart of the historic Soave Classico zone, which range between 490-1470 feet above sea level.

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The wine is a brilliant, straw yellow, with hints of green when young. The aromas are subtle and fresh, suggesting white flowers, from hawthorn to cherry blossoms, underpinned by fresh apple, white plum, sage, and minerals. On the palate, the wine is dry, with structure and good balance. The long finish has attractive almond notes. Makes an ideal aperitif. Also perfect with fish and shellfish. Goes very well with delicate pasta dishes, especially risotto with peas or asparagus. €17.95

 

 

Azienda Agricola Coffele

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coffele-valpolicella-1In 1971 Giovanna Visco and her husband Giuseppe decided to retire from teaching to breathe new life into Giovanna’s family’s estate: a property with cellars in the old walled village of Soave that had lain dormant for over 30 years.

Today their children, Alberto and Chiara, are in control of the day-to-day running and are the head and heart of the place. They are fully aware that the ingredients for a great wine come from the land itself. Around 30 hectares of immaculate vineyards are planted in the Soave Classico zone around Castelcerino (200-350m above sea level) on perfectly exposed hillsides. For about nearly a decade the winery has been following full certified Biodynamic practices (all natural – minimal intervention – spiritual viticulture) in their vineyards

The garganega grape variety from this location is prized for its ripeness and natural acidity when it ripens slowly, allowing for exceptional flavour development. Coffele’s wines often go a step beyond their peers, with the hard work and careful attention to detail that is given to the vineyards. The grapes are all hand-harvested using multiple passes through the vineyards to ensure picking at the perfect moment of ripeness.

This producer is doing a great job, maintaining standards of Soave that some of their neighbours in the area, with much larger resources, would be proud to achieve. The wines are typically high in finesse with delicate mineral notes.

Most recently, Coffele has expanded into the Valpolicella DOC with the purchase of a small estate in Campiano, and are now producing a Valpolicella and an Amarone.

COFFELE VALPOLICELLA 2017 Full of fruit: sour black cherries, blackberries, and ripe red cherries, with hints of balsam and spice and the slightest suggestion of herbaceousness. The aroma is rich and intense, but with great finesse. It is highly structured, harmonious, and delicate, with a long finish. The refreshing acidity balances out the wine’s alcohol, and the tannins are dense yet fine.

Cascina Feliciana

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The Cascina Feliciana is a family run wine-making company located in Pozzolengo, on the southern side of Garda Lake and a short distance from the motorway exit of Sirmione. The family dedicates themselves with passion to the care of the vineyards and the production of wines, including the renowned Lugana. The Family produces a temp15-405skylsbicqtkhs_600x600selection of Lugana wines along with some excellent reds typical of the area.

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Feliciana is one of 125 Lugana producers and their ‘Felugan’ Lugana 2017 is one of the best wines we have tried this year. Lugana is typically crisp and refreshing and the Felugan is no exception! It is a wine with a pale straw yellow colour and greenish highlights; its nose is delicately floral, with a hint of almonds, while on the palate it is fresh, pleasantly citrus-like and long. It will pair well with most seafood and fish dishes and is delightful with lemon and thyme roast chicken.

Azienda Rivera

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The de Corato family roots go deep into the agriculture of Puglia. Here, in the countryside of Andria, Sebastiano de Corato founded the Azienda Vinicola Rivera in the late 1940s, inspired by a vision of realising, and bringing to the world’s attention, the enormous viticultural potential of the Castel del Monte area.

Widespread recognition quickly followed and since then  Rivera, has become the benchmark of Puglia quality wine production and the force driving its rebirth, thanks also to innovations in both vineyards and winemaking introduced since the early 1980s by his son Carlo.
Today, with the involvement of the third generation of the family represented by Carlo’s sons Sebastiano and Marco, Rivera continues with pride and renewed commitment the production of wines that eloquently express the intense yet elegant character of this land and its native grape varieties.

The winery’s winemaking philosophy is rigorously applied to every step of the process: vineyard management, grape harvest, winemaking, maturation and bottling; the most up-to-date viticultural and oenological practices are married to the deepest respect for natural processes, with all activities focused on achieving environmental and economic sustainability and on continuous improvement in quality.

Check out their wines here. Rivera

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.