Champagne Taittinger FIFA & Adidas Brazuca Match Ball Draw
Champagne Taittinger was the official Champagne of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brasil and, earlier this year, released a special limited edition World Cup souvenir bottle of Brut Réserve NV.
Designed to celebrate Taittinger’s association with the forthcoming tournament, the bottle and box have been designed using groundbreaking 3D print technology. The souvenir bottle is presented in an elegant white and gold gift box featuring hologram footballs. Read more here.
As part of the promotion of Champagne Taittinger during the 2014 World Cup, Fareham Wine Cellar had an official Adidas Brazuca Match Ball (worth £100) signed by the CEO of Taittinger, Pierre Emmanuel Taittinger, to give away to one lucky winner.
FIFA World Cup Brasil 2014 Offical Football signed by the President of Champagne Taittinger, Pierre Emanuel Taittinger.
Amancaya is a joint venture between one of the foremost wine producers in Argentina, Nicolas Catena, and one of the most famous wine producers in the world, Domaines Baron de Rothschild (Lafite), owners Chateau Lafite Rothschild. The Catena Rothschild joint venture came into being in 1998 with the idea of marrying not just Argentine and French wine-making and culture, but also the two most noble grapes from their respective regions – Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catena supply their knowledge of high altitude vineyards and the best terroirs for growing Malbec whilst the Rothschilds provide their expert knowledge learnt from decades of cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon and the art of blending grape varieties to create a wine that is so much more than the sum of its parts.
The first wine to be released by Bodegas Caro (CAtena and ROthschild) was the super-premium Caro itself, a Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec blend (approximately 70/30 depending on the vintage), aged for 18 months in 60% new oak barrels, production 5,000 to 7,000 cases per vintage. The international success of Caro soon saw the release of Amancaya and its younger, fruitier sibling Aruma.
Amancaya Gran Reserva Malbec / Cabernet Sauvignon
Made at the Bodegas Caro in the heart of the Mendoza wine-growing region, Amancaya is a Malbec / Cabernet Sauvignon blend which varies from 40% to 60% Malbec and 40% to 50% Cabernet Sauvignon depending on vintage. The grapes are sourced from vineyards from the wine-growing regions of Vistalba, La Consulta, Agrelo, Tupungato and Tunuyan – the vineyards are all at least 30 years old and are situated at altitudes of 800 to 1400 metres. After harvesting and vinification the wine is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, 20% of which are new.
Amancaya is a true expression of French and Argentinian collaboration, there is plenty of fruit and meatiness from the Malbec but the French oak and the Cabernet Sauvignon give the wine a somewhat firmer backbone than some other Argentinian wines. An Argentinian wine with a Bordeaux twist (a bit like the Chilean wine, Los Vascos, that Domaines Baron de Rothschild (Lafite) also produce). You know that Lafite will not put their name to just any old wine venture and the Amancaya Malbec Cabernet is a very good red wine that it really punches above its weight.
“Once again, Lafite Rothschild’s ‘Amancaya’ goes beyond the stereotype of succulent Argentinian Malbec with its ripe mid palate framed by the structure and length of Cabernet Sauvignon.” Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator, 2010.
Amancaya Tasting Notes (2010 vintage)
The 2010 Amancaya is a blend of 65% Malbec and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is dominated by dark fruit character (plums, dark cherries and blackberry) with some floral, violet notes and lifted red fruit (strawberry). The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and flavours of cassis, plums and spicy vanilla notes. The finish is smooth and silky with good length and purity. A very classy wine.
And why is it called Amancaya?
Amancaya is the name of the flower depicted on the label. It is found in the Mendoza wine-growing region and is used by native indian women to decorate their hair in the spring time.
Vineyards of Hampshire Wine Festival at Jenkyn Place
Sunday 13th July 2014
Last Sunday I made my way to Jenkyn Place Vineyard in the village of Bentley, Hampshire. The Vineyards of Hampshire Wine Festival is the first event of its kind put on by a group of six award-winning English wine producers who have joined forces to promote Hampshire Wine. The six producers involved are Cottonworth, Danebury Vineyards, Jenkyn Place, Hambledon, Hattingley Valley and Meonhill Wines who were all represented by winemakers, owners and other members of their teams.
Jenkyn Place provided a great venue, a marquee (there was only a little rain shower) with super views looking out over their vineyards and on to the surrounding Downs, a hog roast and some live music from local singer / songwriter Martha Paton. The marquee was located right at the end of the rows of vines and it was good to be able to have a close up look at the Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir vines.
I know the Meonhill and Hambledon Vineyard wines quite well but it was good to refresh the memory. The Hambledon Classic Cuvee Brut was brilliant as ever and the Meonhill Chardonnay Brut is a great Blanc de Blancs – fresh, clean and citrus-y with good mineral character. Of the other sparkling wines I tried (and let’s face it Hampshire Wine is going to be all about the sparkling wines) I particularly enjoyed the Cottonworth Blanc de Blancs, Jenkyn Place Brut Cuvee and Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvee. I am afraid I didn’t really take any tasting notes on the day, it was more a social than a working visit, but I look forward to tasting more sparkling Hampshire wine in future – they were all very good.
In association with Hampshire Fare, there were also three or four food stalls including Jake’s Artisan Pies selling organic pork pies, a selection of Hampshire charcuterie from Parsonage Farm and gourmet marshmallows from the Belinda Clark Gourmet Confectionery. Being a more savoury sort of person, I drifted toward the pork pies, which were great, and the charcuterie which included a fantastic fennel and garlic salami. Judging by the fact that both stalls ran out of stock quite early I would say they had a very successful day and, I have to admit, I bought some of each to take home.
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It was a very enjoyable afternoon. I think some exhibitors were surprised by how many people turned up but I think, with the amazing quality of Hampshire wine being produced and this fact filtering out into the mainstream press, the event will only grow from here. I hope all the exhibitors thought it worthwhile – after all at this stage in the growth of Hampshire wine it is vital to get the message to the most people possible, and what better way then getting them to try the wines. More visitors and more pies and charcuterie next time please!
Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc, Baron Edmond de Rothschild
Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc is a new(ish) joint venture between Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, the owner of Château Clarke and Château des Laurets, as well as co-owner of the fantastic Champagne Barons de Rothschild and Terry Peabody, the owner of Craggy Range. Craggy Range was established by Terry Peabody and Steve Smith MW in 1997 and is one of the most prestigious wineries in New Zealand. Rimapere is the Maori word for “five arrows” which is the Rothschild family emblem and represented the five, entrepreneurial brothers who were the sons of Mayer Amschel Rothschild.
The vineyard was acquired by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild in 2012. It consists of some 25 hectares of vines located at very highly regarded sites in Rapaura in the heart of the Marlborough wine-growing region.The village of Rapaura is located to the northwest of Blenheim and the Wairau River flows past it to the north. The vineyards were planted in the early part of the 21st century and the soils are predominantly Omaka Stony Silt Loam soils. The warm climate and stony soils help to produce citrus-y lemon and grapefruit character and crisp acidity and mineral characters.
Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc Tasting Note
Pale golden yellow colour with some green hints. The intense nose has aromas of lemon, grapefruit and some green, gooseberry capsicum notes. The wine is quite mineral and shows great balance and freshness on the palate with good levels of acidity. A great food wine.
Matching wine and chocolate is a tricky thing to get right and it is not something that I have had a lot of experience with. However a new, local chocolatier was recently kind enough to give us some samples of his chocolates which got me thinking about wine and chocolate pairings. There are lots of variables to take into account – where the chocolate is sourced from, the percentage of cocoa solids, the recipe for the ganache and any flavourings used. I don’t intend to go into too much detail but think of this as a very basic guide to matching wine and chocolate.
About Winchester Cocoa Company
As I was saying, we have a new local chocolate company. Winchester Cocoa Company was founded by Chris Attewell and is based, you guessed it, in Winchester, Hampshire. I first met when Chris when he was trying to source some blackberry liqueur and tawny Port for making his chocolates he found Edmond Briottet Creme de Mure and Niepoort 10 Year Old (and Senior Tawny) Port on our website. Chris uses mainly local ingredients including fresh cream from a herd of Guernsey cows near Winchester, Summerdown Hampshire mint oil, teas from Char Teas in Winchester and Sloe Gin from the Wiltshire Liqueur Company. Obviously there are no cacao beans grown outside of the tropics, so chocolate is bought from from a Swiss company, called Felchlin, that sources all their cacao beans via “direct trade”, a policy that Chris describes as “one step up from Fairtrade”. This basically means that the suppliers are in direct contact with the cacao farmers and their agents and have maximum input into the quality of the product, issues of sustainability whilst all the time ensuring that the farmers receive fair prices for their crops.
Chocolates from Winchester CocoA Company
You can keep up to date with Chris at Twitter @chris_attewell. I will update this with his contact details at a later date! You will find my suggestions for matching Chris’ chocolates with wine and some general rules below. Look out for a Winchester Cocoa Company shop to follow in due course.
Basic Rules for Matching Wine and Chocolate
The main basic rule is that dry wines do not go with chocolate. However, the darker the chocolate, the more bitter and less sweet it will be and the better chance you will have of pairing the chocolate with a wine. Even so, if you are looking for a wine and chocolate match you will need a red wine at the sweeter end of the spectrum like an Amarone, sweetish Shiraz or something sweet and red (Merlot or Zinfandel) from California. The use of ganache (chocolate and cream mixed) provides a bit of fat content and can make a wine and chocolate pairing bit easier to come up with.
Dry wines will not work!
The best wine and chocolate matches can be found with dessert wines – this is because they are usually flavoursome enough and sweet enough to stand up to the sugar content of the chocolate (or chocolate dessert). To help pair dessert wine and chocolate, the best thing is to think of what fruit, dried fruit, nut or caramel goes well with chocolate and try and find these characteristics in the the dessert wines themselves.
1. Red fruits – rapsberries, plums, cherries.
You can find plenty of red fruit character in all sorts of red dessert wines – think Port (young LBV or Vintage), Maury, Banyuls, Aleatico and Recioto from Italy or Black Muscat from California. Don’t forget things like cherry brandy, Umeshu (a plum infused Sake) or sparkling shiraz which tends to have a good bit of sweetness to it.
2. Dried fruit and nuts – raisins, prunes, walnut.
These sort of flavours and aromas can be found in slightly oxidative dessert wines, those that have been aged in barrel for a period. Think sherries like Pedro Ximenez, Cream or a sweeter Amontillado but avoid the dryer styles. These nutty, caramel characteristics can also be found in Italy’s Vin Santo wines, Tawny Ports (and South African and Australian lookalikes) and Rutherglen Muscat.
3. Nutty and Caramel / Toffee notes.
These tend to be found again in barrel aged dessert wines like aged Tawny Ports, Sherry and Madeiras – more so in older examples.
Wine and Chocolate from the Winchester Cocoa Company
Here are my suggestions for some of Chris’ chocolates.
Raspberry, Lime and Mint – Raspberry jelly on a dark ganache flavoured with lime zest and Summerdown Hampshire Mint Oil – the mint is a tricky flavour to match with wine, but it was not overpowering. The raspberry and dark chocolate ganache are crying out for a sweet red dessert wine, consensus was the Quady Elysium from California would be a great match with its own raspberry and red fruit character. Alternative: Banyuls or Maury.
Pear and Spiced Port – Pear and vanilla jelly on a dark ganache flavoured with tawny port and delicately infused with spices – naturally I would match the Niepoort 10 Year Old Tawny Port (or Niepoort Senior Port) to emphasis the Port characters in the chocolate. Tawny put is often overlooked as a dessert wine but it is a great match for all sorts of chocolates, pudding and blue cheese! Alternative: Rutherglen Muscat.
Blackcurrant and Sloe Gin – Blackcurrant jelly on a dark ganache flavoured with Sloe Gin from the Wiltshire Liqueur Company – the gin flavours are a tricky match, so why not try this with some Sloe Gin itself. Alternatively something big, sweet and chunky would stand up to the gin and blackcurrant and we thought that, in this case a wine might work, perhaps the Tedeschi Amarone would work well. Aternative: Mas Amiel Vintage Maury AOC, Vin Doux Naturel 16.5%
Blackberry – Blackberry fruit and liqueur coulis on 72% dark chocolate ganache – this is the chocolate flavoured with Edmond Briottet Creme de Mure (blackberry liqueur) and would be great with a small glass of that. Alternatively this needs a sweet red wine or perhaps an Port, perhaps the Cline Late Harvest Mourvedre or a Ruby style Port this time (more red and black fruit character than a Tawny Port). Alternative: Niepoort Crusted Port (bottled 2011)
Raspberry – Dark Madagascan chocolate ganache flavoured with fresh raspberry puree – I think I would match this chocolate with the Quady Elysium again, for similar reasons to the Raspberry, Lime and Mint chocolate above.
Gooseberry and Elderflower – a gooseberry fruit coulis above a milk chocolate ganache flavoured with St Germain elderflower liqueur – there is a lot going on here but I think that the white fruit flavours and the milk chocolate ganache make this an ideal candidate for matching with a white wine, and we thought this would actually match well with a German Spatlese such as the Leitz Rudesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Riesling Spatlese the floral character and a hint of sweetness should be quite complementary. Another thing that might actually work well here would be a sweet sparkling, maybe a Demi-Sec Champagne or Moscato d’Asti.
Sour Cherry and Pistachio – A morello cherry ganache above a pistachio and almond marzipan – so there are fruity and almond flavours in this chocolate. The cherry flavour was quite dominant and this would actually be great with some Cherry Heering or other cherry brandy. If I have to pick a dessert wine match for this chocolate it would be a Tawny Port to complement the nutty marzipan, probably the Niepoort Senior as before. Alternative: Grant Burge 10 Year Old Tawny, Barossa Valley
Chai Vanilla – Milk chocolate ganache infused with bourbon vanilla and chai tea blend from Char Teas in Winchester – this was perhaps the favourite chocolate of the tasting, there are plenty of spicy cinnamon, ginger, pepper and other spices in here which I think would be great with a medium sweet Madeira with citrus, nutty and spicy notes, the Barbeito Rainwater Reserva Madeira Meio Seco (Medium Dry) would be a great match for this. Alternative:
Almond and Hazelnut Crunch – Almond and hazelnut milk chocolate praline with nut pieces and crunchy feuilletine wafers – probably my second favourite after the Chai Vanilla. This nutty confection really needs something equally nutty to stand up to it. I think this would be a great match with the Barone Ricasoli Castello di Brolio Vin Santo with it slightly oxidised, nutty, raisined flavours or a good cream Sherry or Tawny Port. Alternative: La Spinetta Moscato d’Asti DOCG Bricco Quaglia
The main thing to remember is that no-one is right or wrong, but I hope these wine and chocolate pairings will give you some ideas. Perhaps do some experimenting of your own!
You may or may not know that, at Fareham Wine Cellar, we hold a Portfolio wine tasting every other year – the good news is that it is this year and we are holding it on Wednesday October 22nd 2014.
Tickets are now available now at Fareham Wine Cellar. T: 01329 822733.
Please find the current details I have for details of the tasting below. I will add more details as we finalise them. There will be well over 150 wines and spirits available for tasting.
You can see some photos from 2012′s Portfolio Wine Tasting here.
I will update this as and when I can.
Fareham Wine Cellar Portfolio Wine Tasting
Wednesday 24th October 2014 2.00pm until 7.30pm
@ Lysses House Hotel 51 High Street, Fareham
Tickets £12.50 in advance only
Clive Wright, the chef at Lysses House Hotel, will produce a three course dinner menu for attendees of the tasting that wish to eat at Lysses House Hotel as he has in previous years. I will post details of this in due course.
Please find information about the confirmed exhibitors below.
List of Exhibitors at Fareham Wine Cellar Portfolio Wine Tasting 2014
Awin Barrett and Siegel – Andrea Bulcock
Dr Loosen and Leitz from Germany, Simon Hackett, Philip Shaw and Walter Clappis from Australia, Jordan Estate from South Africa.
Burridges of Arlington Street – Edward Burridge, Teresa Burridge and Pedro Urbina
A visit to the UK from Pedro Urbina of Urbina Rioja. A range of Spanish wines including Bodegas Tobelos, and Marius from Bodegas Piquera.
We have recently decided to get into the swing of things and break our old rule of no ciders or beers for sale at Fareham Wine Cellar. Recently we have been supplying some fruit wine from Lyme Bay Winery and, noticing some ciders on their winelist, we decided to give the Jack Ratt Scrumpy Cider and Jack Ratt Vintage Dry Cider a go in the shop.
The Lyme Bay Winery
The Lyme Bay Winery is located in Axminster, Devon and is named after the stretch of English coastline between Portland and Start Bay easy to west. The area around Lyme Bay is part of a World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast, named for its Jurassic geology.
Jack Ratt Cider
Cider production at Lyme Bay is a careful mix of traditional methods and attitudes and modern equipment and production techniques to produce the best cider possible. Jack Ratt Cider is made using only the freshly pressed juice of locally grown, traditional cider apple varieties such as Dabinett, Kingston Black and Yarlington Mill.
Lyme Bay Cider is named Jack Ratt Cider after a famous 18th Century local smuggler called Jack Rattenbury who was known as the “Rob Roy of the West”. After a life at sea as a fisherman, pilot, seaman and smuggler, Rattenbury wrote the book Memoirs of s Smuggler.
Jack Ratt Scrumpy Cider
The award-winning Scrumpy is a still, medium-bodied dry filtered cider bottled at 6%. It has a good, clear, orange-gold colour. On the nose there are tart apple notes with a hint of creaminess. The palate is tangy, with green apple and slight vanilla notes. Long, dryish finish. Drink with some mature hard cheeses like Sussex Charmer or Keen’s Cheddar.
Awarded Two-Star Gold at The Great Taste Awards
Awarded Silver at the ‘Taste of the West Awards’ 2012
Awarded Three-Star Gold at the Great Taste Awards 2009
Jack Ratt Vintage Dry Cider 2013
The Vintage Dry Jack Ratt Cider is a full bodied (fuller than the scrumpy), still, filtered cider bottles at 7.4%. It is a darker gold colour. The nose has apple notes with slight woody notes. The palate has good texture, with nice acidity, spicy notes and a good clean apple-y, mineral finish. Refreshing, dry finish. Try with a bowl of Moules Mariniere.
Awarded Three-Star Gold at the Great Taste Awards 2012
Bodegas Tobelos is a relatively new wine project in Rioja which was founded in late 1999 through the hard work and vision of current manager Ricardo Reinoso. Reinoso, who has many years’ experience in managing wineries in the Rioja Denominacion de Origen, brought together investors from around the world who shared his same ideals and wished to create a top quality Rioja wine. Tobelos was initially named “La Encina” (as it was when I visited it many years ago!),
Tobelos has a magnificent, minimalistic, modern winery located at Brinas, the gateway to La Rioja. The winery overlooks the Ebro River and is located at the base of the Sierra Cantabria and Obarenes mountains – see the map below. The winery itself is partly set into a hillside and is the very first winery a visitor to Rioja DOC, approaching from the north-east, arrives at. Tobelos sources it grapes from a number of contracted growers with many small plots, totalling around 15 hectares, with an average vine age of 20 years old. Many of these plots are at the top limit of altitude for grape growing. Tobelos also own their own, older vineyards (some 3 hectares) surrounding the winery called Mocotero and Los Quinones. Illustrious neighbours in the locality include Roda, Muga and CUNE. The winery was completed in 2003 however the 2002 vintage was the first to be made at and released from the winery!
Winemaking at Tobelos
Although Tobelos has a very modern looking winery, their approach to wine-making is quite traditional. Starting in the vineyards, which are maintained by hand, grapes are hand-harvested into 25kg boxes prior to sorting at the winery and de-stemming. The wine is fermented partly in cone-shaped stainless steel vats, with automatic pumping over, and partly in wooden vats. Some of the wines are allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation. The winery is partly gravity fed (like our favourite local sparkling winery, Hambledon Vineyard) and the wine makes its way, under gravity, to epoxy-lined concrete storage vats on the bottom level of the winery. The barrel ageing hall is split over two levels where the wines quietly sit and age in a mixture of American, French and central European oak barrels. The barrels are rotated over a 4 to 5 period as new ones are bought in.
Tobelos produce a small range of wines consisting of 1 white wine and 4 red wines, we stock the following 2 red wines. Buy Tobelos wines online at Fareham Wine Cellar.
Grapes for the Tobelos Crianza are sourced from vineyards with an average age of 25 years old at the foot of the Sierra de Cantabria in the villages of Brinas, Haro and San Vicente de la Sonsierra. It is made from 100% Tempranillo with a 9 day fermentation, twice daily pumping over and a maceration period of 20 days on the skins. The wine is aged in a combination of 35% American, 60% French and 5% central European oak for 13 months. Production is around 200,000 bottles per vintage.
Tobelos Crianza is a combination of modern and classic Rioja. It has a good, clear dark cherry red colour. It has a powerful with aromas of red fruit, cherries, kirsch, cocoa, spices and a good hint of vanilla oakiness. The palate is well-balanced and shows mature character. Big and ripe, but velvety soft and smooth with good persistent length. Great with stews, rice dishes, game or poultry.
Tahon de Tobelos Reserva
The grapes for this Tahon de Tobelos come from Tobelos’ own vineyards between the villages of Brinas and San Vincente which have an average age of 55 years. Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed prior to a 9 day fermentation, twice daily pumping over but this time with a maceration period of 22 days on the skins. The wine also undergoes malolactic fermentation in new oak casks. The wine is aged, like the Crianza, in a combination of American, French and Hungarian oak for 13 months. Production 32,000 bottle per vintage.
Tahon de Tobelos It has a bright garnet / red colour. The complex nose shows aromas of black and red berry fruit, slight balsamic notes, confit fruit and mineral notes. The palate is full and complex with lots of ripe, red and black fruit character (plums, damson, blackberries), integrated oak, cocoa, vanilla and a long, spicy finish. Try with game, red meats and semi-cured cheeses.
Ron Zacapa XO Centenario was created in 1976 to celebrate the the centenary of the town of Zacapa in eastern Guatemala. It is a blend of rums aged from 6 to 25 years and, after blending, the rum is finished in French oak barrels that have previously been used to age Cognac brandy. It is one of the very best Gautemalan rums.
The flagship Rum in Zacapa’s range goes through a solera system (a fractional ageing process made famous in Sherry and in the production of some Brandy de Jerez). Zacapa rum is aged at 2300m above sea level in the highlands of Quetzelaltenango – this is one of the highest ageing facilities in the world and the cooler temperature and lower pressure of high altitude allows the rum to develop slower and gain more complexity then it would at lower, warmer altitudes.
The Solera system at Ron Zacapa is based on the Sherry system but Zacapa’s “Sistem Solera” involves blending rums of various ages in casks that once held American Bourbon whiskey, light and floral Sherries as well as the sweet dessert sherry, Pedro Ximenez. The story of Zacapa starts at 350 metres above sea level where sugar cane is cultivated on the fertile, volcanic plains of Retalhuleu. Whereas most rums are made from the distillation of molasses (a by-product of sugar production), Zacapa uses only the concentrated first press of sugar cane, known as virgin sugar cane honey – the use of sugar cane juice is common in French speaking rum producing countries where rums produced from it are known as Rhum Agricole. Fermentation is started using a strain of yeast derived from pineapples called Sachharomyces cerevisiae that produces the particular aromatic character that Zacapa require. Rums are distilled in a copper-lined single colum still.
Ron Zacapa XO Centenario has a good mahogany colour with intense red hints of long barrel ageing at the rim and long, slow legs. It has a very open nose with a wealth of aromas that seem to evolve each time you nose the glass; a great balance of mature toasted oak, burnt caramel, dry-roasted nuts, marzipan and orange peel; a delicate floral note of honeysuckle in the background. The palate is a wonderfully complex and satisfying balance of sweetness, fruit, spice and spirit, all tempered by the extra ageing stage in ex-cognac French oak barrels; long, smooth and sweet with a weight of dark cherry chocolate and flavours of intense dried fruits like sultana, date and prune; sweet oak spices of clove, vanilla and cinnamon, and lighter notes of dried mango and raspberry, with a subtle hint of ginger to finish.
Most of you will be familiar with the name Williams Chase from their fantastic Gins and Vodkas made in Herefordshire (the Chase Marmalade Vodka is a particular favourite – try it with some tonic, ice and a slice of orange). Did you know that the Chase family also make wine? In fact, they have just released their first wine in the UK – Williams Chase Rosé.
Williams Chase Rose
The owners of Chase Distillery, William and his wife Katie, recently purchased a wine estate in Provence called Chateau Constantin. The estate is located in the commune of Lourmarin 20 minutes to the north of Aix-en-Provence in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region – you may recognise the name of the village, it is where the author Peter Mayle lived and set his book “A Year in Provence”.
The vineyards at Chateau Constantin, now known as Chateau Constantin Chase, cover some 20 hectares with most of the vines being planted in the 1960s. Williams Chase Rose 2013 is a blend of Rhone-type grape varieties and is a 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Rousanne. After the grapes are destalked and pressed the must undergoes a short period of cold maceration on the skins for 24 hours at 5˚C – it is this that gives the wine its delicate pink colour. The wine then undergoes a temperature controlled fermentation below 17˚C followed by ageing on the lees for several months prior to bottling. The lees ageing adds complexity and helps to develop the delicate flavours and aromas. I understand that this is just the first of a range of wines from Williams Chase so I suspect a red and a white will follow in due course. Williams Chase Rose is bottled as a Luberon Appellation Protégée.
Williams Chase Rose is presented in a very smart, elegant bottle that matches the the Willams Chase Vodka and Gin bottles. One item of note is the closure – the wine is sealed with a Vinolok closure. The Vinolok is a 100% inert crystal stopper with a plastic seal that has been available for a number of years. I think the Vinolok is great for white and rosé wines that are supposed to be drunk whilst they are young and fresh and one can guarantee the wine will not be corked. The Vinolok hasn’t really caught on with wine producers as much as it could have done and I suppose this is a combination of cheaper alternatives (DIAM corks, Stelvin and screwcap closures) and the fact that most wine producers are, in essence, fairly conservative. The overall presentation is very attractive and Williams Chase actively encourage re-using their bottles and closures for all sort of things such bottling homemade damson or sloe gin or sauces and salad dressings.
Willams Chase Rose
Tasting Notes: Williams Chase Rose 2013 has a good, clear, delicate salmon pink colour. The nose is dominated by sweet red fruit including strawberries (reminiscent of tinned strawberries) with creamy notes (typical of lees ageing) alongside some herbaceous and good mineral notes. The palate is quite full with more strawberry flavours, redcurrant and red apple notes. It has a very good creamy mouthfeel and a well-balanced crisp, dry, clean finish. Surprisingly complex! Williams Chase Rose would be great as an aperitif, with salads, cous cous, Mediterranean vegetables or just on its own on a sunny day in the garden.