Basically, a vermouth is a an “aromatized” wine which is then fortified. This means that the wine is flavoured (or aromatized) with various botanicals, and then fortified with Twisted Nose Gin to an ABV of 16%. In this case the white wine comes from Danebury Vineyards located near Stockbridge, Hampshire and it is flavoured with 18 botanicals. Obviously the exact botanicals are a trade secret but they include wormwood (the name Vermouth derives the French pronunciation of the German word for wormwood), rose petals and other roots, barks and herbs. I am not 100% certain but I assume that the botanicals are simply macerated in the wine with the addition of the gin. Even though this is an Extra Dry Vermouth, it is slightly sweetened with caramelised cane sugar, however it still has a very dry finish.
Tasting Notes – Very nice, clear, golden colour. It has an aromatic, sweet, fruity nose with aromas of floral, rose petal notes, vinous notes and apricot aromas. There are also woody, herbaceous notes. The palate is fruity and delicate with good fruity notes in the mid-palate and desirable bitter notes on the lingering finish. Initially is seems quite sweet but does finish very dry.
Obviously this could can be used on occasion or in any cocktail recipe that a dry Vermouth is required for. Try it in in a Gin Martini using Twisted Nose Gin (naturally), in a Manhattan or in one of my favourites cocktails, the Negroni. In the summer months this would also make a fantastic long drink, over ice, topped up with tonic or soda water and garnished with a bit of pink grapefruit. Try the Hampshire Martini, recipe from Winchester Distillery,
50ml Twisted Nose Gin
10ml Twisted Nose Extra Dry Vermouth
Finely peeled pink grapefruit zest
Pour the gin, vermouth and bitters into a mixing glass with ice cubes, stir well and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the grapefruit zest after first twisting over the glass to spray the oils over the drink.
Twisted Nose Barrel Aged Gin is quite simply the standard Twisted Nose Gin bottled at 40% and aged in oak barrels. The gin is made in exactly the same way as normal by macerating the botanicals in a pure neutral grain spirit followed by redistillation. However, subsequent to this the gin is left to age in lightly toasted German oak barrels for several weeks prior to bottling. It is one of three new products released by Winchester Distillery this year including Twisted Nose Wasabi Vodka and a Twisted Nose Vermouth.
Twisted Nose Barrel Aged Vodka
Of course barrel aged gin is nothing new. There are many other gin brands, Citadelle gin springs to mind as one we used to sell, that have aged their gin in oak. Indeed, in the Netherlands, they have been ageing Genever, the forerunner to gin, in oak for many years and gin would have been transported around the world in oak barrels.
The German oak used for ageing this gin has a very fine grain so, although there is some interaction between the oak and the spirit, there is not as much as there would be with more open grain (for example American) oak barrels. This could easily overpower the relatively delicate aromas and flavours of the gin. As with ageing any spirit in oak barrels, the barrels impart some oaky character to the spirit. So, the fine grain and relatively short barrel-ageing does not overpower the relatively delicate gin. In this case barrel-ageing gives the gin a richer, creamy mouthfeel, subtle vanilla and spice character and a very pale golden colour.
Tasting notes – Twisted Nose Barrel Aged Gin is a delicate, clear and very pale golden colour. The nose has typical gin aromas with additional toasty, malty notes and a sweet vanilla edge. On the palate the gin is fuller, rounder and richer than the standard Twisted Nose Gin. There are definite oak, spice and vanilla characteristics as well as a hint of underlying smokiness. It has a clean, full, lingering finish with touch of sweetness
This fantastic Barrel Aged Gin can be served like an old grain Genever neat, or on the rocks, as an aperitif. it can also be substituted for whisky in classic whisky cocktails to make a Gin Old Fashioned.
Following the success of Twisted Nose Gin, it had to happen didn’t it? The Twisted Nose range of spirits has now grown to include a Barrel Aged Gin, a Wasabi Vodka and a Vermouth made with wine from Danebury Vineyards.
This small batch handcrafted vodka is made using a pure grain natural spirit which is then infused by maceration of freshly grated wasabi and seven other complementary botanicals. The infused spirit is then redistilled in a traditional copper pot still to produce this clear, smooth vodka.
Wasabi (Eutrema japonicum), also known as Japanese horseradish, is a member of the Brassica family which includes cabbages, horseradish and mustard. Traditionally the plant would grow alongside stream beds in nutrient-rich, quick flowing mountain river valleys in Japan. However, the wasabi for the Twisted Nose Wasabi Vodka is a touch more local – it is cultivated in Hampshire and Dorset by The Wasabi Company who use a superior cultivar called “Sawa”. Wasabi is used as a condiment, famously for sushi in Japanese cuisine, but it now finding its way more and more into international cuisines.
As you might expect Twisted Nose Wasabi Vodka has a pretty spicy character to it. It is a pure clear colourless vodka. The fragrant nose has a slightly sweet, salty tang with a hint of citrus, definitely erring on the savoury side. The palate is spicy with a pleasantly peppery kick and warming finish. It is spicy, but more gentle than fiery. The finish has a good length and is pure and clean. Quite subtle compared to some spicy vodkas. Bottled at 40%.
Paul Bowler of Winchester Distillery recommends substituting your normal vodka for Twisted Nose Wasabi Vodka in a Bloody Mary Recipe. It would also make a fantastic drink on its own. Straight from the freezer I can imagine it being a great match for caviar or smoked dish fishes, maybe even beef carpaccio (after all beef is a natural partner to English horseradish). It would also be good in a Martini.
Wasabi Vodka Martini Cocktail Recipe
2 measure Twisted Nose Wasabi Vodka
¾ measure Lemon Juice
½ measure Simple Syrup
Add all the ingredients and some ice to a cocktail shaker, shake vigourously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon peel.
A rich dark chocolate slice studded with raisin and macaroons served with a vanilla seed ice cream and tuille biscuit
Tedeschi Capitel Fontana Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG Classico 2010
Coffee and Petit fours
Tedeschi is a family-owned winery with almost 4 centuries of history in the wine business, they can trace their origins back the 1630s. Although they have a long history of wine production, Tedeschi have always adopted the most innovative production methods and stand at the forefront of quality Amarone production.
The current owner is Lorenzo Tedeschi who has now been followed into the family business by his three children Antonietta, Sabrina and Riccardo Tedeschi. The winery is located in Pedemonte di Valpolicella and the family makes a range of classic Veronese wines including various types of Valpolicella, Amarone and Ripasso wines.
The family own various vineyards and make a selection of single vineyard wines including the world famous Monte Olmi Amarone vineyard. They have recently invested in the new vineyards sites of La Fabriseria in Pontare and Maternigo Vineyard in the Eastern part of Valpolicella. The name La Fabriseria derives from the name for a local Veronese parish council belonging to the village Catholic Church. Two generations ago Riccardo Tedeschi (not the young one presenting his wines at the dinner!) was a councillor or “Fabbricere”. The councillor would bring a bottle of his wine to meetings to propose a toast at the end of the meeting. Therefore the Tedeschis have named their top wines from this vineyard La Fabriseria in honour of their grandfather.
Tedeschi are one of the ten members founding members of the Famiglia del’Amarone d’Arte (Amarone Families Association), a body set up to promote Amarone wines around the world. The current members of the association are Allegrini, Begali, Brigaldara, Guerrieri Rizzardi, Masi, Musella, Speri, Zenato, Tenuta Sant’Antonio, Tommasi and Venturini.
Domaine J A Ferret is located in the heart of the village of Fuissé in the Maconnais wine-growing subregion of southern Burgundy. Fuisse is located approximately 6km to the south west of the town of Macon. Domaine Ferret is located at Le Plan, see map below. I was luck enough to visit the winery a few years ago and the winery is situated at the bottom of a natural amphitheatre with the majority of their vineyards stretching out around it.
The Maconnais subregion has no permier cru rated vineyards. Growers, particularly in Pouilly Fuisse, have been campaigning for a cru system to be implemented for a number of years and Domaine Ferret are confident that some of their vineyards (or climats), like Clos des Prouges, would be near the top of any such classification. As with most of Burgundy, with a couple of exceptions, only Chardonnay is permitted in Pouilly Fuisse.
Domaine Ferret can trace its history back to its foundation in 1840, way before the official creation of the Pouilly Fuisse AOC in 1936. Jeanne Ferret was responsible for establishing their Tete de Cru and Hors Classes wines, single parcel wines from the best vineyard sites that the domaine has become renowned for. After World War II, she was also responsible for moving from bulk wine production to bottling the wines at the Domaine at a time when this was not the done thing. Domaine Ferret remained in the Ferret family until 2008 when the domaine was acquired by Louis Jadot. The current winemaker is Audrey Braccini who continues the uninterrupted tradition of women winemakers right back to 1840. Some of the wines have been bottled under Louis Jadot labels but the majority of the wines are bottled under the Domaine Ferret label. The estate comprises over 42.5 hectares of vineyard with 32.5 located in the amphitheatre of Fuissé itself and 10 near the Roche de Vergisson.
Domaine Ferret continue to vinify small, substainably farmed parcels of vineyard to fully allow the expression of their varied terroirs. Their top vineyards from Ferret are,
Tete de Cru “Le Clos” – a monopole, a parcel of east facing, 0.69 hectares, 20 to 40 years old adjacent to the property’s house.
Tete de Cru “Clos de Prouges” – this is a single vineyard, sometimes sold under a Louis Jadot label.
Tete de Cru “Les Perrieres” – sourced from a hectare of vines above the “Les Clos” parcel, south-east aspect, average age of vine 35 years old. Steeper than the vineyard of “Le Clos”.
Hors Class “Les Menetriers” – south east facing vineyard, less than half a hectare with an equal split of 40, 20 and 10 year old vines.
Hors Clos “Tournant de Pouilly” – an east-facing, gently sloping one hectare vineyard in the northern part of the village of Fuissé.
Domaine Ferret Pouilly Fuisse
This is the estate’s main Pouilly Fuisse, it is a blend of wine vinified from the best parcels of vines sourced from Fuissé’s amphitheatre – so bits and pieces from all the vineyards (and others) mentioned above. The vines have an average age of 10 to 35 years and the soil is predominantly limestone and clay. After vinification the wine is aged half in concrete tanks and half in used oak barrels (2 to 5th fill, no new oak).
Domaine Ferret Pouilly Fuisse Tasting Notes
Domaine Ferret Pouilly Fuisse 2013 has a good balance of freshness an weight. The nose is reminiscent of stone fruits, floral / acacia notes, honeysuckle, quince and hazelnut aromas that are characteristic of wines from this region. The palate is supply, fresh, intense, there is a slight creaminess balanced by very clean minerality. Long and lingering finish.
At Fareham Wine Cellar, we specialise in Vintage Armagnacs. We mainly supply Armagnacs from Baron de Lustrac and Baron de Sigognac but occasionally we have some from other producers. At the moment we have some of the very good Janneau 1975 Vintage Armagnac – obviously, this is a 40 year old Armagnac in 2015 fantastic 40th birthday present or 40th anniversary gift in 2015.
Janneau 1975 Vintage Armagnac is made from solely from grapes harvested, vinified and distilled in 1975. Armagnac is produced using the double distillation method at the Janneau distillery located in Condom, Gers in Gascony. Janneau is one of the most prestigious Armagnac houses and was founded by Pierre Etienne Janneau in 1851. Janneau Armagnac has been through some ownership changes since then – it was bought by Cognac Martell in the 1970s, which was eventually bought out by Seagram, before the Giovinetti family bought it in 1993 with the intention of returning the business to a family-run concern.
After distillation the Armagnac is put into 450 litre French Limousine oak barrels oak barrels and left in cellars to quietly age until it is ready to be bottled and released. Quite often these single vintage bottlings will consist of only one single cask. It is the interaction of the spirit and the oak during the aging process which produces a fine and mellow spirit. In barrel, the Armagnac leaches vanillins and tannins from the toasted oak which lend the spirit colour and flavours – without barrel ageing the spirit is just a colourless liquid. The depth of colour and complexity of flavours increase all the time the spirit is aged in cask and the colour becomes darker with age ranging from pale straw to rich amber. As well as becoming darker in colour as Armagnac ages it also becomes softer, smoother and more elegant on the palate whilst aromas and flavours of prunes, violets, fig, honey, butterscotch and rancio develop.
Bottled at 43% abv and is presented in an individual wooden box. Each bottle also displays the date of bottling.
Shakespeare’s Birthday, St George’s Day, World Book Day and now English Sparkling Day. April 23rd is a busy day for bibliophiles, patriotic types and now English oenophiles. This year, Thursday 23rd April saw the inaugural celebration of English Sparkling Day 2015 with a series of wine events in the UK.
At Fareham Wine Cellar we celebrated by hosting a wine tasting with Champenoise Didier Pierson, of Meonhill Wines and Hambledon Vineyard, who just so happened to have a French Film Crew in tow. Didier is both the co-owner and winemaker at Meonhill Wines, whose vineyard is located on Old Winchester Hill near Droxford. Didier also has a consultancy role at Hambledon Vineyard where, with a state of the art gravity-fed winery, future Meonhill cuvées will be made. We are very lucky to have two of the best Hampshire Sparkling wine producers on our doorstep. So armed with wines from both Hampshire Sparkling Wine producers, we had a great tasting, all of the wines were very well-received – and those that didn’t know about English sparkling wine were very pleasantly surprised, which is what it is all about, spreading the word!
Please see my photographs of the English Sparkling Day wine tasting below. It was quite a feat fitting 7 customers (thank you for your time!), Didier, Phil Kellett from Hambledon Vineyard, a three person film crew and assorted equipment, tripods etc. into our tiny shop, but we managed it with no mis-haps!
English Sparkling Day
Now for the moody photos!
After our wine tasting Didier Pierson and the film crew were going to visit Danebury Vineyard near Stockbridge, Hampshire for some more filming and then heading to Oxford host an English Sparkling Day dinner at The Oxford Kitchen. Let’s hope there are more events next year. English Sparkling Wine is a great product, a world class sparkling wine right on our doorstep which easily competes with sparkling wines from other wine-producing countries. Now it is up to producers, restaurateurs and retailers, like myself, to really promote and sell these fantastic wines to the British public. Just remember to pick up a bottle for your next celebration!
The 1965 Port Vintage was not an exceptional Vintage though some Port houses did make a declaration. Port vintages in the 60s, 70s and 80s tended to be limited to about 3, or maybe 4, declarations per decade. Today it almost seems as if the Port houses make a declaration every other year, I guess things have changed an awful lot since then. 1965 was a very dry vintage, there was some rain in March, but the vines became very stressed and dried up as no more rain was forthcoming during the rest of the year. It was therefore a difficult vintage. This combined with a bit of an abundance of Vintage Port in the early 1960s with 1960, 1963 (a classic) and 1966 being declared meant only a handful of Port houses declared 1965 Vintage Port.
However, 1965 was a very significant vintage for Wiese and Krohn as it was their centenary vintage. It was a small vintage and only 2600 bottles have ever been released and then only directly from the Krohn’s cellars.
This year, 2015, there has been a very small amount of this Port released to celebrate Krohn’s 150th Anniversary. Krohn 1965 Vintage Port will make an excellent 50th birthday present or 50th anniversary present in 2015.
Krohn 1965 Vintage Port is not the only 1965 Vintage Port that was released. There are only a handful of other Vintage Ports from 1965 but most others that I have seen have been Single Quinta Ports or similar, such as Fonseca Guimaraens 1965. These should not be confused with with with 1965 Colheita Port. A Colheita Port is a Tawny Port made from grapes from a single harvest (like Vintage Port) that has to be aged for at least 7 years in oak casks and, in practice, much longer. These are a different style of Port.
Krohn 1965 Vintage Port Tasting Notes
(from Wiese and Krohn) An attractive pale, brick red colour. Krohn 1965 has a very fine, mature nose dispalying rich, opulent aromas of coffee and butterscotch overlaid with hints of apricot and tobacco. On the palate the Port shows exceptional elegance without the slightest heaviness. Rich, mocha flavours flow into the long warming mellow finish. A beautifully mature, Vintage Port, complex and seductive, showing great poise and finesse.
Each bottle of Krohn 1965 Vintage Port was hend-stencilled with the words “Vintage 1965″ at time of bottling. The bottle also features modern front and back labels and the Port is presented in a smart, wooden gift box.
Wiese and Krohn was founded in 1865 by two young Norwegians, Theodor Wiese & Dankert Krohn. Edmundo Falcão Carneiro acquired the company in the 1930s and Wiese and Krohn was run by the second and third generations of the Falcão Carneiro family until 2013. Krohn Port was acquired by the Fladgate Partnership (owners of Taylor, Croft and Fonseca) in 2013. Krohn’s stocks of Port reach over 5 million litres and are stored in six cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia and one cellar in the Douro Region. They have exceptional stocks of aged tawny Port and colheita Port dating back to 1863.
Are you looking for 1965 Vintage Armagnac? Read my article here about Baron de Lustrac and Baron de Sigognac Armagnac.
Did you know that April the 17th is Malbec World Day?
Well it is, and to celebrate all things Malbec-ian we are holding a Malbec World Day Wine tasting on Friday 17th. We will be showing a selection of Malbecs at different price points. There will be 6 wines in total including 3 wines from Trapiche, one from Terrazas de Los Andes and a couple of new wines, one each from Zohar (made by the world-famous Susana Balbo) and one from Puro (don’t tell anyone, but this has some Cabernet in it too!). More information below.
The tasting is free of charge at our shop between 5.00pm and 7.30pm. It is the usual drill for tastings at our shop. As you know we are short on space so I will divide the session up into half hour slots – please let me know if you wish to attend and let me know which time slot you would like to book in for.
Read more about Malbec World Day at last year’s blog post and at the Wines of Argentina website and don’t forget to check out my Chimichurri Sauce Recipe to go with your steak washed down with a glass of malbec! Don’t forget to follow the #malbecworldday on Twitter.
Whisky Tasting With Scott Paine from Marussia Beverages
A tutored whisky tasting of fabulous whiskies from small producers and from countries that one might perhaps might not immediately think of when it comes to whisky production!
Craft Whisky Tasting
Tuesday 26th May 2015 @ 7.30pm
Lysses House Hotel
51 High Street
PO16 7BQ Maplink
Tickets £10.00 in advance only
Tickets for the Craft Whisky Tasting must be purchased in advance and are non-refundable – however, each ticket will entitle the attendee of the whisky tasting to a £5.00 refund off any orders placed on the evening.
Please purchase your tickets in advance from Fareham Wine Cellar.
Scott Paine, Marussia Beverages, will be showing Irish Whiskey from small independent producer Teeling as well as Dutch Whisky from Millstone and Mackmyra Swedish Whisky. I will confirm the exact details of the whiskies as soon as I have them but think it will be three whiskies from each distillery. This will be a formal seated whisky tasting with a short informational talk about each distillery and whisky as we proceed through the tasting. If you attended the Compass Box Whisky tasting in 2014, it will be the same format as that.
Tickets must be purchased in advance and are non-refundable – however, each ticket will entitle the attendee to a £5.00 refund off any orders placed on the evening of the whisky tasting.
Please find more information about the items we will trying at the whisky tasting below. More details to follow.
Teeling Irish Whiskey
The Teeling Irish Whiskey brand is a newcomer to the Irish Whiskey scene. However the Teeling family have been a large part of the Irish Whiskey world for many years, as far back as 1782. The Teeling family founded and owned the famous Cooley Distillery in 1987. If you are into Irish Whiskey you will probably have tried one of their whiskies before, they include Millar’s, Tyrconnell, Connemara, Kilbeggan and Greenore. The family sold out to Bean Inc (now Beam Suntory) in 2012.
Teeling are currently building a brand new distillery in Dublin, which will be the first new build distillery in Dublin for 125 years. Currently they produce four different whiskies, from stocks they have secured from their old distillery – a blended, a grain, a newly releases single malt (best Irish Single Malt at the World Whisky Awards 2015) and a 21 year old.
Millstone Dutch Whisky is a handcrafted whisky from the Netherlands and the only distillery on the world that mills its malted barley using wind power in a windmills! This traditional way of milling causes almost no increase in the temperature of the grain and thus helps preserve the aromas and flavours of the grain.
Millstone Whisky is double distilled in handcrafted copper stills. These are small stills but with a large copper surface – extra contact between the alcohol vapours and the copper helps to eliminate any unwanted substances and also stimulates the formation of the complex and fruity esters. The small stills thus produce a very delicate and fruity new spirit.
Millstone produce a range of whiskies including single malts with various wood finishes and the superb Millstone 100 Rye Whisky – 100% Rye, aged for 100 months in barrel and then bottled at 100% US proof (50% ABV). It won the Best European Rye at the 2014 World Whiskies Awards.
Millstone is owned and produced by the Zuidam family who have over 50 years experience distilling exclusive spirits. They are probably most famous, at the moment, as producers of the fantastic Zuidam Genever.
Another relative newcomer to the whisky scene. Mackmyra Whisky was founded by eight classmates from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in Mackmyra Bruk, Sweden. Their first commercial release of whisky was in 2002.
They produce a range of very interesting whiskies aged in Swedish oak with some more experimental wood finishes, including casks that have held silver birch wine for the Mackmyra Midnattsol or casks seasoned with gluhwine (along with French Bordeaux and Sherry cask) for their Midvinter whisky.