Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Bourbon has had a bit of a face lift. The new label is the one on the right. I know yo can’t tell very well in my photograph but I think it looks a bit cleaner and bit smarter, mainly because the label almost mimics the shape of the bottle.
Grappa is a grape-based distilled spirit from Italy. It is a Pomace Brandy made by distilling the remains of the wine-making process (or Pomace) - the skins, pulps, seeds and stems of the grapes – and was originally made to ensure that there was no waste from making wine. This is similar to Chacha from Georgia, Marc de Champagne and Marc de Bourgogne from France. Grappas are usually quite high in alcohol and range from 38% to 50% abv.
Grappa is made by distilling the pomace which is all the leftovers from winemaking after the grapes have been pressed. The pomace fermented and then distilled in copper stills not over a direct flame but over a type of steam heated system to prevent the grape skins from being burnt. This is a relatively modern improvement as is the distillation of pomace under vacuum. The seeds and the stems, the woody parts, are also co-fermented with the sugar-rich juice – this can be dangerous because it produces methanol, this has to be carefully removed during the distilling process as it is quite toxic and can lead to blindness. The spirit is usually chill-filtered.
Grappa is an EU protected name and, for a spirit to be named such, it must be produced in Italy, the Italian part of Switzerland, or in San Marino. It must be made from pomace – if it is produced from anything other than pomace, i.e. grape juice, it is a brandy. It must also be fermented and distilled from the pomace with no water added.
Types of Grappa
Grappa may be made from a mixture of grapes or it might be made from a single grape variety, this is known as Grappa di Vitigno and can be made from many different grape varieties including Moscato, Cabernet Sauvignon, Ramandolo, Pinot Grigio and Merlot. There is also Grappa from a geographical regions such as Grappa di Barolo.
Grappa should not be confused with Acquavitae D’Uva (sometimes known as Most) which is similar but is made from destemmed grapes and is usually the most aromatic spirit produced.
After distilliation Grappa is usually rested in ash barrels for the spirit to mellow out. However, more recently there has been a trend for Grappa aged for a longer time (12 months plus) in newer barrels so that the wood plays more of an influence over the spirits. Barrels used for this can be oak, chestnut, ash and cherry. When aged like this, Grappa takes on colour and flavours from the barrels and can be much more similar to a good brandy or Cognac. It is hoped this will appeal to a new generation of Grappa drinkers.
How to Serve Grappa
Grappa is traditionally served as a digestif or after dinner drink in small tulip-shaped glasses preferably rather than shot glasses. Young Grappas should be served slightly cool at around 9 to 13C whilst cask conditioned Grappas are much better sipped and savoured from a good brandy glass at a slightly warmer temperature, just below room temperature, around 17C.
Grappa can also be added to an espresso coffee which is called a Caffe Coretto. It can also served straight from the freezer, which affects the taste, making it more subtle and crisper and perhaps more accessible to non Grappa drinkers.
Reflections of the Niepoort and Ramos Pinto Vintage Port Masterclass at the Big Fortified Tasting 2013 at the Glazier’s Hall, London. A short film from Niepoort with from Jancis Robinson MW, Julia Harding MW, Charles Metcalfe, Richard Mayson and others.
Louis Jadot Ladoix Le Clou d’Orge 2010, Domaine Gagey
Ladoix is a wine appellation for red and white wines from the commune of Ladoix-Serrigny in the Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. Ladoix is perhaps better known for its red wines but look a little bit deeper and you will find some great white wines too. The commune also includes the north-eastern part of the Corton hill including the vineyards which are part of Corton and Corton-Charlemagne. Some of the vineyards in Ladoix-Serrigny commune are also sold as Aloxe Corton.
Jadot Ladoix Le Clou d’Orgeat (Orgeat means wheat in French) is one of 11 climats classifed as a 1er Cru however, in this case this is not mentioned on the label. This 100% Chardonnay is aged for 14 months in oak and is a very well-made wine, the oak is not too dominating and there are plenty of good white Burgundy characteristics that you would expect from much more expensive wines. Find some more notes below. Grab a bargain whilst you can, it is not often you can find a good white Burgundy for this sort of price any more.
Louis Jadot Ladoix Le Clou d’Orge
Louis Jadot Ladoix Le Clou d’Orge 2010, Domaine Gagey
As mentioned above, Ladoix is located in the Cote de Beaune to the east of the village of Aloxe Corton adjacent to the famous Corton hill. Le Clou d’Orge vineyard is located at between 220 and 360m above sea level and has good east / south-east exposure with clay and marl soils. This gently sloping vineyard is about 20 years old and has been under the control of Louis Jadot since 2007. 100% Chardonnay aged for 14 months in French oak barrels.
Tasting Notes – Ladoix Le Clou d’Orge is a full, fleshy and fruity white wine with well-integrated oak and a balanced, harmonious finish with just the right amount of acidity.
Serving Suggestion – It makes a great food wine and would be excellent with shellfish, terrines, grilled and roasted white meats and goat’s cheese. Drinking now or can be cellared for a further 4 or 5 years.
Review – “Better known for its red wines, Ladoix’s whites are a rarity. This wine is made from fruit sourced from vines that are close to the Corton hill. It is steely, minerally and crisp, with a wood-influenced character. With its structure, this needs at least three years of aging.” 89 Points, Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast Magazine (4/1/2013)
This morning I was lucky enough to try three of the 2011 vintages Ports on offer from the Fladgate Partnership – the Croft 2011, Fonseca 2011 and Taylor 2011. The general view is that the 2011 vintage Ports will turn out to be very good, classic Ports and it is the first universal declaration since 2007.
Here is what Fladgate CEO Adrian Bridge and wine-maker David Guimaraens have to say,
Adrian Bridge – “2011 has produced textbook Vintage Ports, classics in every sense. The wines have a wonderful purity and elegance but also plenty of background and structure. Our 2009 declaration showed that demand remains strong for new release Vintage Ports and we expect it to grow further as new fine wine markets come on stream. Wine consumers all over the world are realising that Vintage Port continues to deliver astonishing value compared to many other classic wines.”
David Guimaraens – “Abundant winter rainfall created reserves to keep the vines well supplied with water throughout the hot, dry summer. This resulted in balanced ripening and wines that have elegance as well as depth and stamina. The 2011s stand out for the purity of the fruit and the quality of the tannins, which are silky and well integrated but provide plenty of structure.”
Left to Right – Croft 2011, Fonseca 2011 and Taylor 2011
Barrel Sample Tasting Notes14/05/13
Croft 2011 Vintage Port Barrel Sample
The Croft 2011 Vintage Port has a good, clear dark red / black colour. On the nose there is plenty of dark fruit notes, particularly blackberry, there are hints of slightly citrus / orange notes and blossom / floral and rose notes. Very powerful and heady nose. The palate is rich, full and velvety but with a firm tannic backbone. The initial attack is dominated by black fruit. It is muscular with good tannins, sweetness and very well structured. Quite soft and ripe in style.
Fonseca 2011 Vintage Port Barrel Sample
Fonseca 2011 Vintage Port is a good deep purple / black colour, a touch darker than the Croft. The nose is more open and immediate with more floral notes, blackberry and blackcurrant notes. The nose is also herbaceous with exotic spices.The palate is firm, tight and dense with a rush of blackcurrant notes at the beginning of the palate leading to dark chocolate / cocao, almost liquorice, flavours. It has great minerality and good, clean purity with a decent length. Concentrated and packed full of fruit.
Taylor 2011 Vintage Port Barrel Sample
The Taylor 2011 Vintage Port is a very dark red / black colour, the most concentrated of the three Ports. There are plenty of woodland fruit, blackberry and blackberry confit notes on the nose and this comes across as the most floral of the three Ports with definite violets characteristics. There are also herbaceous, spicy and mocha type aromas on the nose. The palate is very powerful and concentrated with good sweetness, there is lots of berry fruit with a lingering, powerful finish with very well-balance tannins. Dark and brooding.
My conclusion is that the Croft is more immediate and not quite as complex and powerful as the Taylor and the Fonseca. These are both a step up in terms of complexity, structure, purity and balance. I find the Taylor the more muscular and the Fonseca just a bit more rounder and riper than the Taylor. There is no doubt they will all develop in to great wines.
Niepoort and Croft 2011 Vintage Port Cask Samples
It will be interesting to compare these to the2011s Vintage Ports from Niepoort (his main Vintage Port and the Bioma Vinha Velha), Churchill’s (who kindly sent an unsolicited sample) and the Symington Family Ports (Dow, Graham, Warre and Vesuvio) which haven’t arrived yet and I am looking forward to trying.
Glorious Gin is a gin produced in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York by Breuckelen Distilling in a renovated factory. Breuckelen Distilling only began crafting gin and whiskey during the summer of 2010. Recent loosening of federal laws has led to a massive resurgence in distilling with a whole raft of small, boutique distilleries getting in on the action. The distillery, New York’s first gin distillery since Prohibiton was founded by Brad Estabrooke, who was laid-off as a bond trader in 2008.
Glorious Gin Bruekelen Distilling
Everything is done from scratch here which means Breuckelen processes all the raw materials for Glorious Gin themselves from milling whole grains to bottling and labelling their product. All of the grains used are sourced from New York farms, from local organic producers. Bruekelen spirits are bottled as simply and naturally as possible, so there are no colourings, additives or other extracts added. Glorious Gin is distilled from wheat grown in upstate New York. Botanicals used in the redistillation of the base spirit include juniper, lemon, rosemary, ginger, and grapefruit.
Estabrooke decribes the result of his travails as having “a bolder profile than the London dry gins most casual drinkers know, with a juniper and rosemary bouquet and a peppery ginger finish.”
Estabrooke also makes 77 Whiskey which came into being when he found that he had a surplus of corn and rye from a local farmer. There are now two different batches 77 Whiskey, one made from New York wheat aged a minimum of 4 months in new American oak and the other made from 90% Rye and 10% Corn aged for a minimum of 7 months in new American oak. At the time of writing, this are not available in the UK. Apparently they are already working on a Genever style and a barrel-aged gin too.
Madiran is a wine and wine-growing region located in Gascony in South West France. Madiran is famous for its rich and full-bodied red wines primarily made from the Tannat grape variety. It is also known for the two appellations Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec which are white wines that are made in the dry, sweet and sparkling style. These are usually made from the Courbu and Petit Manseng grape varieties.
The Madiran appellation was created in 1948 and consists of some 1300 hectares making it a relatively small AOC. Most of the wines are made with Tannat which, outside France, has been adopted as the “national grape” of Uruguay, but some producers use Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Fer although Tannat must comprise 40 to 60% of the vineyard.
Traditionally Madiran wine has been a very concentrated wine, with high tannin levels that is pretty difficult to approach until it has had several years ageing. Wine-making has been very traditional but the current generation of winemakers have started producing more modern styles of wine that are more approachable, i.e. softer and with less tannin, mainly due to the use of micro-oxygenation. Micro-oxygenation is basically introducing small amounts of oxygen to the wine and is a process developed by Patrick DuCournau in 1991 which is now also used in Bordeaux, the United States and Chile.
Madiran and The Red Wine Diet
UK research published in 2006 has identified that the naturally occurring antioxidant compounds, polyphenols known as pryocyanidins, in red wine are responsible for the reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease and the lowering of overall mortality in regular, moderate consumers of red wine. The research also identified that Madiran wines have rarely occurring extremely high concentrations of those antioxidant compounds. For further information read about Roger Corder’s Red Wine Diet.
Domaine Berthoumieu Madiran
At Fareham Wine Cellar we stock the Cuvee Charles de Batz from Domaine Berthoumieu. Domaine Berthoumieu. is a small 26 hectare estate located in the villate of Viella in the north of the Madiran appellation. The current winemaker and owner, Didier Barré, is the sixth generation to own and run the estate that has been in the same family since 1850.
Domaine Berthoumieu Madiran Cuvee Charles de Batz
Madiran Cuvée Charles de Batz, named after d’Artagnan’s pseudonym when hiding from and evading the Cardinal’s men in The Three Musketeers, is a blend of 90% Tannat with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes for this wine come from low-yielding, old vines with an age of over 50 years old and are hand-picked and destemmed. The grape varieties are vinified separately with the Tannat undergoing fermentation and maceration for 30 days and the Cabernet for 21 days. The wine also undergoes malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels including 12 months in new oak barrels.
Madiran Cuvée Charles de Batz has a deep red, almost black colour. The nose is full of spicy, black fruit (blackcurrant, blackberry), some red fruit notes, vanilla and toasty oak. The palate is powerful and smooth with great concentration with flavours of leathery black fruit, black pepper spice and dark chocolate characteristics. Good firm tannic backbone. Try with full-bodied meat dishes, stews, salamis, duck, confit or cassoulet.
Other highly regarded producers of Madiran include the wines of Barrejat, Bouscasse, Capmartin and Montus.
Some of you might be well aware of the wines of Some Young Punks from Australia as we have been selling various wines, including Naked on Roller Skater, The Squids Fist, Passion Has Red Lips and Lust Collides, for a couple of years now. One of their most popular wines, the Double Love Trouble, has been out of stock for about a year now since the 2010 sold out. There was no 2011 but the 2012 has just arrived. More information below.
The first thing I should say is, that apart from the cool label, a specially commissioned work by artist Asaf Hanuka featuring the bikini-clad sisters Trixie and Tess Love, this wine bears little resemblance to the 2010 Double Love Trouble.
The 2010 was a blend of (if I recall correctly) 50% Tempranillo from Mount Barker and 50% Shiraz from McLaren Vale. The 2012 is a blend of 66% Nebbiolo and 34% Cabernet Sauvignon from the McLaren Vale. The fact that the blend is so different sparked some debate in the office as to whether this wasn’t being a little disingenuous with consumers and that perhaps it should have been bottled under a different label. Fruit is sourced from vines grown on grey loamy soils with an average age of 10 years and 15 years old respectively. The juice is left for 6 to 35 days on the skins, pressed to tank, settle and then trasferred to oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and maturation prior to blending. The wine is aged for 12 months in neutral Dargaud & Jaeglé barrels.
Double Love Trouble Tasting Notes
Some Young Punks Double Love Trouble
The 2012 Double Love Trouble has a good, clear red colour with purple hints and clear rim. The expansive nose has aromas of violets, menthol mint, red fruit (red wine gums) and and a good chunk of milk chocolate notes. The palate is fresh and clean and the dominating characteristic is red fruit. There is a firm tannic backbone and the finish is quite lengthy. For me, at the moment, the nose is a lot more open and pleasing than the palate. This might be because this wine has only just been bottled and shipped to the UK. I would like to come back to this wine in a few months time when I think it will have settled down a little and the tannins will have softened up. Time will tell. 09/05/13
Only 993 cases of 12 bottles of this wine were produced so best grab some ASAP!!
We have just received this year’s allocation of new wines from Sine Qua Non – a massive three bottles each of the Shooter Syrah 2010 and Five Shooter 2010.
I don’t know much about the wines yet but though I would share the labels with you because they are pretty funky as one has grown accustomed to expect from Elaine and Manfred Krankl.
Sine Qua Non Five Shooter Syrah
Sine Qua Non Five Shooter Grenache
Sine Qua Non Five Shooter Syrah Back Label
Sine Qua Non Five Shooter Grenache Back Label
Unfortunately, by the time you read this, the few bottle of wine we had will almost definitely be sold!! Please check though, I might have a bottle left.
Here are the latest reviews,
Sine Qua Non Five Shooter Syrah 2010
“The 2010 Syrah No Name as of Yet is laced with blackberries, blueberries, spices, mint and graphite. It shows the medium-bodied personality of the vintage in its energetic, nuanced fruit and notable persistence. Layers of fruit build to a refined finish laced with blueberries, blackberries, violets and crushed rocks. All the registers — from low to high — are filled out. The 2010 is 85% Syrah, 5% Grenache, 3% Petite Syrah, 5% Roussanne and 2% Viognier, mostly from estate vineyards. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.” 94-96 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Sine Qua Non Five Shooter Grenache 2010
“The 2010 Grenache (No Name as of Yet) is rich, deep and seductive. Dark red cherries, plums, roses, licorice and mint wrap around the palate in this beautifully layered wine. The 2010 possesses gorgeous detail and nuance to match the silky, refined tannins. This is an impeccable, long, mineral-infused wine with a great future. The 2010 is 75% Grenache, 16% Syrah. 2.5% Mourvedre. 4.5% Roussanne and 2% Viognier, from Eleven Confessions (58%), Cumulus (38%) and Bien Nacido (4%). Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022.” 94-96 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Villa Maria Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc and Kleine Zalze Chenin Blanc
Free Delivery Offer @ Fareham Wine Cellar
Prices and offer correct as of 08/05/13 – offer finishes 22/05/13
Everyone one loves Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc right? And surely everyone loves sparkling wine? Well, now kill two birds with one stone and try the newly launched Villa Maria Lightly Sparkling Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. This is a great crisp, clean, dry and gently sparkling wine great in the warm weather (which, I am told will be back soon). More frizzante than fully sparkling, it is perfect with salads, lighter white meat dishes or as an aperitif. To complement this we also have some great South African Chenin Blanc from the family-owned Kleine Zalze winery located in Stellenbosch. Chenin Blanc is a greatly under-rated wine in the UK and often gets overlooked. This barrel-fermented example is full of tropical, peachy and pineapple notes backed with toasty oak. Great with goat’s cheese salad, smoked fish or mild cheeses. Please find out more in the notes below.
Free Delivery Offer on Villa Maria and Kleine Zalze
6 bottles of Villa Maria Lightly Sparkling Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Only £61.50 delivered
Normal delivered price £71.50
6 bottles of Kleine Zalza Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc Barrel Fermented 2011
Only £55.50 delivered Normal delivered price £65.50
Additionally order any 12 bottles or more in unmixed multiples of 6 bottles and get free delivery plus a further 5% discount off the normal selling price of £10.25 for the Villa Maria and £9.25 for the Kleine Zalze respectively.
Please telephone 01329 822733 to place an order. Stocks are very limited so please order ASAP to avoid disappointment.
Vineyard Description – Fruit for the Villa Maria Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon was sourced from vineyards across the Marlborough region in the Wairau and Awatere valleys spanning a range of different meso-climates. Careful attention was paid to vine health and cropping levels to give the vine the best chance to optimise the season and develop strong, clean flavours.
Villa Maria Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc
Winemaking – The high quality 2011 vintage and well balanced vineyards produced grapes which were harvested at varying levels of ripeness during a five-week dry autumn period, ensuring an array of flavours and blending options. The fruit was crushed, pressed and settled for 48 hours before removing the press solids for fermentation. Both neutral and aromatic yeast strains were used to aid in intensity and site reflection. Fermentation was conducted at 12-14°C to maintain flavour and aroma retention. After a short period of resting on yeast lees post fermentation completion, the wine was filtered, gently infused with a fine bead of bubbles and bottled to capture its vibrancy and freshness.
Tasting Notes – Villa Maria Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc is bursting with gooseberry, passionfruit, fresh citrus, and melon aromas. The wine finishes clean and crisp, with a lingering sparkle in the mouth. The small delicate bubbles of this frizzante style wine enhance the citrus and gooseberry flavours.
Serving Suggestion – This wine is best consumed on release while the fruit flavours are intense and fresh. Serve well chilled as an aperitif, with salads, chicken dishes or fish starters.
Wine information – Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc is 100% Chenin Blanc made from grapes harvested from low yield-bearing bush vines from the Helderberg region of coastal Stellenbosch. Kleine Zalze is a family owned winery situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands and winemaking their can be traced back to 1695. However, when Kobus Basson and his family bought the property in 1996, there was a massive stride forward. They scientifically mapped the estate to find the best terroir for different grape varieties and seventeen years of subsequent investment have seen Kleine Zalze become one of the most highly regarded wineries in South Africa.
Wine Making – The grapes for the Kleine Zalze Chenin Blanc undergo extended skin contact after crushing and prior to pressing. The juice is then fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then transferred to a mix of oak barrels – 20% new, 40% second and 40% third fill – where fermentation is completed and the wine is left to age on the lees for 7 months.
Tasting Notes – Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc has concentrated aromas of tropical, peach, guava and pineapple together with hints of botrytis and well balanced toasty French oak. Ripe layers of tropical fruit combined with subtle oak give this wine a rich and creamy mouth feel, with an elegant acidity in the background.
Food & Spirit match - Try Kleine Zalze Chenin Blanc with goats cheese salad, mild spicy dishes, smoked fish or mild creamy cheeses.