Sunday dinner, Pt 2 – The dessert wines

 I got a bit sidetracked last week with wineblogging Wednesday but here is pt. 2 of  my Sunday dinner. Since I was tweeting all night long ( and those were the only notes I took), I’m posting the tweets verbatim. Unfortunately, after dinner and all that red wine, the tweets got shorter so I’ve add a comment or two now that I’m a bit more sober. We had 4 dessert wines, 2 Tokaji Aszu, a German icewine, an Alsatian vendage tardive pinot gris, and an unplanned Cognac. The desserts were apple tart, raspberry pavlova – some sort of meringue-y thing with raspberries in the middle, and two cheeses. Tweets says : tokaji, icewine and alsatian pinot gris ’96 gassman, vendage tardive for dessert . That about sums it up. There were two Hungarian tokaji’s, an ’88 and a ’96, both 5 puttonyos (sounds dirty but it’s not). The botrytis affected grapes are made into a paste and collected in baskets called puttonyos which weigh about 55 pounds. The puttonyos are then made into wine, the more puttonoys, the sweeter and richer the wine. So 5 puttonyos is a pretty rich wine (thanks for the 411 epicurious.com). The tweet: Tokaji 88 – nutty, almost sherry-ish, dried apricot, almonds, luscious but lite for a tokaji. Ch. Messzelato ’88 (Oddbins, £14.99), we all agreed it was a major disappointment. It was past it, certainly didn’t taste like a tokaji. This wine was a bin end and I can see why. Next up was Penny’s contribution, an Alsatian tokay pinot gris vendage tardive, which mean late harvest. Even though it’s called tokay, it’s not made the same way as the Hungarian tokaji’s or even the same grapes. The tweets: vendage – Vin d’Alsace Rolly Gassman ’96– orange blossoms noses, quite herby a bit tropical, dried fruit, guava and pineapple  – wonderfully complex,excellent with apple pie  – Another comment on the ‘88 tokaji : more like a sherry – oloroso or sweet amontillado. vendage tardive ’96, James says it’s nice and tropical, pure elderflowers  –...

read more

De Martino Malbec ’06 for Wineblogging Wednesday #52

 Today is Wine blogging Wednesday (#52)!! Our mission, given to us by Cheapwineratings.com, was to pick a Chilean wine for under $20 bucks or value reds from Chile as they put it. With the exchange rate what it is now, we settled on a Chilean for under £14 (approximate, but with the pound sinking it might be less now).   At Oddbins we have quite a nice selection of  Chilean wines, both red and white but since my assignment was red, I went for the  De Martino Single Vineyard Malbec ’06 (£11.49),  from the  Maule Valley. De Martino pride themselves on travelling the length of Chile, choosing only the finest terroir to bring out the best of the chosen  varietal and employing expert consulants to make fantastic wines.  Marcelo Retamal, their winemaker, is a rising star in Chilean oenology and it shows. This  particular malbec vineyard is located in an isolated (and one of the driest) parts of the Maule valley with  granitic  soils and bush-trained 80 year old vines.  According to the website, the vineyard is run by one man  and his horse so I guess you could say there is minimal intervention in the production of  the wine. I think Chilean wines are amazing value for money and this malbec did nothing to dissuade me. On pouring it was a deep, intense garnet, almost inky – staring into it, it was impossible to see the bottom of the glass. On the nose first off, black fruits, concentrated cassis, and spices – a bit of nutmeg, hint of cinnamon, almost smelled like baking cookies with vanilla bobbing about and violet notes coming through on the tail of it all. I had to let it sit for a few minutes because I was interrupted but I was glad I did because the aromatic notes coming off were even more spicy now. Although they were not as intense, they had evolved into molasses and the the smells of rich mince pie. Perfect wine for Christmas.     Despite it being so rich on the nose, on the palate, it was...

read more

Chianti Classico ’05

Chianti. Cheap and cheerful, comes in a wicker covered bottle, which, when empty, make handy candle holders. Well, that might be the old image of Chianti, and you can probably still buy that type of wine, but last weekend we had a tasting of Chianti Classico at the shop to dispel those hoary old myths and a bit of food and wine pairing with Italian salami and mature English cheddar. Chianti is the name of the region in Italy where the wine is from, not the name of the grape. The Italians like to confuse us as much as the French when it comes to naming their wines. There are two types of Chianti, Chianti and Chianti Classico (click here for more info). Chianti Classico is the oldest region, located in the heart of Tuscany. Chianti is made up of primarily the varietal sangiovese with the local varieties canaiolo and colorino also used in the blend. Up to 20% can be added in Chianti Classico and 25% in Chianti. There are all sorts of rules and regulations governing the production and making of Chianti (click here if you’re really interested) but I’m going to focus on the three we had on Saturday. First up was a Chianti, for a bit of compare and contrast, the ’06 Veduta, a blend of sangiovese and canaiolo, spending 3 months in large oak barrels, produced by the Casa Girelli, one of Italy’s largest privately owned wineries who produce 95% of their wine for the overseas market. This was an easy, approachable red, a simple, uncomplicated, red fruit nose followed by bright cherry and lively tannins on the palate. It had a short, slightly green finish. A good guzzler to go with a cheesy Saturday nite pizza. Then we moved onto the Classicos. What a world of difference. Everyone who tried the Veduta liked it until they tried the Classico. Piave di Spaltenna ’05 was the first classico. The vineyards are situated in the heart of the oldest district...

read more
%d bloggers like this: