Saturday snapshot – Yalumba Viognier Y series 2012

Feb 09, 13 Saturday snapshot – Yalumba Viognier Y series 2012

Posted by in Australia, Saturday Snapshot

The Queen of Australian Viognier, Louisa Rose was in town recently** to show off her wines and I was happy to be invited to a luncheon and tasting showcasing what she has been able to produce in the Australian  vineyards. Louisa has been working as Chief Winemaker for Yalumba winery, based in the Barossa, since 2006 but she first joined Yalumba in 1993 as, what we fondly refer to in the trade, a “cellar rat“. She has been with Yalumba ever since and has worked her way up through the ranks, learning from the legendary winemakers of Yalumba. Early on in the 1970s, Yalumba was captivated by the Viognier grape  (which originally hails from the Rhone region of France) and they planted what began as an experiment. Over the years they discovered that they vines did very well in  the cool climate Eden Valley region of the Barossa and it is from these vines that the majority of their Viognier is cultivated. They also source fruit from a number of additional sites in South Australia. The Viognier that Louisa and Yalumba are producing is made to be drunk with food. A big difference that I found with Yalumba’s Viogniers were the fact that although aromatic, they were not as aromatic as some Rhone wines. This is a good thing in my book as French Viogniers can sometimes knock you over with their powerful aromatics. Another quality that I admired very much in their Viogniers was the freshness and the minerality that ran through the wine. The most consumer-friendly wine that Yalumba produces is the Y Series Viognier. We tasted the 2012 before lunch and it was a cracker of a wine. Fresh and attractive nose with hints of citrus, melon and papaya it had a medium body with good weight but none of the oiliness that is often found in Rhone Viogniers. It was what I would call a sprite of a wine, a friendly wine to start one on a discovery of the Viognier grape. Although it carried alcohol levels...

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A couple of cracking white wines from the Languedoc, Chateau d’Angles La Clape

Feb 01, 13 A couple of cracking white wines from the Languedoc, Chateau d’Angles La Clape

Posted by in France

Bourboulenc. I just like the name of that grape. It kind of rolls off the tongue…bour-bouuuuuuuu-leeeeeeenc……. Anyway, bourboulenc is a white variety that grows mostly in southern France and was the star grape for me at a recent tasting I went to hosted by AOC Languedoc Wines. Bourboulenc is the main variety used in Chateau d’Anglès La Clape’s Classique blanc 2010 (the rest of the blend being 40% grenache blanc, 5% marsanne, and 5% roussane). Everyone at the tasting jumped on this little jewel of a wine. Refreshing but fleshy, spicy and creamy but still retaining a structural integrity, this was a wine that was really hard to put down. I found it approachable but intriguing at the same time, my mouth flooded with the flavours of citrus and white fruits along with the minerality that comes from the soil. I found myself coming back to this wine again and again because it was just so morish! Usually, I tend to pick the most expensive wines at a tasting as my favourite but the Classique comes in at under a tenner (barely), £9.99 from the Wine Rack. Later, at dinner, we had the Classique’s big brother, the Chateau d’Anglès La Clape 2008 Grand Vin. 40% bourboulenc, 20%grenache white, 20%roussane and 20% marsanne, the wine had spent 7 months on the lees and a further 2 years in old barrels. The result, a creamy and rich wine rolling around my palate. Not too creamy but a pleasure to drink, flavours of white peaches and nutty almond notes on the finish. It was still  a powerful wine with èthe smells of the sea and the particular aromas of garrigue – the lavender, herbs and other wild things that grow in the south of France all mingling together on the nose. The wine was paired with baked sea scallops with seaweed, which turned out to highlight the iodine and mineral notes of the wine. A fresh wine that still has plenty of aging potential with a long and...

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Christmas dinner SOS, affordable wines for about a tenner – video

I know I’m not really known for my budget friendly wines, what with all that Krug I’ve been guzzling lately, but I do keep up with what’s going on in the supermarkets and when asked me to do a video with my recommendations for value for money wines this holiday season, it wasn’t too difficult for me to pick out some favourites from the supermarkets. So, without further ado, here are my picks for budget holiday drinks. I tried to stay under 10 quid and think I did a pretty good job 😉 Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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A flying visit to the Sicilian winery Donnafugata

Nov 21, 12 A flying visit to the Sicilian winery Donnafugata

Posted by in Italy, Travel

Donnafugata literally means “woman in flight” and it is inspired by the flight of Queen Maria Carolina, who fled Naples ahead of Napolean’s troops in the early 1800’s. She sought refuge in Sicily where Donnafugata’s vineyards now sit, and that is how the image of a woman with windblown hair became their logo and the winery got it’s name. The same description could be used to describe José (with a hard J) Rallo, daughter of the founders Gabriella and Giacomo Rallo, she is a whirlwind around the winery. Together with her brother Antonio, they are steering the winery into the future with many new initiatives and programs. There is a lot more to Donnafugata then just wine, although they have become quickly recognized for the high quality of their wines over the past 30 years, they also have a thriving vineyard visitors program, a partnership with a local restaurant  that specializes in using local produce and support a pannetone baking operation in a Paduan prison. They certainly don’t stop. They have 2 separate vineyard sites and the main winery in Marsala. One vineyard, is on the island of Pantelleria where they have an ungrafted vineyard of Zibibbo which is over a hundred years old. It’s from this island that they make their sweet wines. The pannetone made by the prisoners of Padua is made with their Kabir Moscato di Pantelleria DOP. The chef of the prison bakery gave us a talk on the production of the pannetone and how much support Donnafugata has given them over the years. The bakery started out making a few hundred pannetone and now produce over 60,000 a year, all handmade, each batch taking over 70 hours to make. After the talk we got to try the various pannetone including the Kabir laced one. They were the best pannetone I’ve ever had, soft, moist and fluffy – not like the usual dry as sawdust pannetone you get here in London. The Kabir itself was fresh and full of honey,...

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Video – Masterclass on the terroir of the Mosel, amongst the vines with Ernie Loosen

Aug 27, 12 Video – Masterclass on the terroir of the Mosel, amongst the vines with Ernie Loosen

Posted by in German wine, Travel, Videos

I had the pleasure of visiting Ernie Loosen earlier this summer in the Mosel Valley. We roamed around the Dr. Loosen grand cru vineyards on the slopes of the Mosel while Ernie proceeded to give a masterclass on the soils of the his and his neighbours vineyards. It was a fascinating and very informative morning. Afterwards we got to try his wines, from the entry level up to the Erdener Pralat. The previous evening we’d had some Pralat from the 80’s – fantastic whether young or old. So, without further ado, I will let Ernie do the talking about the amazing soils of the Mosel and the wines that are the result…. *warning, this video is for terroir geeks Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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