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Month: November 2020

Wine of the Week

Black Friday

Today we will present a wine from a virtually black grape. Saperavi is famous for being Georgia’s main black variety, for its dark flesh and for the colour of its juice. This wine however, it’s from Moldova.

Vinaria Tiganca, also called Gitana, was first established as part of the big Moldvinprom in the village of Tiganca. It took a qualitative turn when it was bought by Petr and Svetlana Dulger in 1999.

They have planted their own vineyards and modernized the winemaking process. They prefer wooden vats for the fermentation to facilitate micro-oxidation.Their vineyards are situated in 2 villages in the Leovski region, in different climate zones. Each grape variety grows in the zone that is best suited for that particular variety.

This wine is exclusively from the saperavi variety, manually picked and selected and aged in clay vessels.


Credit: Gitana

Saperavi 2015 (Gitana/ Vinăria Tiganca)

Deep and opaque, with purple rim. Ripe dark fruits (blackberry, blackcurrant), black pepper, nutmeg, also leathery tones, cinnamon and dried fruits. Tastes dry, yet with a soft/smooth feeling, with ripe tannin, and moderate acidity. Really enjoyable and in its prime.

Price:

Food: Lamb and other tasty meat, rich plates with fat, umami flavours, like wines with soy sauce

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Wine of the Week

Beaujolais Nouveau rosé

Yesterday was the traditional Beaujolais Thursday. One of the most interesting wines this time was this rosé, if not for the very reason that it is just that – rosé – a style that what was recognized in 1937, but only the last few years has become popular.

The Romy family has been in wine for more than 300 years. village of Morancé, in Pierres -Dorées, southern Beaujolais. Nowadays Nicolas Romy of the family is their dynamic winemaker.

Le Mouflet 2020 (Dom. Romy)

Light salmon pink colour. Aroma of raspberries, roses and a touch of peach. Delicate, fruity, with good acidity.

Price: Low

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Wine of the Week

El Rapolao 2018

César Márques Pérez is one of the young winemakers who contributes to make Bierzo a dynamic area, and it’s easy to predict that he will become a far more well-known name than today. He is the nephew of Raúl Pérez, who has mentored many producers in their initial phase.

César started his own project in 2015, and works with a number of plots, several of them with over a hundred year old vines. He has 2 hectares in the Valtuille de Abajo, at the moment he also uses purchased grapes from 3 hectares, where he works closely with the growers. It is mostly mencía for the red wines, but also around 10% garnacha tintorera, most often grown in the same fields.

He applies a similar production method for all red wines, thus they are suitable for showing differences in vintage and vineyard conditions. The grapes are always grown organically, they are partially destalked and fermented in open old barrels. The maceration time is normally quite long, but with careful extraction. And the use of sulfur is always careful. The result is very fresh, vibrant and expressive wines.

We are in the vineyard of El Rapolao, located in the paraje Valtuille de Abajo (which in turn is located in the municipality of Villafranca del Bierzo). This is a very important vineyard, 3.5 hectares with 20 owners, of which 10 make wine that will potentially have the name on the label. It is the coolest of the fields César has available. Ricardo Palacios also buys wine from here for his tax-free bestseller Pétalos.

César in the Castro Ventosa family bodega

El Rapolao 2018 is, as we have heard, a single field wine from one of the coolest corners of the Valtuille de Abajo, but not higher than 540 meters. The exposure is north-facing with a clay soil. Dark color, cherries, slightly reductive, some smoke and spices, fine-grained tannins. A very elegant wine.

El Rapolao 2018 (C. Márquez)

Dark purple colour. Intense aroma of red fruits (cherries), cloves, some spices. Fleshy, yet fine-grained tannins and decent acidity. A powerful and smoky mineral wine. It’s slightly reductive at some point, thus changes in the glass.

Price: Medium

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Wine of the Week

A Testalonga favourite

This has been a favourite since I tasted it first time at a London fair. In spite of that it has not been highlighted since the 2015 vintage. (Reed some background information here.)

We are in Swartland, Coastal South Africa. In this generally warm climate winemaker Craig Hawkins harvests early. A very short version goes like this: The wine is made according to quite strict non-intervention principles, and just a little SO2. Also, whole bunches are pressed, and spontaneous fermentation occurs, and it’s kept in big oak vessels and steel. And now in its 2019 vintage it is as alive and “punching” as ever.

Baby Bandito “Keep on Punching” 2019 (Testalonga)

Light golden. Aromas of citrus, flowers, yellow apples. A flavourfull wine with light tannin structure and nice acidity.

Price: Medium

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