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Month: January 2016

Wine of the Week

Pure magic from Gredos


This time our Wine of the Week was sampled in the Cork wine bar of Bilbao. But the wine itself is from the middle of the country. Spain, that is.

This is from a project of Dani Landi and Fernando García’s, Comando G. The G stands for garnacha, here grown in three small parcels on granite 850 meters above sea level in Rozas de Puerto Real (Madrid),

The Bruja, by the way, is taken from a children’s program from the 80’s, when the winemakers grew up, called ‘the Crystal Ball’, as Dani told me when I visited them last year..

La Bruja Avería 2014 (Comando G)

Light red. Aromas of dark red fruit, cherries, herbs, and a slight touch of coffee. Light in appearance, yet quite concentrated, and good acidity that gives it a lot of freshness.

Price: Medium

Food: Tonight I had it with a pintxo of beef tenderloin on a bed of mushrooms, with a delicate syrup. But this versatile wine will go to a variety of fish and light meat too.

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Wine of the Week

A natural green wine

Fernando Paiva has been one of the pioneers of biodynamic farming in Portugal, making whites from loureiro, arinto, and azal grapes for white, and reds from vinhão. He is based in Sousa, a sub-region of Vinho Verde (literally “green wine”, the Minho region’s wine name) with less than average rainfall and no direct influence from the Atlantic. At the same time the climate is more moderate compared to the extreme cold nights and winters and summer heat of the inland, so we could consider it a transition area. Azal is one of the grapes that benefit from this, as it’s more difficult to ripen, compared to, say alvarinho.

Life at the quinta

Our wine is a 100% loureiro, a grape that thrieves in the whole region. The must had a spontaneous fermentation, spent almost a year on fine lees, and additions of SO2 is very scarce. It’s rich and smooth-textured compared with more well-known loureiros, but the high acidity (almost 10 g/L) makes it very appealing.

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Simple and delicious fare

Quinta da Palmirinha 2014 (Fernando Paiva)

Quite deep yellow with a greenish hue. Aromas of yellow apple, lime, herbs, nuts and a hint of smoke. Inspiring and fresh acidity, that makes it last in the mouth.

Price: Low

Food: Fish, shellfish, white meat



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Wine of the Week

A pure Jura yellow wine


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With the typical comté

This wine I tasted today in the Remedy wine bar in London. It comes from a single vineyard belonging to Château Chalon in the French Jura region, a so-called “vin jaune” (yellow wine), and a very good representative for the species too. They are aged under a layer of yeast, like fino sherry, and like this one they typically come in 62 cl bottles.

The producer puts “Vin de Garde” in the middle of the front label. And many tastings have shown that even if they are delicious now they are able to develop over several decenniums as well.

Domaine Macle 2007 (Château Chalon)

A yellow to orange coloured Vin Jaune. Pure scented with elements of almonds, citrus, apricots and some salty mineral notes. Grapey, silky-smooth on the palate, nutty and long.

Price: Medium/High

Food: Comté (cow’s milk cheese from the region), a variety of white and light meat, a whole range of tapas too

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Wine of the Week

Bourgueil wine for a drunken night?

Anyway that’s the meaning of the expression Nuit d’Ivresse. It’s in the middle of the Loire valley that this wine starts its life, on limestone and clay-silex ground. Catherine and Pierre Breton has 6 hectars of vineyards in the Borgueil-Chinon-Vouvray area, and they made their first Ivresse wine without addition of SO2 in 1992.

The wine is certified organic, made from cabernet franc grapes, and has undergone a three week long fermentation that startet with indigenious yeasts. Both malolactic and a 12 month ageing was done in two year old barrels, and the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered – and again without addition of sulphur.

I first tasted this wine in a wine club in 2014. Now I came across it again, and while slightly more evolved it still had a lot of lovely fruit.

Nuits d’Ivresse 2011 (C. & P. Breton)

Dark red. Aromas of blackcurrant, raspberry, a bit balsamic, Earl Grey tea. Less structured than last time, but still with a certain grip, just lovely, and with just the right acidity and concentration for “inspired” drinking.

Price: Medium

Food: Red and light meat, game, hard cheeses


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