Press "Enter" to skip to content

Month: September 2021

Wine of the Week

A nod to the Valpolicella of the past

Valpolicella was originally light to medium-bodied, refreshing, with a pleasing bitterness on the finish. Nothing to do with the dark, sweet, oaky or raisiny wines we have come to know. (Okay, amarone and ripasso have a rightful place in their context.) Monte Dall’Ora makes beautiful classical style wines.

The winery was founded by Carlo Venturini with his wife Alessandra in 1995. They bought some land in bad condition and started almost from scratch. They work the traditional varieties corvina, corvinone, rondinella, molinara, and also oseleta, an almost extinct grape that now is on the up.it was always organic, and in 2006 they converted to biodynamic agriculture.

Carlo amongst his pergolas (Cred. Monte D’O)

They are found on the Castelrotto height, in San Giorgio, northwest from Verona. The soils are limestone with a reddish hue, quite special for this area, with a porous upper part. They train their vines in pergola. These varieties are vigourous and can easily grow to big bunches to control. Pergola gives air and space between the clusters, and you would also get smaller and concentrated bunches.

The actual wine is made up of 40% corvina, 30% corvinone and 20% rondinella, and a dash molinara. The vines for this traditional Valpolicella varieties were planted in 2008, trained on wires in guyot rather than in pergola for greater concentration. It’s harvested by hand in October, later than for the rest of their wines.

The grapes are destemmed and gently pressed. Spontaneous fermentation takes place with native yeasts and without sulfur in concrete and steel tanks, then maceration 7-8 days with occasional manual punch-downs. Aged 6 months in steel, then 6 months in old 25-hectoliter oak vessels bottled without filtration and only a small amount of sulphur.

Camporenzo Valpolicella Superiore 2017 (Monte Dall’Ora)

Ruby red, just a bit cloudy. Aroma of cherries, white flowers and, wild raspberry. On the palate more pungent than it appears by the eye; with red currant, pomegranate, berry seed, and stony minerals. Lots of pleasure in this bottle!

Price: Medium/low

Food: Light meat, liver, sage, prosciutto, pasta, boils, hard cheeses…

Leave a Comment

Wine of the Week

SP68 revisited

An all time favourite, you can read a little background and a review of a previous vintage (under its former name) here.

In short Nero d’Avola (30%) gives colour, frappato red berries, spice and some herbal character. The wine is made in the most natural possible way. Spontaneously fermented in cement with 15 days skin-contact. Further ageing jo cement for 6 months. Unfiltered.

SP68 Rosso 2020 (Arianna Occhipinti)

Quite dark, young and blueish. Cool aroma, red berries (cherry, raspberry), flowers, herbs. Luscious, fruity, with some tannin and a fresh acidity.

Price: Medium

Leave a Comment

Wine of the Week

Hécula of Yecla

This summer I attended a tasting in Murcia organized by the Spanish magazine Verema. You can read more here.

From Yecla, a one-municipality-denomination to the northeast of Jumilla I tasted the wines of its leading winery, Bodegas Castaño. Among these was a favourite for many years, the Hécula, now Hécula Organic in 2019 vintage. It comes from a 750 meter altitude north-south vineyard on limestone, with in average 50 years old vines. Aged 6 months in French (80%) and American oak, and malolactic took place in tanks.

Hécula Organic 2019 (Bodegas Castaño)

Cherry-red. On the nose it shows ripe red berries (morello), aromatic herbs and a hint of coffee. Full in the mouth with mature tannins and a relatively good acidity.

Price: Low

Food: All kinds of meat, stews, salads with meat (such as Caesar), murcian paella…

Leave a Comment

Wine of the Week

From the Brda borders

The Movia winery has a history dating back to the 18th century, and has belonged to the Kristančič family since 1820. At the moment they own 22 hectares. half of it in Brda and half in Italy (Collio).

The grape variety is a 100% pinot grigio. The wine originates from a single vineyard called Fojana, that rich in lime, called opaka soil. Very low SO2.

The grapes were harvested late and by hand. Naturally fermented in large tanks with two weeks of skin-contact. Then it was transferred to barriques for 18 months storage. Unfiltered.

Sivi Grigio Ambra 2019 (Movia)

Amber-reddish. Aroma of stone fruits, flowers, orange peel, nuts. Quite full, dry with adequate acidity and a hint of salt in the finish.

Price: Medium

Food: Tasty fish dishes, light meat, salads, various Asian (dependent of a lot) – some importers suggest sauerkraut, and why not.

Leave a Comment