Monday, 28 July 2014
Technical ignoramuses as we are, it has taken us all these years to work out that there is a figure beside each post which shows the number of hits there have been. Our little blog is not aimed at a mass market to say the least. Our main purpose is to have an aide memoire to help us recall our experiences as the more we drink the less we remember.
Slotovino posts typically get low double-figure hits which is fine by us. A good number of hits are are probably from us anyway. However our sole mention of Bordeaux stands head and shoulders above any other topic we have covered with 725 hits. The nearest most visited post has half that.Why should this be? We were not particularly proud of our Bordeaux post. In it we revised our attitudes (upwards) to White Bordeaux and Bordeaux Clairet (a well overdue correction we thought) and did some personal musing over our last visit there 47 years ago. Hardly of universal interest.
Bordeaux is vast of course. Bigger than the combined vine-growing areas of some entire countries but it has a quality imbalance. The vast majority of produce is under-achieving in spite of recent progress. 47 years ago, there was no Bordeaux or Bordeaux Superieur worth drinking as far as we could tell whereas now there seems to be some good wine to be had from those denominations.
Thanks to a long-time Slotovino correspondent we were set the task of finding a good Red Bordeaux for around the £10 mark at under 13% recently. Our friend had had no luck in this quest so we gave it a try and for what it is worth here are the results from a very limited survey; originally 12 bottles (with one breakage so 11 bottles in the end) from 2 main sources - The Wine Society and Laithwaites plus one each from Amathus and Berry Bros. & Rudd. Why these suppliers? We thought they would know their Bordeaux and the first two were expert in finding value for money wines.
Chateau Mouret, Graves. 2010 (Berry Bros £12.25) 12.5%
Our expert writes:
a good mix of purple colour, very fruity and utterly dry, an energetic
wine which makes for great drinking. I cannot find a source for it on the
net, strangely - but if it is in the price range you indicated then it
is a good buy indeed.
Other wines he particularly liked:
Reserve Bordeaux Special 2011. (Wine Society, £7.25). 12.5%
When one sees the words reserve and speciale one is well prepared for a
mediocre wine. However this is really lovely - intense, dark,
blackberry and other things, I taste cherry (maybe because it is cherry
season now and I just picked a good few kilos of tarry black
heart-shaped cherries yesterday). Wine experts may say hint of licorice
or anis or some such thing about these kind of wines. what the nose
promises it keeps, and the aftertaste is balanced and very pleasant.
The only thing preventing it from being spectacular is that it is a
tiny tad sour - but this is really nitpicking. I would buy this for
sure. I had it with a pasta of grano saraceno in ground turkey and
tarragon. Really nice.
Chateau Le Ferreau Belair, Cotes de Bourg 2008. (Laithwaites £11.99). 12.5%
The first wine I tried was and is an instant hit: Chateau Le Ferreau
Belair, 2008. It is very well balanced, has a perfect mix of fruit and
wood and tanins. I firmed it up a bit in the fridge since the heat wave
made the apartment and the wine a bit lax, so that is why perhaps the
wine tasted a bit younger and fresher than 2008. I am keeping the bottle
and will keep it as a good contender for my house wine.
La Chateau vieux Tuquet Bordeaux 2011. (Amathus, £7.90). 12.5%
This one was heftily objected to by two guests, who claimed it is too
dry, to tannic, and not 'tasty'. I attribute most of this to the fact
that this one is anything but an australian shiraz or some such. I then
opened them a 14.5% nebbiolo which I had here and that kept them happy,
while I happily had the Vieux Tuquet all to myself to finish. I liked
it, it does have immense tannins, and has a tad an unpleasant sour
taste. But when squatting on the tongue there is a moment of French
glory, a berry and chocolate (perhaps) mix. Dry and straight but with
poetry. I would drink this again for sure, but it is a bit too extreme
for popular use I'd say.
This is all for the moment. Now Bordeaux lovers, do your worst and let's see those numbers take off!
Sunday, 20 July 2014
There is a lot to say about Ian D'Agata's marvellous new book and we look forward to gathering our thoughts in due course.
As well as being able to award it Slotovino Book of the year 2013/14, we would just like to list here the more obscure grape varieties covered in this essential publication.
Most if not all are entries in 'Wine Grapes' (Slotovino winner in 2012/13) but as mentioned in our 13/14 winners blog, D'Agata's book should be read in conjunction with that volume by anyone interested in Italian varieties.
NB. Under TRENTINO, there is an important omission. Yes the variety named Wanderbara is conspicuous by its absence. Do we get a free bottle for reporting this? Try entering Wanderbara in Google Images by the way...
Barbera del Sannio
Coda di Cavallo
Coda di Pecora
Pela dei Vivi
Uva del Fanrini
Uve del Tunde
Verdetto = Verdello
FRIULI VENEZIE GIULIA
Ruzzese = Rossese Bianco
Uva della Cascina
Negro Amaro Precoce
Brachettone del Roero
Brunetta di Rivoli
Lambrusca di Vittona
Montanera di Perosa
Neretto di Bairo
Neretta di Marengo
Calabrese di Montenero
Lacrima del Valdarno
Occhio del Pernice
Nero di Baisi
Roussin de Morgex
Rosetta di Montagna
Wednesday, 18 June 2014
At London's RAW Wine Fair recently our eye was caught by this page lying on the table of a Spanish Natural Wine producer, Esencia Rural. It is a list of additives permitted in winemaking. Esencia Rural proudly proclaims that their wine is made only with grapes. The list is in Spanish but the gist is plain enough to cause queasiness in anyone - especially those who denigrate natural winemaking, we would have thought.
Levaduras, Fosfato de diamonio y sulfato de amonia, Bisulfato de amonia, Diclorhidrato de tiamina, Anhidrido sulferoso, Bisulfito de potasio, Metabisulfato de potasio, Carbones, Gelatina, Cola de Pescado, Caseina, Caseinatos de potasio, Albumina de huevo, Bentonita, Dioxido de silicio, Caolin, Tanino, Enzinas pectoliticas, Prepardos enzimaticos de la betaglucanasa, acido tartarica, Acido malico, Acido lactica, Tartrato neutro de potasio, bicarbanato de potasio, Carbonato de calcio, Resina de pino carrasco, Preparados de paredes celulares de leveduras polivinilpirrolidona, Bacterias lacticas, Lisozima, Acido ascorbico, Resinas de intercambio idrico, Acido citrico, Acido metatartarico, Goma arabica, Tartrato, Acido de potasio, Tartrato de calcio, Sulfato de cobre, Citrato de cobre, Carmelo, Dicarbonato de dimetilo, Manoproteinas, Tratamiento por electrolisis, Ureata, Alginato de calcio, Alginato de potasio, Copolimeros depolivilimidazoi-polivinilpirrolidona, Carborimeticelulose, Tratimento con intercambiadores de cationes, Oxigeno gaseoso, Perlita, La tierra diatomeceous, Nitrogena, Dioxido de carbona, Di-fosfate de amonia, Tiamina clorhidrata, Bisulfito de potasio o metabisulfito, Las proteinas vegetales de trigo o de guisante, Bicarbonate de potasio, Resina de pinos halepensis, Metatartarico, Citrato coprico, Virutas de roble, Alginato de potasio.
Ingredientes: solo uva/only grapes
Ingredientes: solo uva/only grapes
Tuesday, 17 June 2014
The New York Frieze week is a good time to catch up on novelties of all kinds. At Chambers Street Wines, they had a whole lot of Rare Creatures, some we had never heard of;
This didn't last long once unpacked at home. If Jamie Hutchinson (The Sampler) can measure time by how long it takes him to neck a bottle of Beaujolais then we can use this beauty for the same purpose.
Bernabe Navarro's 'La Amistad' is made from Rojal as we have commented in a previous post. We were delighted to see it at Chambers St. and served it for friends back home. They didn't say much about it but it went down pdq. We might have over-chilled it (overkilled it?).
Over at Randall's Island there was an enormous place with rather more pictures on the walls than wine.
What wine there was, was a bit wierrrd.
The Gotham Project Red and White was just what Vino Sfuso should be: light, fruity and refreshing. The white was a New York Finger Lakes Riesling and the red may have been a NY Cabernet Franc. The Gotham Project is really interesting and we wish them the very best of luck. May they cause the revolution they seek and consign the glass bottle at least to a proportion of sales with Keg wine of this interest and quality finding its way to Restaurants and yes, Pubs! That would be a revolution indeed. English wine on tap? Why not?
As well as weird wine there were interesting operatic references at Randall's Island
|Richard Wagner chasing a Leimotif|
|Re-assurance for the customers|
|at the risk of repeating ourselves, a Croatina|
|and repeating ourselves, but in this case, we never tire of Heitz's Grignolino|
|an OK Rossese|
Over the river at Willamsburg, we re-visited Uva and were impressed:
|new converts to Petite Arvine, this one went down well|
|and ever a soft touch for a Poulsard, we fell for this Demeter accredited example|
Yes, nothing ever happens in New York
Saturday, 14 June 2014
On one of our classic wild goose chases - to Leipzig this time (don't ask) we nonetheless found some nice wine and became re-acquainted with an old favourite.
Koppelberg Blaue Portugieser from Saale Unstrut. We had very much enjoyed a glass of another Saale-Unstrut Blaue Portugieser at Auerbach's Keller and found this example subsequently at a retailer nearby. It may be a bit cheesy to go to Auerbachs Keller when in Leipzig but it really is the Auerbachs Keller of Goethe's Faust serving food and drink without a break since the first half of the 16th century, frequented by Germany's answer to Shakespeare himself even though he wouldn't recognise the old place nowadays. Amazingly this makes it only the 2nd oldest restaurant in Leipzig they say (without telling which is the oldest). Lovely wine from this unpromising grape. See mention of Gere's Blaue Portugieser from Villany in our Grand Budapest post.
At Dresden Airport the best buy was Schloss Proschwitz's Elbling. We return to this whenever we can. How can it be explained that Elbling remains such a secret? It is an ancient grape so it's not as if it needs time. Curious.
We also bought a Schloss Proschwitz Goldriesling just for the fact it is equally low in alcohol and because we had been unlucky with a bottle bought a few years ago. Goldriesling is not an ancient grape but a crossing of Riesling and something not quite defined by Christian Oberlin in Colmar in 1893 and is now almost unknown outside Sachsen where 17 hectares are grown. We are trialing 25 vines in the Thames Valley.