Saturday, 24 December 2011

Trawling London

So impressed have we been recently with what is to be found in Berlin and other European cities that we needed to remind ourselves that London is still a leader in the range and depth of its wine imports even if we sometimes grouse about the narrow spectrum of wine types available here.

In recent days we have found the following gems to be bought from wine merchants and others here;

1. An otherwise totally unknown grape variety from the Veneto, unmentioned in the Oxford Companion to wine - Recantina. This from a wine-bar in Wellington St., Covent Garden called Notes.

Notes is interesting because as well as being a Cafe selling wine and appetizing-looking small dishes "fur die kleine Hunger" as the Germans say, it sells Music and Cinema DVDs in the basement. They have another branch near the London Coliseum.

2. Next up, from a surviving branch of Oddbins of all places, a Spanish white made from the Verdil grape found only in the Valencia region.

Verdil is also absent from reference books.

3. Next, mirabili dictu a Pugnitello from a producer totally other than the San Felice winery which was said to have re-discovered this ancient Tuscan grape variety and to have revived it together with the University of Siena. This winery, Roccapesta claims simply to have found a clump of Pugnitello in a corner of the vineyard and has made a whopping great 15% wine with it. This is available from Handfords.

You will seach in vain for Pugnitello in the Oxford Companion to wine.

4. From Lea and Sandeman, a rarity indeed - a dry Brachetto. Having determined that Brachetto is not the same thing as Braquet in the tiny Appellation of Bellet, we are more than ever keen to try this as the more usual amabile version of Brachetto is hardly something to drink more than once.

5. From a previous trawl, an update on the Graciano we bought from Highbury Vintners a couple of months ago. This bottle was reasonably priced (under £11), not over-alcoholic at 13.5% and absolutely delicious. Quite the best 100% Graciano we have tasted although Marks and Spencer's version runs it a close second.

Both Brachetto and Graciano have entries in Jancis Robinson's masterpiece of course but are difficult to find even so.

No comments: