Monday 30 November 2020

Mrs Slotovino recommends.


When Mrs. Slotovino likes something it's safe to take that as a recommendation. Menard is a successful blend of Colombard, Gros Manseng and Sauvignon Blanc. You don't see that every day but why not? 

Domaine de Menard, Cuvee Marine, Cotes de Gascoigne (only 11% Abv.) is available from the excellent Noble Green company in Hampton/Twickenham, (not Noble Fine Liquor of Broadway Market) at £10 or less. a steal.

Wednesday 25 November 2020

Gourmet Hunters or how to get an education in obscure grape varieties.

Some websites give you a lot of information and others, practically none. We'd much rather know what grapes are used in a wine and its alcohol content than in what soil it was grown and what closure its bottle has. We can even assume bottles are 75cl unless told to the contrary.

Gourmet Hunters' website is not the last word in ease of navigation but its list of grape varieties is a goldmine and that is in no small way thanks to Gourmet Hunters' eclectic choice of wines. The name of this companymay not trip off the tongue but they are Gourmets for sure and have certainly done some hunting.

To prove the point, there are 8 varieties unknown to Wine Grapes, Galet and D'Agata. We are talking super-obscure. Let's see them right away:

Parida Creus Garrut

Calabres (Sierras de Salamanca) Red

Fartapobres (Tarragona) Red

Garrut (Catalonia) Red

Jaque (Catalonia) Red

Molinillo (Vinos de Madrid) Red

Petino (Lazio) White

Ranzelinho (Douro) White

Romanesco (Lazio) White

Gourmet Hunters' speciality is Spain but they sell French and Italian wine too. Their wines are as eclectic as you could wish for. We are for diversity but somehow, as we have mentioned before, Spain is reluctant to give up the names of its native grape varieties. We are beginning to think there may be as many of these as in Italy but it's difficult to know because they remain dwarfed by the ubiquitous Tempranillo etc. from which it is difficult to prise people other than in Catalonia and Galicia.  

The list of grape varieties on Gourmet Hunters' site is a good deal longer than the ones below but we have not included those already discussed in this blog and the more familiar native varieties such as Bobal & Co.

Here are some of them - Iberian unless mentioned otherwise:


Aubun (France)


Bianchetta Trevigliana (Italy)

Boschera (Italy)

Buera (Georgia)

Cardinal (N. America)


Giro (Italy)

Gros Beclan (aka Peloursin) (France)

Gueuche (France)




Maturana Blanco

Minella Bianco (Italy)

Moll (aka Prensal)

Noir Fleurien (France)

Pardina (Italy)

Perera (Italy)


Petit Beclan (France)

Peurion (France)

Rosette (France)


Tortosi (= Rosal Blanco)

Tsitska (Georgia)

Vidueno (= Viduno? Vidonho?)

All of these are stand-alone varieties. There were many other names that turned out to be synonyms for better known varieties. You want them? OK;

Agudillo = Chenin Blanc

Albarin Tinto = Alfrocheiro

Argant (= Gansfuesser)

Baboso Negro = Alfrocheiro

Borracal = Caino Tinto, Espadeiro and Redondo

Carabunera = Touriga Nacional

Diego = Vijariego

Gordo = Muscat d'Alexandrie

Gual = Malvasia Fina

Juan Ibanez = Moristel

Malvar = Lairen

Merenzao = Trousseau

Mouraton = Juan Garcia, Negreda

Mulata = Negramoll

Pardina = Cayetana Blanca

Prieto Picudo Blanco = Godello

Terret Bouret = Terret Gris

Tortosi = Rojal Blanco

Verdiell = Tempranillo




Tuesday 24 November 2020

Seibel 54-55


Back in October 2019, we bought this bottle from Herve Lethielleux at Caves L'Etiquette in Paris. At the time we wrote:

"The wine Herve was itching to show us was this Pet Nat made from an obscure hybrid called '54-55'. This in fact a Seibel hybrid more commonly known as Plantet. It was one of the new resistant varieties widely planted in the wake of Phylloxera. Most common in the Loire it was authorised in every departement. Now down to 1,105 ha. from 27,900. It tastes of rasperries and something odd apparently. It is at this juncture that we realise we now care less whether a wine is good than if it is interesting. Oh dear."

 Well, although Herve had given us no choice we were glad he had foisted this on us because it is utterly gorgeous. 'Wine Grapes' says Plantet is a "Hybrid once popular in the Loire, now producing slightly odd. raspberry-flavoured wines." 

We didn't get any oddness, just the juicy raspberryness. Compared to a lot of hybrids, this is a good one. Quite a surprise really and no need to apologise in advance as we felt we needed to at the time.