- Parent Category: Blogs
by Nick Breeze
Part of the joy of drinking wine is the link between what ends up in one’s glass and it’s place of origin. The styles of many wines are protected by law under various systems of control, to preserve the authenticity and ensure that the winemaker doesn’t, in one generational gust of enthusiasm, cause permanent harm to a reputation established over many generations.
But to us drinkers, it is likely a less legal and more cerebral relationship with wine that helps us associate place, taste and pleasure in one sip. By visiting vineyards we see the landscapes, the soils, the climate, the people and cuisine that make up the culture of what enters our glass. If you have ever visited a vineyard, especially one whose wine you have drunk on many occasions, then it is likely that the relationship between you and that wine is cemented until the end of days.
I am saying this as I have just consumed some delicious wines sent from Azienda Agricola Montebelli in Tuscany, a small organic farm that produces wine and olive oil, whilst letting good-living-aficionados stay on the estate and indulge themselves in everything from the great outdoors, to the flamboyant fresh cuisine of the kitchen, in tandem with the delights of the cellared gains of the vineyard.
I have some tasting notes below to share, but most of all, I am also looking forward to visiting Montebello during the grape harvest in a month’s time. Enjoy!
D.O.C. Maremma Toscana
95% sangiovese 5% malvasia
The Fabula Bianco 2012 is a pale yellow colour with a fresh nose of summer flowers and fresh cut herbs. It’s nicely balanced and perfect for chicken, mushroom pasta dishes, or to enjoy with punchy bruschetta.
Young and fun 100% sangiovese. This wine goes with all the big dishes where red wine is must. It has silky tannins and a comforting blast of cherries, blackcurrants and redcurrants with a good bite to balance with the food. It’s pure Toscana all over!
Montereregio Di Massa Marittima D.O.C.
This is a young wine with rich ruby colour and a potent nose of ripe cherries and red fruits that tickle the imagination. This goes perfectly well with many cured meats, hards cheeses, fresh tomato and garlic drenched beef dishes, to name a few. Leave a glass to enjoy on its own. It's youth will ensure aging potential too so don't in too much of a hurry!
Fabula Riserva 2006
Monteregio Di Massa Marittima
90% sangiovese 10% montepulciano
This is a big wine for big dishes. A very rich and opaque ruby red in colour with overt plums and sweet cherry on the nose. To taste, the tannins are just right, biting into the food but also to hold the wine together for a fuller and enhanced experience of pleasure. More cherry, plum, and hints of thyme. Let this breathe and enjoy in the evening air with baked vegetables, roasted meats and discerning company!
These wines are all evocative of the great region that we British (and many others nationalities) are so in love with. I look forward to visiting Montebelli in due course, as part of the harvest season tour of Italy that will also include Puglia and Southern France. Visiting the places where the vines are tended, grapes are grown and wine lovingly made, is a special element in the pleasure of wine. Add such visits to your own itinerary to enhance your pleasures!
Short introduction of our produce with in depth view of the Fabula Riserva. Presented by Alessandro Tosi:
by Nick Breeze, Twitter: @NickGBreeze
- Parent Category: Reviews
Wine writer, author and broadcaster, Oz Clarke, delivers his own dedication to the wine producing region of Virginia in the USA!
- Parent Category: Blogs
As the day's chores recede into the background, they are replaced by the yearning for something fresh to pour across the palate. The wine of the season for al fresco drinking has to be rose. Here are a few tips to pour across the threshold:
Les Pins Couches
This is a top tip for wine lovers. If you want refreshing, crisp acidity and subtle but bright red summer fruits, then this is your wine.
Jean-Luc Colombo is the living legend of the Rhone Valley and the vines that make this wine are grown over looking the Mediterranean sea. What more convincing do you need? Get involved!
Retailers: Fresh and Wild, Les Caves du Patron, Luvians, Noble Green Wines, Bacchus et Al, Clifton Cellars, Kingsgate Wines, The Whalley Wine Shop, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Partridges of Sloane Street, Wine Rack, Wimbledon Wine Cellars
Cune Rosado 2012
I love Cune wines so its great that we’re seeing them more often in the UK. This is good value, dry rosado with a hint of strawberry and lots of potential for “one more glass” syndrome. Don’t hold back!
Retailers: Majestic, Dunedin Wines, Refreshers, Ellies Cellars, Hailsham Cellars, Fountainhall Wines, www.winedirect.co.uk
Joseph Mellot Sancerre Le Rabault Rosé 2013
It’s a little more expensive but Sancerre lovers wont bulk at this price tag. Made from pinot noir, La Rabault Rose is refreshing, peppery and raspberry on the nose with a tasty compote of summer fruits once it rolls across the tongue. Once bottle is never enough so try and do a deal on a case and enjoy the rest of the summer (or week at least!).
Retailers: Famous Wines, Eagle Wines, The Leamington Wine Company, Kingsgate Wines.
- Parent Category: Blogs
A tasty benchmark Côte de Beaune Village from a trusted producer. This wine from the Côte d’Or has lovely aromas of cherry and and other forest fruits. To taste it has a good acidic bite which is perfect for classic rustic French servings of cheese and pate.
Very enjoyable and perfect for dinner parties or charcuteries.
Stockists: Majestic, NISA, Constantine Stores, Bacchus Wine, Noble Green Wines, Village Wines (Amersham), Cotswold Vintners, Eagle Wines, Partridges of Sloane Street, www.winedirect.co.uk