Monthly Archives: August 2015

High schist from Muxagat, Douro

As the name suggests this wine originates from quite high (500 meters) vineyards on schistous ground near Foz Côa high up in the Douro. I tasted the wines in Lisboa, and I fell particularly for the whites. Those who know me would maybe say that I am not particularly fond of oak. But I am no fanatic either. Here the balance is so neat, and the complexity great. For this one the grapes are only rabigato, cold fermented and aged (for around one and a half years) in French oak and cement using indigenous yeasts.

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Os Xistos Altos 2011 (Muxagat)

Yellow with a green tinge. Aromas of white flowers, mature apple, ginger, some smoke and with a salty minerality. Full on the palate, great concentration and good acidity. It shows some oak at the moment, but it has many years ahead.

Price: Medium

 

 

May I…?

Some times you doesn’t want your wine to bother you with big questions, nuclear weapon threats and difficult international issues. Some times it’s ok that it comes to you, tickles your taste buds, and slides down – like a polite question, or maybe just to confirm that all is still well.

Karl May has a lot to offer, from single vineyard rieslings to easy drinking reds and whites.

He manages 20 hectars of organic vineyards in Wonnegau, Southern Rheinhessen. The grapes are handpicked. In the cellar he lets time do the rest. Thus fermentation occurs by its own and when the time is right.
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Spätburgunder 2012 (Karl May)

Bright red. Aroma of raspberries and cherries, a touch of spice. Luscious, cool, with a fine rounded acidity, quite slender if you think of it. Not very complex, fruity, easy-to-drink, and just lovely!

Price: Low

Food: Light meat, hard cheeses, salads… and try to bacalao

Take a Spanish cab

So you don’t think a Spanish cabernet can be much fun? This one is, at least for me. Lately I have tasted through most of Dominio Buenavista’s portfolio again, most of it under the Veleta label, from the (in Spain at least once) ever-present cabernet, via the obscure local variety vijiriega, a tinto jóven made of tempranillo, to the most fascinating not-very-sweet red dessert wine Don Miguel.

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Dominio Buenavista is located 650 meters above sea level, in the Alpujarras, a mountaneous area in the province of Granada. This is one of the Spanish centers of natural wine, with Barranco Oscuro as one of the leading producers. Their good friends at Dominio Buenavista is another. We are in the village of Ugíjar, in the southeastern Contraviesa subzone, with a view to the Mediterranean and at the same time to Veleta, one of the highest peaks on the Spanish mainland. Planted here are cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, tempranillo, chardonnay, viognier a.o., not to forget the exiting white variety vijiriega. The work in the vineyard is biodynamic, only natural yeast is used and the quantities of sulphur are very restricted. Red wines normally undergo a ten days maceration, where the must is pumped-over one or two times each day before pressing. They are then typically aged for a certain time in French and American oak up to five years old.

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Veleta Cabernet Sauvignon Roble 2013 (Dominio Buenavista)

The grapes for the Cabernet Sauvignon Roble 2013 were picked mid-September, and the wine aged for three months in oak.

Dark, bright colour. Aroma with elements of ripe fruit, plums, some pepper, quite balsamic (menthol). Rich with a smooth texture, but not without tannic structure either. The balance between fruit, oak, tannins and the other elements is already intact, but the wine will develop positively for 4-5 years too.

Price: Low

 

Brezo from Bierzo

Grégory Pérez produces highly original wines, but also with respect for terroir. They are natural wines made in a sustainable way, with knowledge of soil and protection of biodiversity as key elements. Low yields secures ripeness and concentration, and cluster thinning and organic fertilizers is only used if absolutely necessary. Selection always takes place in the vineyard. The fermentation is carried out by indigenious yeasts, different yeasts for each vineyard.

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The really like his unoaked entry level wine called Brezo made from 85% mencía and 15% alicante bouschet, a grape associated with warmer climates. It’s made from 30 year old vines 550 meters above sea level in Horta and Villafranca del Bierzo.

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Mengoba Brezo 2013 (Gregory Pérez)

After a lot of airing (this is mencia, a truely reductive grape, remember):

Dark red, bright with a violet tinge. Balsamic notes in aroma, forest fruits and flowers. Fleshy, full, with a nice acidity. A charming red bierzo on the «wild» side.

Price: Low

Food: Try with light meat, game, and a variety of cheeses