Wine

You’ll find everything from individual wine or producer reviews to reports from tastings or winery visits in this section. Here is a selection of recent posts about wine:

Orange weekly: Gsellmann – Traminer 2013 Andreas Gsellmann (picture courtesy www.gsellmann.at)Every week, I select an orange wine (a white wine made with extended skin contact) that grabbed my attention. View the whole series here. There’s a bit of a myth that aromatic white varieties don’t work well with extended skin contact. It is true that non-aromatic varieties like Ribolla Gialla, Pinot Grigio and Malvasia Istriana take to ...

Orange weekly: La Stoppa – Ageno 2010 La Stoppa - Ageno 2010This wine is one of relatively few standard bearers for the extended skin contact revival that’s not from Collio or Slovenian Brda. La Stoppa are based in Emilia Romagna, home to a rich, meaty cuisine and of course Lambrusco. Elena Pantaleoni makes this blend of Malvasia di Candia Aromatic, Ortugo and Trebbiano in honour ...

Orange weekly: Aleks Klinec – Ortodox 2006 Klinec - Ortodox 2006Aleks Klinec is brutally honest when I ask about his decision to switch entirely to traditional long skin maceration in 2005 – making only “orange wines” instead of some conventional white wines which were still in the portfolio: “We lost the entire Slovenian market – but it didn’t matter, because these wines sell well in ...

Orange weekly: Ronco Severo – Severo Bianco 2012 Ronco Severo wine label - courtesy Ronco SeveroI made many discoveries at last Friday’s Orange Wines Festival, in gorgeous Izola, Slovenia (full report coming soon) – but none more pleasurable than the wines of Ronco Severo, based in Friuli Colli Orientali. Having twice visited the village of Prepotto, where Schioppettino is king, I wondered how I’d managed to miss such a great ...

Orange weekly: Gravner – Breg 2004 Josko Gravner - Breg 2004Josko Gravner and Stanko Radikon, both hailing from Oslavje in north-eastern Friuli, pretty much kickstarted the revival of extended skin contact white wine making, in western Europe (In Georgia it has an unbroken history of 8000 years). For me, this makes uncorking a wine from either producer a special event. Gravner’s wines are as uncompromising as ...

Orange weekly: Albert Mathier et Fils – Amphore Assemblage Blanc 2010 Valais, Switzerland isn’t the first place you’d expect to find a Georgian qvevri, but Amédée Mathier has no less than 20 of them. Since 2008, his estate Albert Mathier et Fils (he’s the extant “Fils”) has been making two amphora, or rather qvevri matured wines, one white and one red. Sorry, I mean one orange ...

Sweet and sour – A vertical of Chatzivaritis Goumenissa Chatzivaritis - the line upWhen I was invited to taste a vertical of wines from Goumenissa, I wasn’t initially sure if that was the wine region, producer or grape variety. Goumenissa turns out to be a tiny but highly rated appellation in Macedonia (Northern Greece), not too far from its bigger brother Naoussa. Chatzivaritis Estate is one of five quality-minded producers ...

Orange weekly: Guerila – Rebula 2010 Guerila - Rebula 2010Guerila’s Rebula 2010 is restrained and pure on the nose, with attractive honeyed notes. Rebula is the Slovenian alias for Friuli Collio’s Ribolla Gialla, and there’s no mistaking the characteristic chewiness which is this variety’s calling card. At least if you leave it on the skins for 14 days, as here. If that sounds scary, it’s ...

Orange weekly: La Castellada – Ribolla Gialla 2009 La Castellada - Ribola Gialla 2009This 2009 Ribolla Gialla shows absolute mastery of Oslavia’s cherished variety and the extended skin maceration technique which is increasingly associated with this village. Brothers Niccolò & Giorgio Bensa started bottling wine at this estate in Oslavia, Friuli Collio in 1985 – their reputation has built impressively ever since. Niccolò’s sons Stefano and Matteo are now ...

12 years of Xinomavro Domaine Foundi - Naoussaia 2009SUMMER 2003, CRETE. I’m staying in a self-catering apartment hidden away on one of Chania’s many labyrinthine alleys.  Almost right opposite is a local shop where I stock up on pasta, vegetables and olive oil. The owner is super friendly and doesn’t speak a word of English. On my first visit he points to a giant glass ...

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