Verdeca ‘Talò’ 2020, San Marzano, Puglia
In 1962, 19 vine growers from San Marzano whose families had farmed the land for generations, combined their efforts to establish ‘Cantine San Marzano’. Through the decades this cooperative has grown significantly, attracting over 1,200 vine growers.
Using modern and technologically advanced vinification techniques they produce elegant wines that pay homage to the ancient Apulian wine traditions. The fusion of time honoured tradition, passion and contemporary techniques, enables this winery to produce wines with distinctive varietal and regional characteristics while reflecting the local terroir.
In the Sommelier Wine Awards, San Marzano was awarded European Producer of the Year 2017.
Verdeca is a rare white wine grape variety from southern Italy, now found almost exclusively in the Taranto and Bari provinces of central Puglia.
There is evidence suggesting that Verdeca, like many Italian grape varieties, may have originated further east in the Mediterranean, in either Croatia or Greece.
This is a bone-dry Verdeca which shows a richness of aromatics, white flowers, crisp green apple and a hint of honey. Full flavoured, with a creamy texture and a long and intense finish.
A fantastic match for shellfish and poached salmon.
Faultline Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand
Marlborough is a dry, sunny viticultural region, situated at the north eastern tip of the South Island, New Zealand.
Consisting of two parallel valleys, the Wairau and the Awatere, it stretches along the Pacific Coast. The vines grow in mixed alluvial soils, which are geologically young and have been distributed along the valley’s floors by the Wairau and Awatere rivers.
Ideal for viticulture, these alluvial soils have good drainage and low fertility, so the vine is forced to deepen its roots for hydration and nutrients, resulting in berries which are concentrated in flavour.
The grapes were harvested once they had reached the ideal maturity levels. Fermentation took place with selected yeasts, in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks to retain the fruity and zesty characteristics of the Sauvignon Blanc grapes and to preserve the quintessential elements of this Marlborough terroir.
This typical Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc offers peapods, gooseberry and asparagus with a fresh and herbaceous flavour. Ideal for a glass or two or it works well with food.
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc
Fresh seafood and crunchy salads are sure to be lifted to new heights paired with this wine.
Adega de Pegões ‘Selected Harvest White’ 2020 Península de Setúbal
The Cooperativa Santa Isidro de Pegões is always up among the country’s top co-op’s and has an excellent portfolio of wines. It was founded in 1958 and the cooperative is made up of 140 winegrowers and has access to over 1100 hectares of vineyard located in the Terras do Sado area of the Setúbal peninsula.
This coastal area benefits from mineral-rich sandy soils and cooling Atlantic winds. Santo Isidro de Pegões is one of the most forward thinking cooperatives in Portugal and their chief winemaker, Jaime Quendera one of Portugal’s most respected winemakers.
This is a blend of native Fernão Pires, Antão Vaz grapes together with a small amount of Verdelho, Arinto and Chardonnay which is fermented and aged for three months in French and American oak barrels.
The result is a full flavoured wine with fruity aromas of orange blossom, ginger and creamy ripe fruits which work in harmony with the oak spice.
Rich and opulent on the palate with a creamy vanilla spice, it has a persistent, elegant finish.
Grapes: Fernão Pires 30%, Antão Vaz 25%, Verdelho 25%, Arinto 10%, Chardonnay 10%
A food-friendly drop, it would really sing next to roasted chicken with bread sauce.
Beck Ink 2020, Weingut Judith Beck, Burgenland, Austria
Judith Beck lives amongst her vines, so you can be sure that she’s developed a deep relationship with them.
She prefers traditional varieties Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, St. Laurent, Weissburgunder and Chardonnay and works vineyards on the slopes of the Wagram, east of the Neusiedler See lake.
A rewarding natural red wine that is very fragrant, light in tannin and has good acid balanced – it’s a delicious crisp red, and the wine holds a beautiful red-violet color.
Aromas bring to mind sour cherry skin, plums, geraniums and a touch of green olive – even a hint of Christmas cake. There’s a blast of dark fruits, spices and fresh, springy juiciness that leaps from the glass on the nose and hits the palate like an elegant mouthful of summer berries with bracing acidity and a bit of game on the palate, and only a hint of tannin leading to a mineral finish.
Grapes: Zweigelt, St.Laurent
Pair with charcuterie, cold cuts, raised game pies and such like.
Rioja Crianza Rivallana 2018 Ondarre, Rioja, Spain
Bodegas Ondarre was founded in 1985, with the aim of creating wines which showcase the region’s distinct terroirs.
The cooperative winery is situated in the town of Viana which overlooks the Rioja Valley in Rioja Oriental. Bodegas Ondarre has formed trusted relationships with the highest quality growers in the area, with whom they have been working since 1985. The Reservas are Bodegas Ondarre’s most acclaimed wines, which win top awards and critical approval every year. They attribute their success to hard work in the vineyards and their continual investment in the winery and barrel stock. They use both French and American oak casks to help them obtain the character in their wines.
They also produce a few thousand cases of a single varietal Graciano – a real rarity due to the low yielding nature of this variety.Spicy fruit aromas with subtle notes of vanilla from oak ageing
Spicy fruit aromas are complemented by subtle notes of vanilla from oak ageing.
Savoury and ripe fruit flavours combine on the palate resulting in a traditional Rioja style.
Grapes: Tempranillo 90%, Garnacha 5%, Mazuelo 5%
Pair with roast lamb and grilled meat dishes.
Malbec Le Pur Fruit du Causse 2019, Cahors, France
The Ilberts have been growing vines in Cahors since 1901, bottling their own wines since 2005, and current vignerons Julien and Sophie today farm 22 hectares on the highest reaches of La Causse, an old Occitane word for the region’s limestone plateau. They only work with Malbec and avoid oak influence apart from a minimal extent on some wines. Certified organic since 2013.
Julien and Sophie’s philosophy is to make wines for drinking, vins de soif with real joie de vivre. Forward & charming with ripe berries married to a silken palate that lingers.
The Malbec grapes are from different plots in the village of Cournou . 35-year-old vines planted on causse limestone and clay. Traditional short fermentation with the aim of maximum fruit extraction, aged on lees in cement tanks. No oak is used and the wines are not inoculated with yeasts – only ambient yeasts are used. No malolactic fermentation is used and there is no oak used.
Bright, intense purple colour, recognisably Malbec with bramble fruit and grip, yet at just 12.5% alcohol it’s a genuine vin de soif – even for serving slightly chilled in warmer summer months. Radically brilliant.