It's not often you get to meet true trailblazers, people who break new ground and lay the foundation for a new understanding of what lies ahead. The maker of this weeks wine is one of those persons.
Arianna Occhipinti is Italy's uncrowned queen of natural wine. Her fresh take on sicilian winemaking have made her a star in her own country and all over the world. Along with Luca Roagna she is also the representative of the next generation of winemakers in Italy and they are truly breaking new ground. Her wines are so natural and fresh and extremely drinkable.
We had the great pleasure of visiting her this autumn and will be presenting her and more of her wines soon so watch this space
When traveling to wine producers we are privileged. We meet so many fascinating and fun people, all around the world. These past few weeks we have been to Italy and meet so many great people from Piemonte in the North, via Abruzzo to Sicily in the South. But it was in Abruzzo we met a true original and one of the most fun and generous persons I have ever met on my travels.
At a lunching with Zaccanini he introduced us to a friend of his with the great name Fausto Zazzara. An entertainer and funny man, and also, as with so many Italians, a fantastic chef, he made one great dish after the other for a typical Italian lunch that lasted for hours. But it was the wine he served that surprised us the most. It was his own sparkling wine, made there in the mountains of Abruzzo. A great and fruity sparkling that piqued our interest. He invited us to his cellar and Zaccanini insisted we should go. He promised us it would be something different and he wasn’t kidding.
The next day we drove to the tiny town of Tocco da Casauria. And Fausto showed us around. I had my I phone with me and filmed a little bit so you can see for your self the charming and fun place he has. He only makes 15 000 bottles a year and he is the only one who works with the wine, although, since he has five names, he says he has five persons working in the cellar. Being on a tasting with Fausto is something special that is for sure. But he follows up with his wines. We tasted his whole range, he has four different sparkling wines, and the white is this weeks Wine of the Week. But I have to mention the rose he had left on the lees for 48 months. It was a sort of experiment that he forgot about and then suddenly one day he found some bottles hidden away in corner. I stead of throwing the wine away he tried it and lo and behold, and orange sparkling wine that tasted like fresh blood oranges appeared! I have to say it was one of the fines sparkling wines I have ever tasted, that wasn’t a champagne. Here’s hoping some bottles find their way to Norway soon.
Fausto Zazzara Majgual Metodo Classico Brut 2015
Fresh and sharp sparkling wine. A lot of lime on the nose. In the mouth the lemon and also lime is very present. Very refreshing and super drinkable. A perfect aperitif.
This week we're giving you wines of the week; two delicates from the same winemaker.
One white - one red: both from South Africa.
This is a fun and very affordable project from the Carinus brothers, who have vineyards both in Stellenbosch and Swartland. For a long time they've been one of the top producers providing grapes for different winemakers all over Western Cape. From the classic, to the big commercial and the young and hip ones. Everybody wants grapes from the Carinus brothers.
Carinus Syrah 2017 - 209Kr
Medium deep Burgundy red colour. Classic Syrah on the nose with black currants, blackberries and spices from the far east. Hints of oak. Extremely fresh berry sent, that with a little bit of air opens up to more earthly tones.
A very juicy, rich and playful wine in the mouth. Flavours of black currants and blackberries, with nicely rounded tannins. Very nice fruit driven wine, that sent my thoughts to the famous Barbera's of Piemonte.
This will be perfect with a classic Italian pizza or Bolognese. But will also be great with a green or red curry. A very versatile wine, to a great prize.
The autumn storms are here with a vengance and the rain is hammering down. It's perfect for a nice red wine pop open, start up the fire place, get your cosy ready and listen to the downpour.
One of our favourite winemakers is Eric Texier. His makes a lot of different wines from all over the Chôtes du Rhône, but all his wines are of very high quality. This weeks wine is the affordable Chat Fou, which means Mad Cat in french.
For 200,- kroner you get a beautiful and enjoyable wine. Made from Grenache 50%, Roussanne 10%, Cinsault 15%, Carignan 15%, Marsanne 10% it's a very fresh and delicate wine. It's best enjoyed by itself in my opinion. As a very fruity and delicious comfort wine. Enjoy!
How do you get to know what the legendary wine region of Bordeaux taste like, without paying a fortune? Our wine of the week does not only solve that issue, but is a great bargain as well.
Chateau Rioublanc is a classic Bordeaux blend with 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 75% Merlot. It's a seven year old wine, which is not that much for a red Bordeaux, but this has developed very nice and stands out like a grown man, or woman :)
2011 brought a strange summer to Bordeaux. Spring was remarkably warm and dry, leading to early flowering. The lack of rain in June had winemakers fearing for their grapes. But a cool July sort of balanced it out, before a mix of storms and and spikes raged in August. Thankfully September had enough heat to let the grapes ripen fully. Maybe the crazy summer of 2011 is part of why this bottle is very drinkable, at only seven years of age.
Nevertheless a great drinking experience, at a very good price. Enjoy!
This is the project of wine rebell Pieter Walser from Wester Cape, South Africa. Every year he and his assistant make about 30 different wines with grapes from 60 vineyards all over Wester Cape. He uses 35-40 different grape varieties and each batch is tiny tiny. And to top it all, about half of all wines he make will not be made again.
He never put the graps on the label, because he wants the wine to be judged for it's content, not the label.
To confuse even more, he use all kinds of bottles, one would not expect for the particular wine. A red Syrah could easily come in a Rieseling style bottle, and so on. You get the picture.
I've tasted e few of his projects and they go in all kinds of directions. Ranging from very good, to not so good :)
This one is excellent.
This week we learned the very sad news that the legendary winemaker from Piemonte Giuseppe Rinaldi had died aged 70. To celebrate one of the great and uncompromising vintners of our time we felt it was only appropriate to drink one of his many great wines this week.
Rinaldi was famous for being one of the most traditional among Barolo’s truly great producers and his wines were a monument to this approach. Powerful, structured, hauntingly perfumed, very slow to mature and completely without concession to current fashion.
He once said that “I don’t want a wine that pleases easily ... when someone says I like it or I don’t like it and that’s it”.
His two daughters, Marta and Carlotta, will now take over the the winery so we are confident that the wines are int the best of hands.
We pay our respects to one of the true legends in the wine world.
Rinaldi Dolcetto d'Alba 2016
The wines of Giuseppe Rinaldi are quickly sold in the Vinmonopolet, but his Dolcetto is available there now. Dolcetto isn't a grape we Norwegians seem to like much, but we had the privilege to try this at the Colonialen Matbar restaurant in Bergen this week and it was fantastic. We tasted the 2013 vintage and it had great tannins, but the age had softened them some so the wine drank easier than a young Dolcetto. Fresh scents of red fruits and cherry on the nose, with much the same in the mouth. A wine that drank very well on it's own, but would also be great with food. Maybe some Italian sausages or a good tomato based pasta dish.
As we're moving into the beautiful season of autumn, we tend to leave cravings for white and rosé wines back in the summer months. And fall is a great time of the year to explore lighter reds. Our wine of the week is from the Beaujolais area.
Beaujolais is the southern most appellation in the greater Burgundy region. They generally make lighter red wines from the Gamay grape. There are ten Beaujolais crus and they differ a lot in character. There is also something called Beaujolais-Villages. These are simpler wines, ment to be consumed young. And it's here you can find the real bargains. That goes for our wine of the week.
The rain has arrived after what has been a perfect summer so it is in fact very welcome. And with the rain and drop in temperatures it's natural to switch focus from the white wines of summer to the red wines of autumn. Listening to this weeks podcast gave me a craving for something from Piemonte!
I truly love the wines from Piemonte, but they can be quite expensive, especially the Barolo and Babaresco wines. But you can find good quality Barebera, Dolcetto or even Nebbiolo that's not Barolo or Babaresco and that's where I'm going this week. A Langhe Nebbiolo from Alessandro Veglio
Alessandro Veglio Langhe Nebbiolo 2016, 100% Nebbiolo, kr 249,00,
The vines for this wine come from the village Canale, in the Roero area, from a rented vineyard. In this area soils are naturally sandy. That means that the wines get fine and elegant tannins, velvety, a wine that is ready to drink just after one year of aging and much more easy-drinkable than a Barolo.
Ripe strawberries on the nose. Delicate and round with finely balanced tannins. Nice and long in the mouth. Such a delicious wine that drinks perfectly now.
A wine perfect for the long nights of autumn.
Patagonia. It has adventure written all over it. It's a spaciously populated area at the southern end of South America. It's shared by Chile and Argentina, and is wild and similar to Norwegian nature, in many ways. It's on most hiking enthusiasts bucket list.
But let's get down to business and talk about why you clicked this story... They make amazing wine here. And wine of the week is this beautiful Pinot Noir from Bodega Chacra:
In winter ice cold winds decent from the snow covered Andes, making it freezing. But as summer kicks in, the snow is gone and the winds from the Andes are now perfect tempered to cool the burning valley. Making it perfect for wine growing. Nature is fascinating :)
This bottle is available at 65 Vinmonopol stores and will give you a taste of what the nature of Patagonia can provide. Just a fantastic bottle of Pinot Noir.