With October arriving so has the rain, winds and chill that we associate with autumn. The colours are changing and with it a new kind of mood descends upon us all. For me it means finding a cosy corner, with a good book, some good food and a great bottle of wine. For this week we have been inspired by Italy and a good risotto with mushrooms. And with it a fine wine from Sicily.
The name of this weeks wine definitely has a female ring to it. The name Donnafugata refers to the novel by Tomasi di Lampedusa entitled Il Gattopardo (The Leopard). A name that means “donna in fuga” (woman in flight) and refers to the story of a queen who found refuge in the part of Sicily where the company’s vineyards are located today. An adventure that inspired the corporate logo: the image of a woman’s head with windblown hair that dominates every bottle. Donnafugata labels are also works of art created or inspired by Gabriella Rallo, as are the names of the wines, an homage to art and literature.
With wines from Sicily, the Volcano Etna is never far away. And so it is with Dea Vulcano as well. A blend of Nerello Mascalese and some Nerello Calluccio it hs been manual harvested in boxes with careful selection of the grapes in the vineyard. Fermentation in steel with maceration on the skins for 8-10 days at a temperature of 25° C. Aging for 14 months, partly in cement tanks and partly in French oak (second and third passage barriques) and then at least 10 months in the bottle before being sold.
Dea Vulcano Etna Rosso 2019 - 249,90 kr
A fine ruby red colour. Cherry and red fruits with hints of violets on the nose. Fine and delicate tannins makes it easy to drink. The cherry notes continues in the mouth with cherry stone also present. Also hints of strawberry and some pepper. Nice length and good structure. A good wine for both comfort and foods like mushroom risotto or traditional Italian Anti Pasti.
We’ve found a beautiful bottle from Burgundy to fit perfectly with the autumn season.
This tasty white is made from 100% Aligoté, which is the only white grape, together with Chardonnay, that is allowed in Burgundy. It’s normally used as a blending grape in Chardonnay wines, but when done right it’s fantastic on its own. The high acidity level in this wine makes it a super cool match to many dishes. It’s quite a bargain and high value for money.
I’ve been hold up on the North West Coast of Norway the last couple of weeks and here you feel especially close to the sea. There are some beautiful spots around here where you can go hiking and see all the beautiful scenery. Another thing that’s great here is the sea food. Naturally the fish and crab from around here is delicious and when choosing a wine to go to all this greatness from the sea I have to go to Chablis!
One of our favourite white wine regions, Chablis is also a firm favourite among most Norwegians, and it is easy to understand why. A good Chablis’ smell like a summers day by the sea, with the waves crashing onto the warm shore. It is also perfect with the best our sea’s have to offer and now that we will soon be getting colder waters, the quality of the shrimp will also be getting better and better. And with the shrimp you can get this weeks wine.
The history of the domain of the Château de Fleys goes back to the late 1800’s when Julian Philippon bought the land that make up the estate today. Since then it has been passed down from generation to generation and it is his great grandchildren Beatrice, Benoit and Oliver who runs the winery.
What gives the Chablis it’s characteristic flavours is the soil. The subsoil in Chablis is known as Kimmeridgean. The Kimmeridgean is a geological age in the Upper Jurassic epoch, around 150 million years ago. It is in this very particular subsoil, which in places breaks the surface, that the wines of Chablis draw their unique character, their purity, their sophistication and minerality.
Ch. de Fleys Chablis L'Incontournable - 235,- kr
Rich and full on the nose. Sea character that is broken up by hints of butter and nuts. Full bodied and rich in the mouth. Great acidity and lenght. Hints of lemon as well. The flavour lasts for a long time in the mouth. A great Chablis that will keep well for at least five years. But it drinks good now as well and is great with all kinds of sea food.
If you can't find this Chablis from Ch. de Fleys at your Vinmonopol, try one of their other bottles. The quality from this winery is great.
The cure comes from South Africa and is a beautiful Chenin Blanc blend from master wine maker Adi Badenhorst.
This wine is from Swartland, an area that stretches 1 hour north of Cape Town and up to Citrusdal. The soil varies from sand in the north, to more slate and granite further south. Grapes in this wine comes from many vineyards and holds a cool mix of these soils.
It’s a great value for money bottle and drinks very well alone, but will also be good company for many dishes.
Readers of this blog will know of our fondness for German wines with Prädikat. This is the wines called either Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese and so on. Also known as Qualitätswein mit Prädikat (QmP) these are the top level of German wines. Personally, I have a great fondness for the Spätlese wines. They are harvested later than the Kabinett, are sweeter, but the best has a great acidity to balance the sweetness. Like this week’s wine does perfectly.
Weingut Hirschhof is located in the small village of Westhofen in Rheinhessen. The family has about 30 hectares of vineyards, including plantations of Kirchspiel, Aulerde and Steingrube. Hirschhof is run by the Zimmer family, led by Tobias Zimmer. Traditions associated with biodiversity, the environment, nature, countries, and people have been important to the family for centuries. Hirschhof has been certified organic since 1991 by Ecovin.
Hirschhof Westhofen Morstein Riesling Spätlese Trocken - 229,90 kr
Fresh, clean and youthful Riesling with hints of apples, flowers, lime and minerals on the nose. Nicely full-bodied and sour wine with a touch of sweetness, good intensity and length with hints of lime and minerals at the end. Lovely for seafood, salads and chicken, works well for spicy Asian dishes.
The Fableist Wine company, in Central coast California, is a collaboration between two great winemakers. Curt Schalchlin and Andrew Jones run «Sans Liege» and «Field Recordings». One known for critically acclaimed Rhône style wines, the other for modern natural style wines.
They produce tasty, single variety, fun and affordable bottles of wine. The collaboration has lead to a cool mix of old and new techniques, resulting in a good range of beautiful wines.
«The Fableist» takes its name from Aesop’s many fables, which can be seen in the artfully designed labels.
Our wine of the week is their Chardonnay, but all of them are worth trying. At Vinmonopolet you can get 8 different types.
The colourful month of September is here and the threes are starting their annual fireworks of colour. Rain and wind is picking as we head indoors and prepare the oven for the colder weather ahead. As these changes roll on we also change in our preferences in wine. Gone are the light , fresh and fruity white and rosé wines of summer. Bring us the bottles of red wine, and let them be Clarets!
Claret is the word the English traditionally call wines form Bordeaux. It’s the deep red colour that has given the wines it’s name. This weeks wine is a Cru Bourgeois, a classification list that lists some of the châteaux from the Médoc that were not included in the 1855 Classification of Crus Classés, or Classed Growths. Notionally, Cru Bourgeois is a level below Cru Classé, but still of high quality. This also means that you can find some good value wines from here.
Between Margaux and Saint-Julien, on the highest ridge of the AOC MOULIS, Châteaux Lalaudey and Pomeys have established facilities combining tradition and modernity in order to offer the best of their terroir. The vineyard is located on the lands of Moulis-en-Médoc, ancient Bordeaux breadbasket, Châteaux Lalaudey and Pomeys have got a unique geographical situation. Smallest appellation of Medoc, Moulis is a strip with several amazing terroirs. Manual harvest at the best of maturity. Selection in the vineyard and after destalking. No crushing, maceration prior to fermentation, mixing and racking. Long fermentation of skins.
Ch. Lalaudey Moulis en Médoc Cru Bourgeois 2016 - 249,90 kr
A little underripeness on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, hints of tobacco and spices with a harmonious finish that displays good concentration without becoming overbearing like some of its peers. Pleasingly complex and engaging on the palate, smoothly textured with red apple notes on the finish. This will hold well in the cellar for a few years still, but is also perfect with a bloody steak!
Wine from Patagonia, the southern part of Argentina, is quite rare. I wrote about Bodega Chacra a few years back, and since then the quality and recognition has gone through the roof. It peaked a couple of months back when one of their top cuvees received 100 points from a couple of well recognised wine journalists.
Our wine of the week is their Best Buy and a bottle of exceptional quality. But before we dive in to the tasting notes, take a moment to look at these images from Patagonia. It was shot back in 2014, but the scenery still makes an impression, and gives you a good idea on what landscape the grapes of these wines thrive in.
We’re enjoying the last embers of summer and we need a good red wine to enjoy the beautiful sunsets. For this we have chosen a true classic! From beautiful Tuscany, famous for so many things great, we find the Manetti family. Since 1968 they have run the Fontodi winery, but before that they were aassociated for centuries with another activity typical of the Chianti region, the production of its famous “terracotte” tiles. And it is in the name of this strong link with the territory and a great passion for quality that the estate has moved successfully towards an ever more attentive cultivation of the vineyards and a more profound knowledge of the potential of Sangiovese in the zone of Panzano.
All Fontodi wines are produced from grapes coming from their own vineyards, picked by hand, chosen with care and vinified in a way that exalts the character of the vines and the territory. Their Chianti Classico is this weeks wine. Made from the famous Tuscan grape Sangiovese, it is fermented and macerated in temperature-controlled tanks with indigenous yeast for at least two weeks before ageing in Troncais and Allier barrels for 18 months.
Fontodi Chianti Classico 2018 - 257,90 kr
A classic flavour and bouqet for a classic bottle. Butcher, cherry, mushroom and spices on the nose. Long and fresh in the mouth. Cherry dominates as you would expect a Sangivese with great acidity to balance the wine. This screams for a bloody Bistecca steak or any other kind of meat, prepared the Italian way of course!
Our wine of the week is a beautiful bottle of white gold from the Italian alps. More precisely Süd-Tirol. An area of winemaking that might not be on your radar, but it should be.
Historically it’s been strongly influenced by Austrian winemaking, due to the region's long history under the rule of Austria-Hungary and Holy Roman Empires.
The region produces a wide variety of grapes that usually is not found in other parts of Italy.
Wines from this region tend to have very strong character and to pair excellent with a good variety of foods. Our pick is a blend of Pinot Bianco (60%) Chardonnay (30%) Sauvignon Blanc (10%)