Artuke Finca de los Locos, 2021

Blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, Viura grapes - I asked for an unusual Rioja with a lighter touch. An interesting chat about Graciano ensued. It is being used more widely in Rioja adding perfume and a higher acid freshness. Evident in the primary floral note aromas. 

Interesting to have the familiar tannic structure restrained and balanced by acidity. 

Viura, the white grape widely planted in Rioja (Macabeo in France), also adds to the floral character. Viura also has decent aging potential so with these two grape varieties blended with more familiar Tempranillo, this is an unusual treat from Rioja.

Bottle weight 582.5g - A decent effort for sustainability.

UK price ~£30

 

Hermanos Hernaiz 'El Jardin de la Emperatriz’ 2018 Rioja Alta

88% Tempranillo, 9% Garnacha, 2% Graciano, 1% Maturana Tinta

12 months in American (70%) and French (30%) oak barrels.

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Tenuta Luce - Exploring vintages and harvesting beneath a Montalcino sky

We are standing on the edge of the plot of vines called Madonnino (Little Madonna); vines laden with healthy tight dark bunches of Sangiovese grapes, waiting patiently for their divine passage through the pickers hands (mine in this case!), to the imposingly large red cement fermentation tanks, eventually seeking refuge in the large Slovenian oak barrels to begin the journey of maturation.

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Feeling the summer heat at Tenuta Di Arceno in Chianti Classico, Tuscany

Tenuta di Arceno is situated just northeast of Siena and south of Florence in the Municipality of Castelnuovo Berardenga in the Chianti Classico region. The area is picture book Tuscany with rows of vines, orchards, and a relentless daubing of Cyprus trees completing every perspective of the landscape. 

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Blind Tasting Cabernet Franc at Tenuta Sette Cieli, Tuscany

We have ascended the 400 metres to Tenuta Sette Cieli, located in the hills behind Castagneto Carducci, in Pian delle Vigne in Monteverdi Marittimo, for an opportunity to examine the potential of Cabernet Franc grown here in this corner of Tuscany in a comparative blind tasting with examples from the Loire, Napa, and Bordeaux.

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Heartwarming dishes with fabulous bargain reds for a wintry glow

Scottie Gregory tastes three appetite igniting red wines from Tesco, pairing them with a series of desirable food plates that will see the reader scampering towards the cucina with ravenous intent.

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Pick of the Grand Crus Classés St Emilion 2018

Brendan Barratt tastes the St Emilion Grand Cru Classés 2018 reporting on mixed results but with a few highlights worth noting.

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2019 PF Shiraz, Yangarra Estate Wines, McLaren Vale, Australia

100% Shiraz

Geology: North Maslin Sands Formation (54 Million years old) with Sandy Loam over clay soils.

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2018 old vine Grenache, Yangarra Estate Wines, McLaren Vale, Australia

100% Grenache Certified Organic/Biodynamic.

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2019 Noir, Yangarra Estate Wines, McLaren Vale

Blend of 6 grapes: 40% Grenache, 21% Mourvèdre, 14% Shiraz, 12% Cinsaut, 11% Carignan, 2% Counoise 

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Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 

 

As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.

 

 

Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!

 

Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.

 

Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.

 

The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.

 

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