Bordeaux blanc: insights into a growing thirst for quality

Tasting and talking about modern Bordeaux in respect of white wines, with wine consultant Mathieu Huguet.

In terms of quantity, dry white wine production in Bordeaux may only be 9% of production but on my last recent visit, these (mostly) Sauvignon dominated blends made a much bigger percentile impact on my impression of Bordeaux.

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Dry Hungarian Furmint; The other taste of Tokaji!

Furmint is to Tokaj what Riesling is to Germany, or Chardonnay is to Burgundy, but strangely it has the ability to move with great agility between differing styles, exuding a range of characteristics that are unique and very enjoyable. 

Master of Wine, Caroline Gilby, was spot on when talked about the versatility of Furmint, at a recent tasting in central London. The sweet Tokaji wines are well documented as the ‘Wine of Kings’, but many people I know are not so well acquainted with the Hungarian dry whites made using Furmint. This should surely change.

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National Curry Week: What wine goes with curry?

As it national curry week, we naturally thought we would indulge in a little wine and spice pairing. It’s not an easy task and some wines that are more delicate or subtle can be totally blown away by the power of individual or numerous spices that we adore when eating curry.

Proper Parsi Dhansak

The first curry we sampled was a nearly-ready-made ‘Proper Parsi Dhansak’ sauce from The Spice tailor (easily available in high street supermarkets). The packet suggest chicken for the recipe but I actually love vegetable curry so used cauliflower instead. The preparation was as one would expect, exceptionally easy. Simple prepare the veg and add the ingredients

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Château Sainte-Marie - Vielles Vignes blanc Review

under 10 pounds wineChâteau Sainte-Marie - Vielles Vignes blanc - 2017 alc. 12.5%

70% Sauvignon Gris and blanc, 25% semillon, 5% muscadet

Gris is more exotic and gives a slight pinkness of the first press. Selection of old vines on the estate, average age 22yrs. Clay and a little sand with limestone subsoil. 100% in tank - no oak to keep freshness.

Fresh and crispy. Perfect wine for enjoying with friends. Not complicated but refreshing, exotic/passion fruit, satisfying texture. Excellent everyday drinking wine. Great value too.

 

Available in the UK from: Great Western wine 

Main article and discussion with Stephane Dupuch of Chateau Sainte-Marie: (Re)Defining the Entre-Deux-Mers: Interview and tasting with Stephane Dupuch

Tasting notes for the following wines can be found here:

Château Sainte-Marie, Vielles Vignes blanc - Madlys, Château Sainte-Marie, 2016 - Château-Sainte-Marie, Vieilles Vignes, Bordeaux Supérieur, 2016 - Chateau Sainte-Marie 'Alios', Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux 2015

Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017, New Zealand Review

Classic Sauvignon Blanc from respected Kiwi producer, Whitehaven. A pleasing burst of gooseberry & guava fruits, make this the perfect sit-down-and-chill wine. No complications, this wine is ready to be enjoyed young.

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Madlys, Château Sainte-Marie, 2016

under 25 blue65% white sauvignon, 25% gris sauvignon, 10% semillon

A different style for this region. A very outstanding terroir of clay and limestone. The name of the parcel is La Roche. Very expressive, much more mineral.

Much more textured, capable of ageing. 1/3 in acacia barrel which has less impact on the fruit.

Madlys is delicate, round, approachable. Even this young vintage is showing signs of complexity that will develop over the years. Stéphane is more than willing to experiment with his soils and winemaking techniques. He is interested in finesse and elegance in the wines.

For buying info visit Wine-Searcher

Main article and discussion with Stephane Dupuch of Chateau Sainte-Marie: (Re)Defining the Entre-Deux-Mers: Interview and tasting with Stephane Dupuch

Tasting notes for the following wines can be found here:

Château Sainte-Marie, Vielles Vignes blanc - Madlys, Château Sainte-Marie, 2016 - Château-Sainte-Marie, Vieilles Vignes, Bordeaux Supérieur, 2016 - Chateau Sainte-Marie 'Alios', Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux 2015

Edna Valley Vineyard Chardonnay, 2015 Review

Edna Valley Vineyard Chardonnay

under 25 blueEdna Valley Chardonnay from California - this is a modern style of wine that I could drink all day. A full golden colour, round open and ripe aromas of fig and pineapple. Long lingering layers of flavour that sit on the palate, easing gently between sips.

Cooler climate for California keeping the overall feel fresh, perfect for British summer droughts (like the one we are in now!).

Edna Valley Chardonnay is fermented in oak and aged on the lees (dead yeast cells) for 6 months. This adds the adorable structure and complexity of flavour that gives this wine its class.

Pair this with a range of foods from goose pate, to roast chicken, grilled vegetables, meatier fish, or, simply enjoy on its own.

Available from Majestic for £9.99 when bought as part of a case of 6.

 

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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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