Volcanic Wines - Mixed Case
Volcanic Wines - Mixed Case
A spectacular mixed case of 'volcanic' wines containing either 1 or 2 bottles of each of the following wines:
Vidonia, Suertes del Marques, Valle de la Orotava, Tenerife, Spain 2016
This is a hugely exciting wine by any standards, although it's probably not a wine for learner drinkers or those who still have their stabilisers on, because it's from unusual terrain. Old vineyards on a volcano in the Atlantic Ocean are unlikely to produce a wine you can ignore and this mesmerisingly complex and delicious wine is undeniably informed by its rocky, salty, maritime birthplace. It's as thrilling to our tastebuds as any of the great white Burgundies, which can express their origins with similar eloquence, and it shares some of the struck flint and insistent fruit of the very best. Even if you don't think it's one of the most exciting wines you have ever tasted, as we do, you'll be amazed by its sense of drama.
Clay soils at 350-450 m. Listan Blanco vines of 100+ years old on volcanic and basaltic soils. Fermented in used 500-litre barrels, with 10 months on lees.
Arinto dos Açores, The Azores Wine Company, Azore Islands, Portugal 2015 The Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Arinto dos Açores is unoaked. A potential blockbuster for those who like their wines crisp and fresh, this has big acidity, but fine fruit as well. It shows good concentration, tension on the finish and a certain sternness early on. This is just a bit unevolved as of yet. It actually needs some time to settle down. It was impressive enough to make me lean up a bit just now. Drink the Verdelho (also reviewed) first, but give this a year or so to settle down. An interesting note: Winemaker Antonio Maçanita said that this is not the same Arinto as what appears on mainland Portugal, but that it is a cross between Verdelho and Serceal. There were just 5,048 bottles produced." 93 points
Gaia ‘Wild Ferment’ Assyrtiko, Santorini, Greece 2017
More smoky than the Thalassitis, a little more spicy. Complex, refined aroma that perfectly balances the varietal character and the winemaking influence. Herbal notes from the wild ferment, citrus and herbal notes from the variety. Deep, almost chewy on the palate. You can just feel the SO2 at the moment and I’d wait at least six months before drinking this – also to allow the oak to die back a little. Rich, bone dry and with great intensity and persistence.
Etna Rosso 'Ciauria', Pietro Caciorgna, Sicily, Italy 2015
There's an integrity to this wine that risks attracting the worst sort of customer: the hipster. If we wanted our virtual shop to be populated by bearded men knitting, then we'd lure them in with low filament light bulbs, but we can't help the fact that this wine ticks the same boxes that bring all the authenticity-hunters to the yard. It's an astonishingly aromatic Nerello Mascalese sourced from pre-phylloxera vines on the slopes of Mount Etna aged for 6 months in French oak. The combination of the altitude (2,000 feet above sea level) and the rich, mineral soil, give the wine extraordinary aromatic lift, suggesting peach fuzz, crushed red cherries, sweet roses and wet stones and the palate is as light and fresh as the pale colour suggests it will be, but there's real fascination and depth in there too, as you might find in a ripe Nebbiolo or a richly-scented Pinot Noir. It's fashionably terroir-driven, proudly true to its origins, and, as such, is bang 'on-trend'. No wait, no it's not, it's really uncool! Hey you, in the ironic t-shirt, get out! 13.5% alc. Drink now-2022. Only 4,000 bottles produced.
Cannonau Riserva, Olianas, Sardinia, Italy 2014
Cannonau is the Italian name for Garnacha (arguably Spain's most important grape variety) and it proliferates in Sardinia, because the Spanish ruled here for nearly four centuries and, you may be surprised to know, Catalan is still spoken in the northwestern Sardinian port of Alghero. This is an expression of Cannonau at its richest and most voluptuous and you can thank Vegas and Dinette for that. They are the two pack horses, who plough the rows of these organic vineyards, ensuring that the plants have to delve deep into the soil to find nutrients. Hard-working vines produce concentrated berries (thicker skins, less pulp) and that translates into a richer wine. This is a full-bodied, oak-aged evocation of inky blackberries, vanilla, blackcurrant cordial, sandalwood and black cherry compote. 18 months in French and Slavonian oak. Organic. 14.5% alc. Drink now-2024
Envinate 'Benje', Tenerife, Spain 2016
Only a few bottles of this graceful beauty have made it to the UK and we put our hands up for as much as we could have. As much as we could have turned out to be 30 bottles, so it's not going to stretch very far, but this is one of the finest reds we have tasted from Tenerife (and, no, that's not like saying he was the best-looking guy in the burns unit). It's incredibly fine, with a real sense of the rocky, volcanic, Atlantic soil, but not in such a way that it smothers the fruit, which is bright and succulent. It's a blend of 98% Listan Prieto and 2% Tintilla from 70 to 120 year-old vines sitting at 1,100 metres altitude on the cliffs of northwestern Tenerife and it has a wonderful freshness and purity and, despite being light-bodied, a fascinating scope of flavours both fruity and mineral. It should appeal to anyone who loves Loire reds, cool climate Pinot Noir, Etna Rosso... that kind of thing. Pale and haunting and very evocative. 12.5% alc. Drink now-2019.