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:
Trenzado, Suertes del Marques, Tenerife, Spain 2015
This is a wine that can divide a room. It won't be to everybody's taste, thanks to the mineral and maritime influence that informs the aromas, but for us, this is what great white Burgundy would taste like if the grapes grew on a volcano (and these do!). The nose has the chiselled mineral cut of a flinty Puligny-Montrachet allied to a dry, salty tang. It’s a thrillingly wild, sea-sprayed shipwreck of lemons, grapefruit, crushed rocks, and smoked almonds… the sort of wine that whets your appetite in a distinctly Spanish way, like a fino sherry but without the surplus alcohol. We make no apologies for loving this style of white wine, and acknowledge that it won’t please every palate, but if, like us, you crave these pithy, sappy, unfiltered wines informed by the vineyard’s soil and microclimate, then don’t hesitate. Oh, and don’t drink it all on day one, it’s even better on day two and three and four. 13.5% alc. Drink now-2021.
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 2016
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 Guardoilvento, Pietro Caciorgna, Sicily 2014
When asked to choose a favourite from their list, wine merchants tend to compare their wines to their children, diplomatically saving themselves from having to voice a preference. Not us. If any one of our wines were wandering towards a cliff edge and this one was wandering towards a disused mine shaft, we'd save this one. It has everything we love in a red wine: aromatic lift, juicy moreishness, terroir expression, varietal identity and bags of personality. It is made from our favourite Sicilian grape variety, Nerello Mascalese, which is a thin-skinned black grape, producing pale-coloured wines, similar in depth and weight to a Pinot Noir, and capable of translating the rocky minerality that comes from vines growing on the side of a volcano. Take a moment to savour the extraordinary aromas of apricot, jasmine, cherry and frankincense, which lead you to a seriously fine and elegant palate of red stone-fruits and cool pebbles. It's a very digestible, food-friendly wine with high acidity and a refreshing purity that leads you to demand another sip. 13.5% alc. Drink now-2020 (conservatively).
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 2015
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.