The Wine Club
Domaine Stéphane Aladame
EXTRA BRUT - CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE - BURGUNDY - FRANCE - NV
NOTES: This bottling is an example of Burgundy’s
other white grape, Aligoté, making up 60% of the blend. Topped up of course with Chardonnay, making it a Blanc des Blanc style. It is fresh and crisp with beautiful peachy aromas and subtle floral hints on the palate, with good minerality and a long finish.
ABOUT: I was lucky enough to visit Stéphane at his
winery last year and experience a delicious tasting of his Chardonnay bottling's. Stéphane is the king of the Côte Chalonnaise and I left the tasting with a new found admiration for the less considered (almost forgotten) area of Burgundy (south of the famous Côte D’Or), a book (that Stéphane helped pen) to cement my understanding of the terroir and a bottle of this glorious fizz.
PAIRING: The most famous cheese of the burgundy region is called Époisses. It’s a soft cheese, very creamy, but with a chewy and firm texture. Spicy as well as meaty, salty and with hints of earthiness and nuts, this is by all accounts a complex and powerfully rich flavour. Stéphane’s Crémant his lovely acidity to cut through the richness of the cheese and some lovely ripe fruit flavours which pair really rather well! It’s a masterclass in cheese & wine pairing.
LA ROSA – CATALONIA - SPAIN - 2020
NOTES: Pale, fresh and savoury Mediterranean rosé, ideal for al fresco drinking. A distinct Mediterranean character with wild fruit/citrus notes and subtle, elegant floral tones bringing clean definition. Captivating and fresh on the palate with delicate yet vervy energy. Also, how cute is the bottle?
50% Sumoll, 30% Parellada & 20% Xarel-lo
Remember the Guinness advert with condensation coating the glass? Replace that stout with a cold glass of this on a hot day. We can hear you salivating.
ABOUT: Produced by Pepe Raventós - the most recent generation of the family who invented Cava. Can Sumoi is his high-altitude project in the Serra de l’Home mountain range making outstanding natural wine with very minimal intervention in the winery and biodynamic farming in the vineyards.
PAIRING: This wine is great by itself, naturally. It would work wonderfully well however with some grilled ship in a garlic butter or a good bit of salty fish on the BBQ.
TXAKOLI - BASQUE COUNTRY - SPAIN - 2019
NOTES: Pale lemon in colour, this crisp and dry wine displays classic green apple and fresh lemon notes. On the palate, a vibrant acidity and a sea-salty spritz carry the bright flavours onto the fresh finish.
ABOUT: Txakoli - the quaffing wine of San Sebastián. Head to Spain’s mountainous Basque Country and you’ll find the locals swigging this spritzy, zesty wine in all of the coolest pintxos bars. Should you find yourself trapped in home during a global health pandemic with the next flight to Bilbao looking some way off, this wine is the next best thing.
PAIRING: Enjoy in a deck chair with a tin of good sardines. It will change your life. Failing that of course, this is excellent with shellfish.
WEINGUT WIMMER-CZERNY & MAYFLY WINE CO.
GREEN MACHINE – GRUNER VELTLINER “FUMBERG” – WAGRAM – AUSTRIA – 2019
NOTES: We all love Grüner when it is pure, green and stony (mineral, if you will). This wine is exactly that, but with fuller texture and more body. There’s an almost gun smokiness to the wine with layer of fruit complexity rivalling those mineral tones. The wine feels a bit farmyard-esque for a few minutes in the glass, but that clearly quickly to revel a beautifully precise, chuggable natiral wine.
ABOUT: Limited Edition - ‘Fly series #1’. A collaboration between our friends and importers, Mayfly Wine Co and Wimmer-Czerny, celebrating a love for fly fishing!
Wimmer-Czerny is certified Demeter and is farmed organically and bio-dynamically. Hans is totally obsessed with the unique soils (Loess, Gneiss) and the single vineyard sites in Wagram, each one lending an individual and fascinating character to the grapes. He is fanatical about the geological history and ecology of the region, and farms livestock to enhance the land and cultivate his compost, which, when explained on a visit earlier this year, pretty much sounds like it has magical properties…Hans’ sheer dedication, knowledge, craftsmanship, and attention to the natural environment sing through in his spectacular set of wines.
PAIRING: Two classic options here. This would be wonderful with sausage and fermented accompanying veg. Picture typical Austrian food! Your other good bet-but-hard-to-find is suckling pig. What a joy.
CANNONAU – SARDINIA – ITALY - 2019
NOTES: Thanks to the very light use of oak, this wine shows the typical aroma profile of the Cannonau (Sicilian for Grenache): aromas of cherries, raspberries and blackberries accompany more complex and delicate notes of roses and white pepper. The palate shows concentration and very delicate tannins with a spicy hint of white pepper on the finish.
We stock and do lots of volume of Antonella’s more famous white wine bottling, her Vermentino. This is still under the radar but has big thumbs up from Jancis Robinson recently!
ABOUT: Antonella Corda, the granddaughter of the famed viticulturalist Antonio Argiolas, founded her winery in 2010 after finishing her masters in viticulture and winemaking at the prestigious Edmund Mach Foundation. Her approach blends a proud, century-old family tradition of winemaking with ambition and innovation. Antonio, who lived to the age of 104, left Antonella two of his prized vineyards, located around the village of Serdiana, a few kilometres north of Cagliari. The mild climate, water availability and the rich calcareous soils here give the wines a unique character and a signature freshness. Antonella follows a sustainable approach and the vineyards are farmed organically.
PAIRING: This is a pizza wine. Classic of course to put Italian food with Italian wine! Even better if there is some excellent quality salami to shave over the top!
CHIANTI RUFINA – TUSCANY - ITALY - 2019
NOTES: If I could drink one red wine for the rest of my life, this would be it. Bright ruby red in colour, this wine has perfumes of ripe blackberry, red cherry and a touch of spice on the nose. On the palate, it is ripe and juicy but still fine and elegant in the Selvapiana style, with a tight structure and lifted, floral finish with refreshing acidity.
ABOUT: Chianti often gets bad press, due to large imports of bulk produced, tannin heavy, acidity off-the-charts style supermarket plonk. This is the complete opposite. I stayed with Federico Giuntini Masseti (owner and maker) before covid struck and witnessed first-hand the care and passion that goes into making the pretty, ethereal Selvapiana style wines.
The estate is looked after as though it was a private dwelling. On visiting the team were installing a 6ft wire fence around the perimeter. In their fairly remote domaine surrounded by woodland, wild board are a big pest problem in the vineyard. I was informed of this after tasting that year’s tank sample alongside cured boar canapés of course…
PAIRING: This is a wonderful food wine with so much diversity in pairing choice. If you can’t get your hands on wild boar, try with a bowl of good pasta with excellent tomato sauce, or beef/venison ragu. Typically it works very well with rustic, charred meats.