Italian wines with the Manchester derby
Football talk, I'm afraid. It's half-time in the Manchester derby game. City started off badly, went 1-0 down. The prize? A place in a cup final, City's first since 1981, although this semi is over two legs.
Podere Le Boncie Chianti Classico Le Trame 06 Tuscany, Italy
Vin Santo is a sweet wine from Tuscany that's made by picking grapes and then drying them for a while to concentrated the sweetness and acidity. These are then fermented and aged in small barrels, sealed with wax. Here's a short film made during my Chianti Classico trip of Vin Santo production at Castello della Paneretta:
I've been thinking quite a bit about Sangiovese of late. It's a difficult-yet-interesting grape variety, and I've been dwelling on its merits as I've been preparing to write up (at last) my Chianti Classico trip, and also an amazing tasting from last year of Soldera's remarkable Brunellos.
Continuing yesterday's theme of Chianti Classico, this is a paradox of a wine from Chianti producer Fattoria Le Fonti. It's an IGT Toscana Sangiovese weighing in at 14.5% alcohol from a 2 hectare single vineyard. It's sweetly fruited, lush and ripe (in a modern style), yet also shows a hint of volatility, as well as some earthy, spicy notes (more traditional). The overall effect is pleasing and complex, but it's not an easy wine to come to terms with.
One of the estates I visited on my recent jaunt in Chianti country was Castello di Brolio, Barone Ricasoli's imposing property strategically placed on the border between the ancient city states of Florence and Siena. (The bomb-scarred Castello is pictured.)
A short film from my recent Tuscan excursion. I'm experimenting with Vimeo rather then Youtube as the hosting site. I'm not too happy with the quality on Youtube, so we'll see whether this is an improvement.
Went to Raymond Reynolds portfolio tasting today, in a rather crowded and warm upstairs room in a pub. Raymond's company is responsible for importing the vast majority of decent Portuguese wine into the UK, and so I follow what they do pretty closely, because I love Portuguse wine.
Sorry about the radio silence, but I have been on a tight schedule here in Chianti Classico country, and the hotel internet connection wasn't working last night. So now I'm taking a break in an internet cafe in Italy in a small gap in the program, before dinner and tasting tonight.
Two more Sangioveses opened this evening, in service to my readers - and prompted by my recently roused curiosity about this variety.
Further to my comments on the Querciabella yesterday, some more thoughts on Sangiovese.
Two Italian wines tonight. With some spaghetti. How cliched.
It has been a weekend of walks. Mostly dog-driven activity. On Saturday morning a quick jaunt through local Hanworth Park, and then in the afternoon a lengthy romp through Windsor Great Park (including a winter picnic of hot soup and bread), where Rosie jumped into the water for the first time. Then today another early morning Hanworth Park visit, followed by a longer walk in Richmond Park in the afternoon. While winter has a beauty all of its own, I'm really looking forward to spring and summer, when all this outdoor activity will be much more inviting.
Three Chiantis last night. I dunno about you, but Iíve never really got into Chianti. Most of them tend to fall into one of two camps: either basic, honest, dark cherry fruited examples with a bit of plummy bitterness and a savoury streak, or souped-up, rather oaky Chiantis with the foot full down on the throttle. Iím not terribly keen on either.