In Raleigh, North Carolina


In Raleigh, North Carolina

Arrived yesterday afternoon in Raleigh, North Carolina. It’s the first time I’ve been to this part of the USA. I’m not here visiting vineyards, but to visit Nomacorc, the world’s largest manufacturer of synthetic wine bottle corks. Today I get to visit their facility, do a presentation on trends in the wine market (from my perspective) and discuss the oxygen in wines debate that is being held at the trade fair in London next month.

Last night a few of us went out for dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant (Vivace), which had a rather good wine list.

I began by trying a local beer – Hell’s Belle, from Big Boss Brewing Company here in Raleigh. At 7% alcohol it’s a Belgian-style ale, and it was delicious – pale and savoury with lovely depth.

Then we had four wines: Planeta’s Cometa and Jermann’s Pinot Grigio, followed by Manzone La Gramolere Barolo 1999, and then, for me, the star of the evening: Reale Cardamone 2006 Colli di Salerno, a blend of 70% Piedirosso and 30% Tintora. This deep coloured red was savoury, intense, bloody and iron-like with dense berry and black cherry, firm tannins and real minerality. And it wasn’t too expensive either. I’m going to look out for this on my return to the UK. I’d give it 93/100.

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