Cims de Porrera – reflections of black slate

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Cims de Porrera was founded in 1996 with the aim of exploiting the full potential of the vineyards of the village of Porrera in the Priorat Qualified Designation of Origin (Q.D.O.). Some of the vineyards are over 100 years old and consist mainly of the Carignan variety, which is highly prized for its colour, tannins and excellent coupage. Carignan, along with the light and fruity Garnatxa variety, constitute the two main native grape varieties of Priorat. The three wines – Cims de Porrera Clàssic, Cims de Porrera Garnatxa and Vi de Vila de Porrera are three classic wines produced from the vineyards belonging to the Porrera cooperative, where the vines have an extremely low yield and grow in llicorella soil, the typical terroir of Priorat, comprised of flaky shale.

Due to the nature of the land, with slopes ranging between 30 and 80%, it is difficult to make an accurate estimate of the area under cultivation in Porrera. However, we estimate that it is around 40 hectares. Annual production of 70,000 litres of wine, or less than 20 hectolitres per hectare, is exceptionally low and is the key to producing such concentrated and structured wines as Cims de Porrera and Vi de Vila de Porrera. In some vineyards, production barely reaches 250 grams of grape per foot.

The soil is of carboniferous shale – heavily eroded, grey schists that sparkle with an incomparable beauty in the midday sun. The low organic content of the soil, which is extremely loose and rocky, means that the water quickly filters from the surface. The vines are therefore forced to grow very deep roots in order to reach the water sources.

Over the past year we have many times written about the sibling Vi de Vila Porrera, a wine that embodies both the sun-drenched Mediterranean climate with aromas of low yield and old vines Carinena and Garnatxa from Priorat. This unique combination makes a wine close to 15% ABV still easily enjoyable. So if you like this, the Cims de Porrera Classic from centenarian Carinena grapes will up it not only a couple of notches in terms of elegance and complexity.

Classic Label

 

Spanish Steps dinner at Bunker, May 7-9th, 2017

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We are extremely pleased to work with Arnie Marcella, Chef and Andreas Pergher, Beverage Director, on this menu and wine pairing, which traces back Arnie’s history and stories.

Microsoft Word - Bunker Spanish Dinner Wine Pairings (Update 4.0

The above 4-course menu is thb 2,250++ with optional wine pairing  at thb 1,500++.

Recently, the dining front of our City of Angels seems to progress faster than any other Asian metropoles; unfolding new entries, especially from Spain, with an array of dishes and wines that shed light on our senses.

For this dinner we propose wines from some of Spain’s most innovative regions or winemakers and invite you to join our road to discovery:

Raventos I Blanc, formerly in the Cava D.O, but Manuel and Pepe decided to depart in 2013, and began the process of creating a new, terroir driven appellation, Conca del Riu Anoia. As an aperitif we pour their chalky and dry Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 2014.

Equipo Navazos, are partners Dr Jesús Barquín and Eduardo Ojeda, who have single-handedly revived the sherry landscape by releasing small lots from long-forgotten bodegas. This Florpower however is not fortified, but shows how the precise Palomino grape can become with ageing under flor for 20 months. Dense, with lovely minerality and nutty background.

Bodega K, is one of many producers in the wet and windy Basque country. We fell in love with the simple and fresh aromatics of Txacolina, which bursts with energy and pairs well with seafood.

Zarate, there is Albarino and there is Zarate. Say no more. Galicia’s favorite white wine for seafood.

Dehesa La Granja, is a mature Tempranillo from legendary winemaker Alejandro Fernandez of Pesquera. The Toro region brings out powerful and intense wines, however the 24 months in oak cask followed by 6 years bottle ageing does its trick here and delivers and great drink today.

Olivier Riviere, the terroirist Frenchman in Rioja, also works a small plot in the Arlanza DO. The high elevation and old vines planted in 1930s, makes a wine unlike any other Tempranillo – showcasing floral, black wild berries and spicy notes.

Vi de Vila Priorat, is made by the Cims de Porrera cooperatives high above the Mediterranean Sea. The old vines and unique licorella soil (black slate) are responsible for a powerful and intriguing red wine.

 

Arnie

Arnie Marcella’s career was exclusively in star-studded NYC restaurants including Jean-Georges, Marea, Corton, Alto, The Elm, Aldea, Docle Stil Novo, and Ai Fiori. So perhaps, later next year, The Bangkok Michelin Guide will also have a place for Bunker?

To book please call  092 563 9991 or email reservation@bunkerbkk.com

 

Vasco Croft, winemaker Aphros, Portugal

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Vinho Verde is the most northern wine region of Portugal, bordering with Spain’s Galicia. For this reason, the Albarinho grape is also prevalent here. Typically the light-bodied Vinho Verdes will be a blend Loureiro, Avesso and Alvarinho, each contributing a fair share to acidity, aroma and body. While thank god, the fizz in the wine has gone, the overachieving winemakers, such as Vasco Croft churn out are some of the best mineralic wines on earth.

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Formerly an architect in Lisbon, Vasco switched careers and took over the century old family estate. He was one of the first to achieve biodynamic certification, and quickly focused his attention to the new-old-tools of fermenting and ageing in clay amphoras. To date, the range consists of various Loureiro wines or blends, plus some distinctive crunchy earthy and dark berried Vinhao, a red specialty of the region, plus some extremely limited Pet Nat wines.

Our wine today is Aether, is a 50-50% blend of tank fermented Sauvignon Blanc and barrel fermented Loureiro. The wine is light yet intense, exudes a melange of agrume, salty minerality, and herbal notes. Its the kind of wine that changes its character with its every sip. Try it as an aperitif, with shellfish or simply outdoors by the pool.

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Wine suggestions Miznon @ Quince-Eatery & Bar from April 18-23

Paris’ hottest Israeli street eatery makes its return to Bangkok. If you join us at Quince this week, you can enjoy Chef Pierre Bouko-Levy’s fresh and savory dishes with some of our new wines or latest vintages.

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Typically, the fuller reds from the Mediterranean regions with their red fruit profile and spicy and savory notes are complementing his dishes, but this time of year we surely need to consider the hot and dry weather in Bangkok, and pick some lower alcohol and refreshing whites to cool down.

Here are our favorites:

Start of with an Old Vines Chardonnay fermented and aged in barrel for 2 years. The nose, fine bulles and persistence is very close to a Champagne. Frederic Lornet Cremant Vieilles Vignes Brut NV. Jura

Unoaked and refreshing Chardonnay from limestone soils around Limoux is akin to famous North Burgundy. Domaine Begude Chardonnay Terroir 11300 2015. Organic, Limoux

The gunflint, white peach, cut grass is a signature aromatic from Sauvignon Blanc grown on Silex soils. Domaine Francis Blanchet Pouilly Fume Silice 2015, Loire

Light, bright and vibrant rose from Mont Ventoux, the high mountain overlooking most of Provence and the Mediterranean Sea. Domaine Fondreche Rose 2015. Organic, Ventoux

Carignan with some Grenache caressed into a joyful, young and tasty wine from the wild and rugged southwest corner of Roussillon. Domaine des Enfants Le Jouet 2015. Organic, Cotes Catalanes

Meaty Syrah and Grenache from La Liviniere, a special cru tugged within the region of Minervois. Chateau Maris Minervois 2015. Organic. Roussillon

The precise, pure and elegant side of big Chateauneuf du Pape wines. Domaine Roche Audran Chateauneuf du Pape 2014. Biodynamic. Southern Rhon

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Off track France at Aldo’s Bistro

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If you want the taste of fine classic French cuisine in Bangkok, you will need to seek out Chef Herve Frerard. Now settled in at Aldo’s Bistro (Ascott Sathorn) – we hear there are also several new projects in the pipeline – his aim is to offer quality food and wine at decent prices.

Please join us for a tasting of his premium canapes paired with some very interesting grapes from highly regarded producers in far off locales of France. Seats are thb 1,650 net and limited to 16 persons.

The 5 wines served include

Aldo Off Track wine routes of France

The Naturalists from Antipodes

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The last 10 years have seen many independent growers and winemakers emerge in many of today’s “cool” wine regions including Yarra, Adelaide Hills (Australia) or Canterbury (New Zealand). Most likely, these individuals traveled extensively, worked and tasted with the best winemakers, and scraped their pennies together to either buy or rent vineyards to grow healthy grapes and make soulful wines they believe in. Be it certified organic, biodynamic, or not, these scented wines and balanced wines, often with crunchy fruit from whole cluster fermentation, are delicious to taste today.

Please join us at About Eatery on Saturday April 1st and taste the magnificent wines from James Erskine (Jauma), Gary Mills (Jamsheed), Patrick Sullivan, William Downie, Taras and Amber (Ochota Barrels) and Claudia and Mike Weersing (Pyramid Valley). They are a style one their own, and a world apart from what you find on the shelves.

Limited to 12 seats, each at thb 700. Starts 0530pm. To book email marketing@winegarage.asia

Wine & Tapas at Toro, Bangkok

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Toro is the brainchild of James Beard Award-winner Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, whose Boston outlet opened in 2005. As the queues got longer and longer, they soon ventured to New York City and since last year also opened in Bangkok. The Barcelona-inspired tapas bar is housed in Courtyard 72, a burgeoning open-plan mall, smack in the middle of bustling Thonglor.

On Wednesday, March 22, Chef Zach Watkins has selected 10 tapas dishes to pair with our wines from Penedes, Rueda, Basque Country, Jumilla, Toro and also Andalusia. The menu including wines is priced at thb 1,500++ per person and can be booked by calling

081 929 6562 or 02 392 7790

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Come taste a fresher and more delicate Spain, and discover the changes that happened the past 15 years.

 

Weingut Rabl, Kamptal

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New drinkers of Austrian wines will first come to idolize the likes of Knoll, Tement, Brundlmayer, Pichler, Hirtzberger and few more. Then they might realize that so many more can also create amazing wines, but aren’t as often seen on wine lists in export markets.

Working in his own term and pace, is perhaps Rudi Rabl’s greatest asset. His wines are rarely rated by international critics, and one does not place his wines in the “bucket list of bottles to buy before we die”. But instead, his are well cemented in the category “wines to enjoy everyday”.

 

Rudi farms over 80 hectares, among the varietals planted is a focus  of Riesling, Gruner Veltliner plus Muskateller and few others. He makes classically dry wines and some sweet Auslese, BA and Eiswein, that stun the palate with freshness; a style far more pleasant to drink than the unctuous from further southern Austria regions. His cellar is located in a quite town with no tourists, and his underground cellar is eerie and vast as the Parisian subway during a strike – giving his wines the time and peace to slowly mature.

We love his wines for their impeccable balance – delicate fruit is wrapped up in a fine acid spine. Each vineyard shows a signature of the underlying soil. We urge you to taste the light and crisp, as well as the structured or sweet, and end up with a mature wine from 2008, which isn’t unlike a well-made White Burgundy.

Domaine Charvin, Southern Rhone

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Laurent Charvin could not differ more than his peers, who often vinify separate parcels into barrel and create multiple cuvees; which are then priced based on rarity.

The staunch traditionalist keeps his range simple. One red, one white, one rose for the Cotes du Rhone, and only one Chateauneuf du Pape.

But there is more to why he is ranked one of the top 5 in the region. 150 years ago, the family sold much of their production to negociants such as Marcel Guigal. The new era began in 1990 when then young, energetic Laurent Charvin took over the estate. His wines are aromatic with good ageability and a Burgundian stylistic, somewhat contrary to the many soft, sweet and fat renditions, made for the American and Asian markets.

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His winemaking practice includes hand harvesting, whole-bunch pressed, use of indigenous yeast, tank fermentation and ageing, and bottling unfined and unfiltered.

Each year, reviewers praise the value this Cotes du Rhone, labelling it often as best buy.

Josh Raynolds for Vinous

Brilliant ruby-red. A complex bouquet evokes fresh red berries, potpourri and smoky minerals, and an intriguing suggestion of blood orange emerges as the wine opens up. Juicy and precise, offering sweet raspberry and lavender pastille flavors underscored by a suggestion of peppery spices. The mineral quality comes back strong on the finish, which features silky tannins and impressive persistence. This bottling always outperforms its humble origins and that’s especially the case in this vintage. 91 points

Jeb Dunnuck for Robert Parker

The 2014 Côtes du Rhône (80% Grenache and the balance Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan) is a peppery, pretty, rose petal and black cherry scented effort that has medium-bodied depth and richness, lots of tannin and a clean finish. Aged 18 months in concrete tanks, it should be very good and evolve nicely for a 7-8 years. 89 points

Wine Enthusiast’s Winemaker of the Year 2016

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The lucky couple met in the Rhone Valley, and took their impressions back to Chris’ home in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Working sustainable, or naturally as one can say, they intend to make old guard Cape wines, mainly from blends of Rhone or Mediterranean varietals. Their wines get a balanced feel from the 3 soil types spread across the plots, namely decomposed granite (freshness), schist/shale (richness) and red clay (mid-palate depth).

Kloof Street is made to impress on freshness, balance and great drinkability. And Rouge is a Syrah-based blend with Cinsault, Carignan, and Mourvedre exuding leafy, herbal character supported by raspberry and cherry aromatics.

Make this your juicy starter into the new South Africa.

Rated Robert Parker 88 points, Wine Anorak 90 points