The International Guild of Sommelier explains that wines coming from marginal or cool climate sites tend to get a lot of “wind exposure generally lead to grapes with thicker skins, thereby changing the skin-to-juice ratio of the fruit. Grapes with thicker skins tend to produce more concentrated wines even without excess purposeful extraction in the cellar. The thicker skins can offer further benefit: since skin tannin is more pleasant and less bitter than seed tannin, thicker skins can create better balance in the final wine. Thicker skins help produce a structured wine with the potential to age without relying as heavily on harsher seed tannin. As a result, wines from such conditions often have the double benefit of the structure to age alongside approachability in their youth.”
And this is the reason why Rajat and Sashi have been fascinated by the location of Domaine de la Côte. The unique change in topography here, where the mountain range spreads from west to east, allows the daily cool fog to roll in from the Pacific Ocean.
Their Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir is a blend of all the estate vineyards. 50% of the grapes are fermented whole bunch with 0% new oak used to mature in barrel. The wine is pale red in color with perfumey flavors of Bing cherry, all spice and leather. On the palate it is soft textured and finished quite silky. 1,100 cases produced.
“I found all of the wines to be outstanding, they had an unusual mix of cool-climate aromatics to go with a higher pH, rounder, softer profile on the palate, with distinct saline-like qualities.”- Jeb Dunnuck for Robert Parker
Portugal seems to be on everyone’s bucket list, and surely not because it’s offering great value, but is still very authentic, not too crowded, and has some of the freshest seafood on earth.
The wines on the other hand, split hairs – but this could very well be because the good stuff hasn’t always made it out of the country. Perhaps also, because traditionally made wines weren’t pleasing international palates with their long extraction and ageing prior to bottling?
In the late 90’s Swiss wine enthusiast Emil Strickler arrived in Alentejo, near Algarve and took over the 30 hectare estate – Quinta Zambujeiro. He quickly made the finest technology available for the team headed by Alain Bramaz to capture the essence of the region and swiftly climbed the olymp to best in class, albeit in a modern way.
Southern Portuguese reds, especially those from Alentejo are easy drinkers, rich and fruity. With meticulous care in the vineyard and quality oak barrels from France, Alain caressed superb fruit from the vines and gave the wines the needed structure to succeed in the international market.
Try Monte do Zambujeiro at your next dinner, and if you still yearn for more complexity and length, please don’t stop here and get a bottle of Terra or Estate. They age very well.
Before heading south to Tuscany, the Endrici established one of the oldest wineries in Trentino, northern Italy in 1885. The wines are made at the foothills of the Dolomites where mild Mediterranean climate meets cool air from the Alps. Today, Paolo, the 4th generation, with his wife and two children, both graduates of the prestigious Geis-senheim wine school in Germany, are involved in all aspects of the operation, aiming to create a sustainable and natural environment around the farm and vineyard. Their skill full hands make Mountain wines which are intense, aromatic and precise, preserving the traditional Northern identity while blending in international flag bearers.
The Maremma gold rush convinced the Endrizzi family to move south from Trentino before the new millenium – where a beautiful and scenic 30 hectare land was purchased near Grosseto, not far from the Tyrrhenian Sea. A modern winery was built where they could continue their sustainable efforts, however the outcome from a different soil structure, international red varietals and warm Tuscan sun brings out more generous and smoother wines.
Harry Eyers of the Telegraph writes “Morellino di Scansano, the quintessential wine of the Maremma, is now the Tuscan wine of choice in the chicest enoteche (wine bars) of Rome. I’ve loved morellino since I first came across it, tasting samples with my wine merchant father, nearly 20 years ago, when it was fairly new on the wine map.”
Serpaia Morellino di Scansano, a pure Sangiovese, fermented in stainless steel and raised in Slovanian oak for 8 months has an ageing potential 5 years. 13° ABV
Churton was established in 1997 by Sam and Mandy Weaver. From site selection and bio-dynamic practices through to low intervention winemaking, Churton produces exceptional terroir driven wines.
Churton is a 22 hectare single vineyard and encompasses an undulating ridge line between the Omaka and Waihopai valleys in Marlborough, New Zealand. 200 metres above sea level, the distinctive property faces northeast and captures the cool morning and warm daytime sun ideal for slow and long ripening. Soils are older and denser than the neighbouring valley floor with good clay content.
Sam and Mandy are dedicated to producing just four varietals; sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, viognier and petit manseng. Their vineyard in composed of 17 singular blocks each with its own unique aspect and topography and, at present, The Abyss and Best End are
Sam describes “Often biodynamics is regarded at the crazy end of organic production. What could be dafter than stirring cow dung matured in buried cow’s horn in water for 60 minutes then throwing it about on the farm, and then what relevance do lunar cycles have to farming practices. Are we lunatics or what?
At Churton I have a strong belief that our biodynamic farming approach is rational and makes complete sense.
Above all it helps us produce better wines that have more individuality and really demonstrate the farm (terroir) where they come from.
As a microbiologist I believe biodynamics works from the ground up. We work hard to improve our microbiology by using composts and various biodynamic preparations. We run a system that is a polyculture and actively encourage biodiversity by increasing our plant and animal species (We plant companion species of flora between the rows in the vineyard, raise our own cattle and keep bees). And yes, we do take note of lunar cycles; after all didn’t our grandfathers plant by the moon?
Wine making is an art as much as a science. Growing the best grapes to make the best wine combines both of these disciplines too. Biodynamic philosophy gives us a structure to help understand these disparate approaches and in the end really.”
Travelling through the wine world, we come across many special locales and meet artists as well as technologically-sound winemakers, whose wines ring up excellent scores from reviewers. Being around nature, those involved in the trade are well connected with the environment, and every once in a while we arrive in a place where there is spirituality tied to both soil and the philosophy of all the people working there.
Montenidoli is a unique place; for one the estate lies above the town with beautiful vistas down the valley and up to the crowning forest, but it is also about the Fagiuoli family, their wines and their aim to create a “bridge” to unite different cultures in the common language of mother earth, the path of her wine is used communicate and instill friendship.
The estate covers 24 hectares of vines and 200 hectares of forests. Two very different soil types have formed millions of years ago and are the bedrock for the traditionally made wines. The white varietals flourish on the Ligurian seabed with sea shells, and the red makes unique style of wines on the Triassic soils with rocks formed over 350 million years.Traditional Tuscan varietals take the lead here. The white is Vernaccia making structured and deep wines with herbal and almond perfumes, rich flavors, and a dry, crisp finish. The red is always Sangiovese – pure or blended at times with white
grapes like in past. It is rustic, but aromatic and persistent, embodying the rural surrounding of this land, and goes very well with Beefsteak Florentine.
The essence of nature is found in each glass, however the spirituality we mentioned is best displayed with Sergio the Patriarch Foundation, which Elisabetta founded with her late husband Sergio. They met in school, where she noticed his gift to enter the mind of troubled persons and give peace and love to their spirits. She thinks what is mostly needed in our little planet is to nurture the truthful rule of attention, love, and harmony to people. So the Foundation aims to be the place that unites people. Each year they will host for one month elderly people in need of rest and love, as well as youngsters in search of their identity through the message of nature.
A long time ago, I made the mistake believing Mallorca is where Germans go on holiday to drink beer, lots of beer at Ballermann. Little did I know that one day I would contemplate living there – enjoying the mild climate, scenic countryside, and pristine waters – and most importantly with access to major European cities.
It took Wine Garage and Quince partner, Philippe, many years to convince us to take the trip. But once you set foot on this island, the yearning to go back won’t ever fade. It is a place, which combines all elements of a great vacation, some indulgence, and old European culture.
The Phoenicians were likely to plant the first vineyards, but surely the industry was in full swing after the Romans settled. Being a popular tourist destination today, the consumption is mainly on the island itself, as well as countries such as Germany and Switzerland, where travelers head back after the vacation to reminisce.
We are pleased to offer 8 Vents, not only as a beautiful reminder of its heritage, but also because a good tasting Cabernet Merlot blend is difficult to find at this price range. The wine spent 12 months in French oak barrels, has the nose and body of a North Coast Californian wine, but maintains its balance and subtler fruit profile from the milder climate and strong winds that shaped it.
Lets hope the sheer number of arrivals during the busy summer months will not one day deplete all wine stocks on Mallorca.
Photo credits: landscape, vineyard and Palma from the internet
andreas pergher, arnie marcella, Bangkok, bodega k, bunker, cims de porrera, dehesa la granja, equipo navazos, new american, olivier riviere, raventos i blanc, spain, spanish wine, wine dinner, wine garage, zarate
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.
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 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 email@example.com
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org