Veritas Vineyard & Winery: Barrels of Red & White Delights!

Hello Friends,

This past weekend I saddled up with a motley collection of industry professionals, budding wine enthusiasts, and those darn wine bloggers to take a great-grape ride on the Monticello wine trail. Good and bad news here, friends. Bad news first - of the 23 wineries on the Monticello wine trial we made appointments to visit only six of them. The good news - we have seventeen left to go, so Monticello wine trail, look out, you will see us again! Our first stop of the day was to Veritas Vineyard and Winery.

Veritas Vineyard & Winery

Veritas Vineyard and Winery is located in Afton, Virginia, and situated amidst beautiful surroundings at the foot of the wondrous Blue Ridge Mountains. Veritas is a family-run operation owned by Andrew and Patricia Hodson, who opened for business in June of 2002. Their daughter Emily, who recently won the Judges Choice Award in a national competition, shares the winemaking duties with her father. Let’s step into the tasting room, shall we?

Tasting Bar

The Veritas tasting room is beautifully designed, exuding elegance and luxury in a relaxing atmosphere. Tall ceilings, wooden floors, comfortable leather sofas and chairs, eating areas, a large fireplace, and a long tasting bar are some of the niceties offered to make your wine tasting experience and visit enjoyable. A trained and knowledgeable staff is on hand to answer any of your questions and to tell you all about Veritas Vineyard’s full spectrum of red and white wine selections.

Tasting Room

We were greeted upon arrival by winemaker Emily Pelton and in-house sommelier Thomas Roberts. We were all led down to the barrel room to sample some of Emily’s developing wines. Barrel tasting is both enjoyable and enlightening, and is an excellent way to gauge where the ine is in its maturation process.

Barrel Tasting with Emily Pelton and Thomas Roberts

The following brief notes are from several of the barrel samples I thoroughly enjoyed. Although these wines are in their developmental stage, they reflect the care that went into them in the vineyard and winery. Our tasting began with a beautiful Sauvignon Blanc, which I found to be very attractive. This is a variety that I believe could do well here, but I do not run across too many (varietal) examples during my travels. Of the few local examples I have tasted, this is clearly one of the best, in that it is a nice wine with very good varietal character. This example is more Loire Valley - (Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé) like than the New Zealand-style many Sauvignon Blanc drinkers have become accustomed to. This is a wine of delicacy, with clean, fresh fruit, good acidity, and a smidgen of grassiness for added complexity. This wine is meant to be consumed young, so don’t be shy, pop the cork and enjoy upon release!

Tasting a little bubbly with winemaker Emily Pelton - Yum!

Also enjoyed were three barrel samples of Cabernet Franc from fruit harvested weeks apart. Time on the vine certainly makes a difference in flavor / aroma profile, as the first sample pulled displayed Cabernet Franc’s distinct violet and red berry aroma, while the second sample was more neutral, but had a fuller mouth feel. The third sample was more rounded and had desirable spice components and earthy nuances about it. Not sure what the final bottled result will be, but Emily has three good base wines to work with based on our tasting, and I look forward to the release of the 2008 Cabernet Franc wine(s).

We are smiling because we had a GREAT TIME at Veritas!

Another high quality red wine grape variety we enjoyed that is also generating a lot of excitement among Virginia wine lovers is Petit Verdot. This is a grape grown mainly in France’s Bordeaux region that is finding its legs here, so to speak. The sample we tasted displayed a gorgeous deep rich color and a pleasant fragrant and spicy character with good definition and structure. Not sure if this will be made into a varietal wine or not, but it sure would be nice if it is.

Barrels of fun (Yes, I mean that, literally)

Last but not least is the sweet ending. Veritas has a popular dessert selection named Othello, which is a blend of Tannat and Touriga Nacional. We had the opportunity to taste each wine on its own prior to blend, and it became quite apparent why they marry so well. One is rich and lush and full of boysenberry and blueberry flavors, yet teetering on the sweetness line of being cloying. The other has less flavor intensity, but more acidity, highlighted by baked fruit flavor components and pinches of cinnamon. Blended, I can see these two wines combining to create a hedonistic pleasure.

Enjoy wine and beautiful views

In closing, and I think I speak for the tasting group, we would like to thank Emily and Thomas for the enlightment, education, great wine, and good times. Every nose and palate in our tasting group unanimously agreed that Veritas Vineyard’s future releases are on their way to being solid Virginia wines. Congratulations on your 2008 vintage, Emily!

Info: Veritas Vineyard & Winery, 145 Saddleback Farm. Afton, Virginia 22920. 540.456.8000

Stay tuned friends ...Look for short summaries on other visits from our fun-filled weekend on the Monticello Wine Trail. Also, check out my previous visit to Veritas Vineyard here. And, be sure to see what Todd of Wine Compass has to say about the Monticello Wine Trail - CLICK HERE.

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Wine Language

Wine Language

It’s a funny old thing critiquing wines, the physical action of swirling, sniffing and slurping and the wine language we take for granted. Although I gain immeasurable pleasure from tasting wine, selling wine and talking about wine many of my friends dismiss the pastime as a load of old cobblers. “People drink wine to get hammered”, “Yes, I will tell you what it smells of, it smells of wine” its amazing how defensive people get about the idea of critiquing wine.

Last night I went over to a friends house who happens to be a lecturer at one of the Universities here in London whose “chosen subject for 20” is communication and language. Quite by accident we got into a tasting and discussion about the language of wine and the difficulties and challenges that face people new to the wine world. You can’t tell me a wine smells like a banana had you never tried one. It’s hard to pick out the nuances of a wines aroma past that “wine” smell without the confidence to express yourself. There are so many factors in play for those new to wine that it was interesting to remember what it was like when wine was for me too, what posh people banged on about.

Even more interesting is the fact that my friend, although not using the language I’ve picked up through being involved in wine, Wset and the biz, managed to accurately describe what was going on with the two very different wines we tasted. It’s quite rare to find such a fresh test subject, my friend is in her early 40s but has terrible reactions to wine so simply doesn’t drink it. She had no idea about varietals, regions, vinification techniques yet, what she managed to describe about the wine, after the initial “performance anxiety” would have been enough for us wine nuts to have a good stab at which wine she was drinking, right down to appellation and grape.

There is a movement at the moment, us bloggers being a part of that, to try to demystify wine and sand down the edges of this reputation of being a recreation of the rich. I know many people who read this blog may not know all that much about wine but everyone still has a palate (baring birth defects and terrible accidents) and I encourage everyone to make tasting notes about their wines. After all, you paid good money for your wine experience whether that was down at Tesco or a specialized wine store. It amazes me that people will continue to buy the same old wines and not experiment with anything new. We don’t do it with food, I think we all like a variance in our diets and enjoy trying new cuisine. We trust that we do like a McDonalds Quarterpounder but not the Filet-o-fish and no one will sass you for expressing that opinion.

So for a change, here is the “tasting note” my friend made. None the less valid, and she knows, that if she ever gets over her negative physical reaction to wine, or has to buy wine for a friend, she’ll opt for the Californian Syrah over the Gamay Morgon Beaujolais.

Domaine Maurice Gaget Morgon Cote de PyPASS – €14
Well, its red but my bulbs have a red-ish tint, the lights in here are not really good for this kind of thing. Ok, ok, dark red. Hmmm, smells like a swimming pool, chlorine, it smells cold and alcoholic, I’m not really getting any smells of grapes or any fruits really. Its really quite thin isn’t it, and really acidic and sour. I didn’t really get any of those tannins things you were talking about on this one or a finish. I don’t like it

From this description, no tannins, acidic but red, “cold” you’d be guessing at a colder climate, thin graped wine. The being “dark” might throw you, but we can take this as just an indication of youth.

Bonny Doon Syrah Le PousseurBUY – €14
This is a darker red, looks much thicker. Smells richer than the other wine, I’m still not sure of much on the smell. Its far more tannic though, the wine is heavier and dries my mouth out more, much more depth and I can taste Blackberries, lingers longer once you’ve finished the wine. I do like it

And we’d be making a guess at a thicker skinned grape and warmer climate.

Whats the point in this Newton?! The point is, even if you know nothing about wine, you know what you like and what you don’t and that is good enough. You don’t have to publish tasting notes but keeping a record is a great way to stop you buying the same bottle of tosh a month later. You will begin to understand what regions/grapes you DO like and hence, waste less money on bad wine purchases. People buy which magazine because informed purchases are important, you don’t repeatedly buy fruits and veg you don’t care for; your palate is your own. Keep tasting notes, not only does it make financial sense it will open up a whole new world of pleasure and education.

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Do you experience reverse wine snobbery? Or are you intimidated by wine and it’s language. If you frequently publish notes, share your first ones they are often highly entertaining. C’mon embarrass yourself! :p

The Caveman’s Wine Blog 2009-02-11 04:21:00

The Science of Smell

Dear Caveman:
When I read your wine descriptions, I find intriguing expressions such as: “Smells like a Mediterranean-style vegetarian pizza. Sun-dried tomatoes, black olives and herbs, with a touch of cherry vanilla." Where do these aromas come from? If they are actually the by-product of fermentation of crushed grapes in an oak barrel, then aren’t these conclusions about “sun-dried tomatoes, black olives and herbs, with a touch of cherry vanilla” socially constructed and ultimately subjective?

The short answer is that while the naming of these aromas may be subjective – in that each of us has our own “aroma and taste memory” and thus associates certain aromas with different things – there is a scientific explanation as to how a wine made only with grapes can evoke such un-grapey smells.

The sources of many of these aromas are volatile aromatic compounds. Some come from the grapes themselves or are by-products of the fermentation of the grape’s juice. But the ones that Ricardo was referring to are results of the aging of the wine, both in an oak barrel and in a bottle. This is still an area of wine that is not completely understood, but research is happening on a number of different fronts, so here is the science.

Aroma vs. bouquet

Émile Peynaud, a French oenologist considered by many to be the father of modern winemaking, drew a distinction between aroma and bouquet. For Peynaud, “aroma” is used to describe what we smell in a young wine – those grapey and fruitier aromas that result from the pressing of the grapes and the fermentation of the grapes’ sugars. If you have ever been in a room where a wine is fermenting, you will never forget the smell – ripe, juicy fruit mixed with a blend of alcohol and yeast. Open any bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau and you will have a good idea of what I am talking about.

Peynaud said “bouquet” is the result of aging a wine, which is where many of these non-grapey aromas can result. While the subtle chemical interactions are not completely understood, these new odours result from the interaction between those primary aromatic compounds and outside influences like oak barrels and oxygen.

It starts with the grape

So everything starts with those primary aromas, and thus the grapes you bring in from the field. The Chinon referred to by Ricardo evoked sun-dried tomatoes, black olives and herbs. I took a look at some other reviews I had done of wines made with the same cabernet franc grape, and I found one that described the wine (Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgeuil 2005, Les Mauguerets-La Contrie) as smelling of “green peppers and violets … (and) a mix of raspberry and charcoal.” Why the difference?

Two University of British Columbia researchers, Steven Lund and Joerg Bohlmann, recently published a study that examined how a number of different factors affect primary aromas. They refer to the assortment of chemical compounds that cause aromas as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). How and where a grape is grown will ultimately affect the degree to which these grapes will show such things as varietal character as well as “the dozens to hundreds of chemical compounds that have yet to be discovered and characterized.”

So the same grape grown in different soils, in different years, will smell different. And the amount and proportion of these compounds to one another will ultimately affect the bouquet as a wine ages.

The molecules of scent

Lund and Bohlmann have broken down a wine’s aromatics into component compounds. So if your Gewürztraminer smells of flowers, it is in part due to “monoterpene compounds, chiefly geraniol and citronellol.” And if your Sauvignon Blanc tastes slightly grassy, the compound is part of the “methoxypyrazine family, specifically 2-methoxy-3-isobutylpyrazine,” which develops during the green stages of the grape but gets metabolized as the grape ripens. If your Sancerre tastes like freshly cut grass and your white Bordeaux doesn’t, although they are both made with Sauvignon Blanc, that is because the Bordeaux is often riper, so it will have less 2-methoxy-3-isobutylpyrazine.

How about black pepper in Shiraz? Rotundone is the chemical compound responsible for that one. A study done by the Australian Wine Research Institute of different vineyards in Australia showed that shiraz grapes showed different levels of this compound depending on the clones used, soil types and climate.

And what about the sun-dried tomatoes in my Chinon? According to Jamie Goode, “cis-3-hexenol is the prime culprit,” although cabernet franc also has the same leafy 2-methoxy-3-isobutylpyrazine as the Sauvignon Blanc I mentioned.


So as a wine matures and its bouquet develops, much like great cuisine, its odour becomes the sum of its component parts. Many of these VOCs are in a sense dormant when the wine is young. As VOCs react with one another, as well as with oxygen and alcohol, they will begin to show themselves.

A good example of this is oak. In a young, freshly bottled wine, the oak is often very pronounced, and in fact the wine has a distinct smell of wood. But as the wine ages, the vanillin – which is an oak-derived VOC and part of the family of aldehydes – will react with oxygen to give an odour of vanilla. Oak barrels are also a source of many of the cooking spices we find in wines, like cinnamon, coriander and nutmeg. Every barrel, depending on the wood source, will offer a different aromatic cocktail to the wine.

So this is why a grape can ultimately smell like “sun-dried tomatoes, black olives and herbs, with a touch of cherry vanilla.” But why doesn’t everyone smell that? Well, there is the cultural factor. If you have never smelled a sun-dried tomato, the name you give to such an aroma might differ. But there is also sensitivity: All noses are not created equal. Many VOCs are in such small concentrations that people with highly sensitive noses might pick up on elements that others miss.

But for the majority of us, it is simply a question of working our aromatic memories. Because wines can be complex, they often do not make us think of one particular aroma. This is why I sometimes will mention situations, like walking through a cool forest in the fall after a rain. How do you develop this memory? The first step is to load your memory with as many smells as possible.

So, as the proverb goes, stop and smell the roses – or the pizza, in my case.

Scary Monsters and the Maryland Direct Shipment Proposal

When I was a little kid growing up in New Jersey, I used to love watching the old Abbott and Costello movies that were run each Sunday morning on WPIX out of New York City. My all time favorite movie by this duo was “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.”  In the film, the hapless duo encounters three of cinema’s most terrifying monsters: Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolf Man.  Hilarity ensues.

Of course this begs the question, what do Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolf Man have to do with Maryland’s Direct Shipment proposal? Because just like Abbott and Costello, abbott.jpgMaryland’s Wholesalers will undoubtedly unleash their three scariest monsters onto the general public as the Maryland Legislature considers its direct shipment legislation. In no particular order, the wholesalers’ monsters are: 1) underage access to alcohol over the Internet; 2) organized crime; and 3) illegal shipments of wine by wineries.

In the days and weeks ahead, I would like to take each of these ‘monsters’ in turn and demonstrate that they are nothing more than scare tactics unleashed by Maryland Wholesalers on the general public. Let’s start with access to wine over the Internet by underage drinkers.

This is by far the favorite monster of the Wholesale lobby and the good folks over at Vinotrip are already on the case. Time and again Wholesalers testify before elected officials and tell the same scary story: direct shipment will allow underage kids to easily access wine over the Internet. As the story goes, kids will simply hop onto the Internet, order some wine through with their parent’s credit card and wait for it to show up at their door.

But just like any monster, this is a story that has no factual support. Indeed, the real monster lurking in the shadows is often the parents themselves. This is evidenced by a June 2008 study from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The study provides a broad overview of the problem of underage drinking, but one chapter is relevant to our discussion.

Specifically, Chapter 4.3 of the report is dedicated entirely to how underage drinkers gain access to alcohol. The research is organized by age group (i.e., 12 - 14; 15 - 17; and 18 - 20) and mechanisms for alcohol procurement are identified for each (e.g., took from home, received from parent, etc.). Although HHS uses three separate bar charts in their table, I have consolidated their results into a single graph, which is contained below:


Although the chart identifies the numerous ways in which underage kids gain access to alcohol, noticeably absent is any mention whatsoever of the Internet. This is particularly striking since at the time the report was released, the Pew Internet & American Life Project released a report (Adobe Acrobat required) finding that 73% of respondents (about 147 million adults) were internet users, and the share of Americans who had broadband connections at home was 42% (about 84 million). In other words, the Internet was embedded in mainstream American life in 2006 when HHS was compiling its data.

Moreover, a quick look at the data reveals that in the overwhelming majority of instances, kids are getting alcohol through social contacts (e.g., their parents, guardians or someone’s home), not retail contacts.  In this regard, I thought it would help to aggregate these data sets into broader categories to see the results. My reconstructed chart is contained below:


Looking at the numbers in this way demonstrates that the vast majority of kids — between 81% and almost 90% — are clearly obtaining alcohol through non-Internet means. The monster is not the Internet, it is parents, guardians, adults and unlocked liquor cabinets. The only exceptions to this rule are the categories identified in the HHS chart as “Other” and in those instances where kids purchased the alcohol on their own. Taking each of these in turn, even the most basic research reveals that these other sources of alcohol cannot be placed at the Internet’s doorstep.

For example, the category identifying kids who purchase alcohol themselves illustrates that as kids get older, this acquisition method for alcohol increases. That makes logical sense: as kids get older, they look older, and their ability to purchase alcohol through use of fake IDs increases. And this logic is backed up by various reports and surveys, including this one from the Centers for Disease Control.

As far as the “Other” category goes, there is not much to say.  As a threshold matter it is a relatively smaller subset of the overall group.  In addition, it was likely included as a ‘catch-all’ for less prominent means of access (e.g., stole from a store, purchased at a sporting event, etc.).

The bottom line, wholesalers’ arguments about kids accessing alcohol through the Internet should be dismissed out of hand.  It is nothing more than a scary monster manufactured by their industry to try to scare the public and legislators.

Franz Haas Wines

Franz Haas Wines

Franz Haas, 10 points if you can guess which part of Italy this wine producer comes from? Those with any knowledge of Italian history or geography will be able to figure out that Franz Haas wines are from the German speaking south Tyrol/Alto Adige region of Italy bordering Austria. The Franz Haas estate is located almost exactly half way between Trento and Bolzano just off the E45. The Alto Adige has a growing reputation for excellence in both red and white wines with rising popularity in the the native Lagrein, as well as excellent production of international varietals like Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and even some zippy Pinot Neros.

Franz Haas produces eleven high quality red, white and blended wines at a fair price point which is why we’ve decided to add this producer at the Cellar Door. Perhaps not the most famous or prestigious producer, that accolade would go to the likes off Hoffstatter, Lageder or Manincor, Franz Haas represents QPR and joins Michael Eppan for our Trentino/Alto Adige range.

Of these eleven wines I believe the best value comes from the Pinot Nero (2 bottlings) the Traminer Aromatico (Gewürztraminer) and the superb blend, perhaps the best value white blend of the region, the Manna.

Manna, named after Franz Haas wife, Luisa (Manna, obviously) is a blend of Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon and late harvest Gewürztraminer. The wine shows telling minerality and is an award winning effort year on year with GR and a consistent 88-90 point wine. In the red corner, it is the Pinot Nero, both the standard bottling and the excellent Schweizer (produced only in the best vintages) that deserve your full quaffing attention.

The wines of Franz Haas
MüllerThurgau – €10 (white)
The lowest priced wine of the Franz Haas collection and the lowest calorie too! Those who follow my tweets will have already seen that if you’re on a diet MüllerThurgau is the wine for you. An excellent accompaniment to seafood. QPR Value – 3/5
Pinot Grigio – €12 (white)
High yields, high production and very popular. However, so many better whites here, if you’re a PG fan there’s probably little I can do to put you off. QPR Value 2/5

Pinot Bianco – €14 (white)
A similar production scale to the MT. Many of the Alto Adige wineries are putting out Pinot Bianco, the Haas version has good acidity and I’d pair it up with a salad or risotto. QPR Value 2/5

Traminer Arimatico – €18 (white)
This is a seriously good example of what can be done with Gewürztraminer. The yields here are smaller than the other whites, this is a bottling of which the producer is rightfully proud I highly recommend you try this full bodied and aromatically interesting wine. QPR Value 4/5
Manna – €22 (white)
Here she is! The white you really want to try from Franz Haas, the blended little blighter, created out of love especially for fans of the Alto Adige. This is a 4 grape blended white that will set you drooling. It’s a great food pairing wine for vegetarian dishes too. Complex, good structure and with ageing capabilities. One of Italy’s best value white wines. QPR Value 5/5
Moscato Rossa – €22 – (rose)
Indigenous Moscato Rossa is expensive for Italian rose but this is because of the very low yields (real low, 15 hectolitres p/h low). This Moscato Rossa is one of the regions best Rose wines in top vintages. If you find food pairings for oriental food tricky, this one works beautifully. QPR Value 3/5
Lagrein – €17 (red)

The native Lagrein is an en-vogue Italian grape, gaining popularity quicker than retailers seem able to stock it. Not my personal favourite producer of Lagrein but a reliable and representative example. QPR Value 2/5

Pinot Nero – €22 (red)
Pinots from this part of Italy are very good value and the standard Pinot from Haas is 90-92 point effort year on year. Considering the Schweizer is €8 more and only splits a point or two with this version, its a judgement call for which you buy. The Schweizer is certainly riper and more tannic . QPR Value -4/5

Pinot Nero Schweizer – €30 (red)

The best single variety production at Franz Haas. The wine is velvety, aromatic and great with game dishes. This is a quality Alto Adige Pinot and taking into consideration Pinot Noir wines from around the world, very good value. QPR Value – 4/5

Istante – €25 (red)
Blend of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot this is another great blend from Haas. This is the “cult” wine of Haas with a small production of just 6000 bottles in some vintages. Ageing capabilities and a very good complete wine. Interesting. QPR Value – 4/5

Merlot – €19 (red)
This one is under-rated. The Pinot Nero steals the red wine thunder at Franz Haas but it might be this Merlot that actually represents the best value. An earthy 90 point Merlot from a producer of this quality under €20 is great deal. QPR Value – 4/5

So there you have it. The great value production of Franz Haas in a handy little pocket sized guide. Of course you’ll have to print it out and fold it for yourself, but you’re a resourceful bunch. Sadly, I didn’t get around to talking about what I really wanted to mention today, and that is why so many wine labels have dogs on them. I suppose there’s always tomorrow.

Leave a Comment
Franz Haas, do you rate these wines? Why are there so many dogs on wine labels and in wine names? Why not kittens or hamsters? It’s always great big dogs too, never Miniature Schnauzers. If I’m wrong, please link up some wine labels! Au Revoir.

The Caveman’s Wine Blog 2009-02-09 18:18:00

Newer Franc

Chinon 2006, l'Huisserie
, Domaine Philippe Alliet
Next to Joguet's Chene Vert is Alliet's new baby
vineyard, filled with young vines. For you fans of Alliet, this is just plain weird- very ripe, sweet fruit, soft tannins, very little complexity, just fruit, fruit, fruit. But it works. This was not meant to be cellared, this is supposed to be guzzled. I would like to send a bottle of this to every fruit bombing winemaker. Don't over extract young vines. New oak does not a great wine make. Stop putting lipstick on 12 year olds.

Anjou Villages 2005, Clos Médecin, Domaine de Brizé
Strawberry sorbet, cherries, with a pinch of green pepper, cilantro, maybe even some cabbage. Strange mix when you think about it. The ensemble finishes on a spicy, juicy, peppery note. Easy drinking wine. Serve slightly chilled. Goes well with Tatziki.

Chinon 2004, Vieilles Vignes, Clos de la Dioterie, Charles Joguet
It's a summer meal in a glass, dessert and all. It's a piece of meat, cooked blue, covered in red berries and tarragon. The fruit then gets redder and sweeter, with a lime-like freshness. Your espresso is there as well. I am sure one day this will all come together.

Sergio Mottura Grechetto Latour a Civitella

Sergio Mottura Grechetto Latour a Civitella

Sergio Mottura Grechetto Latour a Civitella is one of Italy’s best Grechetto wines but a little on the QT *taps nose* internationally. Within Italy the wine is well known, mostly because Mottura is one of only two Lazio producers to ever bag a Tre Bicchiere award with Gambero Rosso elevating the producer into the same strata as the mighty Falesco. Tellus more….. (get it? No? Ok moving on).

Grechetto is really not known as a grape producing great whites. This bottling comes from Northern Lazio (Civitella d’Angliano) and the grape is actually a Greek native that finds its best expression generally not in Lazio, but just over the border in Umbria in the Orvieto DOC. If you’ve tried Grechetto chances are you were actually drinking Orvieto DOC and whilst there are a couple of producers bringing out the best in Grechetto in Umbria, bizarely it is Mottura in his corner of Lazio scooping the awards. Grechetto Latour a Civitella is generally thought to be the finest expression of Grechetto in all of Italy.

Most Italian wines I feature that are without international press are hard for you guys to come by but Mottura will handle personal orders, even as small as a case of 6 wines and forward them to the UK, USA and mainland Europe meaning I do not have to complete that tiring “Where can I find this wine” section today 😀

Grechetto, and especially this bottle, have ageing capabilities and shows a completely different character with a further 10 or even just 5 years. Gambero Rosso even went as far to claim that with 10 years ageing this sub £20 bottle is one of Italy’s finest white wines. If you fancy trying this for yourself, which I’m sure you will after reading my review, then you can order direct from Mottura here and avoid those pesky retailers.

Sergio Mottura Grechetto Latour a Civitella 2004BUY – £15
Rich, deep golden colour and a real force on the nose. Tropical aromas of pineapple, even bananas and cream as well as a touch of pleasant oak. Fruity and balanced on the palate, rich and opulent with a smooth long finish. Beautiful wine and will improve – 92 Points

There’s a lot of BUY, BUY, BUY recently, but fear not, for those that like to see my wines bomb you’ll be pleased to know my BBR shipment arrived today and I’m sure at least half will be eye poppingly terrible. *crosses fingers*

No Buy section today as mentioned but please…..

Grechetto, ever tried it? Or even La Tour ever tried it?! Just say whatever you like, anything goes with me you know that by now. Cheery bye. x