Monday, 25 August 2014

A Bordeaux from St Emilion - Ch. La Fleur Cravignac

Having been in Italy, I thought I'd head north west and pay a visit to Bordeaux, more precisely St Emilion and have a look at Chateau La Fleur Cravignac.

St Emilion is situated on Bordeaux's right bank and has been for many years far less significant then the wines from the left bank. These wines tend be Merlot dominated which means they don't have the same tannic structure of the wines from the left bank which are Cabernet dominated, this results in wines that are much softer and mature much quicker.

This wine is as with all right bank wines predominantly Merlot, with some Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon blended in, this makes it much more approachable earlier in its life. It had a deep purple/red colour in the glass with a slightly garnet edge, you got aromas of dark fruit, Blackcurrant and Blackberries with some smoke and spice coming through from the background. These all came through on the palate beautifully with the fruit showing some maturity and fine, smooth tannins and a tiny amount of acidity but everything was all in balance with one another.

I have to say I was rather impressed with this wine, I'm not a huge fan of Bordeaux as they usually take so long before they become approachable and they command a high price, even more so with the interest from the Chinese market and the reputation they carry. However the wines from St Emilion mature quicker and are no where near the price of the wines from the left bank, such as those from the Medoc, Margaux, Pauillac, etc and this is one I would definitely say is worth giving a go.

Monday, 18 August 2014

A Tasting with Paola Falabretti from Camigliano

Tastings seem to have been coming thick and fast for me recently, and we head back up from the southern hemisphere and to Tuscany in Italy with Paola Falabretti from Camigliano, to taste through some of their wines.

Camigliano is a village which can trace its origins back to Etruscan times, and was dedicated to the cultivation of grapes and olives. In 1957 Walter Ghezzi bought the estate, and produced their first Brunello vintage in 1965, the estate today extends over 530 hectares, of which 92 are under vine. To the south of Montalcino their are 50 hectares planted with Sangiovese Grosso which is used to make their Brunello. The grapes are still harvested by hand and the winery has been designed for minimal environmental impact by building the majority of it underground, they also use gravity to move the wine around to avoid any damage to the wine.

I got to taste through a few wines from their range, but 3 really stood out for me;

2013 Gamal Vermentino

Fermentation happens in stainless steel to help preserve the wines freshness, with a lovely green hue in the glass, you got delicate aromas of grapefruit and lime, a touch of tropical fruit and delicate floral aromas. On the palate these came through beautifully combined with a zingy acidity which gave this a real refreshing character. Definitely a great one to try, especially nicely chilled on a hot sunny day.

2011 Chianti Colli Senesi

The grapes for this wine come from some of the youngest Sangiovese vines on the estate which give the wine much more fruit flavours, and is fermented in stainless steel with pumping over the skins for 8 - 12 days to help preserve these. The wine had deep purple/red colour in the glass, with pronounced aromas of dark fruit, cherries, blackberries, on the palate you got this wonderful sour cherry with some soft and silky tannins which all combined fantastically and produced a great wine for drinking.

2009 Brunello di Montalcino

Again produced from Sangiovese, the grapes are fermented in stainless steel with pumping over for 15 - 20 days after fermentation, it is then aged in oak barrels, then a final two years in stainless steel and bottle before release. You got a pale red with an orange rim in the glass, with some delicate aromas of dark fruit, spice and tobacco box. These all came through in wave after wave gloriously in the mouth, combined with a gentle acidity and soft/silky tannins which were all combined perfectly. Now I haven't tasted many Brunello's to help me to compare quality and style, all I can say is that it was a magnificent wine that for that special occasion I would definitely recommend.

I have to say I was very impressed with the wines from Camigliano and I would definitely trying any of them, whether it be as an everyday wine the Chianti Colli Senesi or for that special occasion with the Brunello di Montalcino you definitely won't go to far wrong.