Monday, 30 November 2009


In London I was pleased to meet Loris the professional sommelier at the famous Locanda Locatelli Restaurant.
The impressive all Italian wine list spanned hundreds of wines. It came in the form of a large bound book and was stylishly laid out with maps to each region. This made it a good read!

I enjoyed two wines with my supper. Loris kindly noted the details down for me at the end of the meal.

2008 Grechetto Colli Nartani
La Custodia Farchioni
A delicious smooth textured and full bodied white wine with touch of apricot and honey fruit and a nice refreshing finish. Fun to try this unusual wine variety from Umbria.

2004 Sangiovese Di Ronangha Riserva
From the Emilia Romagna region of northern Italy. Home of the Ferrari.
A Riserva wine, stored in barrels for 24 months before bottling for a year. Pretty dark cherry red in colour. Light in texture with spicy fruit, grippy tannins and a long leathery finish!
complex and lovely.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Oddbins meets Bragazzis downtown

Italian winetasting - Bragazzis deli, Sheffield

Atmosphere: all ages crowd, some youth, some experience. The feel is of europe, civilisation, a pleasant drink at night just down the road, folk sitting outside and in and us inside watching abbeydale rd life. Format was relaxed, fetching wine in any desired order and comparing notes.
Delicious antipasti served to hungry masses. If only they could have been everlasting.

So, the wines- here are my notes:

Tacchino - Gavi di gavi 08
100% cortese grape. Subtle or bland? This unsophisticate wasn't well placed to distinguish. Nice label tho

Carletti-malvasia 08

Pungent. Quite thick taste with sweet tones.

Falanghina - di majo norante 08

Peanut-ty? Strong...smelling, distinctive. But not grabbed me totally. Starting to be impaired by drunkeness, losing coherency.

Terredora - greco di tufo
Big, bold, beautiful. Opulent and extravagant. £14 tho

Bellenotte - pinot grigio ramato 08
Interesting copper coloured wine, coloured by the pink skins remaining in contact. Complexity of flavour, initially quite tart, a spectrum of taste none of which I can describe or remember

Weingut niklas- sudtiroler lagrien 07
Clean and direct nose (that does mean aroa/smell, right?). Very tasty and simple.

Poggio tempesta - chianti
Milder aroma, harder to read, somewhat coy.

(Trying to speed up now and getting

Lucciolaio 04- IGT Toscana
Most expensive £22. The real deal, confident nose, not pretentious, 'classic' (not entirely sure what I mean either).

Vini del sole - negroamaro 07

Pugliese. Nose is dark and bitter. Rounded and smooth. Berries and!? Great for a glass, extended drinking not so sure. Ends up with rather sweet aftertaste. So smooth!

Donnafugata - sherazade 07
I think I have lost it now. The first inhalation gave me a few different thing, I have no idea what they are now. Which makes me think-sometimes u just gotta say what you first find. Think this suffered from being the last. Not bad by any means but I just have no idea any more. Caught some licquorice at the end but probably drunk/delusional.


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Marly 2009

Sauvignon Blanc wine is made very simply due to the grapes being so delicious on their own. Minimal amount of winemaking is require just squashing and fermenting in large steel tanks and filtering. Due to this, the wine is best drunk as soon after it is made. The freshness in this 2009 vintage is evident and older wines lose interest as they age so drink it up!

Brand new 09 - plate Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
Marlborough Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Very pale white silvery yellow in colour. Very aromatic fruit on the nose of fresh blackcurrants, gooseberries and nettles. Clean on the palate with fresh passion fruit intensity and a mineral texture. lovely long finish.
reallly enjoyable and really worth the price. look out for the 2009 vintage not the 2008.
4.99 Co-Operative Supermarkets

Monday, 9 November 2009


A delicious wine from Sicily made from the indigenous grape varieties Nero D'Avolo blended half and half with Syrah to make a mouth watering wine..

2007 Donnafugata Sherazade
Firstly an amazing name on the bottle! and striking label.

Gorgeous dark black purple in colour. Sweet dark fruits and liquorice nose with well balanced fruit, a rich smooth body, spicy, refreshing fruit and a great long finish.
This is a treat of a wine from the Oddbins top shelf in the Italian section. Just what you need these long nights in.
£10.99 Oddbins

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Portugese Tour

We visited beachside towns, villages high in the hills , rattled round in trams and frequented great wine bars in the evening. We were also not afraid to risk gout by consuming large quantities of PORT ugal.

Garrafeira Alfaia, Bairro Alto, Lisbon
Tiny wine bar with seating outside. Enormous menu of all Portugese wines and spirits.
My favourite was the Ribera del Duero 2006 Duradero.
Rich purple red in colour with delicous sweet fruit,chocolate like richness with toasty oak, integrated tannins and smooth long finish.

Minutes from our pension in B Alto, the Mirador San Pedro de Alcantara housed a miniature wine bar. It is set up at a kiosk on the lower tier if you have trouble finding it! Here we were helped to the
Alentejo 2008 Fiuza Castas
I drank quite a few Alentejos last week and loved this one here.
It was dark and fruity but with a great refreshing finish. Perfect for an evening at a mirador.

Next stop on our wineological tour was PORTO. I loved exploring the steep neighbourhood of Gaia which is where all the wine lodges are located. All the port rafts are moored on the river which is a very pretty sight.

Croft Port
White Port
served before the tour
Lovely reddish gleaming gold in colour.
This had warm fruity notes of anised and tropical fruit with wood and spice! nice. not many people are aware of white port.

Croft 2003 Late Bottled Vintage Port.
Vintage quality grapes bottled after a bit of time in oak.
Dark cherry red coloured with sweet fruit, dried fruit in cake and licourice flavours.

Croft Tawny 10 years old Port
Aged for 10 years in oak barrels.
Light brown tawny red orange colour with dark roast coffee and hazelnut flavours. wooded smoky oak and light fig hint.

Croft 2007 Vintage Port

Constructed from superb quality grapes from the excellent summer of 2007. feet pressed and carefully vinified.
Rich dark purple crimson in colour with perfumed sweet nose of pure blackcurrnt, blueberries with a refreshing touch. Elegant and smooth.