Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Vineyards of France: Test your knowledge.

I came across this rather frustrating but addictive game on the UK Wine Pages forum. Jamie Hutchison from The Sampler is the man to blame!!
Click on the link and test your luck/knowledge.
If you get a score of more than 70K you will feature on the scoreboard.

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Thursday, 21 July 2011

Kreydenweiss in the Rhone

Marc Kreydenweiss has been making some sensational wines in Alsace for many years. In fact his family has been working the land near Andlau for over 300 years. More recently he converted to biodynamics and embraced a respect for the earth.







In 1999 Marc sought a new challenge and he bought 14 hectares of vines in the southern part of the Rhone valley, just near Nimes.

Since then Marc Kreydenweiss has rebuilt the winery and expanded the vineyard to 19 hectares. He has also converted this estate to biodynamic principles of viticulture and winemaking.


The soils around the estate are a deep dark red, with rich iron content(ferrugenous), which adds an extra dimension of minerality to the wines. Marc is very fortunate to have inherited some amazing old vines at the estate. He works these 100 year old vines very carefully, as they contribute incredible depth and complexity to the ‘Perrieres’ blend as well as to the special ‘Ka’ wine.



Marc Kreydenweiss uses very little new oak barrels for his wines. He wants the fresh, bright, elegant fruit to express itself. However he uses a few older oak barrels just to enrichen the wines. The old barrels are in fact from top quality producers (Domaine Leroy in Burgundy and Chateau Tertre Roteboeuf in Bordeaux)

Marc also has a small 2 hectare plot of vines in the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation. He adores this land, as it was previously only worked organically, so the land has never been treated by pesticides or heavy spraying. This is the perfect opportunity to create some fantastic wines.




Wines

Kreydenweiss ‘Perrieres’ 2008 approx UK retail = £12.75

A blend of 25% each of Syrah, Carignan, Grenache and Mourvedre.

Kreydenweiss‘Ansata’ 2007 £15.75

100% Syrah

Kreydenweiss‘Ka’ 2009 £29.00

100% old vine Carignan’

Kreydenweiss Chateauneuf du Pape 2007 £38.00


When I tasted these wines in January in the south of France I was amazed at the quality. I visited the estate and re tasted the wines as well as various barrel samples. The wines have an elegance and a lifted purity on the fruit. Whether this has come from the skills of a winemaker who has been making fabulous white wines in Alsace or whether it is the vineyard management and the biodynamics philosophy. These wines are exceptional.

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Monday, 4 July 2011

Fantastic LuxuryTrip to South Africa planned for April 2012,

I have been busy organizing a luxury food and wine and cultural trip to South Africa scheduled for next April with a friend of mine Richard 'Dickie' Hilton. See here for details.
Many years ago I met Richard Hilton, a Brit working in the South African wine trade. Richard 'Dickie' Hilton has had great experience originally in Burgundy, as well as selling, blending and making wine in Africa. He owns a small winery and he has expanded in to running top quality wine tours. Similar to www.bellawinetours.com Richard can utilize his many years experience and contacts to manage and put together bespoke trips. Richard and his wife live in the Cape area and his knowledge and passion for wine, food and the Cape culture is outstanding.



This is the 5 star Mount Nelson Hotel(The Nellie) in Cape Town, where we stay for 5 nights.

There are so many wineries to explore in South Africa, but there is also a fantastic heritage and vibrant cultural history. So we will explore ...vineyards, restaurants, Cape Point, the Townships, Robben Island, Table Mountain, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Constantia and many many more places of interest.

The dates are April 13-24 2012.
The price is 43200 ZAR (c £4000) per person for two people sharing. This includes 5 star accommodation for 11 nights as well as most meals, guides, entrance fees, ferries, transport etc etc.

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