Thursday, 16 November 2017

Kellerlei Terlan Cantina Terlano, Terlaner Classico Alto Adige Italy


I am always curious and intrigued when I encounter a wine from Alto Adige in Italy. This domain according to the rumors is on the rise to stardom. It is now that we have to take advantage of this house as soon prices will reach levels many will be counted out, that includes me and many wine lovers, that counts for a couple cuvees, but it is these cuvees you need to try.

If it will go that way is always the question as much hype sometime does not work as well as they hoped for. But the hype needs to carry substance and so let us take a seat and see, listen and taste Kellerei Terlan Cantina Terlano.

Alto Adige.
This region is actually named Trentino-Alto Adige, two provinces in the north of Italy, Alto Adige borders with Austria. Trentino is predominantly Italian speaking while Alto Adige has predominantly a German speaking population. This comes due to its former status in the Austro-Hungarian Empire which was reclaimed in 1919 by Italy. Alto Adige has over 3000 years of wine-making culture. The Rhaetian people were already using wooden barrels for their wines in what is now modern-day Alto Adige.
Beginning 8th century AD, Frankish and Bavarian monasteries acquired wineries in climatically favorable Alto Adige and called their first wines "Potzner" and "Traminer", after their towns of origin. The Lagrein variety was first mentioned by the peasant leader Michael Gaismair in 1525.

The Alto Adige winemaking was especially supported under the Hapsburg empire. The number of grape varieties increased and Riesling and the Burgundy varieties moved into the Alto Adige wineries, as too, with great unfortunate the phylloxera epidemic which arrived from America.
In the 1980's Alto Adige winemaking began to experience a sustained growth in producing quality wines thanks to the modernization in the wine world. Today Alto Adige has gained a reputation of quality wine making throughout Italy and the world.

Kellerlei Terlan Cantina Terlano

Cantina Terlano was established in 1893, by a group of wine growers who felt the need to work together to stand stronger in a world growing fast en competition was fierce. On the look for new techniques and different grape varieties coming from Germany and France, the group knew that to be at the top they had to open their minds as many big landowners were very backwards thinking. The landlords were also the dominant factor in the region, the 24 winegrowers found it crucial to join forces and founded Cantina Terlano. This region of  south Tyrol was known for its white wines, the ratio was 80% white 20% red, with the years and decades this has switched to 70-30. White wine will always play star status here as throughout the years this Cantina has grown to a formidable player in producing wines and whites in particular. Today this cooperative has 143 growers managing 165 hectares of vines, producing 1.4 million bottles average a year.
Their wines are sorted in different categories; Tradition, made out of 12 different wines especially branded as sole grape varieties is their biggest part of the production Selection, 12 wines are produced in this category, where the quality, style, identity is vital, Rarities, consist of 5 wines single variety from a particular year laying to rest on their lees for at least ten years, and Terlaner I, these are Grand cuvee a fairly recent category but precise and the trophy wines from the estate, these bottles reach price of up to €151 $177 £134.
This according to the rumours is an estate that is knocking on the door of the great. Now we have to be careful as this will most certainly be a possibility for some of the Selection, the rarities and the Terlaner I.
I think the tradition series is a selection focussed on a totally different group of consumers and price range.

Kellerlei Terlan Cantina Terlano, 2016, Terlaner Classico Alto Adige Italy

DOC denomination: Alto Adige

Grape variety: 60% Pinot Bianco, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Sauvignon blanc

History of the variety: first vintage 1893

Bottles produced: 220,000 bottles

Yield per hectare: 56hl per ha

Alcohol: 14%

Price: €14 $16 £12 average price excl tax.

Visual: Medium yellow color with slight reflections of green, color intensity 3 out of 5, limpidity is limpid, and the brilliance is bursting, the legs are pretty thick the wine expresses a certain elegance, emotion, sensuality.

Nose: The nose expression is beautiful, full of fruits, apples, melons, acacia flower, a hint of yeast, mineral and a discreet smell of lemon and mint.

Palate: The attack on the palate is pronounced, a dry medium body, smooth, soft, melons and little peach mid-palate, the wine holds well, the acidities sits in god balance with the aromas, its lingering is good, juicy fruits lingering.

Conclusion: I am happy to have tasted this wine and I want to explore a couple others to, this is a cooperative and so one would straight thinking that producing top quality would almost be impossible, almost is well important here, here is a group of winemakers that truly work towards excellency. Much enjoyable and very good value for money. It is a fact that not all cooperative is bad as here sits and lives the proof. Surely recommend this for all who look for a white wine, with pizza, veal, pork, chicken, fish, it has a wide variety of dishes to go with. so if you come across this estate, please don't be shy.

Score: I rate this wine at 18.9/20 89/100 (rated as a very good wine)

Until next time please do drink responsibly.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Morties Pic Saint Loup Languedoc 2015




This is a domain I discovered for the first time in 2005. Back then I was full in my wine studies and so naturally you look what the region has to offer. Back then I tasted their top cuvee, which was mas de Morties, en isn't available anymore. It is also named just Morties and their entire cuvee is evolved. I found this bottle in a shop during a visit to the region and as I haven't taste this one yet, I had to go for it, my recollection of Morties was pretty good so let's see how they have moved on.

Pic Saint Loup
When you arrive in Montpellier (nearest town to the Pic St Loup), this imposing natural structure is easily to be seen. Majestic and graceful this rock stand out named after one of the three brothers (Thieri Loup). The three brothers retired as hermits to the highest points in the region, Thieri took the pic and the two brothers Alban and Guiral the plateau opposite. The reason for that move is that the three brothers went on crusade, leaving behind the beautiful Bertrade, not knowing which one of the three brothers she would chose. On their return they learned that the beautiful Bertrade had died, brokenhearted they retired as hermits and on every 19th of March they burned a fire. Thieri lived longest and from there in homage the rock named after him Pic Saint Loup. Vines has been present in the region for a very long time, the Phoceens were the first to plant vines, the Romans were less sweet and had a different view and  ripped out a lots of vines and forbid to plant vines, only on some site could according to them vines be planted. The region seems to have been saved in comparison to other areas in the region. After the Romans empire the wine culture dropped in the Languedoc until the middle ages. Monasteries were the ignition for the rebirth  and wine saw a significant growth and importance for celebration of worship and even currency.

The twentieth century was in volume terms a boom for the Languedoc-Roussillon. The region was given the name " le pichet de France" in other words the jug of France. With the growing numbers of cooperatives that sprung up pretty much everywhere, it would take a long time for this region to get rid of this image. The region received their first appellation status in 1955 started with three communes, in 1966 another 13 were added, Pic St Loup was awarded in 2002 its AOC (today its AOP original protected appellation). Today Pic St Loup stands amongst the best in the Languedoc and growing to a Grand Cru Appellation.

Morties.

Morties is located at about 20 kilometers from Montpellier, on the southern slopes of the Pic St Loup. Today a fully organic vineyard covering about 11 hectares around a traditional 18 century farmhouse and in total holds the domain 23 hectares of vineyards. Much wine culture was there not for a very long time. Only after the second world war were serious efforts engaged to bring the area to a single culture wine making. In 1993 production on the domain was re-launched,  after it was going really downhill in the previous decade.  Pascal and Richard Mousties, running the vineyard today and have restructured the entire domain holding the AB certificate (agriculture biologique or organic farming).
Many fossils are found and the terroir sits on marl and pyrite with argilo-calcareous layers prefect for vine growing.

Morties Pic St Loup 2015 Languedoc

Alcohol: 14.5%

Grape: 55% Syrah 35% Grenache noir 10% Mouverdre

Price:€13 $16 £12

Vision: A deep ruby color appeared when pouring, with slight purple reflections at the rim, quite imposing and masculine, the color intensity is about 4.5 out 5, limpidity is transparent, its brilliance is luminous, it comes over as a young male just getting into adulthood, a bit brute and sporty, heavy legs and shows some good energy. 

Nose: The attack is fruity, black fruits in particular with flurries of red fruits, garrigue mingles in,  in the under layers sits a little varnish, thyme and spice sit and play with the fruits but nothing is overly clear.

Palate: The wine hits with a medium body, fruits on the mid-palate, berries, dry notion and mid palate is uneven and off balance between aromas and acidities, its lingering is short.

Conclusion: With the memory of the top cuvee I tasted years ago, I find this a bit off balance I expected this to be a bit better for the price it stands is it not that good value for money. There are good elements to this domain and I trust the top cuvee to be very good, but still the majority of the people will discover this domain through the other cuvees. Although I am a bit disappointed by this wine I still do keep faith in this domain.

Score: I rate this wine at 17.5/20 75/100 (rated as a good wine)

Until next time please do drink responsibly.



Friday, 27 October 2017

Chateau Lestage Listrac-Medoc 2010



These days you encounter from Bordeaux more and more wines from the lesser known appellations, this time it is Listrac-Medoc. Here the price for the wines is also very interesting as they are affordable and good,so all the reason to have a look into this appellation.

Today I want to explore Chateau Lestage Grand Vin Listrac-Medoc 2010.

Listrac-Medoc










Listrac-Medoc had already in the 18th Century a renown reputation, which then derailed somewhat to come back in strength in the twentieth century. This appellation finds itself in the Haut-Medoc district of Bordeaux. In 1913 is Listrac with its 1380 hectares one of the most important wines communes in the Medoc. With the great difficulties the world was facing in the 1920's, Listrac-Medoc suffered without exception and it is then that in 1935 the great cellar Listrac was born (cooperative), a regroupment of 25 winemakers as together they would stand stronger against the difficult times ahead. Today they have grown to around a forty winemakers and exporting their wines the world around.

The AOC Listrac came to light in 1957, thanks to a few hard working gentlemen making sure that their wines are received and reviewed as high end quality wines and the AOC Listrac-Medoc helped confirming that. Today Listrac-Medoc is part of the six communes (St-Julien, Margaux, Pauillac, St-Estephe and Moulis) in the  Medoc with an identity and personality known the world over.  

Terroir
Sitting between Moulis and St-Julien, Listrac is seen as the roof of the Medoc at a height of 43 meters above sea level. There are three outcrops of Pyrenean gravel on the west, some Garonne gravel to the east and central plain limestone making up the variety of identities Listrac offers. The natural slopes help to drain the soil well. The relatively coolness of the  climate, together with its windy situation and proximity to forest favours even ripening, which is a plus factor for the appellation. Here Cabernet-Sauvignon is king as the terroir favours the qualities of this grape in general.

Facts

Hectares: 422 hectares

Production: 2.500.000 million bottles

Winegrowers: 55 wine growers (26 independent wine growers and 29 in cooperative cellars)

Age potential: 3 to 30 years

Chateau Lestage 2010

Chateau Lestage has been in the Chanfreau family for 50 years. The family-owned vineyards covers 42 hectares in the commune of Listrac-Medoc and 9 hectares in the commune of Moulis en Medoc. The vines grow at the highest point of the Medoc, the Puy de Mejon at an altitude of 43 meters. Chateau Lestage is a fairly impressive Napoleon III building to the plans of architect Minvieille in 1870 and is based at the heart of the vineyard.

The terroir of Chateau Lestage contains mainly of Pyrenees gravel on the plateau, with clay-limestone and Marl on the slopes. This specific terroir led us to favors the merlot variety, with grapes, that help enhance the blend on this type of soil.
As the chateau is at the center of the vines, the grapes arrive quick and in perfect shape at the winery, equipped with thermo-regulated concrete vats from different sizes. Besides the winery is another space with up 1000 wooden barrels stored for the wine to age and mature.

Grapes: 56% Merlot 40% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Petit Verdot

Alcohol: 13%

Price: €15 $17 £13

Visual: Deep ruby red color, intensity of the color 4 out of 5; a very good transparency, brilliance is shiny, a very masculine expression intense and warm, mature and inviting.

Nose: A pronounced nose, striking with black and red fruits followed by spices, cedar and thuya, tiny bit alcohol, blackberries blueberries jump up in constant flow. a nose well worked at and oozing a classic Bordeaux character.

Palate: The attack is descent, with dry tannins still somewhat tight, a medium body, mid-palate holds well with fruits playing the palate, balance sits good between acidities and aromas, the wine feels dry and the length is medium long.

Conclusion: This was truly a very pleasant surprise and great value for money, a very good alternative for the wallet and very enjoyable, the work is done with care and the wine can hold the ranks, surely one for the cellar.  The label is what simple lacking a bit richness as whats in the bottle is surely better then what the label might make you believe.

Score: I rate this wine at 18.9:20 89:100 (rated as a very good wine)

rating system
19.6-20 exceptional
19-19.5 excellent
18-18.9 very good wine
17-17.9 good wine
16-16.9 fair wine
15-15.9 drinkable wine
14-14.9 acceptable wine

 Until next time please do drink responsibly.