A Totally Wild Lockdown (12 extra delicious bottles)
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Four weeks staying safe at home doesn't have to be a drag. Make sure your lockdown is "totally wild" with this case of twelve beauties hailing from producers across Europe who champion sustainability. In addition to a guzzle-worthy selection of reds and whites (all organic or biodynamic), I've included a bottle of skin contact white; perhaps for contemplating over one particularly grey Thursday afternoon, a half bottle of tawny for an evening of cheese eating, and two bottles of bubbles so you can enjoy a mid-week sparkle just because and still have a bottle to celebrate when we are finally granted our freedom again, whenever that may be...
Chateau Bois-Brincon, Cremant de Loire Brut Nature - This crémant is a blend of Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Upon arrival, grapes are pressed slowly and gently in a pneumatic press. The first fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Second fermentation occurs in bottle and is kickstarted with grape must, after which the wine is finished with no added dosage. This is a raw and vinous crémant with elegant bubbles and good aging potential. Zippy, juicy, bright and fresh!
Dominio de Tharsys Cava Brut Nature - Made in the Champagne method in a typically dry style (0.8g/l residual sugar), this Cava from near Valencia is clean, crisp and refreshing. Citrus and floral aromas on the nose and a lovely creamy finish. A perfect accompaniment to tapas.
Ciello, Baglio Catarratto - Delicious Catarratto from beautiful Sicily. Certified organic grapes and winery, minimal intervention throughout. Limited fining agents are used, if any, and only a basic filter is applied to the wine before bottling. As a result some bottles show a small amount of very fine lees sediment in the bottom of the bottle, but with this comes the benefit of greater flavour, texture and mouthfeel to the wine, rather than being stripped bare as you will find with more commercially made white wines.
Domaine du Verger, Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur lie - This organic Muscadet is made by Pierre Luneau at Domaine du Verger situated at Le Landreau in the Western Loire, 20km south east of Nantes and is made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape. The vines are grown on sand and gravel which not only give the wine a mineral, slightly salty aspect but also the capacity to age. The 'sur lie' designation is given to Muscadets that have been kept on the lees for more than 4 months and have not been racked or filtered prior to bottling which always takes place on the last day of June following the vintage.
Chateau Mourgues du Gres, Les Galets Blanc - Predominantly Grenache Blanc with a little Vermentino and Roussanne, this graceful white wine combines fruitiness and freshness. Notes of citrus fruits are mingled with the aromas of white flowers and a touch of minerality.
Cotes du Rhone 'Terre de Mistral', Vignerons d'Estezargues - Cotes du Rhone Terre de Mistral from Vignerons d'Estezargues is a hearty, full bodied, fruity, Natural Grenache blend. The Terre de Mistral is Cotes du Rhone with great character and plump fresh fruit, named after the cold wind that is funneled through the Rhone Valley from the North. Trademark blackberry and pepper, but also fresh with lighter nutmeg and liquorice tones. It is made with no intervention, wild yeast and no fining or filtration. This is pure gutsy Rhone, a bit 'Sauvage' round the edges, imagine a large terra cotta jug of the stuff with some stew of wild boar in a blustery winter night when the mistral is blowing and you get the picture. Very moreish and very good value.
Weingut Judith Beck, Ink - Juicy, fresh, biodynamic, Austrian red wine. Ink is a very lively, fresh biodynamic wine from Burgenland in Austria. The Judith Beck winery is based near lake (i can never pronounce it) Neusiedlersee. This is the warmest region of Austria for wine production. They can get some quite big red wines here and many producers beef them up further with new, toasted oak and go for richness and power. Judith Beck Ink is not like that at all! It is a biodynamic beauty with a blast of dark fruits, spices and fresh, springy juiciness that leaps from the glass on the nose and hits the palate like a mouthful of summer berries. There are no oaky flavours in Ink although some time in large barrels is spent in the maturation.
Bodegas Pittacum, Bierzo Tinto - Intense cherry-red colour with a striking purplish rim, very clean and brilliant. It is marked by a complex bouquet, with a wide range of aromas including red fruits (blackberry, raspberry), liquorice and mineral tones, pleasant woody hints, spices – pepper and oregano – and an agreeable backdrop redolent of smoked cocoa. Warm in the mouth, with a significant concentration of fruit, pleasant balsamic resonances, dense and fleshy with sweet tannins. It is a tasty wine to be savoured with a persistent finish.
Masseria Borgo dei Trulli, Primitivo - This rich Italian red is a bit like walking into your most-loved cafe. Not a greasey spoon, nor a super trendy one - nothing wrong with them but that FAVOURITE place! Aromas of exotic spices, vanilla, coconut and dried fruits. (They serve a healthy breakfast here!). Followed by rich blackcurrant, chocolate cake and exotic spice flavours. With, of course, fresh coffee on the finish!
Gran Cerdo Tempranillo - In the Gran Cerdo Tempranillo Gonzalo Grijalba has prodcued a wine that shows, in the nose and flavours, an intoxicating combination of red and dark berries, faint lavender (or violets) and a slightly earthy edge. The herbacious flavours gives the wine a slight green finish with a little spice, while the tannin and acidity cry out for some red meat.
Niepoort, Tawny DEE Port / Half Bottle - To produce a Port Wine with a fine and balanced flavour, Niepoort Tawny ages in oak casks for 3.5 years. Freshness, lightness and balance are the key elements of this wine. A Port easy to drink on any occasion. It contains no sediment and does not neet to be decanted. Tawny has a shiny bright colour and soft and sweet tannins. Great with chocolate desserts, cheese like Cheddar, Gouda and Brie, and red meat dishes.