Food, wine, travel, music
A recent tasting of wines from Mitchell & Son had the added benefit of enjoying them in glasses designed specifically for each grape type. This time Business Manager of Riedel for UK and Ireland John Hinckley presided, giving an entertaining presentation and explanation of the benefits of glasses of different shapes. I wanted to hear more about his career in music as the conductor of a brass and reed band in Huddersfield, but will have to wait for another encounter. See my article of last year for more details of Riedel glassware.
As usual the wines from Mitchells described by Peter Dunne were a treat and are available on line.
Sipp Mack Riesling Tradition 2012
A pale colour deceives the eye as there is buckets of fruit flavour here with a slightly citrus finish. A light mineral flavour, typical of cooler climate Rieslings, such as here in Alsace, gives it further interest. Beautiful for the weather we hope we will get. Try it with salads, slightly spicy foods, simply grilled fish, goats cheese, on its own. Delicious. I bet it will age well for a few years. €17.49
Scott Family Chardonnay 2011.
From Monterey in California, this wine has a Burgundy feel to it with some viscous weight and creamy butteriness, but more fruit than we often find in France, and with more tropical influences on the nose. The grapes grow on French vines from French clones and French oak is used with stirring on the lees so we get plenty of depth, complexity, lovely mouthfeel. The family has a strong sense of sustainability and care about recycling, using as few synthetic materials as possible, solar power and natural pest control. US wines are never cheap, but this one is worth the money. €25.99
Cono Sur ‘Vision’ Pinot Noir 2010
This Chilean vineyard boasts it is carbon-neutral which is commendable. The wine delivers just what we expect of it, with plenty of fruit, a slight meatiness/vegetal hint under it. Good for a hunk of steak, but also for dishes that include mushrooms. Complex fish dishes will take it too. Try it slightly chilled, especially in summer. €18.99
Martin & Anna Arndorfer Reserve Gruner Veltliner 2011
Gruner Veltliner vines don’t produce a lot of fruit, but it’s good when it does. This is a good example of the grape variety from a vineyard in Austria. Well balanced, lovely, lively, fresh fruit, towards grapefuitiness. No sweetness feared by those who are suspicious of Austrian wines.
Martin Arndorfer grew up in the vineyards of his parent’s estate., while Anna Steininger comes from a prestigious winemaking family. Worth watching and their wine is worth drinking. €19.90
Karasi Areni Noir 2011
Peter Dunne always pulls a rabbit out of the hat at tastings and this wine was the surprise of the evening. Said to be the cradle of viticulture, Armenia can produce wines with the elegance of the old world. Not surprising as the tradition there goes back 6,000 years. French and American oak are used and also old fashioned clay amphorae (karasi) up to waist height so the oak isn’t overdone. The area escaped the phylloxera blight suffered in the rest of Europe so the vines are ungrafted. Areni Noir refers to the grape type which comes from the area in the highlands of Yeghegnadzorm where long dry summers and cool nights are ideal for viticulture.
The vineyard was established by Milan-based fashion designer Zorik Gharibian who went back to his roots for this venture.
Elegant, yet fruity, bright and full-bodied, the wine lives up to its story and makes me want to visit the area. Worth the adventure at €29.99
Bodegas Lustai ‘Emilin’ Solera Reserva Moscatel
Not as intensely sweet as Pedro Ximinez, this Moscatel grape variety makes a superb sherry. Try it with or over ice-cream, but also with any dessert, and in the summer on its own or with the saltiest of tapas. Delicious. Available in half bottles. €29.99 per full bottle.