On wine buying trips to our wineries, I sometimes unearth irresistible vinous gems that don’t fit into our ongoing wine range. Often these are from little known wine regions, unusual grapes, are made in tiny quantities or may be stylishly retro but potentially share the same fate of being just simply overlooked. Therefore, we put together a selection of those special wines to tempt you away from your everyday wine choices, here are some suggestions so join us this summer to experiment with a less well trodden vineyard path and enjoy these intriguing wines.
The Adriatic coast of Italy is home to the beautiful Marche wine region where the close proximity to the sea is beneficial for the aromatic profile and the refreshing acidity of the regions white wines. The most classic of these whites is Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and our Marotti Campi Albiano 2017 is a stunner. This family estate is run by the son, Lorenzo Marotti Campi, who explains “the name of the wine is derived from verde or green, Verdicchio is not considered an aromatic grape, it has a full bodied flavor with a pleasant almond aftertaste and with age its bouquet evolves with hints of acacia honey, sage and citrus”.
Now moving onto the Aegean Sea, where the beautiful island of Santorini is home to the local Assyrtiko grape which grows in volcanic ash rich soils. Even in this hottest of locations, with the help of the sea breezes, this grape is renowned for its ability to make wines with refreshingly crisp acidity and mineral notes. Our Gaia Monograph Assyrtiko also has delicious ripe mid palate fruit and is a great place to start exploring the joy of Greek wines especially with summery Greek foods such as feta and black olive salad.
Based in the South-West of France, Buzet is a cave co-operative who are growing grapes with a firm focus on environmental respect. The Sans (without) is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and is vinified (without) the addition of Sulphites during the vinification process. Because SO2 is formed naturally in wine during the alcoholic fermentation, all wines after fermentation contain sulphites in trace amounts and winemakers often then add Sulphites to preserve their wine. However, in the case of Sans, no sulphites have been added. The wine style is fresh, summer berry laden with moderate tannins making it a perfect summer red, pop it in the fridge to chill slightly which will emphasis the fruit.
Tolo do Xisto is from Ribera Sacra in Galicia, Spain. The wine is made from the Mencia grape which is grown on steep terraces high above the Miño and Sil rivers. This region experiences hot summers which are needed to ripen these red grapes, but the cool night time temperatures and mist laden mornings are important in keeping the wines alive and singing with refreshing acidity. This is a family estate with only a handful of hectares and a simple tiny old stone winery where the wines are carefully and lovingly crafted by hand.