Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen


May 2016

Clos Saint Joseph, Blanc de Blancs, 2014, Villars-sur-Var

Clos Saint Joseph, Blanc de Blancs, 2014, Villars-sur-Var, white wine from France

6 points

Another really special wine from Roch Zassi of vinery Clos Saint Joseph is a classical Blanc de Blancs. Please find more about the winery at

This white blend has a very rare taste – it is pretty ambitious, considering its amazing array of flavors and aromas. It reminds one a bit of a Sancerre, with its slightly salty ground. In contrast to this, the wine is more acidic than any Chardonnay or comparable French blend. Aside from the saltiness, the wine is fresh and carries a very enjoyable minerality. There are all flavors of summer grass as chrysanthemum, chamomile and even dandelion. Elderberry, gooseberry and kiwi – a very exciting mixture: almost exotic but still grounded due to the stony tone of the soil. You would think this wine would need some time in the barrel, but this one didn’t mature in barrique – it’s only steel.

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Clos Saint-Joseph, Syrah, 2013, Villars sur Var

Clos Saint-Joseph, Syrah, 2013, Villars sur Var, Red wine from France

7 points

Perhaps the first thing I should say about this wine: it is too young! It could be better to let this wine age one more year before selling it. Since Roch Sassi produces only a few hundred bottles per year of this remarkable red wine, it’s not terribly easy to buy wines from him. Because the wine is of great quality and has a very special character,  you would expect that his wines are pre-sold anyhow, although they aren’t.

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La Bastide Saint Antoine, Restaurant, Grasse

La Bastide Saint Antoine, Restaurant, Grasse, France

6,5 points

This isn’t only a restaurant but a very beautiful residence, comprising a few buildings which are used as hotel, spa and relaxation zones. Surrounded by a park of olive trees, sculptures and a botanic garden, you feel yourself calming down from the first moment, and you really feel a kind of spirit of Provence – although it is on the Cote de Azur.


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Trattoria Da Dante Alle Piazza, Padua

Trattoria Da Dante Alle Piazza, Padua, Italy

4 points

This very classical Trattoria was recommended to me by the receptionist of Padua’s probably only design hotel, called Le Camp ( She is an attractive young woman from Padua, with some Romanian roots, and she told me that Trattoria Da Dante Alle Piazza wouldn’t be her place as it is rather conservative and doesn’t offer “light” food. Actually this was what I wanted to hear, since I was in the mood for a classic Italian pasta.

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Tetou, Restaurant, Golfe Juan

Tetou, Restaurant, Golfe Juan, France

3 points

What is the right description: brazenness, presumptuousness and / or hubris? Or is it: exclusiveness, exceptional quality and / or “superbe”? Certainly it is “genial” – brilliant – a place you hate or you love. I cannot believe that there is lot space between.


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1479 Nelles, Riesling, Alte Reben, 2007

Riesling Alte Reben, Nelles, 2007, White wine from Germany

5 points

Please find my previous reviews of wines from the Nelles winery here: and Since you will find a lot of  information about Nelles there, here I will concentrate only on the wine.

Although the lovely valley of the small river Ahr is further north than Mosel, this wine region stands for the best red wines. White ones are rather rare.  Soil almost in the entire valley is mostly schist.

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Foradori, Fuoripista, Pinot Grigio, 2014

Foradori, Fuoripista, Pinot Grigio, 2014, White wine from Italy

6,5 points

I don’t actually know  anyone (!) who wouldn’t praise Elisabetta Foradori as one of the most innovative, inspiring but also dogmatic winemakers in Europe – if not to say in the world. All of her wines are organic and biodynamic. She has a very strong focus on grapes which have their home where her home is: in the southern Dolomites – Trentino. Trentino is in rorthern Italy and is part of the southern Alps. The soil of this region is always influenced by the mountain area. Like wines from Alto Adige, Valais or Brda, regional wines from Trentino are wines of the Alps.

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Fontanabianca, Barbaresco, Sorì Burdin, 2005

Fontanabianca, Barbaresco, Sorì Burdin, 2005, Red wine from Italy

4,5 points

The label of this wine makes people want to buy it! It has a beautiful and very memorable graphic or symbol within a golden ring in the center of the label. As I’ve said a few times already, I would never underestimate the value of the bottle’s design. Many of us may not remember a wine without this visual bracket. If the wine is good enough to keep it in mind, someone has created a valuable symbiosis.

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