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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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Organic Wine

“P”, Guccione

“P”, Azienda Agricola Guccione, Perricone, Red-wine from Italy

5,5 points

Uh, this one is sour. Really sour. This is, frankly speaking, the first reaction upon tasting this wine. But you could probably also just call it: “I wasn’t expecting that.’

“P” by Francesco Guccione is an extraordinary, if not an unusual, wine. Not a wine for beginners, as I provoked on Instagram when I posted a photo of the label. P stands for the Perricone grape variety, also known as Pignatello, which, as far as I know, only grows in Sicily. Find out more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perricone.

The wines of Francesco Guccione are perhaps the most radical organic wines from Sicily, where you can find some “world-famous” organic wine producers, such as Occhipinti and COS. Everyone who read my last post about COS (Zibibbio in Pithos, COS, 2016), knows about my friendly acquaintance Joanna. When we spent a very nice evening in the wonderful garden of Bar Sabadi at Modica, she introduced me to Francesco Guccione’s Trebbiano, which is truly wonderful – such a fantastic wine. Because of this, I decided to order two or three bottles of each of his wines, and I tasted “P” in recent days.

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Amass, Restaurant, Copenhagen

Amass, Restaurant, Copenhagen, Denmark

7 points

How many times have I heard that Copenhagen is the culinary capital of Europe? Not Paris. Not Rome. Not Berlin. I still can’t really say because, in Copenhagen for the first time, I relied on a tip from Billy Wagner. His tips are as reliable as ever but you should be careful to have enough money with you — eating out in Copenhagen is not exactly cheap. And truly, there is one 3-star Michelin restaurant, six 2-star Michelin ones and even 12 (!) with one star. Next to the most famous and obviously one of the best restaurants in the world, based on a questionable ranking by San Pellegrino, Geranium (place 19), which is the 3-star restaurant, are there any good alternatives? Apart from the fact that I do not like to pre-reserve months in advance, since food always has something to do with mood and desire – I mean, imagine your mother dies and you have been waiting for months for your reservation at Noma, the other world famous restaurant in Copenhagen (which is closed anyhow for some months). What do you do then?

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Zibibbio in Pithos, COS, 2016

Zibibbio in Pithos, COS, 2016, white wine from Italy

7,5 points

Until now I have not written about COS, although I am a big fan of this winery. Not only because of the great wines of Azienda Agricola Cos, but also due to the presence of Joanna Dubrawska, who for many years was not only responsible for marketing and sales for COS but could also introduce wines in a very special way. She left COS a few months ago and is now working somewhere in France. Behind the winery are actually three founders, C. O. S. is a reference to their surnames.

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Móra, Klinec, 2009

Móra, Klinec, Medana 1. Classe, 2009,  red wine from Slovenia

6,5 points

Here is a review about another wine from one of my favorite wine regions in Europe: Goriška Brda. In this rather small area, some of the most ambitious winemakers produce unique organic wines — recently I read someone calling this area the epicenter of organic wine-making. This description rings true. In addition to organic wine-making, many of the wineries also produce so-called orange wine.

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Kupra, 2008

Kupra, 2008, red wine from Italy

7 points

In June 2015 I wrote about Marco Casolanetti’s famous Kurni. If you are interested in Marco’s wine-making, and if you don’t know Kurni, please have a look here: Kurni, 2008

When I visited Marco – probably it is now perhaps even eight years ago – he also introduced me to his second wine, Kupra. Since he produces only 400 to 600 bottles of this wine per year, you would think that this is the little brother of Kurni, also because Kurni is so prominent. Actually, this would be wrong: first of all, Kupra is not made from Montepulciano, but rather from a grape called Bordò, a kind of a clone of Grenache. Secondly, it should be higher quality than Kurni, which is ambitious to say.

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Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Selo (2nd report)

Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Selo, Kobarid, Slovenia

8 points

Returning a year later to Hisa Franko, the home of Ana Ros, I’ve just had another extraordinary culinary experience.

You can find more information about Hisa Franko at https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/04/27/hisa-franko-restaurant-hotel-staro-selo/ and https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/05/03/hisa-franko-restaurant-staro-selo-kobarid-2-report/

Her cooking is among the best in the world. Almost all ingredients are from Slovenia, many coming straight from their own garden; meat and selected fruits and vegetables are sourced from the surrounding area. Continue reading “Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Selo (2nd report)”

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 https://avdwineandfood.net/2016/05/29/clos-saint-joseph-syrah-2013-villars-sur-var/#more-3729

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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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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Damien Coquelet, Beaujolais-Villages, 2015

Damien Coquelet, -Villages, 2015, „Les Bourrons“, Red-wine from France

5,5 points

My personal association of Beaujolais is bad if not appalling. The hype of Beaujolais Primeur: much too young, extreme fruity wine of low quality bought and drunk by British. Yes, British are known for bad taste – and as much as many of good British friends of mine would disagree – majority of British at least have a very strange taste.

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Grüner Veltliner, Steinleithn, 2009, Geyerhof

7 points

Grüner Veltliner, Steinleithn, 2009, DAC Reserve, Geyerhof, Kremstal, White-wine from Austria

Krems is a little Austrian town on Danube, maybe 100 km upstream of Vienna. A small side valley of a stream called also Krems gives this wine area which is of a manageable size its name. It verges to two other wine areas Wachau and Kamptal. The Krems valley is rather rich of different soils. Although Danube dominates the countryside, traffic- and infrastructures the little valley offers a niche home for some great winemakers. One of them is the vinery Geyerhof in Oberfucha. Already since 1988 (!) family Meyer produce only organic wines.

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Loimer, Langenlois, Käferberg, Grüner Veltliner, 2008

Loimer, Langenlois, Käferberg, Grüner Veltliner, 2008, Kamptal Reserve

7,5 points

One of my most beloved and favored winemakers of Austria is Fred Loimer from Langenlois at the bottom of the Kamptal which is in the Austrian area called Niederösterreich (Lower Austria). This is certainly one of the rather less developed regions of Austria as there is almost no tourism, no industry and mainly farming. Anyhow, you can find some really interesting wine making there. The most of the wine of Niederösterreich is comparable easy and mostly “home-made”.

Continue reading “Loimer, Langenlois, Käferberg, Grüner Veltliner, 2008”

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