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Monthly Archives: May 2014

  • New World, Ancient Soils – June 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th

    Having just won the coveted New World Merchant of the Year at the 2014 Sommelier Wine Awards, Enotria are proud to announce the details of their New World, Ancient Soils programme of events.

    The Southern Hemisphere is referred to as the ‘New World’ and we would like to challenge that! In fact, the geological makeup of many of its winemaking regions – with their unique soils, ridges, rocks and minerals – is many millions of years old.

    We have gathered together a diverse group of winemakers who will be presenting their wines at two very different sessions in each location.

    One is a formal Panel Seminar aimed at those keen to learn the secrets of viticulture and winemaking - the other, an informal ‘Supper Social’ where guests can mingle with the winemakers while sampling a wide range of food and wine matches.

    This is a great opportunity to benefit from the experience of the old ‘New World’ as our featured wineries have over 580 years of winemaking between them!

    Panel Seminar

    This is a formal, sit-down tutored tasting in a classroom style, with eight inspirational winemakers and a panel chair who will direct the discussion. The winemakers will present two wines each, and explain how the geology of their respective regions manifests itself in the glass: the similarities and differences, the theories and the practices, the terroir and the character. They will share their viticultural secrets, knowledge and experience in this truly unique session.

    “We wanted to introduce our customers to the brains behind the wines - these are the people who make the wine (and in many instances are the estate owners). These sessions are aimed at sommeliers and customers who have an interest in the more technical, ‘geekier’ side of wine and who are interested in the geological makeup of New World winemaking regions”, says Valerie Lewis, Head of Marketing.

    Supper Social

    At the ‘Supper Social’ guests will discover a line-up of wines from our eight inspirational winemakers. We will be sharing the wines we love, matched with delicious canapés, in an informal setting that we think shows them at their very best. The winemakers will be on hand to help guests discover how the New World’s ancient soils determine the unique flavours in the glass.

    “These are more relaxed, informal sessions, allowing customers to engage with producers on a more one-to-one basis and taste a great line-up of wines – without the technical details of a classroom setting. Guests will be able to move around the food stations, selecting whichever food and wine they want, and the producers will mingle and talk to guests throughout the evening”, says Valerie Lewis, Head of Marketing.

    Naturally the places are limited, so please email by Monday 9 June quoting ‘Masterclass’ or ‘Supper Social’ to secure yourself a spot.

    Featured Winemakers

    Bogle - Dana Stemmler, Associate Winemaker Carrick - Steve Green, Assistant Winemaker & Owner Falernia - Giorgio Flessati, Winemaker Howard Park - Jeff & Amy Burch, Owners Humberto Canale - Guillermo Barzi, President & Consultant Winemaker Morgenster - Henry Kotze, Winemaker (pictured above) Martin Meinert - Martin Meinert, Owner & Winemaker Omero Cellars - David Moore, Vineyard Manager

    Venues and Programme

    Monday 23rd June – London 2.30pm – 4.30pm            Panel Seminar 5.30pm – 8.30pm            Supper Social 5th View at Waterstone’s, 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

    Tuesday 24th June – Bath 2.30pm – 4.30pm            Panel Seminar 5.30pm – 8.30pm            Supper Social The Royal Crescent Hotel, 16 Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LS

    Wednesday 25th June – York 2.30pm – 4.30pm            Panel Seminar 5.30pm – 8.30pm            Supper Social Lady Anne Middleton’s Hotel, Skeldergate, York YO1 6DS

    Thursday 26th June – Edinburgh 2.30pm – 4.30pm            Panel Seminar 5.30pm – 8.30pm            Supper Social Clouds & Soil, 4 Picardy Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3JT

  • Lambrusco - Seriously Fun Fizz

    Lambrusco is back, and this time it means business. A growing band of aficionados made up of the nation’s restaurateurs, sommeliers, wine shop owners and wine critics are challenging the public’s preconceptions (and in some cases misconceptions) about this famous fizz.

    Last time Lambrusco took the world by storm it was in the 1980s, an era of power dressing, shoulder pads and Sly Stallone movies. But the wines were weak and puny – sickly sweet and punctuated only with a bubble or two.

    Not any more – today's wines are bottled in sleek, dark, long bottles with sophisticated labels - the wine inside elegant and fruity but with enough muscle to cope with the bold flavours of its gastronomic heartland of Emilia Romagna. Don’t forget that this is the region that brought us Parmesan cheese, Parma hams and Modena balsamic vinegar.

    It is fitting, then, that Lambrusco should be relaunched as a wine of real class, worthy of the region’s status. As such ‘The Consortium for the Historic Mark of the Modernese Lambrusco’ is spreading the word about DOC classified Lambrusco rather than the lowly table wines that were so popular during the 1980s. A seal of quality is used in addition to the DOC classification as these wines are subject to analysis by a tasting panel.

    The words ‘quality’ and’ terroir’ are not normally associated with Lambrusco but this is changing. There are four main DOCs that refer to the particular clone of Lambrusco used for the style and sometimes to the area in which the grapes are grown.

    The two DOCs of Lambrusco di Sorbara and Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro are often cited as the most easily distinguishable styles. Sorbana has a delicate balance between fruit and acidity whereas Grasparossa is richer and more obviously fruit forward. Both wines are dry or off dry, with Sorbana the traditional refreshing accompaniment to region’s rich local dishes. Rather than just simply a varietal wine, this is a wine of terroir – of the land itself, but also of the food of the region. It chimes with the desire to seek out lower alcohol wines (under 12%) that are easy to drink with a clear heritage of quality production.

    The revival could be seen as an example of 80s retro, but it's far from it. These wines are nothing like the insipid whites and rosés of yesteryear, barely 7% alcohol and made from rectified grape must, which flew off the supermarket aisles from Newcastle to New York. The new generation of wines are a different beast – wines with direct, bold flavours, shimmering with life and a pleasure to drink. Lambrusco is back – this time as a seriously fun fizz with a story to tell.

    Cleto Chiarli Premium Lambrusco di Sorbana DOC (NV) – made with the classic clone of the Moderna area, this wine was recommended in last weekend’s The Sunday Times magazine by Kate Spicer, who described it as “a bright pink, refreshing dry wine, with pretty hints of wild strawberry”.

    Also available (and both very delicious!):

    Cleto Chiarli ‘Pruno Nero’ Dry Modena DOC (NV)

    Cleto Chiarli 'Brut de Noir' Rosé (NV) 

  • The most southerly vineyards in Africa!

    A new addition to the Enotria family, here Nick Diemont Strandveld Wines tells us how it all began.

    “When I bought the farm in 2000 it had no vineyards. It was neglected. However, it had exactly the right physical characteristics for viticulture – a cool climate due to its proximity to the sea with cool on-shore breezes, and low potential soils characterized by outcrops of ferricrete, shale, and underlying clay strata. I had been searching for a piece of land with these characteristics for three years, having spent weekends driving around the coast of SA.

    On finding the farm – “Blomfontyn” (literally “Fountain of Flowers”) – it was immediately apparent that, historically, the discovery of sea routes to the east in 1487/8 by the Portuguese navigator, Bartholomeu Diaz had a relevance to a future brand strategy.

    On his outward voyage Diaz actually encountered a huge storm and was blown away from the coast, so never saw the Cape, his first landing being Mossel Bay. On his return voyage he anchored off Struisbaai, which is just around the corner from Cape Agulhas, the southern tip of Africa. This was in April 1488. I explain to people at wine tastings that Diaz climbed a nearby hill and looked inland and had a “first sighting” of where our vineyards are planted today!

    The theme of discovery, so much part of the spirit of those early mariners, lies at the core of how we have named our wines. Thus we have the “First Sighting” wines which are blends made up from different blocks of vineyards; then “Adamastor”; and “The Navigator”, celebrating the vision of Prince Henry “The Navigator”, who lived in the mid 1400s.

    And it’s not just us who thinks that the wines are fantastic, here’s what The Wine Gang had to say!

    2011 The Adamastor, Strandveld

    “In this Bordeaux-style blend from cool-climate Elim, the Semillon is barrel-fermented and aged, while the Sauvignon is unadorned with oak. That leads to a judicious combination of zippy, grassy-herbal freshness, creamy weight and toasty savouriness. Clean and long in the finish, a very good match for white meat or fish in creamy sauces.”

    The Wine Gang, April 2014

  • Fowles Wine delighted to be taking on the UK market with renewed energy in 2014

    Fowles Wine is delighted to announce its partnership with Enotria in the UK.

    Fowles Wine had been carefully watching the UK market for a couple of years and Chief Executive Matt Fowles said: “All roads kept leading back to Enotria”.

    Enotria World Wine is the UK’s leading specialist wine distributor  and encapsulate all that is great and good about the world of wine – small artisan producers, iconic names and wineries that are true pioneers in their regions.

    Despite challenging export trading conditions, the UK remains one of the key markets for wine in the world. It is the sixth largest wine consuming country by volume and wine sales represent around  £2.7 billion. The Australian wine category continues to hold the top spot in the UK market by volume and is third by value.

    Speaking about the UK market Matt Fowles said: "It's been tough over the last few years but things are certainly improving. The UK economy seems to be in better health and there is a growing movement amongst wine drinkers around fine wine from Australia.”

    Fowles Wine has introduced eight of its Food Wines in to the UK. Matt Fowles said: "Ladies who Shoot their Lunch and Are you Game? are the world's first wines to be blended to match wild game and are designed to encourage more thought around the origins of food and wine, and to explore the art of food and wine matching.”

    “With game meat sales in the UK continuing to soar, as well as a growing appreciation for food underpinned by provenance and flavour, we believe our Food Wines are perfect to match increased consumer demand for 'real' food.”

    “Our cool-climate Victorian wines are elegant and restrained with intense aroma and wonderful natural acidity which makes them very food friendly."

    Mark Kermode, Commercial Director at Enotria said: “Fowles Wine is a great addition to our portfolio – it is a quality-driven business, producing truly unique and exceptional wines. Our Australian portfolio continues to evolve and impress, and we look forward to a long and fruitful future with Fowles.”

    Matt Fowles also believes their entry back into the UK market has come at a perfect time in light of Tourism Australia's international campaign to raise the profile of Australia's world class food, wine and tourism experiences.

    Matt Fowles said: "It is great to see this focus by Tourism Australia on fine food and wine from Australia. We have a diverse and beautiful country and this is reflected in our wonderful wines, fresh produce and environment and we should be proud in telling that story.”


  • D is for Diatomaceous earth


    What kind of earth?!


    Diatomaceous earth - also known as Kieselguhr - is a naturally occurring highly porous, chalk-like sedimentary rock mineral made mainly of silica and consisting of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. Under the microscope, the particles of diatomite show up in a variety of shapes: symmetrical figures resembling disks, rods, cylinders and snowflakes. It is this shape factor, combined with the rigidity of the particles, that makes diatomite such an excellent raw material for filtering wine.


    In wine-making, the use of porous materials stretches back much, much further. Even the Romans were known to add chalk to wine, to filter out unwanted flavours. When it comes to diatomaceous earth, the Chinese have apparently been using it for thousands of years.  Today the use is far more widespread across a variety of products, however in wine it is used during the depth filtration, often done after fermentation.  The wine is pushed through a thick layer of pads which are made from the diatomaceous earth.


    The fact that this product is 100% natural, and therefore organic, means the wine is clearer, cleaner and truer to its roots.  The health benefits of using diatomaceous earth are tenfold, but it is most known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve bone and joint strength, and work with other antioxidants to reduce the effects of ageing.  Obviously we can’t ague this point as a health effect of wine itself, but that doesn’t stop it being a good fact to know all the same!

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