Vinosseur.com

…spontaneously fermenting

A (quick) tasting note: 2008 Jean-François Ganevat Chardonnay Cuvée Florine

The Jura. One of my favorite areas of wine production in France. Just head West towards Switzerland from Northern Burgundy and you’ll get there.  Exciting reds made from the Poulsard grape and zingy whites made from the Savagnin, and you’ll also find the classics – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the grape tasted here. Except, this is not the same “Chardonnay” you find in Burgundy. Rather, a Jura-type Chardonnay which gives smaller yields.  You can read more about Biodynamic producer Ganevat from this very informative post.

Date Tasted:  November 18, 2011 22:00

Appearance: Rich golden yellow, click on photo

Nose: “Orangina” (orange soda – very strange), minerals. Not a very open and giving wine right away – especially following the Pierre Frick Cremant.  More the silent, elegant type. Restrained.

Palate: Extremely vinous, as vinous as a wine can get without adding something to get it that way. It spent 24 months in 500 liter barrels with the lees. Could lend to the vinousity. A very well integrated 12,5% alcohol – barely felt it. Not a very complex wine and not a very long finish. The best this wine offers is it’s concentration and texture.

A little too “buttery” and rich for my palate, but the structure, concentration and vinousity of this wine are major pluses. I think that many would enjoy this wine because of the mouth feel.  A great wine, but not a wine I would search out for myself. However, it might be interesting to taste an older vintage. Anyone?

 

 

 

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, biodynamic wine, France, Jura, Rotalier

2 comments



A (quick) tasting note: 2009 Carussin Barbera d'Asti Lia Ví

Although the single vineyard Lia Ví 2010, (made without the addition of sulfur for the first time), is available now & super delicious, I decided to retaste the 2009 and provide you with a quick note.

November 10th, 20:38 -HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!

Appearance:  no development showing on this still young wine. A dark-ish garnet-red with bluish reflections.

Nose: Pure Barbera. Frutti di bosco (wild berries – mostly black, but some hints of red), hints of forest floor and black truffle.  Floral, mostly purple

Palate:  Great fruit attack with a minerality that gives the wine the feeling that it’s lightly sparkling, which it is not. Medium ripe acidity lending to the wine’s  juiciness, the juiciness you might get if you put a handful full of super ripe berries in your mouth.  Smooth, feminine tannins, just enough to make you reach for that semi-mature toma-Piemontese.  A slightly bitter,  semi-long finish.

I have stated before that I felt that Carussin creates bench-mark Barbera’s that everybody should be envious of. Not only the finished wine, but the grapes on the vine. This wine is alive and fun to drink.  A wine that can complement all parts of the meal, even white fish without pretentions. Enjoy…

Bruna’s babies

 

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Asti, biodynamic wine, Italy, Piemonte

Comment



A tasting note: L103 09 Carussin Il Carica L'Asino VdT

L103 09, what? This wine is a Vino da Tavola (VdT), table wine in English. And by laws governing wine labeling in Europe, they are not allowed to put the vintage on the label. So, one way to let us know just exactly when those grapes were picked, wine makers often use L (lot) numbers to help indicate vintage. In this case, 2009.

European governing wine laws also don’t allow wine makers to put the ingredients on the back label of their wine bottles; something that is found on all food items. People just take it for granted that wine is a natural product and that of course, the wines we are consuming contain grapes, and only grapes.  Many of us know that this is just not the case. There are many (even 100) additives used in every-day wine making; some natural, some not.

This why I chose to drink not only wines that I enjoy and love, but I chose to drink wines that are made with grapes, and most of the time, only grapes. Nothing added, nothing taken.

Carussin is one of my favorite producers in Piemonte, a region known for it’s age-worthy Barolo’s & Barbaresco’s, neither of which Carussin produces. They produce wines of simplicity, wines of great fruit character and wines of consistent quality, made with nothing  more than quality, biodynamically grown grapes (a bit of sulfur is used, and that’s it).  Their Barbera d’Asti Asinoi  is my favorite barbera, and I often use it as a benchmark to which I compare other barbera’s. In my opinion, very few other barbera’s stand up to the fruit quality of the Asinoi, and once the price is considered, it’s a difficult barbera to beat.

The wine I tasted for this tasting note is Carussin’s entry level wine, Il Carica L’Asino. In 2005, a small farmhouse was purchased in the Valle Asinari region by Bruna Ferro & Luigi Garberoglio.  Soon after, the family discovered the diversity of two small parcels of “Cortese Alto Monferrato” grapes which sparked their curiosity.  They investigated a bit further by speaking to the previous owner, a sprightly & kind lady aged 83 years.  She explains that her and her husband began to plant cuttings of  Il Carica L’Asino (load on the donkey) on his land in the Valle Asinari after discovering  from friends in Acqui Termi, the existence of  this ancient Ligurian vine.  This is a curious coincidence that links Bruna’s love for the Asino (donkey) and this ancient Ligurian variety.

The biodynamically-grown Cortese Alto Monferrato & Il Carica L’Asino grapes for this wine are usually harvested in the first two weeks of September by hand.  The grapes are crushed and left to spontaneously ferment on their own in stainless steel.  Nothing is added during the entire process except a bit of sulfur.  A light filtration before bottling, and there you have it!

 

Here is some nerdy information:

Grapes:  Carica L’Asino and Cortese Alto Monferrato
Alcohol: 12  %
Residual Sugar:  0,0  g/l
Total Acidity:  6,0  g/l
PH:  3,3  g/l
Volatile Acidity:  0,30  g/l
Total SO2:  30  mg/l

 

Date tasted:  May 25th, 2011 19:24 – melanzane (eggplant) alla parmigiana in the oven!

Appearance: medium intense yellow with green reflexes. No age showing

Nose: a youthful, vibrant, medium intense nose of sweet yellow plums, arctic cloud berries and hints of elderflower. Subtle notes of sweet lime on the back end

Palate: Fresh, crisp and very fruity. Yellow plums dominate with a delicate mineral touch to give the wine a (slight) touch of weight, while remaining light and playful. Bitter almond hints surround the fruit. Medium, ripe acidity that cleans the mouth well and helps the wine linger around just long enough to remind you just how balanced this wine is. Five minutes in the glass and one degree warmer, and I find very slight hints of yeast and bread, but only slight. The bitterness also intesnifies a tad, which in my opinion makes the wine more interesting. A very well balanced, although simple, wine with a moderate 12% of alcohol. Great for aperitif or with simple tomato based dishes – like my melanzane alla parmigiana!

 

19:40

Nose: hints of hay start to appear.

 

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Asti, biodynamic wine, Italy, Piemonte

Comment



A tasting note – 2005 Reynald Héaulé Rive Droite – thank you Pierre!

So I don’t update as often as I should (whatever that means). So, since I spontaneously write, as it should be, I decided to do a “live” tasting note.. That is, I am writing this as I taste the wine.. This opens me up to some critique perhaps?

Anyway, the goal here is few words, less education, and just to post

I got this wine from Pierre at La Verre Volé (Paris) the last time he was here in Bergen. I decided to crack the bottle tonight cause I felt like it and I thought it would be nice with this (wild soul on a bed of organic capers from the island of Pantelleria, fennel and potatoes..and a few other things):

Here are my quick tasting notes just to make it official:

Appearance: golden yellow – see photo

Nose: Medium intense, youthful and rich nose. When I nose this sort of wine, I feel right away that it is an organic/biodynamic wine with spontaneous fermentation (ok, Pierre gave this to me, so what else could it be?!) There is something about the expression of the wine that signals this for me right away. Hints of lees and yellow fruit, citrus and yellow stone fruit with a mineral lift giving the wine a fresh edge. Hints of alcohol on the nose. Jumps out of the glass at first.. I love wines that are alive!

Palate: A rather rich, dry palate with good acidity and a slightly bitter/mineral finish. Sits well long after swallowing. Again yellow fruit. Yellow berries and ripe citrus fruits. Hints of passion fruit? Nice food wine, not necessarily vin de soif. Well balanced. Well intrigated alcohol overall with just a hint of warmth at the end and at the back of the throat.

After just 15 minutes open the wine is tightening and becoming more citrusy and mineral on the nose and palate. The sweet, very ripe fruit I first nosed is burning off – and that’s good for me

I get sort of a Chenin Blanc feel with the wine even before researching what the hell it was I was drinking..

Ok. doing a bit of reasearch right.. At least I got the terroir correct (Loire). Wrong grape though, Chardonnay.

Be right back, gotta pop that fish in the oven!

Ok, here I am… So, I guessed chenin blanc. not sure why, just felt like it. But, apparently, it’s a whacky Chardonnay.  Oh well.. follow these links if you want to read more about this small bio producer from a small northern appellation in the Loire just outside of Orléans.

Mmmm…ton vin!

EATER

Ok, the wine has been open for half hour now… vin de soif!! Et voilà!

This must be the fastest post I have written…. until next time, drink wine that you like.

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, biodynamic wine, France, Loire, Orléans

2 comments



A Real Prosecco!

I am sure that each and every one of you has tasted a Prosecco.  That fruity and light sparkler, ranging from almost dry to slightly sweet (up to 35g/l of sugar even). You know, the one you have tasted but kind of forgotten about? Over 150 million bottles (& over 5000 producers) are produced annually of this inexpensive sparkler in the North Eastern part of Italy in the wine region of the Veneto.  Most of it is mass-produced wine that is (re)fermented in big stainless-steel tanks then bottled under pressure to maintain the bubbles. Much of it is produced with grapes other than the Prosecco grape in purity (only 85% of the Prosecco grape is required to satisfy the DOC, now DOCG requirements).

The Prosecco grape is a white grape that grows in small clusters and thrives in the calcium-rich soil typical for the region.  All Prosecco’s are fermented a second time, to create the bubbles.  Most in pressurized steel tanks and bottled under pressure (the Charmant method).  Prosecco’s can be vinified totally dry (uncommon) or left with some residual sugar (the more common version).  Almost all Prosecco’s are filtered to remove sediment, but some are left “sur lees” and sold that way. Some Prosecco’s are even vintage.

I have never really appreciated Prosecco. I had always considered it that cheap alternative sparkler that I never really paid much attention to.  In fact, I never really cared to pay attention to it.  Until last year when I had a revelation in the form of Silvano Follador’s Cartizze.

I was invited to the taste some wines at the house of a local importer of  “real” wines one Sunday afternoon in the summer of 2009.  The first wine this importer wanted to let me taste was a bottle of Prosecco from the top vineyards of Cartizze.  I wasn’t that enthusiastic, let’s be honest, a Prosecco? Is this why you invited me over here?  But, being passionate about wine, I would taste just about anything because that’s what I do, right?

He poured me a glass.  Nice mousse and a typical light, slightly pear-like, stony color. As I raised the glass to my nose aromas of yellow apples, very crisp pears, grapefruit, lemon & lime hit my nose with a supporting back bone of minerality. Ok, the crisp pear aromas were expected, but the other fruits and especially that mineral component were not.  I can remember being a bit caught off guard, but I still wasn’t expecting much once I tasted the wine.  As I took my first sip, the first thing that surprised me was the sudden weakening in my knees when my brain got the message that this was no ordinary Prosecco.  It was super-structured and completely dry.  It had essences of lemons, pears and yellow apples, but was not at all sweet as I had expected.  There was a super-long mineral finish with slightly yeasty notes of autolysis (those notes we get on Champagnes!)  This almost literally floored me!  What?!  What the hell was I drinking?

It was that summer day in 2009 that I will remember, that day when my love affair with a real Prosecco began – Silvano Follador.  A small family owned vineyard inherited in 1999 by brother Silvano and sister Alberta in the quaint area of Follo in the outskirts of Valdobbiadene. Silvano feels closer to the heart and sentiment of their grandparents , who knew little about sulfur dioxide, acidity and PH, but knew every plant in their vineyard almost like the back of their hand.  Silvano spends 80% of his time in the vineyards.

They use organic and biodynamic principles in the vineyards, and they produce only 4 wines, approximately 30,000 bottles.  The  top wine from the vineyards of Cartizze (3.4 grams of sugar in the 2008 and 6,600 bottles produced – the wine I tasted here), a Brut (3,4 grams of sugar in the 2008) ,  a Passito made from the grapes from their Cartizze vineyard (the 2005 had 300 grams of sugar!), and very recently a bottle-fermented (think Champagne here) Cartizze.  Silvano hopes to stop using the Charmant method all together someday, and has been already trying to remedy the “coldness” of the Charmant method by leaving the wines in contact with the lees for 8 or 9 months with very little racking and carrying out secondary fermentation at 3/4 months (one reason why their sugar levels are so low).  All of their wines are made with 100% Prosecco grapes, express purity of fruit and are so well-balanced that you just keep coming back for more.  Although great as an aperitif, the wines of Follador have enough “body” to also be enjoyed with food like tapas, Italian salumi (salame, prosciutto, etc), white fish, sushi & sashimi.

*Available in Norway through the special ordering range at the Vinmonopolet by providing details about producer and importer.

+        
   



     
”
 

 +    
   


 

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, biodynamic wine, Italy, Valdobbiandene, Veneto

2 comments



Welcome (Back) to Georgia Part I

Clay Qvevri ready to be burried neck-deep in the ground in the outdoor cellars, called Marani

Let’s go back let’s say, 7000 years, to 5000 B.C. … a time when grape-pip findings suggest that this country may be responsible for some of the first winemaking, and artifacts of the same age to help support this theory.  Georgia is unique in that, today, they still employ pre-classical winemaking techniques such as fermenting and storing wine in earthenware vessels known as Qvevri, (aka – amphorae), buried neck deep in the soil in the outdoor cellars, called Marani.

crushed grapes in Qvevri

hermitically sealing Qvevri

In these Qvevri you’ll find trodden grapes: skins, stalks and all!  These Qvevri are then hermetically sealed and left alone for months. The Georgians have been making wine in this way for at least 5,000 years, and they’re still doing this today.  It’s important to remember that wine is native to Georgia!

Very often winemaking is done with no chemical intervention both in the vineyards and in the cellar.   The resulting wine, which is be fermented either dry (without sugar) or not dry, can be extremely aromatic and seriously tannic.  And I mean seriously tannic!

The Georgian Wine Society

Georgia has 3 historic wine regions: Kakheti (more than 2/3 of all Georgian grapes are grown here); Kartli (where Qvevri are rare); and Imereti. (See map above)

The most commonly grown grape in Georgia is the Rkatsiteli, (pronounced rkah-tsee-tely, and directly translated means “red vine”).  This is perhaps the world’s second most planted white grape variety, the Italian variety Trebbiano being the first. The Rkatsiteli probably produces less wine (then the Trebbiano) and accounts for about half of the wine production in Georgia.  It used to be the most popular wine grape in the Soviet Union, due in part to its resistance to harsh winters and partly to  its universality.  The Rkatsiteli’s high acidity and maturity gives it the ability to make quality wine and quality spirit.  Even with all this talk of quantity, this is still considered a quality grape producing wines that can have style, character and refreshingly high acidity.  Good examples are full of spicy, floral aromas that can remind us of tannic versions of Alsatian wines.  If you’re curious about these wines and want to know more about what they look, smell and taste like, you’ll find out in Part II.

Category: 1 WINE, biodynamic wine, Georgia, Kakheti, Welcome (Back) to Georgia

1 comment



Bressan Mastri Vinai Part I- A Producer Profile

BRESSAN mastri vinai
Via Conti Zoppini, 35
34070 FARRA D’ISONZO (Gorizia)
Italy
Tel. +39 – 0481 – 888131
Fax +39 – 0481 – 889824
E – mail: bressanwines@tin.it
www.bressanwines.com
www.bressanwines.it

I haven’t done too many “producer profiles” so far, and I suppose that’s because I really have to believe in the philosophy of the producer before I feel compelled to write about them. Then, I really have to like the wines. I may have a favorite bottle, but overall, I tend to enjoy all of the wines the producer makes. Usually the wines will have a certain signature that says they all belong to a certain family – in this case we’re talking about the philosophy and wines of Mastri Vinai Bressan, and that signature is one of  passion and patience. Patience enough to release a wine that, although is certainly age worthy, is actually ready to drink upon release. And this is why I have selected to write about Bressan.

The Bressan family owns about 20 hectares in the Friuili-Venezia Giulia appellation in North-Eastern Italy on the border to Slovenia.  The first thing that struck me about this producer was of course the wines.  Indigenous varieties that one does not taste every day, such as the Schioppettino, Pignol and Verduzzo Friulano. The second thing that struck me was the vintage of some of these wines which went back as far as 1999 (the latest release of the Pignol, for instance). The third thing that struck me was the philosophy of this producer. A philosophy very much in line with what I feel a wine producer’s philosophy should be. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: 1 WINE, 2 PRODUCER PROFILE, Bressan Mastri Vinai- Friuili-Venezia Giulia, Italy, natural wine (just about)

2 comments



Jacob's Christmas Menu with Biodynamic and Natural Wines

2009-11-19_2641

2009-11-23_26472009-11-23_2648While many restaurants in Norway feature traditional Norwegian Christmas food, at Jacob’s Bar & Kjøkken we do things differently.  Our concept for the Christmas menu is the same as usual – simple, fresh and creative food.  The wines I have selected to pair with these dishes also don’t steer away from my usual focus on Biodynamic and Natural wines.  Please note that since we only use the freshest of ingredients and small wine producers, the courses and the wines (and vintages) can change slightly.  So, without further ado, here’s the Christmas menu and the wines: (click on thumbnails to enlarge photos and make yourself hungry and!) Read the rest of this entry »

Category: 1 Appetizer/Starter, 1 WINE, 2 Main Course, 3 Dessert, 6 FOOD & WINE PAIRING, biodynamic wine, natural wine (100% living wine)

9 comments



My Wine List – My Selection of Wines

As you may know, I am the wine director and sommelier in a small restaurant in Bergen (Norway) called Jacob’s Bar & Kjøkken (Kitchen).  A restaurant which has been garnering a lot of attention lately by the locals as well as the media. We have some of the most talented (and awarded) chefs in Norway, definitely the most passionate.

I started at Jacob’s Bar & Kjøkken in January of 2009 after a four year stint at Altona Vinbar where I managed a wine list of approximately 500 titles. Although Altona Vinbar was a fun place to work, and the wine list was very exciting, it wasn’t what I was looking for. I wanted to manage a smaller, more dynamic and eclectic wine list and to work more closely with food and a kitchen that would inspire me.  Jacob’s Bar & Kjøkken fit that bill perfectly.  The kitchen focuses on local food, specializing (in my opinion) on the preparation of amazing seafood dishes prepared with wild, local fish.

When in comes to the wine at Jacob’s Bar & Kjøkken, I like to keep my wine list at around 90 titles with a focus on organic, biodynamic and natural wines.  I don’t have any titles from Bordeaux and I don’t have too many  what I consider as “eye-candy” titles as I prefer smaller producers (farmers if you will) who do things by hand.  Many titles may be unheard of by many, but represent not only my taste in wine, but what I believe to be exciting, new and work well with food.

I am often criticized by people for excluding areas like Bordeaux on my wine list.  I am also often criticized when I tell people that I prefer to select titles that are organic, bio or natural wines for my list.  I am told that by excluding wine from Bordeaux or focusing on organic, bio or natural that I am excluding many great wines.  Actually, I feel that I am not excluding wines from my list, but rather I’m including wines on my list.  Producers like Frank Cornelissen and Domain Le Mazel which are often excluded on wine lists, are included on mine.  I include them with a smile on my face and in my heart.  This being said, the number one reason why a wine shows up on my wine list is because it is well made and I like it. I will never sacrifice quality because it is simply organic.

My wine list is not yet perfect in my eyes. I am slowly improving my Champagne and white Burgundy selection. And, I will most likely continue to add German Rieslings.

Here it is. All prices in Norwegian Kroner:

Jacob’s Bar & Kjøkken Wine List

Category: 1 WINE, 9 WINE THOUGHTS, My Wine List – My Selection of Wines

6 comments



Categories

About

About
Vinosseur is the company name of sommelier Joseph R. Di Blasi. Vinosseur.com is his web page where he writes about wine, food, restaurants and other gastronomic experiences.

Joseph has a special place in his heart for quality wines from the old world, especially France & Italy, with a strong focus on Organic, Biodynamic and Natural wines.

Joseph grew up in Italy and California, but left The States in 2002 and now resides in Poland.

Get in touch

Joseph would love to hear from you! You can contact him by email at vinosseur@gmail.com