Our White Wine Journey of Discovery for April 2015

Dear Wine Lovers,

This Month’s White Wine Journey of Discovery takes us to Eastern Europe with two whites, one from a well known grape variety - the other not so. We then move back to Rheingau for GH Von Mumm’s next step up, on to north eastern Spain with new vintage of a wine you’ve already seen, then onto a white made from traditional sherry grapes, and finally a great Chardonnay from southern Victoria.

As always Grapes & Lager is about discovery and offering our members something a little different. These wines are all in this month's tasters pack, which is designed for you to sit down with family and friends, read these tasting notes and discover something new and hopefully ‘Be Surprised’.

We also encourage to share your experience with us and provide us with feedback on the wines we have selected.

But most of all just enjoy


The Wine Guy


The Wines……..


Carmele Recas ‘Calusari’ Pinot Grigio – Romania

We had an indigenous wine from this producer last year and when I also brought in this particular wine, it was so well received by several restaurants in Melbourne that I ran out of it in eight weeks. Why? Because the wines under this producer are just very well made honest wines and show great varietal flavours at all price levels. Forget the fact its from a country you may not have associated good wine with in the past,  they are  just great wines to drink. By the way, the red tasters pack has the Pinot Noir included this month.

The Recas Winery is situated in Banat region of Romania, where the first records of viticulture date back to the period of the Roman invasion of Dacia, in the first century AD. Earlier legends tell of the god of wine Bacchus spending his childhood there. More recent history shows that the vineyard of Recas was already renowned by 1447, when the lord of Severin, Mihail de Ciorna purchased the vineyards in Recas from Ecaterina Magyar, for 32 Hungarian gold florins.

This wine shows classic Pinot Grigio, crisp apple and pear, light on the palate but full of juicy fruit and clean grapefruit like finish.

Food, well somewhere warm at the moment, oysters, and chilli mussels, or just sit and drink. 

Blato 1902 Posip – Croatia

This is what the tasters club is about, surprising members with a new discovery and please sit around with good friends and have a discussion, its not about just getting merry, (nice side affect, in moderation) its about enjoying new experiences. Did I just write that!!!

Vinarija Blato was established in 1902, and is now the largest cooperative on the Island of Korčula with access to the best fruits available, including the famous Pošip grapes, which go into Korčula’s flagship wine. Blato still employs traditional winemaking techniques such as long skins macerations for whites and reds and ageing in large Slavonian Oak barrels. They also ferment their white wines in stainless steel vats and handle them using a reductive method to preserve primary fruit characteristics.

Grapes and wine are an integral part of the celebration of life for Korčula’s inhabitants. Since as far back as 1427, the 'Statute of the islands', the oldest code in that part of Europe, has regulated the cultivation of vines, wine production and trade on the island. Wines from the island of Korčula were exported to Venice and served regularly at the tables of the Viennese court.

Pošip is the signature native white variety from Korčula island, although small amounts are also being grown on the Pelješac Peninsula.

Pošip is distinguished by large, elongated bunches with oval, egg-shaped berries with relatively thin skins. Wines produced from Pošip can be full bodied with medium to medium-high alcohol; a viscous, oily texture; and notes of pear, fig, stone fruits, Mediterranean herb, wild flowers and honey.

This wine is a light greenish gold in colour. The nose has subdued sweet lemony smells, a bit of passionfruit and a tiny hint of toffee. The palate gives a sweetish impression with very pleasant apple tastes, but beautifully balanced with acidity, it is dry and well made.

Food – Seafood, roasted asparagus, roasted figs, squashed potatoes will squeezed lemon and fresh parsley.

GH Von Mumm ‘Classic’ Riesling – Rheingau

We’ve shown you a couple of vintages of one of favorite wines from this company - the 50th Parallel Riesling.  This is the first of their ‘Estate’ wines, you will see similar characteristics in this wine but its more intense and well more refined. However both wines definitely show the style GH Von Mumm likes to make.

The history of the Mumm estate goes back to the entrepreneurial wine merchant Gottlieb Mumm, who in 1811 approached the Schloss Johannisberg estate with a proposal to purchase the entire harvest – quite a risky move since there had been one poor vintage after another from 1808 to 1810. For Gottlieb Mumm, however, it proved to be a case of “fortune favors the brave”: 1811 went down in the history of the Rheingau as a “comet vintage” and Mumm acquired 60,000 litres of outstanding Riesling.

Since this first vintage, G.H. von Mumm has risen to become a member of the Association of German Quality and Prädikat Wine Estate (VDP = Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter e. V.). The VDP, the world’s oldest association of wine estates, has been committed to the correlation of producer, site and quality, a trinity that has helped set high standards in German wine culture. Today, it comprises about 200 very individualistic vintners who share a deep commitment to tradition and quality.

This wine is intense on the nose white peach and green apples, fresh on the palate with green apple, peach and finishes with citric edge.

Food – Thai, Vietnamese inspired

Kaesler ‘Stonehorse’ Palomino – Barossa Valley

Again another surprising wine, Palomino is widely used in Spain to make sherry. Its made its way from Andalucia, southwestern Spain all the way to South Australia where Kaesler has had it growing for over 40 years. In that time they have experimented with making both still and fortified wines with it, finally settling on still wines. Its very limited in Australia and you won't see it around much.

The colour is a very pale green, nose is fresh cut grass (come on, we remember this smell - every suburb, every weekend.... sorry, until the drought hit and grass is now synthetic - this will take you back) preserved limes and green mango. Palate very fresh and clean, white nectarines, lime and stone fruit finishing dry.

Its one of my new favorites, interesting fresh and lean.

Food – seafood, chicken


Con Un Par Albarino – Rias Baixas, Spain

We shown this wine before under another vintage and it was one of our most popular wines at the time. This is the new vintage, much fresher and slightly better balanced than the last vintage and it has sold well since we got this stock in. Albarino is grown mainly in North Eastern corner of Spain on the coast in the region of Rias Baxias. The wines are fresh and suited to the local cuisine. I find it really interesting that a lot of European regions are focused on growing wines that suit the food of the local area and climate.

The wine is made by Bodegas Vincente Gandia, a large producer of good quality wines from many regions in Spain.

This wine is straw coloured, nose has aromas of tangerine, orange blossom and pear, with a hint fresh pastry. Palate has similarities to Riesling and Pinot Grigio, with zesty citrus fruits up front melding into a richer mid palate with texture, then racy off with an acid finish.

Great wine style largest selling Spanish white style in Australia – I love it - especially this new vintage.

Food – Whatever !!! By its self or grilled squid


Narkoojee ‘Lily Grace’ Chardonnay - Gippsland

Narkoojee, meaning ‘place of flowers”, was originally a dairy farm that had been run by Harry Friend’s parents since the 1940’s. Harry planted the first vines on the property in 1980. Since that time, Narkoojee has achieved a remarkable reputation as one of the best wine producers in the Gippsland region. Harry and son Axel consistently produce wines of great varietal intensity and complexity.

I was only introduced to this label late last year by the distributor and dragged into their Pinot Noir’s, tasted their Chardonnay’s as well, there a bit old school in style bigger, richer, more toasty styles and at the same time some nice leaner characters that seem to be a style off today’s time. Good thing is I think this wine will suit most palate’s.

Creamy and toasty, great complexity but at the same time showing leaner fruit characters, of white peach, with nice mineral finish.

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