Riedel Launches New Champagne Stemware from the Superleggero and Veritas Collections

4425-28 gefÅllt auf schwarzEarlier this year Maximilian Riedel launched the Sommeliers Superleggero series — he says: “Drawing on 60 years of wine experience and expertise, the new Sommeliers Superleggero Series is designed to carry the charm of a handmade glass with added superior lightness.” The hand blown Superlegerro Champagne stemware retails for £270/pair.

Riedel also launched this year, from the Veritas range, machine blown Champagne stemware that retails for £55/pair.

I met up with Matt Knight, Business Manager of Riedel UK, at The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, at the Royal Opera House, London yesterday and he was very happy to show me the new champagne stemware. Both have the same bowl shape and size, are lead-free and the stems have been lengthened creating a more slimmer and elegant steamware.

My preference is the Superlegerro – the stem was a bit longer giving it a bit more elegant feel.

Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Height: 260mm

Liz Palmer

ARMAND DE BRIGNAC’S BLANC DE NOIRS LAUNCHES AT HARRODS

ArmandDeBrignac_BlancDeNoirs_LPThis week Armand de Brignac launches a new cuvée — Blanc de Noir Ace of Spades made of 100% Pinot Poir at Harrods, London.

Blanc de Noir Ace of Spades sells for the hefty sum of £695 per bottle and is presented in a dramatic gunmetal bottle.

There is a limited production of 3,000 bottles with 240 being allocated exclusively to Harrods.

“A marvellous strength of the Blanc de Noirs is its versatility; it can truly be enjoyed on its own, but it will also be the perfect wine for an entire meal. This is a very sophisticated wine for the pleasure of a lucky few,” comments Gerald Loparco, a representative for Armand de Brignac. “Harrods has a global reach and an unmatched reputation for excellence, so we thought that our common philosophies and traditional approach with a modern twist was the perfect match for this worldwide exclusive launch,” Gerald adds.

Liz Palmer

BULGARIAN – PART 3 – ROSSIDI WINERY

IMG_1128++Edward Kourian, owner of Rossidi Winery has been travelling with us throughout this journey and I was really looking forward to visiting his facility and tasting his wines. We drove into a gated industrial facility and parked. We have arrived at Rossidi Winery. So unique – just like the owner and his wines!

Rossidi Winery is located in the City of Sliven, 300 km east of Sofia and 130 km from both Greece and Turkey – its name is derived from the combination of the owner (Edward) and his lovely wife (Rossitsa) – hence ROSSIDI.

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We spent the afternoon learning about Rossidi, it’s history, philosophies and indulged in some tasting. The tastings were lead by both Edward and Winemaker Peter Georgiev.

We learn that not only is Edward an oenologist, he has also studied music, engineering and graphic design, and is also one of the founding members of The Bulgarian Association of Independent Wine Growers.

Rossidi has 40 hectares of vines with 7 currently yielding – located near the village of Nikolaevo in the Thracian Lowlands; with plantings of: chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The unique labels are designed by Edward himself; each are vivid and bold reflecting the true character of the wine.

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On the line up:

Rossidi Unison 2014

Rossidi Rose 2014

Rossidi Gewurztraminer 2013

Rossidi Pinot Noir 2013

*Ross-idi Winery Egg Fermented Nikolaevo 2013

Rossidi Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Rossidi Syrah 2013

Rossidi Merlot 2013

Rossidi Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

*Signature by Rossidi 2012

*Ross-idi Winery Egg Fermented Nikolaevo 2012

Rossidi Syrah 2012

Rossidi Pinot Noir 2011

Rossidi Pinot Noir 2009

*ones to watch for

 

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Rossidi philosophy is: “The wine has to reflect the terroir it comes from and the main features of the variety it is made from and it should not be a commercial product deliberately shaped by the technologist to match the current fashionable tastes” he goes on to say “I believe we can be interesting not because we have copied someone but because we are ourselves and our wine reflects its terroir.”

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A distinct product is their Gewürztraminer – this grape variety is non-typical for Bulgaria

Another distinct product – they use the Egg-Shaped Concrete Fermenter for their chardonnay. With great success – for his first test run Rossidi won the only silver medal for Bulgaria at the International Wine Challenge London 2013, as well as a Decanter 2013 bronze medal.

Liz Palmer

BULGARIAN WINE – PART 2 – SOPOT WINERY

Our bus trip from Villa Teres to Sopot Winery took over two hours. Along the way we drove through the Valley of Roses – this is another beautiful part of the country. This lowland has three valleys, Balkin Mountains to the north and Sredna Gora hills to the south. Famous for its rose-growing industry, which has been cultivated for centuries, this area produces 85% of the world’s rose oil. It’s interesting to note that Bulgaria is one of the world’s largest exporter of rose oil, which is used in the production of: perfumes, creams, chocolates, liquors, jams, jellies and toothpaste. Towns of importance include: Kazanlak, Karlovo, Sopot, Kalofer and Pavel Banya. Unfortunately we missed the harvest, crowing of the Rose Queen and the sounds, sights, and wonderful fragrances of the festival by a few weeks.

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Arriving at Sopot Winery, which is 510 meters above sea level in the heart of the Valley of Roses, south of the town of Sopot – it’s one of the most favourable climatic zones for viticulture in Bulgaria, we saw spectacular views of the southern foothills of the central Balkan Mountain range.

After our tour of the winery and hotel and settled in the restaurant for lunch and tasting.

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The principal owner is businessman Docho Shikov. Sopot Winery currently has 12 ha of vineyards, with 16-year-old vines, with majority plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon. The facility has modern, state-of-the-art equipment, with a full lab for conducting analysis and research. Head Wine Technologist, Georgi Dchorbadzhakov, goes on to say that they have “an annual production of 120,000 bottles”.

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Wines worth tracking down:

Sopot Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Edition 2013
Sopot Syrah 2014

Liz Palmer

BULGARIAN WINE – PART 1 – CHATEAU KOLAROVO

Bulgaria is one of the oldest winemaking countries in the world; this Balkan nation has been stomping grapes since the time of Thracians who were big fans of Dionysus.

With the fall of communism and recent investment and innovation, they’re again immerging on the international markets. Bulgaria has five official wine regions, each with their own microclimates and grape varieties.

Danube Plain (northern) region

Taking in the fertile plains between the Danube and the vast Stara Planina range, this dry, sunny region is home to 35% of Bulgaria’s vineyards – plantings include Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Aligoté, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pamid, Merlot, and the sweet Muscat Ottonel. The deep purple, slightly spicy Gamza is the region’s signature variety.

Black Sea Coast (eastern) region

Running down the coast from Romania to Turkey, this region encompasses 30% of Bulgaria’s vineyards. With long, hot summers and mild autums, conditions are ideal for white varieties including: Dimyat, Traminer, Riesling, Muscat Ottonel, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Valley of Roses (sub-Balkan) region

Specifically known for rose oil production, this small region produces dry whites. It’s particularly famous for Misket.

Struma River Valley (western) region

This small but significant region is home to the village of Melnik. Despite having a population of 400 people, Melnik is a nation-leader in producing strong reds; its signature, Shiroka Melnishka Loza, was a favorite of Winston Churchill. The region’s arid, Mediterranean climate also makes it ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Thracian Lowland (southern) region

This region – south of Stara Planina and extending to the Sakar Mountain – produces one of Bulgaria’s most famous wine grapes: the red, spicy Mavrud. Other ripper reds include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Muscadine and Pamid. The Bessa Valley sub-region has serious vintage: wine has been produced there (by the Dionysus-doting Thracians) since the 5th century BC.

 

CHATEAU KOLAROVO

 

There are over 37 mountains in Bulgaria with most of them in the south. Our next appointment took us to Sakar Mountain which is in the southeast. Between four mineral-rich rivers: Maritsa, Tundzha, Sokolitsa and Sazliyka and close to the borders of Greece and Turkey, there has been an increased concentration of aspiring newcomers. These new producers are seriously concentrating on bigger reds like Cabernet, Syrah and Mavrud and Merlot.

After another lengthy and fun bus ride, we came to Chateau Kolarovo, which is housed in a former Soviet warehouse. The facilities are very basic. This boutique winery was founded in 2009 by businessman and horse lover Stoyan Stoyanov.

Chateau Kolarovo currently has 12 ha of old vines in cultivation, manly red varieties. Founded six years ago this small winery now produces 40,000 bottles annually. Since its first vintage in 2009 Chateau Kolarovo has won many international awards including two recent Decanter awards this summer for Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (Silver) and Ahal 2011 (Highly Recommended). We learned that the “Ahal” wines were named after a Bulgarian horse breed that is bred for long-distance racing – hence the logo.

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We had an informal tasting and lovely regional-style lunch outside in the garden area, led by winemaker Iliana Koeva and Stoyan Stoyanov’s son.

Stoyan Stoyanov and Iliana Koeva

Some excellent reds tasted:

Kolarovo Ahal 2010

Kolarovo Ahal 2011

Kolarovo Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Kolarovo Merlot 2010

Kolarovo Special Selection 2009

Kolarovo Syrah Premium 2011
Chateau Kolarovo is definitely one to watch out for.

 

Liz Palmer