Wine Review: Delaire Graff – Cabernet Franc Rosé 2021

I purchased this wine at Delaire Graff  Wine Estate (South Africa) a few months ago and decided to save it for a special occasion to share with family and friends, and Christmas Day is the day!  I was also told that this is a staff favorite.

This is a wine that feels like a special occasion once I opened it and had the first aromas.  The perfect indulgence was tasting it with Delaire Graff 60% chocolate – heaven!

*2021 Delaire Graff, Cabernet Franc Rosé

Winery:     Delaire Graff

Grapes:    Cabernet Franc

Region:     South Africa / Stellenbosch

Alcohol:    13%

*According to Vivino this wine is top 2% of all wines.

Tasting Notes

Very aromatic pink salmon in colour, with a complex nose of fresh strawberries, red plums and floral notes; this character is maintained on the palate with some cassis and cotton candy through to a spicy finish.

95/100

#xmas #sommelier #winenot #winery #finewine #christmasmood #rosewine #grapes #vino #wine #winelover #winelovers #xmaswine #winechristmas #christmasvibes #christmaswine #wineoftheday #winemoments #wine #glassofwine #winelover #winetasting #winelovers #winelife #christmas #christmastime #winetime @delairegraff #delairegraffestate#delairegraff #jewelofthecapewinelands #drinkstellenbosch #visitstellenbosch #winetourism

Orcia DOC – A fascinating wine territory in the heart of Tuscany – Filippo Magnani

“The most beautiful wine in the world” is the appropriate tagline chosen by the Val d’Orcia region to promote its wines. My recent visit showed me that their quality is steadily increasing, surprisingly even in terms of how they define their territorial identity.

It is hard to find a nicer place to visit than the ‘beautiful’ Val d’Orcia, during any season of the year. Even on rainy days, a subtle fog hints romantically at the graceful profile of the rolling hills, sketched by lines of vines or olive trees, each one crowned with its own row of cypresses.

There are multiple treats for everyone: active holiday lovers can choose between the paths once walked by pilgrims on their journey to Rome (the so named “Via Francigena”, which is the Italian version of the Camino de Santiago). There are plenty of friendly hotels, all of them located in charming surroundings. Some of them welcome their guests directly in tiny, middle-aged villages that are cozy, and relaxed.

The mighty profile of Mount Amiata (an extinct volcano) provides opportunities from a hike or a bicycle ride to an alpine landscape, through silent forests of narrow trees, where it is not uncommon to meet deer, wild boar and foxes. In the winter it is possible to ski and take in the stunning views, on a clear day, from the easily reachable peak.

What better way to relax after an active day than in the historic hot springs of Bagno Vignoni or Bagni San Filippo with their freely accessible pools or luxury hotels equipped with all the comforts of a well-organized spa. Alternatively, you can choose to visit the surrounding towns, literally filled with Renaissance treasures: like San Quirico d’Orcia, or the “ideal city” of Pienza, redesigned by the humanist Pope Pius II who was born there. Cinema enthusiasts will also find locations where blockbuster movies like “The Gladiator” or “The English Patient” were filmed. For photography lovers, there are plenty of spots where they can create personal postcards, easily recognizable by the line of cars always parked along the country roads! Not to mention the renowned villages of Montepulciano and Montalcino that are also close by.

As for the gourmet traveler, the region’s local products can satisfy even the most discerning palate. Truffle hunting is an everyday activity, and visitors can have the opportunity to share in the deep love these truffle searchers have for their territory (they are the primary protectors of this natural environment). When the precious underground fruit is found by their trained dogs, whose loving relationships with their owners is touching, the enthusiasm that ensues is infectious. Local restaurants are the first to champion these treasures with homemade recipes based on pasta, game or the local tasty pecorino cheese. Dairy producers in the area can also be visited.

And then, like a jewel in the crown that shines ever more brightly, there is the wine! Orcia DOC is a small denomination in terms of production, but its territory is vastly spread out, maybe even too much so, encompassing the administrative boundaries of twelve municipalities. Consequently, there are significant differences in elevation, soil composition, exposure, and everything that influences the organoleptic features of its products. So far, total production counts less than one million bottles, divided between many relatively small family-run estates, with a few exceptions of outside investors who are nonetheless deeply involved in the promotion of the denomination, by joining its council, etc. There is still room for relevant growth, maybe even by an order of magnitude.

Their approach highlights the primary role of the Sangiovese grape, with a dedicated category. Some producers (but not many) have experimented with the native variety Foglia Tonda, as a potential flagship grape of the area, but so far, they have only arisen curiosity more than real interest. The Orcia Sangiovese Reserva ambitiously requires two years of barrel aging, and we can happily admit that in our tastings we found more than one label where the oak influence is harmoniously integrated, a feature that in late years has improved significantly.

However, it is much harder to define what to expect from an Orcia wine, or better yet what it is or should be in terms of flavours, aging potential, etc. Terroir features and vineyard location are too fragmented to be able to answer such a question.

But there is one element that helps shed some light – There is a friendly atmosphere and genuine enthusiasm. Territory interpretations might be different, especially because there can be large discrepancies in resources for both work in the vineyards and in the cellars. The importance of the human factor in the alchemy of terroir expression should not be overlooked. Wines display superior finesse and focus when they harness the most meaningful features of soil and climate, with the common goal of matching body and ripeness to the tension of Sangiovese’s acidity. This results in an impressive balance that makes each sip simultaneously carefree and captivating. Without the necessary human dedication and deep awareness that the denomination has the potential to develop in this way, such an achievement would not have been possible. The most recent accolades from wine critics, Italian guides and other wine professionals prove that this effort, which has grown naturally (also through discussions between the producers, group tastings, etc.), has been properly acknowledged.

So human commitment is probably the real strength of the Orcia DOC. Producers work passionately to improve their wines and are eager to show their efforts to wine lovers (every estate, big or small is tendentially well-organized to welcome visitors). So far tours to the wineries are limited. But I think that in the future they will become even more attractive, and more widely chosen.

#italy #italianwine #italianwinelovers #winetourism #italianwinetourism#ConsorzioVinoOrcia #toscana #italia #winerytasting #tuscany #winejournalist #wineinfluencer  #orciadoc #masterclass #sangiovese #enologia #tartufo @poggiogrande_winery @sassodisole @tenutasanoner @la_nascosta @agriturismobagnaia @donatellacinellicolombini @cantinacampotondo @capitoni_winery_pienza @valdorciaterresenesi @aziendaagricolaatrivm
@podereforte @ConsorzioVinoOrcia

Wine Enthusiast Magazine Announces Top 100

Wine Enthusiast’s reviewers blind-tasted over 20,000 wines and scored with a good portion receiving high scores to find the top 100 of 2022!

The Enthusiast 100 puts the best of those discoveries front and center, calling out a savory, brambly Australian Pinot Noir from Giant Steps as the No. 1 wine of the year and a Barolo with scents of pressed roses and pine forest from G. B. Burlotto as No. 2.

Wines with high scores and lower prices got special attention because affordability is an exciting proposition for everyone and can mean wider access. Look for 22 wines at $25 and under, including a racy Spanish Albariño from Rias Baixas and a bone-dry, violet-scented Italian Lambrusco.

These 100 offerings were the most exciting wines of 2022, selected because they were compelling and delicious, had outstanding quality-to-price ratios and are broadly available for purchase. Wines were from 17 countries were represented, from Austria to Canada, Lebanon to South Africa.

The Enthusiast 100 hopes to lure you out of your comfort zone and into the unknown so that you open yourself to new varieties, styles and appellations.

Here they are: https://www.winemag.com/toplists/100-best-wines-2022/

Source:  Wine Enthusiast

#wineenthusiast #wineoftheyear #winesof2022 #bestof2022 #wineenthusiastlife #winelife #wineindustry #winelovers #top100 #wine #whitewine #sparklingwine #redwine #winenews #winetasting #wineinfluencers #sommlife  #sommelier #winepassion

Fontanafredda Wine Tasting – Barolo Week (Toronto) by Sergii Daragan

It’s “Barolo Week” I attended, along with a group of industry specialists, a wine and food pairing lunch at Eataly, Toronto to celebrate Barolo.  We tasted six amazing vintage Barolos which paired beautifully with Eataly’s specialty dishes [listed below] while listening all about Fontanafredda’s “King of the Wine” and “Wine of Kings.”

It was a great experience to taste Barolo different styles and vintages, and at the same time compare new-school and old-school styles.

For me, “the wine of the day” became Barolo Proprieta in Fontanafredda 2018 for its fresh, and rich, with notes of licorice and pink pepper on the palate with distinct floral and red fruit notes on the nose.

Wines Tasted:

– Barolo Serralunga Organic, 2018

– Barolo Proprieta in Fontanafredda, 2018

– Barolo Vigna La Rosa, 2018

– Barolo Vigna La Rosa, 2016

– Barolo Vigna La Rosa, 1996

– Barolo Riserva, 2010

Eataly’s Dishes:

Mushroom Arancini
Fresh-made Mozzarella
Gnocchi with Red-wine-braised Ragu
Mushroom Pizza
Chocolate Cannoli

@fontanafreddawines @eatalytoronto

#FontanafreddaWines #RinascimentoVerde #italy #barolotime #barolowek #wine #barolo #lovebarolowine #barololovers #serralunga #winery #winelover #winemaking #enolovers #winelovers #langheunesco #italianwine #langhe #langhehills #instagood #vinoitaliano #nebbiolo #vineyards #vitigno #eataly #eatalytoronto #torontoevent #foodandwine #baroloweektoronto #baroloweek #winereview

Duca di Salapurata Group [Toronto Tasting] by Sergii Daragan

There wouldn’t be a better beginning of the week than a wonderful wine and food pairing dinner with industry colleagues, and maestro winemaker Roberto Magnisi, at Eataly, Toronto.

Roberto Magnisi gave a presentation on the wines we tasted, which are currently not available in Canada.  Great pairings with fine Italian cuisine – we also travel around Sicily through his exciting stories and passion for  wine. We also had the chance to taste “Engine Gin” which blew my mind.

The Wine of the Night

The wine of the night was Duca Enrico Nero D’Avola 2018 – strong, round, well-balanced, with lots of character, and scents of wood.

The Pairing of the Night 

The pairing of the night was the stunning Marsala Vergine Riserva VR1609 2009 with lightly fried market fish, seafood, and vegetables. The unforgettable salty caramel chocolate nose of Marsala intense the flavor of lemon sprayed Fritto Misto di Mare by adding some sweetness to the oily and salty seafood and fish. This sweetness made all flavors more intense and they were popping on the tongue. Definitely worth trying.

The full list of wines tasted:

  1. Lavico Etna Bianco Carricante, 2021
  2. Sentiero Vento Vermentino, 2021
  3. Marsala Vergine Riserva VR 1609, 2009
  4. Lavico Etna Rosso Nerello Mascalese, 2020
  5. Duca Enrico Nero D’Avola, 2018
  6. Passo Delle Mule Nero D’Avola, 2020
  7. Florio Marsala Vergine Riserva VR0504, 2004
  8. Florio Marsala Semisecco Superiore Riserva SR2715, 2015

It was so great to meet everyone, thank you so much for such a great evening!   Sergii

@ducadisalaparuta @cantineflorio @eatalytoronto

#italianwine #wine #winelover #vino #winetasting #winelovers #redwine #winetime #instawine #vinoitaliano #italy #winestagram #winery #sommelier #italia #whitewine #vinorosso #wineoclock #wineporn #winelife #marsala #eataly #italianfood #tuscany #food #madeinitaly #winepassion #wines #vineyard #sicily #torontowineevewnt #wineevent #toronto #wineandfoodpairing