January 2019 Wine Highlights
Our January favourites are an all-white wine line-up with some classics 🍾, uncommon grapes 🍇 and exciting blends ⚗.
The year has just began, but once again we’re already at the end of the month. With plenty of wine tastings listed on UnscrewMe, it should of course not be difficult to sample some wines and pick favourites.
Perhaps surprisingly for a cold month, but rather unsurprisingly also very representative for our personal taste, this month’s wine highlights focus on Old World white wines.
- Wine: ”Folle Blanche” Muscadet Sèvre & Maine sur Lie
- Producer: Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin
- Region: Muscadet, Loire Valley, France 🇫🇷
When visiting Le Cellar in Clerkenwell not long ago, this French white wine made from the somewhat obscure Folle Blanch grape variety was recommended to me. And what a recommendation it was!
The wine had fruity notes of green apple, lemon and lime, combined with generous acidity, making it an extremely drinkable glass to kickoff our early dinner. Traditionally, the Folle Blanche grape has been used for Cognac and Armagnac brandies, but is also a local speciality of the area around the city of Nantes in the Loire Valley.
- Wine: Kalkspitz — Pét Nat à la Christoph Hoch
- Producer: Christoph Hoch
- Region: Kremstal, Austria 🇦🇹
At the lovely Vins Restaurant I came across this unconventional sparkling wine, made from a blend of the Austrian signature grapes Grüner Veltliner and Zweigelt.
Produced according to biodynamic principles, this is a natural sparkling wine based on the ‘Pétillant Naturel’ method, short often referred to as Pét-Nat. It seems that wines in this style have become trendy in the past several months and years. This wine is different from most other sparkling wines as the producer has not disgorged the yeasts from the bottle fermentation, leading to a cloudy golden appearance in the glass and a slightly musty nose.
I had never seen a sparkling blend like this, it seems so quintessentially Austrian and it works so well. The wine had an elegant structure with a hint of fruits and vibrant acidity. Overall, a very pleasant and smooth natural wine with a local twist.
- Wine: Riesling Sélection de Grains Nobles 2015
- Producer: Domaine Allimant-Laugner
- Region: Alsace, France 🇫🇷
Full disclosure, I am one of many Seedrs investors supporting the development and expansion of Humble Grape in London. I had the pleasure to go to an investor dinner in January and for me the star of the evening was this sweet Riesling from Alsace in France.
This wine benefits from the rare occurrence of noble rot, giving the wine a very typical taste, sweet yet balanced and beautiful.
- Wine: 2013 Schiefer Riesling Trocken
- Producer: Weingut Deutschherrenhof
- Region: Mosel, Germany 🇩🇪
I had this bottle at home for a couple of years and recently decided to bring it to a little dinner party with a couple of friends.
Despite “just” being the producer’s entry-level dry Riesling, for me this wine was a highly attractive example of this fascinating variety. Succulent stone fruit notes were perfectly balanced by a characteristical slate minerality.
Extra: Eclectic English
- Wine: 2017 Ortega
- Producer: Westwell Wine Estates
- Region: Kent, England, UK 🇬🇧
Now, we only list this as a bonus, because by accident we had already included this wine in our previous article. It still deserves a spot in our monthly favourites.
Made from the not so widely used Ortega grape, this wine is available on tap from a keg at Fare Bar + Canteen in Clerkenwell. It was a bit cloudy yet very crisp and refreshing, even boasting a bit of a bubbly feeling in the mouth.
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We’re always happy to hear about new restaurants with great wine lists, newly opened wine bars in London or just a nice wine you discovered recently.
If you have any recommendations, please let us know! Either comment on here or get in touch via social media through Twitter @unscrewmeapp, Facebook UnscrewMe or Instagram @unscrewmeapp.
Following our regular schedule, our next post will give a brief overview of the tastings in London on UnscrewMe scheduled for February.
(Besides writing up all the notes about the wines while I was drinking them, some coffee at Kaffeine and Curators Coffee helped to move on from the raw notes and getting them into the right shape.)
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