Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Castello di Potentino, 2006 Sacromonte

The first document to mention the Castello di Potentino is dated 1042. It then belonged to a certain Count Pietrone or Pepone. However, the original foundations are probably Etruscan. Over the centuries the property passed through the hands of many well-known Tuscan families of noble descent - the Tolomei, the Bonsignori and the Salimbeni. At the end of the 16th Century, it became a center for the charitable works of the hospital order of Santa Maria della Scala.  The vineyard at the Castello di Potentino is situated on the slopes of the highest peak in Tuscany, Monte Amiata, an extinct volcano. The valley is low, and sheltered which means that in the summer the days are hot, but the nights are cold, allowing the fruit to ripen but not mature too early. The earth is volcanic, geologically very new and mineral rich. 

I was visiting a friend who has an incredible wine collection from California. His Italian collection comes second. We just randomly picked this wine after an hour of debating what we were in the mood for)!

Tasting notes:
Nose: Delicately floral, lightly spiced, liquorice, black fruit and some chocolate.
Palate: Dry, medium bodied, well-balanced acidity. Slightly more tannic than I had expected it to be perhaps because it needed a few hours to open in order for the fruit to show.

I.G.T. Tuscany, Italy
Grape Variety: Sangiovese

Approximate retail price: $22.00

(History is made available through:

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Rioja Vega 2009

This Rioja has complimented everything that I have eaten today:  a Mushroom rissotto (which I am cooking as I write this post), salt and peppery snacks, cheddar cheese, turkey slices, ha! Almost everything. There's a reason why this wine is known to pair with all forms of tapas.

Established in 1882, Rioja Vega is one of the oldest wineries in the Rioja region. Located in the Rioja Alta sub-region, the wine is predominantly Tempranillo (90 percent) blended with 10 percent Garnacha grapes to add color and weight.  Minimal aging in French and American oak maintains a youthful wine while imparting structure and texture. 

Tasting notes mainly comprise of characteristics notes of cherry, plum and tomato. Surprisingly the wine opened with a refreshing acidity and nose which I wasn't expecting from this vintage.  Common synonyms for the varietal are: Tinto del Toro, Tinto Fino & Tinto del Pais (Spain), Tinta Roriz & Aragonez (Portugal).  I have tasted the 2011 vintage of this wine and wasn't as pleased.  Even though the 2009 could be slightly past it's cellering age it was still drinking extremely well.  With it's elegant gentleness and brave acidity it made me realise that I don't indulge in Rioja's as much as I ought to.

Price: $ 12.50
Varietals: 90% Tempranillo,  10% Garnache
Origin: Spain

Monday, 2 February 2015

Welcome back to Brooklyn!

After 2 long years in Queens we found an apartment in our old neighborhood of Bedford Stuyvesant in Brookyn. We were welcomed with a beautifully set tray of mint tea on a chilly February day by our soon to be neighbor, Mr. Mettler. How about that for an auspicious omen? Looking into making many more pots of tea and sharing them with friends. Hurrah for Brooklyn!