Italy

Introducing Our Wines Of The Month

Introducing Our New Wines of the Month

May is here (albeit with a rather wetter introduction than we might have liked) but at last, we can introduce you to this month’s – Wines of the Month.

This month we’re offering something a little special. Not only do we have 3 brand new Italian wines to introduce you to but these gems all attract a 10% discount throughout May. Salute!

Mionetto Prosecco Treviso DOC Extra Dry

MionettoProseccoTrevisoDOCTwitter

For 125 years Mionetto in Valdobbiadene has been perfecting production of Prosecco. Established in 1887 by the master winemaker Francesco Mionetto, the Mionetto winery has become a flagship for the area and a shining example of Prosecco production on the international scene. Passion, tradition, research and excellence are the fundamental values of this winery.

The grapes are grown on the picturesque, sloping hills just north of Treviso in the Veneto region of Italy.

This prosecco has a straw yellow colour with hints of citrus fruits. It is a well-balanced wine with pleasant acidity, lively bubbles and a fresh and dry finish.

Perfect as an aperitif and for celebrations of every kind.

Available from us here.

Mario Giribaldi Barbaresco 2006 DOCG

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Agricola Mario Giribaldi was founded in 1920 in the very heart of Piedmont, Northern Italy. Now a third generation family run winery, the great passion used in production is evident in the quality of the wines.

Barbaresco ages for at least a year in oak and at least one year in the bottle to meet stringent DOCG standards. The Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) classification is the highest classification for Italian wines, denoting controlled production methods and guaranteeing quality.

This wine is smooth and elegant. Ruby red with sweet hints of cherries and red fruits mixed with subtle spice. A medium body with balanced tannins and plenty of acidity.

Pairs well with pastas and red meat dishes.

Available from us here.

Cantine Di Monserrato Vermentino Di Sardegna DOC

Monserrato Vermentino Di Sardegna Twitter

Cantina Sociale Di Monserrato was founded in 1924 in the rugged mountainous landscape of Sardinia. As the second largest island in the Mediterranean and an autonomous region of Italy, Sardinia lies off Italy’s west coast. It boasts many wine varietals that are less common than on mainland Italy.

Over the last nine decades successive generations of wine makers in Cantine Di Monserrato have worked hard to enrich their wines with the passion and experience evident in their labours.

Vermentino is a very important grape in Sardinia, constituting the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) appellation; Vermentino Di Sardegna. This wine has aromas of peach and zesty citrus fruits and a hint of minerality.

Pale straw coloured with refreshingly crisp acidity it is perfect with seafood, game and mature cheeses.

Available from us here.

Happy May everyone!

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Introducing Our Wine Of The Month: Giribaldi Barolo DOCG

Here we are with April’s Wine of the month, and it’s brand new to Charles Rose Wines.

Barolo is a ruby red Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wine heralding from the northern Italian region of Piedmont. It is made from the Nebbiolo grape and is often described as one of Italy’s greatest wines.

Our Barolo comes from Giribaldi, a third-generation family run wine maker. It is a deliciously deep red colour with hints of coffee, liquorice and chocolate. Full bodied with soft silky tannins, overflowing with red fruit. This wine finishes clean and elegantly.

Barolo is well known for it’s powerful tannins and so it pairs well with red meat dishes, rich risottos and powerful pastas.

So if you are looking for a big wine to ring in the spring then give it a try! With 10% off the RRP until the end of the month!

 

Introducing our Wine of The Month: Tosti Prosecco Brut Atelie DOC

Well now that we’ve moved beyond February 29th, March has finally arrived and so has the time to introduce March’s wine of the month!

This month we’re showcasing our Tosti Prosecco Brut Atelie DOC.

Prosecco, the Italian cousin to France’s champagne, has quickly been gaining in popularity in the UK. Last year, sales of prosecco overtook sales of champagne for the first time in Britain. Prosecco has not only a rich history and quality, it is also a highly fashionable and cheaper alternative to champagne.

Our Tosti Prosecco is produced in Canelli, in the province of Asti, Northwest Italy, which is undoubtedly one of the wine capitals of the world and known for its’ sparkling wines. The Tosti Brut Atelie is produced by husband and wife team Maria Cristina and Giovanni Bosca. Seven generations of the Bosca family have been producing wines and sparkling wines at their family estates since 1820.

This prosecco is both refreshing and gentle with aromatic fruity notes. It is crisp and lively with a beautifully clean aftertaste. The perfect accompaniment for cured meats, asparagus and creme brulee.

So whether you’re celebrating St David’s Day, treating a special Mum on Mother’s Day or enjoying an Easter celebration, our Atelie Brut Prosecco is just the thing.

And with 10% off the RRP – it’s ‘eggcellent’ value for money (sorry we couldn’t resist!)

New Products Launched!!!

At Charles Rose Wines we work hard to bring you top quality wines at fantastic prices and, even if we do say so, we’ve done it again!

We are extremely proud to announce a whole range of fantastic new products. Please allow us to introduce you to them…

Gin

Forest Gin

An exceptional spirit distilled in small batches by husband and wife team, Lindsay and Karl Bond at their distillery in Macclesfield. This fantastic gin is produced using organic juniper berries, coriander seeds and botanicals foraged directly from Macclesfield Forest.

The gin comes in a beautiful screen-printed stoneware bottle with a design created by papercuts artist Suzy Taylor. Each bottle is individually made and is printed by hand. Plus, we’re not the only ones to fall in love with this wonderful gin; it recently scooped Silver in the Ultra Premium Gin category at the Global Gin Masters Competition 2015.

See here for further details.

Noval Silval 2005

Quinta do Noval Silval Vintage Port 2005

Quinta do Noval is one of the top Port houses in the World and produces the internationally renowned Nacionale. The Silval vintages are only declared in very good years and this is an excellent example. This wine also represents superb value for money compared to other vintage ports.

Snap it up here.

Sherry

Gonzalez Byass 12 Años Palo Cortado Sherry

This fantastic sherry comes from the Jerez D.O. in Spain and is made from handpicked Palomino grapes. The grapes are lightly pressed before being fermented in stainless steel vats, which are then aged for 12 years in North American Oak barrels. This sherry is for life, not just for Christmas!

Click here for more information.

Tosti Prosecco Brut Atelie

Tosti Prosecco Brut Atelie DOC

For seven generations the Bosca family have been producing wines in the Asti region of Piedmont, Italy. This prosecco is fun and refreshing and to the best of our knowledge, they are the only producer to create a bottle with a naval (see below)!

Get yourself a fizztastic time here.

Tosti Pinot Grigio Rose

Tosti Pinot Grigio Rose Sparkling Wine

Produced by the same Bosca family described above, this elegant and smooth sparkling wine is the perfect with chicken, white meats and fish. The bottle features the famous Tosti naval!

Available here.

For more details about these, and our other fantastic wines and spirits, please see our website. Happy drinking!

Sharpshooters Take Aim At Northern Californian Vines

Agriculture inspectors are the ever watchful guardians of the Northern California wine industry, worth $600 million, from a small but deadly adversary.

The glassy-winged sharpshooter is a sap sucking insect just over 1cm long. They are the main carrier of Pierce’s disease, an incurable condition caused by the bacterium, Xylella Fastidiosa, which starves an infected plant of water and nutrients.

Pierce’s disease affects vital economically important crops that grow in the warm climates of North and South America. It affects plants supplying as almonds, blueberries, citrus fruits, coffee, peaches, plums and yes you’ve guessed it, grapes.

Pierce’s disease has a history that is almost as old as the California’s wine industry.

In 1857 the Los Angeles Vineyard Society settled in the Santa Ana Valley. Within 25 years the area was producing over a million gallons of wine annually. Then in 1883 almost all of the vines inexplicably died. For ten years farmers tried unsuccessfully to rejuvenate the industry but to no avail. The Southern Californian wine industry effectively ceased for forty years, finally killed by the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) in 1919.

In 1889 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) dispatched Newton B. Pierce, to Santa Ana to determine the cause of the disaster. After extensive research he finally concluded in 1892 that the vines had been killed by an incurable microorganism.

It is only relatively recently that Pierce’s disease, as it came to be known, was more understood and recognised as a threat to vines. However, it took a major outbreak caused by glassy-wing sharpshooters in Temecula in 1999, to galvanise action.

Initially spread by the blue-green sharpshooter, Pierce’s disease is now far more effectively spread by the glassy-winged sharpshooter. Introduced accidentally to Southern California in 1989 through imported nursery stock from the southern U.S., the glassy-winged sharpshooter spreads Pierce’s disease with great speed. This insect is a voracious feeder and breeds quickly creating a multitude of offspring.

So great is the threat of the disease and the insects carrying it that the U.S. government has committed more than $60 million to try and defend California’s $3 billion wine industry. Worldwide there is a huge amount of research going into stopping this disease. Researchers in Sao Paolo, Brazil, have even mapped the genome of Xyella Fastidiosa.

This is not just an American problem. Southern Italy reported an outbreak of Pierce’s disease last year and now has more than a million infected olive trees. Vinis Vinifera, the European vine, has no immunity. Research into breeding resistant vines is ongoing.

Pierces disease is costing California over $100 million a year according to the Center for Wine Economics. Northern California, largely free of glassy-winged sharpshooters, is only able to remain so thanks to hard working agricultural inspectors and constant vigilance.

Image by Reyes Garcia III, USDA Agricultural Research Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Chianti or Chianti Classico – What’s the Difference?

Ever wondered why some Chianti’s are called Chianti Classico and some aren’t? We sum up the distinctions for you, starting with Chianti.

Where it is made

A Chianti wine must be produced within the Chianti region. So far so good.

The first mention of a wine area called Chianti dates back to the 13th Century. At that time, the area included the villages of Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti and Radda in Chianti. These three villages in the hills between Florence and Sienna formed the League of Chianti to promote their wine – interestingly, at this time it was a white wine!

It was none other than Cosimo III de’ Medici, the penultimate Grand Duke of Tuscany, who in 1716 added the village of Greve and a further area to the north of Greve to the League and declared that these were the only recognised producers of Chianti.

This delineation remained until July 1932 when the Italian government expanded the zone, doing so again in 1967, to cover a large part of central Tuscany. Today the Chianti zone has eight distinct districts, all of which have Denominazione di origine controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status. Chianti Classico is one such district.

DOCG status is the strictest of the three destination of origin regulations used in Italy. These require wine produced in such an area to use defined production methods and meet rigorous standards of quality.

What it contains

Baron Ricasoli created the Chianti recipe of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia bianca in the middle of the 19th Century. In 1967, DOC regulation set by the Italian government firmly established the “Ricasoli formula” of a Sangiovese-based blend with 10–30% Malvasia and Trebbiano.

However by the 1970s producers were releasing blends with a higher proportion of Sangiovese. These so called “Super Tuscans” began to outperform the established Chianti’s on price. The Italian authorities responded by upping the content of Sangiovese in Chianti’s to between 75% and 90% – note, this did not affect Classico or Riserva wines.

So what about Classico?

Chianti Classico wines must be produced within the Classico district of Chianti. This district includes the original Chianti heartland dating back to the 13th Century.

As with Bordeaux, the different districts of Chianti have unique characteristics that can be exemplified and perceived in some wines from those areas. Chianti Classico wines are premium Chianti wines that tend to be medium-bodied with firm tannins and medium-high to high acidity. Floral, cherry and light nutty notes are characteristic aromas.

Chianti Classico must be at least 80% Sangiovese, must have a minimum alcohol of at least 12% with a minimum of 7 months aging in oak. Also, since 2006 Chianti Classico cannot be white, it can only be red.

What’s with the Black Rooster?

Chianti Classico wines are easily identified by the black rooster seal (known as a ‘Gallo Nero’) on the neck of the bottle. This indicates that the producer of the wine is a member of the Chianti Classico Consortium, the local association of producers. The consortium was founded in 1924 to protect and promote Chianti Classico and to prevent wine fraud.

Legend has it that in the 13th Century, the warring provinces of Florence and Siena agreed to settle their border dispute on the crow of a cockerel. The provinces agreed to a race; when the first cockerel crowed at dawn they would each send out their fastest rider to the rival city. Where the riders met would become the new boundary.

On the night before the race, the Florentines starved their black cockerel to ensure that he sang earlier, thereby giving their rider an advantage. Hence the inclusion of the black cockerel motif to designate superiority.

It has been said that when you taste Chianti Classico, you’ll never forget it – and we couldn’t agree more.

If you are interested in trying a Chianti Classico we have one available.

Image is “Montefioralle-Panorama“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Italian Sparkling Wine On Tap, Is It Prosecco?

Prosecco, the Italian cousin to France’s champagne, has quickly been gaining in popularity in the UK, but are you enjoying the real thing? Not if your prosecco is served on tap apparently.

Last year global sales of Prosecco overtook Champagne for the first time. In the UK, Prosecco achieved a 74.6% uplift in sales in the year to 20th July 2014 according to Kantar Worldpanel. There was similar staggering double-digit growth in 2013 with an increase in sales of £70 million.

Such is the staggering popularity of this sparkling gem that many eateries and pubs in the UK have started to sell it on tap. The advantage being a super sparkly glass of fizz without having to order a full bottle. However, according to EU Regulations, Prosecco must be produced in the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene area of north-east Italy (just as champagne must come from the Champagne region of France) and must be marketed exclusively in traditional glass bottles. So if it arrives on tap, it is not Prosecco.

The trend of pubs selling Prosecco from barrels so alarmed Italian producers that they contacted the Food Standards Agency asking them to stop the sale of prosecco on tap. The Food Standards Agency has confirmed that it is not an acceptable practice to sell prosecco in this way. As such, it is perfectly permissible to serve Italian sparkling wine on tap, but it cannot be called Prosecco.

So if you simply want a glass of Italian sparkling wine, by all means order from the tap, but if you want the real thing, buy a bottle!

Image is “Prosecco vineyards” by John W. Schulze is licensed under CC BY 2.0