What’s Hot in the World of Wine: Pinot Noir, Grüner Veltliner, Rare Vineyards & Chenin Blanc





Once a fortnight, CellarVie Wines kicks back with the weekend’s newspapers in an effort to determine what’s hot in the world of wine, offering up views and possible alternatives to the nation’s big-hitting publications and their wine suggestions. In this instalment of ‘What’s Hot’, we scrutinise some of our venerated wine journalists’ weekend efforts including The Sunday Times’ focus on Pinot Noir, the grüner veltliner grape courtesy of The Telegraph, summer supping in The Guardian and good wines to enjoy with barbeques in the Daily Mail...
 
Pinot Noir

Bob Tyrer rather aptly suggests Britain’s hostilely wet weather “has been perfect for the rows of fragile pinot cuttings my eldest son planted for me at Christmas”. The Sunday Times journalists then proceeds to compare a “zippily clean” Pinot from West Sussex with “a couple of favourites from the North and South Islands [in New Zealand] that it might aspire to emulate.”

CellarVie Wines says: New Zealand is now famed for producing stellar Pinot Noirs and although this is evidently reflected in the price (they are punchy), if you are looking to sample a fine example outside the grape’s natural home of Burgundy there is no better place to start. A bottle of Schubert 'Block B' Pinot Noir 2008 from the south of the North Island will burn a £29 hole in your pocket, but at that price the International Wine Challenge believe you are trying the best Pinot Noir in the world, and who are we to argue with that lofty endorsement.

Why not try:

Schubert 'Block B' Pinot Noir 2008

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2009, Marlborough


Shellfish accompaniment

Instead of reeling out the stereotypical muscadet or chablis marriages, Susy Atkins of the Telegraph assesses some different and more left-field options to enjoy with shellfish. While acknowledging “the Loire's crisp, lemony, simple muscadet and northern Burgundy's apple-fresh but more rounded, buttery chablis hit the mark repeatedly”, Atkins prefers to suggest a grüner veltliner from Austria, Californian and Australian chardonnays, and an “unoaked white Rioja”.

CellarVie Wines says:The grüner veltliner varietal is becoming increasingly popular on the London restaurant scene and this is a testament to its versatility. Zesty, acidic, and nutty and with fragrant fruit characters, it’s a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc. Likewise unoaked whites from Rioja are delicious with seafood and commonly made using the Viura grape that are best enjoyed young.

Why not try:

Soellner Wogenrain Grüner Veltliner 2011, Wagram

Viré-Clessé 2008, Cave de Lugny

Don Jacobo Rioja Blanco 2009, Bodegas Corral


Summer supping

David Williams in the Guardian rather optimistically recommends a number of tipples for the summer; that mystical season which is proving particularly evasive in Great Britain at the moment. “A sparkling, a white and a rosé for summer supping” to be precise, with a Viognier-Marsanne from Australia a particularly intriguing proposal. Traditionally a classic blend from France, Marsanne-Viognier is increasingly common and equally delicious in New World producing regions. This blend tends to make a rich white wine which can boast flavours like dried apricot and toasted nut amongst others. Williams intimates his suggestion from the McLaren Vale in Australia has “a fruit salad of peach, melon and tropical fruit that has an ample feel in the mouth” and certainly the vibrancy of this blend is worth trying.

CellarVie Wines says:We recently spoke with Peter Crameri, UK Sales manager for LGI Wines, and one of the people responsible for the creation of Rare Vineyards, which celebrates and champions indigenous grape varieties like the one aforementioned by David Williams.

Speaking to CellarVie Wines at the London International Wine Fair, Crameri said: “Consumers are beginning to want more and more, and we have endeavoured to revive interest in French wine as a whole. We wanted to bring the Languedoc, and not just your Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlots, but the region’s true identity to the fore. We also wanted to show that there is true value for money out there. Often there is better value for money within these indigenous grape varieties than the more established varietals.”

The Languedoc-Roussillon has always been associated with experimentation and innovative winemaking and the Rare Vineyards range certainly underlines the region’s hidden treasures. To find out for yourself we suggest you give the Rare Vineyards Carignan Vieilles Vignes 2010 a try; a wine made with 40-year-old vines and subsequently boasting deep, rich fruit flavours.


Why not try:

Château de Montgueret Saumur Brut NV

Rare Vineyards Marsanne-Viognier 2010, Pays d'Oc

Rare Vineyards Carignan Vieilles Vignes 2010


Chenin Blanc

The Daily Mail’s Olly Smith finally “blazed the first barbecue of the year” and subsequently recommends wines to add a “smoky edge” to proceedings. "Reds from South Africa – Pinotage and Shiraz are top bets, or else have a crack at Carménère from Chile, which offers a similarly spicy oomph, or even Cabernet Franc from Argentina" Smith enthuses. He also champions a Chenin Blanc from South Africa by suggesting the bottle in question (Workhorse Chenin 2011) is the “perfect summertime wine”.

CellarVie Wines says: Our summer appears to have been and gone and with it barbeque season, but if the sun gods look favourably on us over the next few weeks the esteemed Mr Smith is onto something. The recent Sommelier Wine Awards, like Smith, really championed a Chenin Blanc from South Africa. The Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2010, from Stellenbosch swept the board and at relatively modest £8.99, given its acclaim, we suggest you give it go. If you are looking for something a little less dear the Kleine Zalze Bush Vines Chenin Blanc is also delicious and would certainly be a palate busting accompaniment to a barbeque.

Why not try:

Errázuriz Single Vineyard Carmenère 2009

Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2010, Stellenbosch
 

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