Mud House Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014

Winery: Established in 1996, with a focus on the earth and environment, the Mud House name reflects their “origin and link to the earth, where the wine begins”. Mud House has vineyards in 3 different regions of New Zealand’s South Island; Marlborough, Waipara Valley and Central Otago, along with two wineries, one in Marlborough and one in the Waipara Valley. Employing a combination of innovative technology along with the “passion and artisan skill of the winemakers” they strive to capture the essence from where the grapes come from, “ensuring the unique complexities of each region travelled through the earth through the vineyard to the glass”. The Mud House range of wines are crafted to be “everyday wines to enjoy at any occasion”.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from sustainably farmed vineyards planted in 2003, with free draining sandy loam over schist glacial gravels rich in minerals. Fermented with a combination of wild and cultured yeasts. A portion of the wine was aged in French oak barriques, while the balance was aged in stainless steel “to retain fruit character”.

Tasting Notes: Highly aromatic with cherry, sour cherry, raspberry, woods, black pepper and a trace of wildflowers. Bright cherry, tangy pomegranate and red currant are enveloped in silky tannins and baking spice. Earth, peppery spice and a wisp of oak linger between each sip.

100% Pinot Noir
Central Otago
New Zealand
Produced and Bottled by Accolade Wines
13.5% Alcohol
$15
Enjoy now thru 2019

Rated 90 points by Wine Spectator

Fritz Müller ‘Perlwein Rosa’ Trocken NV

 

Winery: Fritz Müller was founded in 2009 by Guido Walter, a “hardworking, cheerful wine merchant from Munich, and “rising star” winemaker Jürgen Hofmann, from Appenheim in Rhinehessen, Germany’s largest wine producing region. The duo’s goal in establishing the winery was to “breathe new life into a traditional German grape variety which had been pushed out of the public eye: Müller-Thurgau”. They have received many accolades for revitalizing German sparkling wine and crafting character driven, inexpensive wines.

Philosophy: “To create a fresh, fruity, exhilarating wine that makes people happy.”

Tasting Notes” Bright red-pink in colour with aromas of fresh strawberry, raspberry and minerals. Red berries with a pinch of pepper abound, but the star here is the sprightly, fizzy red grapefruit and mineral finish. Friendly and so fun to drink, each fizzy, fruity glass will disappear much faster than you expect.

Serving Suggestions from the Winery: Serve at 47°F [8°C], on the rocks, or as a cocktail with a sprig of mint.

Portugieser and Spätburgunder [Pinot Noir] [I could not confirm varietal percentages.]
Germany
12% Alcohol
$12
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Piazza del Castello Rosato Toscana IGT 2016

Brand: A label of the Botter family, Piazza del Castello Rosato hails from the Tuscan hill town of Radda. There, below an 11th century castle is the wine’s picturesque namesake, Piazza del Castello. The grapes for the Rosato are sourced from hillside vineyards surrounding the Piazza.

Winemaking: Cool fermentation and brief ageing in stainless steel tanks.

Tasting Notes: Coral pink in colour, with summery aromas of strawberry, apricot and rain washed slate. A subtle savory undercurrent accents fresh cherry, peach, tart red currant and lively acidity. Loads of vivid red grapefruit and clean minerals highlight the dry, zippy finish. Refreshing and easy drinking, this is a thirst quenching Rosé perfect on hot summer days.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winemaker: Light salads, light pastas, flatbreads with grilled/roasted veggies, seafood, shellfish, goats’ cheese, and as an aperitif.

100% Sangiovese
Toscana IGT
Italy
Bottled by Casa Vinicola Botter Carlo & C.S.P.A.
12.5% Alcohol
$13 [average price]
Enjoy now

Sample submitted for review purpose.

Marziano Abbona ‘San Luigi’ Dogliani DOCG 2013

Estate: Although officially founded in 1970, Marziano Abbona and his son Celso began the family estate in the first half of the 20th century. Located in the Langhe of northern Italy, Celso was one of the first winemakers in the Dogliani region to match up exposure, soil type and climate with varietals, particularly the Dolcetto grape, essentially establishing “cru” vineyards. He planted the now renowned Bricco Boriolo vineyard in Santa Lucia de Dogliani. The winery’s flagship wine comes from this vineyard and is named Papà Celso in honour of his achievements.

Upon Celso’s death in 1964, his sons Marziano and Enrico transformed the traditional family wine farm into an official winery, and purchased additional lands in the hills of Monforte d’Alba and Novello. Like their father, they sussed out the importance of that area to a particular grape, Nebbiolo, and were at the front of the race for Barolo production.

In 1999, Mara, Marziano’s daughter, entered the business. Following her in 2008 was her sister Chiara. Today, the vineyards stretch over 52 hectares [128 acres] in Dogliani, Monforte d’Alba and Novello, including some of the most renowned crus vineyards in the Langhe. The vineyards are “divided by land quality according to factors of microclimate, position, and geology”.

Philosophy: “We make traditional wines, and we’re not afraid to say so. We’re proud of our identity. Every wine that knows how to inspire must also know how to tell its story, its own history.”

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from the sustainably farmed, single estate vineyard of San Luigi. Soils are a mix of sandy loam and clay, with an average vine age of 38 years. Fermented with indigenous yeasts. Aged for 6 months in steel tanks, then 1 month in the bottle at a constant temperature of 14 °C [57 °F] before release.

Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with inviting aromas of fresh cherry, baking spice and a wisp of coffee. A savoury streak accents cherry, blackberry, black currant and a shake of crushed pink peppercorn. Well structured, with dry tannins backing smoky earth, leather and baking spice on the finish. Expressive, with a rustic edge, this is fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: A daily wine, easy to match, perfect with cheese. Serve between 16-18°C [60-64°F].

100% Dolcetto
Dogliani DOCG
Italy
Estate Bottled by Azienda Agricola Abbona
13% Alcohol
$14
Enjoy now thru 2018

Rated 90 points by Wine Spectator

Domaine Les Aphillanthes Rosé Côtes du Rhône 2016

Estate: Located in the Rhône Valley close to Gigondas, Domaine Les Aphillanthes is headed by 4th generation winemaker Daniel Boulle along with his wife Hélène. When Daniel took over the family estate in 1987 they were only selling grapes to cooperatives; by 1999 he was producing his own estate wines and farming biodynamically. Certified biodynamic and organic since 2007, Boulle is known for his terroir drives wines.

Philosophy: “To focus on the quality of the fruit in the vineyards together with minimal intervention in the winery.”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from vines with an average age of 25 years. Fermentation takes place in concrete vats, the wine is moved by gravity feed and is left unfiltered.

Tasting Notes: Deep orange-red in colour with aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry and rain washed slate minerals. Silky red fruits drape over a mineral core, with racy acidity and a bit of grapefruit zest on the crisp, fruity finish. A good companion with summery dishes.

50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 7% Mourvèdre, 3% Counoise
Côtes du Rhône
France
Estate Bottled
12.5% Alcohol
$13
Enjoy now