What We've Been Drinking Recently : Hungarian Whites, Gavi di Gavi, Carmenere
Sorry I have not updated for a few weeks - not sorry to say that I have been busy organising tasting events and simply haven’t had the time. I will now rectify this with a longer list of wines we have been drinking than normal.
I have also decided to focus more on the styles of wine we have been drinking and not always name the producers. The reason behind this is that I want readers to be able to buy wines from their chosen supplier or shop and not be hunting for a specific brand or winemaker. In some instances I will name specific wines if I feel they are unique.
Hungary isn’t a country often associated with wine, but they are making some stunning examples. We tried two crisp dry whites, both absolutely bursting with flavour. Furmint is probably Hungary’s best known grape variety and is usually associated with the super sweet wines of Tokay. The example we had was a dry white style which exhibited mouth-watering dry acidity back up by green apple and citrus flavours. Limited oak ageing gave the wine a soft creamy finish. It was perfect with the shellfish we were pairing it with. Harslevelu is another grape variety grown in Tokay and is in many ways similar to Furmint with it’s crisp, dry citrus acidity but this time flavours of elderflower and white pepper come to the fore giving a more full bodied flavour than the Furmint. Equally good with seafood.
Staying with dry whites, we enjoyed a delicious Gavi di Gavi from Piedmont in North-Western Italy. Made from the Cortese grape, this bone dry, minerally wine has aromas and flavours of sharp citrus - more lime than lemon though. No exposure to oak has left the wine with a mouth watering freshness and acidity balanced by additional flavours of stone fruit (mainly peach) and floral notes. Just the right wine to enjoy with white fish.
Turning to Chile for red wine, we enjoyed a juicy fruity Carmenere. This grape variety is closely related to Merlot and indeed for many years was believed to be Merlot after it was transported from the Bordeaux region of France to Chile. having found it’s ideal home in Chile, it has flourished and become synonymous with that country. Grown in the Colchagua Valley to the south of the capital Santiago and lightly naked, this medium bodied red wine is truly delicious. It has an intensity and depth of flavour with so many different tastes coming through. Blackcurrant, coffee, chocolate and sweet spices all combine to give a rich taste and long lasting finish. We enjoyed it with spicy meatballs and pasta.