Joelle Thomson

Author, journalist, writer

Month: February 2018 (page 2 of 2)

Sicilian Saturday in Wellington

This Saturday 10 February at Regional Wines in Wellington, we are hosting a free Sicilian wine tasting from 1pm to 5pm.

Wellington wine importer Richard Klein will open two interesting wines from the biggest island in the Mediterranean. Both are discounted for the day and open for free tasting. The red is a new vintage in store.

2015 Girolamo Russo Etna Rosso a Rina is usually $37.99 and its special price this weekend is $33.99.

If you like Pinot Noir, you’ll love this soft fruity red made with grapes grown high up on the slopes of Europe’s most active volcano – Mt Etna, in eastern Sicily. This wine is made from the quirky Sicilian Nerello Mascalese grape – a spicy, fruity, pale red, with flavours of savoury smoky tones as well as red fruit.

2016 Firriato Le Sabbie dell’Etna –  Usual $23.99    Special price $21.99

And where would you be on a summery Saturday without a bright fresh young white?  Firriato is a blend of two white grapes and also grown on Mt Etna. The Sicilian Carricante and Catarratto grapes make this wine full bodied, dry, nutty and its high altitude vineyards mean that both grapes retain acidity, which keeps this wine tasting as fresh as a daisy.

Wine of the week from Germany’s 2000 vintage

This is a beautiful wine. It was purchased in a beautiful place from grapes grown on an outrageously steep one…

2000 Fritz Haag Riesling Auslese 7% ABV, price not available

The 2000 Fritz Haag Riesling Auslese was made from grapes grown on the Brauneberg hillside, which has been regarded as a great vineyard site since the second century AD when the Romans cultivated vines there.

The Juffer Sonnenuhr is the best part of the Brauneberg Vineyard, facing south and producing grapes with great flavour concentration balanced by crisp high acidity, which is still evident in this 18 year old wine today.

We bought it when we visited the middle Mosel in 2001 with our then-15 month old daughter, Ruby. This week she turned 18, so we opened the 750ml bottle of this wine, tentatively, because it was sealed with cork – which crumbled almost as soon as the corkscrew penetrated its Riesling-soaked outer edge, which soon turned to dust, crumbling into the wine, until I extracted the last shred of cork and used a sieve to pour this full bodied, zesty Riesling, which has flavours of lemon, limes and honey. What a wine. It’s succulent and rich but super fresh still, after all these years. There’s no price tag on this wine because you can’t buy it, but drinking it after all this time can buy memories – both from the past and an investment in great future ones.

Residual sweetness is approximately 100 grams per liter, possibly slightly higher. The total production is about 200 cases.

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