LIMITED EDITION 2021
Pinot Noir - Shiraz, Australia, $142.50 Dry, medium body, medium oak, ABV 13.5 %.
As the brochure says, blending Pinot Noir and Shiraz seems like an odd thing to do. But luckily we have the Aussies down under who have done more than a few new and controversial things with grapes. Bless them, otherwise we wouldn’t have known what Cab – Shiraz was or sparkling red wine for example.
Locally they call it Shiraz Noir, a name that I really like. So what can we expect, a full bodied Pinot or a medium bodied Shiraz with notes of cherry, probably both. Pinot Noir brings flavours of black cherry and raspberry to complement the Shiraz that fills the palate with rich red and blue fruits and a hint of dark spice. The blend is a wine with good structure, intensity and aroma with smooth tannins providing a supple finish.
Macabeo – Sauvignon Blanc, Spain, $135.00 Dry, medium body, no oak, ABV 13.0%.
Macabeo is a non-aromatic variety that is widely grown across Spain, because of its affinity for hot and dry climates. It brings neutrality, a resistance to oxidation and a good palate weight to many white blends, but not too much in the department of flavour and character. It forms the backbone of white Rioja and is used for the production of Cava (sparkling wine) both in Cataluña and other regions of northern Spain.
So for flavour and aroma we will be looking at Sauvignon Blanc, which happens to be one of those grapes that people either like or don’t like, and that’s OK. Sauvignon Blanc has a crisp dryness with bright acidity with flavours that lean to the greener side. Gooseberries, green pepper and freshly cut grass, blended with tropical notes such as kiwi, passion, grapefruit and pear.
Marselan, Spain, $142.50, Dry, medium-full body, medium oak, ABV 13.0%.
Marselan is probably one of the few ‘new’ grapes that have made it into commercial production, in its early stages primarily as a blending grape but since 2002 also as a single varietal. In 2019 Marselan became one of four new red grapes that were authorized in Bordeaux wine production to combat temperature increases due to global warming. Most of the grapes are currently grown in the Languedoc and the southern Rhone Valley.
Marselan was crossed to combine the finesse and quality of Cabernet Sauvignon (King Cab) and the versatility, colour potential, heat tolerance and high yielding capabilities of Grenache.
Marselan tends to produce deeply coloured, highly aromatic wines that have supple tannins and the potential to age.
Wines made from Marselan are currently not available in Canada, at least not in the BCL, so now you have the opportunity to make something truly new, unique and exciting. How cool is that!
Trebbiano – Riesling, Italy, $135.00. Dry/off-dry, medium body, no oak, ABV 12.5 %.
If you go looking for white wine in Italy, it is almost impossible to avoid Trebbiano, seeing it is allowed in over 80 DOC’s (recognized wine growing areas) and produces almost 33% of all Italian whites. This doesn’t lead to a dull monotony though seeing Trebbiano is not a single variety but more a collection of similar but different vines and local terroir and climate will also have its effect on the wines.
As a varietal its wines are crisp, light bodied with proper acidity and subtle hints of lemon and stone minerals. Quite often it is used as a base to blend another grape into, with the idea that it is the other grape that will need to shine through.
So in this case we are looking at Riesling from the Northern, cooler growing area of Veneto. Riesling is an aromatic variety that needs a cooler climate in order to keep its natural bright acidity, combined with flavours of green apple, apricot, peach and pear with a distinctly floral aroma. Depending on terroir Riesling can have a minerally note and after bottle aging even a hint of petrol or kerosene. Haha, I know that sounds not very appetizing, but it is actually delicious.
Grenache - Carignan, Spain, $165.00.- (skins). Dry, full body, full oak, ABV 14.0 %.
Carignan is a grape that can produce medium to full bodied wines with a quite dark colour, plenty of tannin and acidity. Combining a rustic character with attractive fruit and aroma. It is mostly grown in the southern Rhone Valley, southern Italy and parts of Spain. Carignan is a late budding and late ripening variety, so it needs a very warm climate to fully develop.
Most commonly used as a blending grape—quite often not more then 5-10% max—giving the resulting wine backbone, tannin, colour, acidity and structure.
Obvious blending partners are other heat loving grapes that are common to the grape growing area, Mourvedre, Syrah (Shiraz), Tempranillo and Grenache. It will be these grapes that will make the wine shine.
In our case this means Grenache. Expect juicy ripe red fruit, a floral almost violet like bouquet, medium acidity and tannin with spicy notes of pepper and cinnamon.
PASSPORT SERIES 2022
Primitivo, Italy, $142.50. Dry, full body, mediumoak, ABV 13.0 %.
Primitivo has the same DNA fingerprint as California’s Zinfandel and for a long time it was thought to have been brought over to California by early Italian immigrants. But Primitivo is not native to Puglia and it appears to have arrived in Italy after it reached the USA. The grape actually originated in Croatia where it’s known as Tribidrag. Historians think it was brought across the Adriatic Sea in the 18th century. So while not native to Southern Italy, it is the spiritual home of Primitivo.
Initially mostly used as a blending grape contributing colour and strength to wines, and seldom seen outside the country. The popularity of Californian Zin has put Primitivo also on the map and is now widely available as a single variety, plantings are also increasing all over the place, including Australia.
The name Primitivo translates as ‘the early one’, meaning that it ripens early in the season, and is not a reference to the wines being primitive or less refined.
Primitivo makes rustic wines that are big and jammy with moderate to high alcohol and tannin levels with a little sweet note in the finish. (this is an appearance, so please don’t confuse this with being an off-dry wine, Primitivo is a dry wine!)
Grillo - Pinot Grigio, Italy, $135.00. Dry, medium body, no oak, ABV 12.5 %.
Grillo is a white Italian grape that can withstand high temperatures and that comes in handy when you’re growing grapes on the southern Italian island of Sicily. It is widely planted here and is locally mostly used for the production of Marsala, a local fortified wine and a key ingredient of Tiramisu.
It is an interesting grape with a lemony touch, slight herbal note and bright acidity, but also brings robust weight and structure. This character trait makes it good to stand on its own but also makes it an ideal blending grape for Pinot Grigio which brings its own citrusy flavours. See it as a fuller, funkier alternative to Pinot Grigio.
Tempranillo - Bobal, Spain, $142.50 Dry, medium body, medium oak, ABV 13.0 %.
Manchuela is a wine growing region in mid-east Spain about 100 km inland from Valencia, which lies on the Mediterranean coast. It is a hot and arid growing region, which can make growing grapes a challenge. For winemakers it is a challenge to produce grapes that are neither roasted or produce too much alcohol and not enough acidity. Exposure to relative mild and moist winds from the Mediterranean, blowing in through the 2 river valleys that borders this region and the relative high altitude of the vineyards (700 m), helps to tame the intense heat during the day. The choice of grapes that grow in the region also helps. Dense dark grapes like Monastrell (Mourvedre), Bobal and Tempranillo seem to thrive here.
Bobal produces dark and robust wines with an attractive black cherry flavour. Not often seen as a single varietal, but mostly used as a blending partner for better known grapes like Tempranillo and Monastrell.
Tempranillo derives it name from temprano, meaning early. So this is another early ripener. It is one of the most widely planted grapes in Spain and forms the base for the famous wines of Rioja and Navarra.
Flavour wise, it is as if you would cross a Cabernet Sauvignon with Pinot Noir, I know that sounds a bit strange. Tempranillo produces deep colour and rich flavour, but complexity is not the point of Tempranillo. Its attractions are its lush texture and supple, exuberant fruit, all blackberries, raspberries and black cherries.
Cabernet – Shiraz - Montepulciano, Australia, $165.00 (skins) Dry, full body, medium-full oak, ABV 14.0 %.
Montepulciano is both a region in Italy and a grape variety and the 2 shouldn’t be confused with each other because they mean completely different things. Wines made in the region Montepulciano – a town in the Tuscany area – are made from Sangiovese, and are considered very fine wine. Montepulciano - the grape - is planted traditionally in central and southern Italy. A lot of the harvest is used for blending into the many different reds that are produced in Italy, but when grown in lower yields, this grape produces excellent wines on its own with an affordable price tag. In general Montepulciano is a medium to full bodied wine, very fruit forward, jammy, plummy with blackberries, soft tannins and proper acidity.
The Winexpert Reserve Montepulciano is a good example of the latter and has been a long time favourite of many.
Australia is planting more and more of these Italian varieties (see Primitivo), realizing that these varieties do exceptionally well in Australia’s hot and dry climate. Cabernet – Shiraz is the signature blend of Australia and it is their answer on the Cabernet – Merlot blends from Bordeaux. The Cab – Shiraz blend almost doesn’t need an introduction anymore, If you drink Australian wine occasionally, the chance that it is a Cab – Shiraz is very likely.
Deadline for ordering Friday November 12th!!!
Dear Art of Brewing Customer,
Limited Edition wines are wines that are released once a year. This special programme gives you the opportunity to fill your cellar with some interesting & trendy wines that we don’t carry in our normal selection. These wines are only available on a pre-order system. An official brochure (see attached pdf’s) will give you a description of the wines, but we always like to give you our own personal view on these programmes, which we do in this newsletter.
Over the 20 years we’ve been offering this programme we have seen over 175 different wines with virtually no disappointments. The quality and price points of these wines are always good.
Limited Edition from Wine Expert will come out with 5 wines, Passport from Vineco will release 4 wines. This means we will carry a total of 9 wines; 6 red (2 with skins) & 3 whites which will be released between December and April. Pricing for this year will be the same as lasts;
Whites $135, Reds $142.50, Reds with skin; $165 (price for kit, incl labels)
Brewing fee, corks & seals extra.
Deadline for both programs is Friday November 12th end of day.
IMPORTANT: These wines will be only available to people who have pre-ordered them, payment is not necessary until the wine kits arrive in our store for pick up or getting started in store.
All our wines can be customized for dry-/sweetness, oak level, alcohol level, etc. Please ask us about it next time when you order wine.
Enjoy reading, please gives us a call if you feel a bit confused about all these different grapes & wines. We are more then happy to explain more and help you make the right choice for your palate.
Regards, Maarten & Breg