Missing In Action !

It’s been a while since I last posted here. It’s not that I have been avoiding you, and I didn’t give up Wine for Lent, but I have been pre-occupied over the past six weeks or so, as I started my Italian Wine Scholar Course, and its very intense, taking up a lot of my spare time, with a lot to learn, as I’m sure anyone with knowledge of Italian Wine will agree with.

However, thought I would post a few words about a diversion that took place this week, and a Zoom Wine Tasting we did with my local Grapes of Rath Wine Club. It’s obviously been impossible over the past year to have face to face meetings and tastings, so we have tried to pivot to Zoom, and on-line meet-ups. In truth they have been a great way to stay in touch with fellow wine aficionados, obviously not ideal ways to share wines, but we have to do the best we can, and last Thursday we spend a couple of hours catching up, and sharing two wines.

The two wines we enjoyed were from Portugal and Germany, a welcome change from my Italian Tastings, much as I love my Italian Wines, but drinking for pleasure rather than for study purposes is always a nice break.

The White, was a 2019 Adega de Pegoes Colheita Seleccionada from the Peninsula of Setubal. An interesting combination of grapes go into this blend, mainly indigenous Portuguese varieties. 30% Fernao Pires, 25% Verdelho, 25% Antao Vaz, 10% Chardonnay and 10% Arinto.

The colour was enticing, quite straw like, and the nose had a buttery hint, indicating the oak involved in the fermentation, with pear and only slight indication of more citric fruits. On the palate the buttery aromas turned into vanilla with that pear being there again, but overall the fruit was being overshadowed by the woody influences. Having said that there were some tropical fruits notes trying to break through, and the finish stayed with me for a good lengthy time.

If you enjoy an oaky Chardonnay, this will appeal.

The Red was of great interest to me, a 2018 Martin Wassmer Spatburgunder from Baden in Germany, otherwise known as Pinot Noir/Nero. Its been a long time since I sampled German Reds, and this didn’t disappoint at all. Pale Ruby in colour, light in the glass, and the first thing I noticed on the nose was the lack of that familiar funkiness associated with Pinot’s from Burgundy – here I could smell the fruit oozing out of the glass, red cherries, raspberries, maybe cranberries too. The acidity was relatively sharp, but the fruit balanced out the tannins, and while a light texture, the taste was lingering long after the last swallow, leaving sweet spices on the residual.

If you are a Pinot lover, this will be right up your street as an everyday Pinot, at a price that should put the French Wine Industry to shame. This may only be Martin Wassmer’s entry level wine, but on this example, it will be well worth seeking out further wines from his stable.

The two hours flew by as we chatted, and I finished off the Spatburgunder with a hearty late dinner casserole, which complimented the wine perfectly. Now it will be back to Italy for the next couple of months, but I will try and pop back to post now and again.

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