Pinot Grigio & Primitivo
Pulenta Pinot Gris, Pulenta Estate,
Mendoza, Argentina 2022
Pulenta Estate is a relatively young project, founded as recently as 2002 by brothers Hugo and Eduardo Pulenta.
They are fourth-generation winemakers and wanted to begin working under their family name in order to honour their family legacy. Their key ambition from their enviable site in the Uco Valley (Mendoza) was to produce relatively limited quantities of wine, instead keenly focusing on quality and the translation of sense of place, from vineyard to bottle.
In the 20 years that have followed that decision to strike out on their own, the brothers have established a reputation for precise and elegant wines, working across a range of grape varieties.
They cultivate their grapes in two distinct vineyard sites; Finca La Zulema in Agrelo and Viñedos Don Antonio in Los Arboles, a district of the Uco Valley. These contrasting vineyards have complex alluvial soils and distinct altitudes which, when blended together, help give Pulenta wines their distinctive style, combining finesse, silky texture and elegance with the typical power and depth of fruit that is expected of Argentinian wines.
Fresh peaches, apricots and delicate white flowers dominate on the nose. The palate is bright and fruity with a fresh, balancing acidity and a long, elegant finish
Pinot Gris pairs best with chicken, fish (especially salmon) or shellfish. Spicy Indian cuisine is also a great option.
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Pinot Grigio, Fidora,
Veneto, Italy 2021
The trailblazing wines of the Fidora family are crafted in the oldest organic estate in the Veneto region.
In 1974, Guido Fidora took the decision to convert his family vineyard from conventional to organic viticulture. Behind his decision was a desire to strive towards two key principles – the avoidance of chemicals and the promotion of biodiversity. By the mid 70s, it was widely accepted that using chemicals was the most innovative way to grow crops. Guido noticed that young farmers in the region no longer had access to books, research or teachers who advocated any other form of agriculture other than that which was chemically driven.
At the time of this conversion, Guido was clear that his move to organics should not be seen as a regression or a nostalgic throwback to a bygone era. Rather, in his eyes, it was a leap forward in terms of quality, health, sustainability and, most importantly, environmental responsibility.
Nowadays, the philosophy of the estate, now controlled by Emilio Fidora, continues to revolve around the importance of biodiversity, and they are extremely proud that their vineyards are home to a burgeoning population of hares, foxes, pheasants and countless species of bird. They see the presence of animals as a key indication that their land is healthy, thus allowing them to produce wines that are truly reflective of their natural surroundings.
At its best, Pinot Grigio is rich, dry and fresh. This wine is among the best examples we have found, with bags of vibrant aromas of pear and apple with hints of white flowers.
As a delicate, neutral wine, pinot grigio pairs best with light, fresh flavours. Think brighter dishes like salads, chicken and seafood, as well as light pasta dishes and risottos.
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Zinfandel, Dancing Crow,
Lake County, USA 2018
Dancing Crow, in Lake County California is the culmination of various projects over the years belonging to Londoner Tony Cartlidge and his wife Sarah.
Tony left school in London at 16, travelling to work in Paris, North Africa, and the Soviet Union before making his move stateside. He worked in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska driving logging trucks and cement mixers. It was while there that someone gifted him an encyclopaedic tome on the topic of wine and he was instantly hooked, making the decision to head 550 miles south in search of an opening in the alluring wine renaissance happening in Napa County.
Tony has worked in the Napa Valley since that move in the late 1970s and this latest project sees a return to a more focussed, bespoke production than his previous role as the head of the well-known Cartlidge & Browne wine stable.
75% Zinfandel alongside a field blend of varieties including Alicante Bouschet, Cinsault and Touriga Nacional. It is incredibly open for a Zinfandel of this age, combining complex tannic structure with dark fruit and blueberries on the palate. The finish is packed with savoury notes, including coffee, clove, cinnamon, and anise.
It pairs beautifully with barbecue, spicy foods or smoked cheeses but is also easy to enjoy on its own.
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Salento, Italy 2021
From the sandy soils of his vineyard near the city of Lecce, Francesco Mocavero produces a Primitivo that is delightfully full bodied yet juicy, with notes of cassis, sweet spice and dark kirsch cherry. Primitivo, the red grape variety most associated with this area of Italy, is often high in alcohol and lacking acidity. However, Francesco’s style is based on an expression of freshness and finesse. The well balanced structure and alcohol complements the dark damson fruit and hints of spice. In order to achieve this level of freshness, Francesco is prepared to harvest his fruit extremely early – sometimes as early as the second week of August, in order to protect the acidity present. The result is a fantastic, value for money red that is infinitely drinkable.
Unlike big production Primitivo, there are no stewed, sickly-sweet flavours on show here. Instead, expect well balanced structure and tart, damson fruit with hints of spice. Delightfully smooth – perfect for everyday drinking.
A delicious partner to grilled chicken, roast lamb or pulled pork. Also a great midweek sipper on its own!