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Whirly Wine’s goes ‘On Trade’ as well as ‘Off Trade’, Easter wine’s and opening hours….

I am delighted to announce that Whirly Wine’s will be opening an ‘Aperitif’ bar at the Whirly Wine shop in April 2016. We have successfully applied for a variation of the license and as soon as Spring has officially arrived, we will launch the new project. We aim to make Whirly Wine’s far more accessible to our local customers, by allowing you to taste the wines before actually buying them ( 75ml and 125ml glasses will be served).We will be looking to change the wine list every week, offering wines that suit the climate as well as newly arrived wines from the various countries Whirly Wine’s carefully sources from.  In time we will also be offering a fine array of cold foods that have been carefully selected to compliment the wine.

We are in the process of creating the outside seating area at the front of the shop. Ideally we would like to have some old French bistro collapsable style tables and chairs but they are difficult to source. If anyone has anything fitting the description that they no longer want, do let us know!

We will keep you informed about the opening day but please feel free to pop in and discuss your thoughts with Mr Whirly and his rascal dog Dash!

I have some lovely Easter wines here in the shop too so please come down and have a chat about what wines you would like to go with your Easter lunch! My top suggestions would be some Veyovis Verdejo from Rueda at £10.95; lovely Spring wine, full of verve and freshness! Also lovely for Easter would be the Domaine Prevote Sauvignon Tourraine 2014 at £10.75; stunning SB at a lovely price, really zingy and full of energy but not in anyway flowery! For reds try some Perusini Refosco 2014 at £16.75 from one of the most exciting wine regions in Italy, Collio in Fruili. This wine has great acidity and is fruit led but in a very restrained way and would be be a perfect accompaniment to a shoulder of lamb for your Easter Sunday lunch. Lastly if you think some fizzy would kick off your day well I have good stock of the Lemoss Prosecco NV from Ca di Rajo in Treviso at £8.99. This wine is going through a second fermentation in the bottle, is slightly cloudy and unfiltered and tastes like a well made cider from Calvados, full of fresh apples and yeast. Its well worth a whirl!

So please do pop in for a chat in the coming days and let me know what you plan to eat and I shall try to match some Whirly wines for your special lunch or dinner.

The shop is open Good Friday from 11.30 am to 5pm and Saturday 26th March from 11am to 5pm. The shop will be closed Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

Thank you for your continued support and a very Happy Easter to you all!

 

Mr Whirly

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Whirly Wine tasting – 25th Feb

The first Whirly Wine tasting on 25th February went down a storm with my wholesale clients! These included ‘Hakkasan Restaurants‘, ‘The Palmerston‘ in Dulwich, Balham’s ‘Lambert’s‘ and ‘The Exhibit‘, ‘The Hood‘ Restaurant on Streatham High Road and ‘The Begging Bowl‘ in Peckham.

The outstanding wines of the day were the Willespie Margaret River Red 2010 and White 2011 and Jean Michel Sorbe’s Quincy 2014. But to be honest, all 20 wines shown on the day were showing extremely well.

Don’t worry if you missed out, Whirly Wine’s is constantly sourcing exciting, individual wines from small producers from all over the world consequently we will be hosting another trade tasting at the end of the summer.

Mr Whirly

Here is the list of the wines tasted:

Bernard Remy NV, Allemant: “ Carte Blanche”, NV Brut: £18.30

“ Lemoss” Vino Frizzante Bianco, Non Filtrato, Ca di Rajo, Treviso: £7.50

“Domaine de Prevote”, Amboise. Sauvignon Tourraine, “ Les Tonnes Barils” 2014: £8.95

Jean Michel Sorbe, Quincy, Cher sur Loire 2014: £15.00

Luc Percher, Cour- Cheverny, Loire, VSIG Blanc,  Organic and Bio ,“ Racines” 2010: £13.25

Villa de Puppi, Friuli, IGT Venezia Giulia, Sauvignon Blanc 2014: £11.90

Luc Percher, Cour- Cheverny, Loire sur Cher,  Organic and Bio, VSIG Blanc 2012: £11.90

Veyovis, 100% Verdejo, Rueda, 2014: £9.45

Perusini, Friuli Colli Orientali, Friuli, Pinot Grigio 2014: £13.50

Perusini, Friuli Colli Orientali,  Friuli, Ribolla Gialla 2014: £13.60

Lillypilly, NSW, Australia, “Tramillon’ 2014: £10.30

Villa de Puppi, Friuli, IGT Venezia Giulia, Taj Blanc ( 100% Fruilano) 2014: £11.95

Graziano, Montevolpe, Redwood valley, Mendocino, USA,  Tocai Friulano 2013: £13.45

Willespie. Margaret River,  Western Australia, Margaret river white 2011: £11.90

Graziano, Redwood valley, Mendocino, USA, Chenin Blanc 2011: £13.40

Luc Percher, Cour- Cheverny, Cher sur Loire, “ Mosaique” 2011: £13.25

Zivo, Eola Amity Hills, Willamette valley, Oregon, USA, “ Whole cluster Project ” 2009: £32.90

Perusini, Friuli Colli Orientali,Friuli,  Refosco 2013: £13.95

Cobaw Ridge, Macedon ranges, Victoria, Australia, Shiraz- Viognier 2003: £25.00

Meloso, de calvo Arroyd, Tempranillo 2014, Ribera de Duero: £9.20

Graziano, Montevolpe, Redwood Valley, Mendocino, USA, Sangiovese 2010: £13.75

Willespie, Margaret river, Western Australia, Margaret River red 2010: £11.90

Velenosi, Marche, Italy, “Rosso Piceno Superiore” 2010: £24.75

Passing Clouds, Bendigo, Victoria, Graeme’s blend 2010: £15.95

Willespie, Margaret River, WA, Cabernet 2001: £45.80

Spring Mountain, Napa, USA, Organic Napa Cabernet 2009: £65.00

Graziano, Montevolpe, Mendocino, USA, Late Harvest Tocai Fruilano 2011: £16.45

Lillypilly, Leeton, NSW, Fiumara 7: £16.25

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Mauro Manzone, Monforte D’Alba, Piemonte visits the Whirly shop, 22 Ritherdon road, SW17 8QD

I have always loved Barolo. To me its always been the epitome of Italian Winemaking; the “Creme de la Creme”, “The Parsons nose”, The knob-end of the baguette” ( there’s no other way of saying it!). I have thought this since my first visit to this part of Piedmont, on my Ducati 900ss on my way down to see my twin David, who was dancing near Livorno, in 1994. It’s the typical and yet beautiful little hillside town as many wine based towns are in Italy. In fact the vineyards have to be located on the hillside to qualify as a Barolo.

So for many years I have been looking for some great Barolo and its only now, 15 years into commencing with Whirly wines that I have at last found some wines that I feel are deserving of such a place on my wine shelves here in SW17.

Mauro ( picture below in the Whirly shop this week) is young and a fourth generation winemaker in a little town of Monforte D’Alba, a few miles south of Barolo. His energy and excitement about the wines he showed me was obvious and I am now planning a trip to Piedmont in May for their annual wine tasting.

It did not take long for me to realise that I was tasting some special wines. Mauro had been at Cambridge university the night before tasting with one of the colleges there ( a possible clue to their quality) and he had less than a quarter empty bottles to taste. No matter, the wines, despite being shaken and not at the right temperature were very exciting and I was soon to discover that single vineyard Barolo’s are very much where its at in terms of desire and influence.

We started by tasting their Langhe Rossese Bianco 2014 from their Rosserto vineyard. This is a rare white grape rediscovered by Giovanni Manzone. This indigenous varietal was saved from extinction in an old family vineyard in Monforte D’Alba. Slightly cloudy yet full of citrus and exotic fruit’s, the wine would be a perfect wine for the new Aperitif bar this summer outside 22 Ritherdon Road.

We then tasted another wine from the DOC Langhe, their Nebbiolo ” Il Crutin” 2013 and also a DOC Barbera D’Alba      ” Le Ciliegie” 2013 that were beautifully structured. These wine are great introductory wines to Manzone at clever prices. But by far the most individual and serious wines were the Single Vineyard Barolo wines with the 2011 “Castelletto” wine taking my five star award. It was to me what top Nebbiolo should be about, velvety and yet not too fruit driven with some real leather and delicate smokey fruits showing through. I also enjoyed the    ” Gramolere” 2010 and this vineyards 1998  and 2007 Reserve. I found the 2009 “Bricat”  a little tight and with some tannins so to me it needed anther few years in the bottle.

So In May I hope to start to work with Manzone so watch this space. I cannot wait since these wines have great presence and will shine in the Whirly shop

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Mauro Manzone

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We have delicious Olive Oil!

Happy Thursday!

The sun is beaming into the shop on Ritherdon Road and I thought you may like to know we now stock a beautiful olive oil. I was going to write about our fabulous selection of Sauvignon Blanc (will be my next post), but I am sitting here dreaming of fresh ciabatta to dip into this perfect olive oil.

Let me tell you a little bit about it…

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Velenosi Vini Extra Virgin Olive Oil is from Velenosi’s very own olive tree groves, located in the areas of Ascoli Piceno, Offida and Castel Di Lama.

They are handpicked from the end of October to November while the olives are still green. These are then pressed within 24 hours of harvesting. They use mechanical cold milling, without filtering. The colour of the oil is green with gold yellow hues. It tastes wonderfully fruity and floral with a slightly bitter almond aftertaste. It is intensely full bodied and we just love it!

Why not transport yourself to warmer climates and try this delight.

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Now I must taste some Sauvignon for “research” purposes ….

Holly

 

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Sicily and the Loire, Summer 2012

Sicily June 2012

Sourced on my “ Lunar de Miele” near Alcamo which is a 40 minute drive south from Palermo, on this tough and brutal island, we discover  Bosco Falconeria one of the first “ organic” vineyards here.

The drive is fun. Very good fun. Windy hot roads take us up into the hills near Alcamo and then from there we head along a red dirt track into olive groves and rough and dry farmland that is simply hot! Really hot! Its over 40 degrees outside.

We ended up staying for about six hours and after a lovely vineyard and farm tour we sat down for a feast prepared by Mary, the founder of the farm and vineyard together with Toni and their

It was truly one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had on Mr Whirly’s vineyard tours. We ate the most lovely lunch: fresh ricotta cheese, Mary’s own take on the famous Sicilian dish, Caponata,

We tasted some lovely wines during the lunch, most joyous of all was their Cattarato 2009, which I found very complex, full of layers and different mineral tones and a pure delight to drink.

( opposite is the house at Bosco, the delightful donkey  and the lovely little tractor!)

Winemakers notes on the Cattarato grape:

“ The Catarratto grape from our farm used to be taken in casks by cart to the little port town of Balestrate, where it was sold to make Martini, Carpano to be made into vermouth. It was usually about 17-19% alcohol. The production of lighter wines for table wine through a change in pruning and harvesting only became really important in Sicily in the last 50 years. Tonino took over the management of the farm in 1966, but none of the vines that were here then are still in production. Most of our present vineyards have been planted within the last 20 years. The usual productive life span of vineyards in Sicily is about 25 years, and they are replanted only after an interval of about 5 years.

The grapes are the Catarratto comune and the Catarratto extra-lucido. Training the vines on canes is a traditional practise in this area, known as “all’alcamese”.

the Loire….to follow shortly!

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Fruili wine adventure, February 2012

Mr Whirly discovers the joys of Collio in the barren and stark hills of Fruili in the most North Eastern point of Italy.

Its Friday 17th February and “ Little Miss” and I are whirling through the naked hills of this fascinating wine region, in our rather speedy Renault Clio, looking for a little Trattoria, recommended to us a few minutes earlier by Marzia, the very hospitable wife of the owner at Buzzinelli vineyards, just outside Cormons, in the heart of this undiscovered and unique wine region. When in Italy drive like the Italians I say, as we whisk around the country corners in search of “ Trattoria Dal Mic” in a little town called Mossa. What a fabulous restaurant this turned out to be by the way: amazing  Pumpkin Gnocchi, beef and the Malvasia from a local winemaker was sublime: at the end we joined a large table of 10 or more Triestian gentleman, in their 70‘s and 80‘s, and laughed the afternoon away. Old people are so fascinating! Little Miss ordered Grappa. It was a scary journey back to our Picech vineyard, where we were staying.

Go back about Eighteen hours and we had just entered Cormons after a day fun in Venice, Mr Whirly’s first visit. A lovely little jaunt, though too many people for me to be honest, since its the festival of the mask there. I did enjoy a lovely delicacy, Frissente Venetian I think it was called: a pure delight of naughtiness, candied fruit inside a little doughnut of Panettone, quite the most sublime thing I have ever tasted. In Cormons, we headed straight to the Enoteca de Cormons in the main Piazza. Here, all the local winemakers are represented by this wonderfully friendly establishment and we were able to taste the following wines;

Ribella Gialla ( varietal from this region)

Buzzinelli, Collio, 2010

Kurtin, Collio 2010

The two wines above were outstanding, especially the Buzzinelli wine

Malvasia

Renzo Scubia, 2010

Picech, Collio, 2010

Friulano ( another varietal from this region)

Magnas, 2010

Brunko, 2010

The following morning “ Little Miss “ and I visited the vineyard of Buzzinelli. It took us about two hours to find the vineyard since in Italy I find none of the numbers of the road make any sense in terms of being in any sort of sensical order, but finally we made it to the small holding and were looked after by Marzia, the wife of the owner. It so happened that we arrived on the day of  the

“Festival of the Pig”

so the local farmers were in the process of killing a pig and making Salami as well as Prosciutto. That night they were going to to cook the very large liver with onions for their celebratory dinner. Buzzinelli are a third generation vineyard, started in 1937, originally the family were from France.

We were only able to taste one wine in the cellar here since sadly all the wines were sold out. The Traminer, same as with Gewurtz on the front, was beautifully made. They also make, to taste at some point in the future, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The Ribella Gialla wine steals the show; a grape that dates back to the 13th century, cut in the fields of Slovenia where they call it “ Gold Ribella” since the fields turn to gold. They also make a Picolot wine, made in small production, hence the name since not all the flowers turn to berries. More on this when I get to taste it. Its apparently rivals a great Sauterne.

The next day we drove to Trieste and then turned left into Slovenia to see what we could find there.

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Bosco Falconeria, Azienda Biologica Simeti-Taylor, Partinico, Sicily

Organic Cattarato 2010

Mr Whirly says:

“In the 1960’s Mary Taylor left New York city for Palermo for six months vacation. She fell in love with a Sicilian, her husband Tonino, and stayed there. She set up, with Tonino, high up in the hills above Palermo, her own organic vegetable farm and was one of the first Organic vineyards in Sicily. Natalia her daughter makes the wines and cares for the vines. Cattarato is widely planted in the western side of Sicily. There’s a lot of it since Sicily produces a lot of wine. This is no ordinary Cattarato: bush trained vines called “ Alberello” and vertical trellis for eight year old vines at 800 feet. Fermented in tank, temperature controlled. This wine evokes smokey peaches and apricots with some lovely woody touches, except its straight out of stainless steel tank. Its complex, rounded and elegant . Lovely expression of this grape and a great food wine. We had it with some lovely fresh Caponata and other salad’s, straight from Mary’s garden and it was a match made in Sicily.”

Organic.

Alcohol: 12.0%

P1020848Mr whirly with Mary, Natalia and Tonino after the most splendid of lunches, June 2rd 2012

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Velenosi, Marche

My first venture into the delights of the Italian wine world where the romance and passion of the wines and people is so strong.

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When I was in Los Angeles in April 2010 and about to get stuck by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud I visited Pizzeria Morro, voted by local LA foodies in Zagats (USA version of the Good food Guide) as the most popular restaurant in this sprawling metropolis. I arrived at the restaurant, slightly worn out after a long walk from the Hollywood hills and Sean, the barman, looked after me beautifully, especially after he found out I was in the wine business. Within twenty minutes I had tasted five wines and one of them was the one on the right here. I visited the vineyard in November 2010, returned in late March 2011 to taste the new Vintage I started to import this wine, Lacrima di Morro from D’Alba, as well as a white grape from the area, Passerina in May 2011. They are wines that emphasise the beauty and romance of the wine business in Italy.

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LaCrima di Morro D’alba, ( from D’Alba just east of Ancona) 2012

Mr Whirly says:

“ An extraordinary “Turkish delight” wine that really is very unique. I fell in love with this wine in Los Angeles 24 months ago and still love it. ”

Alc vol: 13.0%

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Passerina 2012

Mr Whirly says:

“ A wonderful aperitif wine that exudes a sensuous bee’s wax feel with some honeysuckle aroma’s too. This wine originates around Ascoli Piceno in Marche.”

Alc vol: 12.5%

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Visciole 2012

Mr Whirly says:

“ A top wine for all seasons. This wine rocks with Black forest gateau and Eton Mess.”

Alc vol: 14.5%

50 cl bottles ( very beautiful, see middle picture)

Winemakers tasting notes:

“ This is a traditional way of making pudding wine in Marche that dates back many centuries. It’s made my blending unripened black cherries with red grapes. The basic ingredient is sour cherries (called Visciola). Based on a traditional recipe, sour cherries are harvested, they ripen during the first weeks of July, and are left to soak in sugar, partly whole and partly crushed. This product is then decanted for a few days and finally filtered. A syrup with high concentration of sugar is thus obtained, which is then mixed with wine. Strawberry, raspberry, ripe wild cherries, jam aroma’s, scents of peach and ripe pear.”

Italy

My passion for Italian wines grew seventeen years ago with the purchase of a Ducati 900ss in 1994 and the subsequent journey’s south to its homeland to see what it made of the Italian hill roads. This journey took me to Barolo and Barbaresco before heading south to Chianti and Brunello de Montalcino. On one road heading up to Volterra with my twin Di on the back, he remarked it was like a real life “ Pac-Man” computer game as I gobbled up the cars on the rattle snake curved road up to this gorgeous little town, famous for its coloured stone.

Please click on the link below for the wines:

Marche

Velenosi, Ascoli Piceno

Sicily

Bosco Falconeria, Partinico

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P1020874A bowl of homemade spaghetti served with winemakers below Etna

P1020827Vines at Bosco Falconeria, high up in the hills south of Palermo

P1010403The cliffs of the adriatic near Ancona near D’Alba, Marche

P1020846Pink blossom, Bosco Falconeria