Below are notes on tomorrow nights tasting. I have just returned from a fabulous tasting of the two premium red wine regions in Italy? Can anyone name them?
“Mr Whirly” is presently in Gascogne on a “Whirlwind” wine tour of South West France looking for exciting wines from the smaller producer that really do “punch above their weight” at a sensible price. With the outcome of “Brexit” ( sorry to bring politics into this post!) and the fall in value of the £ this is clearly a priority over the next month and possibly years, who knows? I am in the middle of writing up my notes on this trip and this shall be posted on this website by end of play today, Wednesday 29th June.
Anyway onto happier things, tasting wines this week!! Below are the wines we shall be tasting, please double click on the link below and it will come alive!. Please do let me know if you can make it wont’t you since last week was the best attended so far with 12 people attending so we might need to stagger the bookings this week.
Good Afternoon this showery Tuesday Afternoon.
Last weeks tasting went down was very well received so I am keen to keep the weekly Thursday Whirly tasting going every week throughout the summer and get more people involved.
Below are details of this weeks wine tasting, please double click on the flyer to see full details of the wines we are tasting this Thursday.
I am very excited that the new wines from Alain Normand, that arrived today from Macon will be showcased this week. These wines are very much his heart and soul wines: he has nurtured these small plots of land on the hills and gullies surrounding the hamlet of “La Roche Vineuse” for many decades and they really do show off his skilled winemaking and quality of fruit that his vines produce, oh so beautifully. Macon is the “workhorse” of Burgundy and therefore it does not get the credit it deserves. But in terms of quality and price Macon offers something that its more illustrious and famous appellations just north of here cannot come close to competing with. His red is a Gamay ( being so close to Beaujolais he is able to grow this grape) and I shall be serving this fruit driven, summer wine slightly chilled this week. It rocks let me tell you! His White is the staple white grape of Burgundy however, Chardonnay, but unlike most wines from Burgundy its not oaked and therefore very fresh and easy to drink.
Please book in advance by calling me on 0208 672 2572 from the hours of 11 a to 7pm over the next few days and I shall book you in for this weeks Whirly Thursday tasting, which promises to be fun and also informative!
Don’t forget its fathers day this weekend!
I also have some lovely wines for mixed half cases and full cases of wines, or indeed and single bottles, so please come in and talk to me soon to discuss what your partner and indeed you both might like to share over lunch on Sunday! In this week are some really special wines from all over France ( Cote de Gascogne, Cote de Bordeaux, Cote de Duras, Macon and Champagne) so there will be a lovely choice of 10 new wines to chooses from as well as over 130 wines already in the shop, hand picked and tasted by Mr Whirly for you to enjoy! See you soon!
The Aperitif bar has been open for a week now and although the weather has been against us in the first week with a great deal of running outside to rescue menus from the rain and hail, its been a positive start with an excited reaction from customers and locals, so thanks so much for that.
The Menu for this week is below! This week we introduced some Iberico Salami de Bellota and Locally baked Foccacia from the Elephant bakery in Streatham served with the wonderful olive oil from Velenosi in Marche that I import together with their very individual wines like the LaCrima.
I have changed the wine list this week and added the very unusual Willespie Margaret river White 2011 ( blended with their four main white varietals, Verdelho, Semillon, Sauvignon and Riesling), the Ribas Blanc 2012 from the oldest winery on Mallorca, over 300 years old now as well as the Perusini Ribolla Gialla 2014 from the glorious white wine region of Friuli in North East Italy that borders Slovenia and Austria. Stunning wine, so very fresh and clean with a citrus finish mixed with a little wax from the lemon skin! I look forward to welcoming you soon to the Aperitif bar and if you are interested in buying wines by the case the ex vat wholesale price list is now updated on this website. I can offer free delivery to you if you are a local SW postcode! Lastly the “Wine of the month” page will start again in May with some new wines from Gascogny that I am importing this week! Stunning Strawberry rose that will soon be served in the Aperitif bar very soon at around £1.95 for a 75 ml tasting glass, so not in anyway expensive! Enjoy Whirling!
Whirly Wine Aperitif Bar
Prosecco – Lemoss NV. Ca di Rajo, Treviso
Casal Garcia NV, Aveleda, Vinho Verde
Château Molhière, Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Côte de Duras
Ribas Blanc, Prensal Blanc-Viognier, 2012, Mallorca
Graziano, Chenin Blanc 2011, Mendocino
Perusini, Ribolla Gialla 2014, Friuli
Stefano Lubiana, Riesling 2010, Tasmania
Château Molhière, Cabernet Franc 2013, Côte du Duras
LaCrima di Morro 2014, Veleuosi, Marche
Shiraz-Viognier 2003, Cobaw Ridge, Macedon Ranges
Merlot 2010, Château Les Graves de Viaud, Côte de Bourg
“ Organic” Locally baked Foccacia with Velenosi Olive oil
Iberico Salami de Bellota ( 60 gms)
Arbquina Olives (75 gms) Frutos Secos ( 100 gms)
Salted Catalan Almonds (75 gms)
( Mr Whirly and Benn from Queensland, Australia on the opening day last week!)
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!
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.
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
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
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…
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.
Now I must taste some Sauvignon for “research” purposes ….
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!
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
Renzo Scubia, 2010
Picech, Collio, 2010
Friulano ( another varietal from this region)
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.