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Wines included in a case
Clai Ottocento Bijeli 2014
With just 8 hectares under vine, this boutique winery has been in the hands of the same family for generations and is currently run by talented winemaker Giorgio Clai. The Clai family’s winemaking philosophy centres around a celebration of indigenous grapes which they skillfully blend with popular international varieties that suit the Istrian terroir.
Their Bijeli is a dry white blend of local Istrian malvasia, Pinot gris, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc which are all harvested from the family’s organically-farmed vineyards on the Istrian Peninsula close to the border with Italy. After the harvest the grape must is vinified along with the skins using wild yeasts which are naturally present on the skins of the grapes. The wine is then aged in large wooden casks for around 15 months to soften and integrate the four different components until Giorgio decides it is ready to bottle and release.
Giorgio’s wines have developed a cult following in top restaurants and wine bars all over the world and it’s easy to see why once you take a sip of his stunning Bijeli. On the nose there are seductive notes of lemon curd, acacia flowers, ripe peaches and caramel, while the palate is well-rounded with spicy hints from the barrel ageing and plenty of ripe stone fruit and orange flavours.
Movia Sivi Grigio Ambra 2017
Those who love wines with interesting flavours will enjoy this unusual orange wine from Slovenia which is crafted from late harvested Pinot Grigio grapes. The grapes are harvested by hand and transported immediately to the winery to preserve freshness where they are vinified in large tanks with wild yeasts. The young wine is then transferred to oak barrels for a lengthy 18 month maturation period.
This approach to winemaking helps to create a characterful orange wine with immense ageing potential. On the nose there are intense hints of honeysuckle, dried apricot and bitter almonds while the palate is remarkably complex with layers of ripe tropical fruit, dried herbs and green walnuts. The medium body, gentle tannins and bright freshness make this a versatile gastronomic wine which can pair perfectly with everything from meatballs served in a rich tomato sauce to pan-fried tuna steaks or creamy cheeses.
The Movia winery is set in western Slovenia’s Goriška Brda region close to the border with Italy where the Mediterranean climate is ideal for producing quality wines. Founded as far back as 1700, the estate has been in the hands of the Kristančič family since 1820 and today comprises 18 hectares of which half lie across the border in Italy.
Soellner Irden Roter Veltliner 2017
Roter Veltliner is little known outside of its native Austria, but white wine aficionados across the world are quickly realising the qualities of this cult variety. The stronghold of the variety is the Wagram region which is set on rolling hills on either side of the Danube river. Here plantings of Roter Veltliner had been decreasing drastically and owe their survival to the dedication of local winemakers like the Soellner family who recognised the potential of the variety.
The variety gets its name from its red-tinged grapes which do not give any colour to the finished wine. The family ferment 80% of the Roter Veltliner grapes with the skins to add extra complexity to the finished wine and the remaining 20% in a stoneware tank. The wines are then blended and bottled in unique black stoneware bottles which are sealed with organic corks.
This unusual white wine is sure to delight fans of dry Riesling and Gruner Veltliner thanks to its crisp aromas of lemon zest, apples and white flowers. On the palate there is a racy acidity, light body and pure fruit flavours with a very clean finish.
Polvanera Verdeca Orange Wine 2018
Polvanera is best known for its opulent reds made from the local Primitivo grape, but winemaker Filippo Cassano has also turned his hand to crafting exceptional and unusual white wines. This bottling is made from the little-known rare Verdeca grape which is thought to originate from Puglia. Cassano’s expression is made as an orange wine with a 20-day maceration on the skins to extract plenty of flavour and tannins. The wine is then kept in stainless steel vats for six months and aged for a further 3 months in the bottle before release.
On the nose there are attractive notes of bitter almonds, acacia flowers, honey and white peach while the first sip reveals a medium body, gentle tannins, and a long and elegant finish. The bold flavour profile makes this an excellent gastronomic wine with plenty of potential for pairing with fish, chicken and tricky ingredients like asparagus.
Set in the modest town of Gioia del Colle, Polvanera takes its name from the black soils which characterise this part of south-eastern Puglia. Filippo Cassano founded his ground-breaking winery here in 2003 and has quickly stamped his own vision on the region. All of his vineyards are farmed organically and he prefers to work with wild yeasts and a light touch in the winery wherever possible.
Schuster Veltliner Weitblick 2017
Fresh meadow flowers, zesty citrus and hints of dill characterise the nose while the first sip reveals a bright acidity, medium body and intense stone fruit, buttery and herbal notes which linger on the tongue. Composed of Gruner Veltliner and the lesser-known Roter Veltliner, the grapes for this wine are carefully picked by hand and the young wine is matured in used oak barrels on the lees to add extra complexity and a smooth creamy texture.
The Schuster family have been making wine for 250 years and specialise in traditional indigenous varieties like Gruner Veltliner and the rarer Roter Veltliner. Gruner Veltliner is today one of the iconic grapes of Austria’s wine industry thanks to the elegant white wines now being produced across the country. Roter Veltliner is not yet well-known outside of the country, but it is increasingly being used to make spicy white wines with mouthwatering freshness which age very well.
Thanks to their ancient family connection with the vine and their land, the Schusters seek to work in harmony with the earth to preserve the estate for future generations to come. They currently work 12 hectares of vineyards in Wagram sub-region of Niederosterreich on the banks of the Danube.
Vodopivec Solo 2015
Paolo Vodopivec only works with the Vitovska grape which is indigenous to his native Carso region of north-eastern Italy and Solo is his flagship expression of the variety. This single vineyard wine is crafted with the finest grapes from his best site and is vinified with the grape skins in a large qvevri or earthenware vessel. After spending a year maturing in the qvevri, the wine is then transferred to large neutral botti or wooden barrels to age for a little while longer.
The result is a magnificent orange wine that displays a deep golden hue from the extended skin contact and distinctive aromas of crisp lemon zest, Mediterranean herbs, smoke, and ripe orchard fruit. On the palate the fruit flavours are remarkably concentrated and balanced by hints of bitter almonds, ripe tannins, and a silky smooth mouthfeel. This is a full-bodied, characterful wine that is an excellent match for cheeses, rich risottos, or creamy pasta dishes.
The Vodopivec estate was founded in 1994 when brothers Paolo and Valter Vodopivec took over the running of the family business. Since that date they have decided to focus on using ancient winemaking techniques to craft sensational orange wines from their Vitovska vines. In 2005 the brothers also began using qvevri from Georgia to showcase the pure character of the Vitovska variety.