Tag Archives: Spain

The Vincast Episode 056 – Campbell Burton from Builders Arms Hotel

Campbell Burton has a sincere love of and passion for wines of tradition and minimal intervention, and has the opportunity to introduce people to them in his role as the sommelier of the Builders Arms Hotel. On this episode of The Vincast he talks about his path of discovery, how he began importing some wines of his own, and why he decided to launch an event dedicated to sulphur-free wine called Soulfor Wine.

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Campbell Burton from the Builders Arms Hotel

Campbell Burton from the Builders Arms Hotel

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The Vincast Episode 051 – Iwo Jakimowicz from Si Vintners

Iwo Jakimowicz is the ‘I’ in Si Vintners, the ‘S’ being his wife Sarah Morris. In 2010 they bought a historic vineyard in southern Margaret River and immediately began farming it using organic then biodynamic practices, something still uncommon in the region. They have quickly garnered both praise and criticism for their very hands-off approaches, particularly in the winery, in what is a very established and traditional area where significant investment has been made in establishing pedigree and style. Listen to my chat with Iwo as he explains why he and Sarah chose this path, and why they hope that more producers will embrace this approach in the future.

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Iwo Jakimowicz at Si Vintners in the Margaret River

Iwo Jakimowicz at Si Vintners in the Margaret River

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The Vincast Episode 030 – Rosé with Wiremu Andrews

When many people think of rosé they think of a sweet pink wine, but times have changed (for the better) and you can easily find good quality fresh and dry examples being produced around the world. For episode 30 of The Vincast I invited sommelier friend Wiremu Andrews (currently working at Rockpool Bar & Grill in Melbourne) to discuss the history of rosé, the production methods & styles, and what you can expect from certain regions and varieties.

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Wiremu Andews

Wiremu Andews

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The Vincast Episode 029 – Sparkling Wine with Phil Smith

With the Christmas and New Year period rapidly approaching our tastebuds turn to sparkling wine, and on this episode I have returning guest Phil Smith from The Wine Depository join me to discuss the many styles of sparkling wine and ways to enjoy them.

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Phil Smith

Phil Smith

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The Vincast Episode 016 – Andrew Marks aka The Wanderer and Melbourne Gin Company

Gembrook Hill was established back in 1983 in the most southern part of the Yarra Valley, and over the past 31 years has built a reputation for producing some of the finest cool-climate expressions in Australia, whilst maintaining an artisan cult status. The second of three children Andrew was the one to follow a career in the wine industry which has led to him working for wineries large and small all around the world. Although he is now very involved in Gembrook Hill with his parents he has more recently started his own winemaking project under The Wanderer moniker and also started producing a gin, which all tie together with his own philosophy influenced by his upbringing and experiences.

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Andrew Marks

Andrew Marks

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Bibendum Degustacion de Vinos – 3/06/2013

Bibendum as I have said many times, are one of the best importers of wine in Australia. For the first time they hosted a tasting of their entire range of Spanish producers, and some were gracious enough to fly all the way to Australia for the event. Here is a very long list of wines I tasted.

Colet-Navazos Cava Extra Brut 2009
Nice gun flint volcanic notes. Clean pure fresh light, classic but fairly simple and safe.

Navazos I Think Manzanilla
Slightly rich and creamy, toasty and crunchy texture.

Argueso Manzanilla
Pure fresh light, clean and brisk, friendly and appealing.

Argueso Las Medallas Manzanilla
A bit deeper and richer, bolder but still nice and salty, sweeter fruit character.

San Leon Manzanilla
Zingy zesty, so fresh, not what you think of manzanilla.

Angel Rodriguez Martinsancho Verdejo 2011
Fig skin and herb notes. Exquisitely balanced, light but not thin.

Val de Sil Montenovo Blanco 2012
Mid-palate texture saltiness. Bright fruit-driven but savoury.

Val de Sil Godello 2011
Quiet. Bright and fresh, fruit-forward, nice and textural.

Val de Sil Pezas da Portella Godello 2010
Salty volcanic oily nose. Much more elegant and restrained.

Horacio Calvente Pago La Guindalera Blanco 2010
Classic but restrained and dry, fresh musky floral elements.

Mengoba Brezo Blanco 2011
Tight and sharp, very precise, really good but not offering a lot.

Mengoba Blanco Godello Y Dona Blanco Sobre Lias 2010
Nicely developed, slightly wilder and more mineral.

Mengoba Brezo Tinto 2011
Bright juicy floral notes, fresh and juicy but tight and straight.

Mengoba Flor de Brezo 2010
Tighter spicier and leaner, much more savoury.

Mengoba Mencia de Espanillo 2009
Intense tight concentrated, juicy and fairly soft but intense.

Mengoba Mencia de Espanillo 2010
Amazing precision and integration, LENGTH.

Mengoba Estaladina 2010
A little dirtier and wilder, dark and intense.

Domino do Bibei Lapola Blanco 2010
Tight juicy round full friendly.

Domino do Bibei Lapena Blanco 2010
Wilder funkier basalt, intense super godello up to 11.

Domino do Bibei Lalama 2009
Soft juicy full, tight.

Domino do Bibei Lacima 2008
Wild but a little short, lacking something.

Adega Algueira Brandon Blanco 2012
Herbal green fig, very fresh and food friendly.

Adega Algueira Cortezada 2011
Denser and more lifted aromatically, brisk concentrated quince like, high acids.

Adega Algueira Merenzao 2010
Spicy wild earthy, generous yet tight.

Adega AlgueiraCarravel Barrica Mencia 2009
Denser tight, softer and fuller.

Adega Algueira Pizarra 2010
Not seeing it, might need more time.

Quinta Da Muradella Caino Redondo 2009
Too funky and wild, tougher more traditional and rustic.

Quinta Da Muradella Souson 2009
Closed and developed, tight focused acid great.

Exopto Horizonte Blanco 2011
Juicy fruit (musk) sweet, quite different, more Loire style.

Exopto Bozeto de Exopto 2011
Soft bright juicy clean, pleasant character, exceptional value.

Exopto Horizonte de Exopto 2010
Tighter more integrated, much more traditional.

Exopto de Exopto 2009
Deep and soft, juicy reflection of the variety.

Felix Callejo Rosado Vina Pilar 2012
Juicy fresh red fruit sweet.

Felix Callejo Flores de Callejo 2010
Bold juicy dark and intense, fairly straight-forward.

Felix Callejo Crianza 2009
Denser earthier and fuller, quite vintage specific.

Felix Callejo Majuelos de Callejo 2009
Tighter grainier and earthier, very generous.

Felix Callejo Gran Callejo 2006
Intense tight precise and still closed.

Felix Callejo Finca Valdelroble 2008
Stinky reduction, bright wild salty.

Felix Callejo Finca Valdelroble 2009
Juicy hot still very fresh.

Condado de Haza 2009
Very intense dark almost molasses, very soft easy and generous.

El Vinculo Crianza 2006
Extremely traditional, burnt aromatics.

Pesquera Tinto Crianza 2009
Wild earthy savoury, soft concentrated, REAL.

Pesquera Tinto Crianza 2010
Rounder larger fuller, not too different in fact.

Pesquera Reserva 2008
Wild earthy savoury, unbelievably tight.

Dehesa La Granja Tempranillo 2005
Soft bright and generous.

Bodegas Carchello 2011
Quite spicy and approachable.

Terroir Al Limit Torroja Vi de Vila 2011
Light fresh pure lean and clean.

Terroir Al Limit L’Arbossar 2010
Tighter, denser more generous.

Terroir Al Limit Dits del Terra 2010
So elegant but hauntingly complex.

Terroir Al Limit Les Manyes 2010
Beautifully floral yet spicy, intense and tight, extremely long.

Terroir Al Limit Les Tosses 2010
Darker more brooding and more fruit sweetness.

Clos Manyettes Priorat 2007
Punchy and unctuous.

Clos Mogador 2007
Toasty smoky earthy wild terroir wine.

Equipo Navazos No. 31 La Bota de Amontillado
Toasty caramel nose, rich but still dry, wild and feral.

Equipo Navazos No. 37 La Bota de Amontillado
Creamier honeyed spice caramel, salty richer rollier.

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Red + White Imports – 21/05/2013

Bianca Vigna Prosecco DOC
Nice crisp clean citrus apple, classic prosecco. Fresh bold fruit and warm mouthfeel. Super pleasant.

Louis Roederer Brut Premier
Creamy buttery autolysis, a little fat and rich bit still fresh and clean. Minimal complexity, certainly vibrant.

Louis Roederer Rosé 2007
Crisp bright citrus red grapefruit blood orange. Long and precise. A little mushroomy pinot on the nose.

Louis Roederer Cristal 2005
Quite wild and complex, nutty mushroom leesy Camembert. Extraordinarily delicate, fine and elegant, long and ethereal creaminess. A cut above the 2004.

Peramor Verdejo Rueda 2011
Quite subtle aromatically, thin and watery. Not giving much at all.

Monte Tondo Soave Classico 2012
Disappointing, suffers same problem as Verdejo.

Louis Jadot Macon Village White 2011
Subtle to say the least, fresh and clean but lacking much personality.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt RK Riesling Trocken 2011
Slightly spicy quince notes, clean and fresh but good level of mineral green notes.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Riesling Kaseler 2011
Showing a little more concentration, density but still clean precise and fairly straightforward.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Riesling Wiltinger 2011
Bolder still, lifting but still an easy vintage.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Josephshofer 2011
More RS texture and weight, great precision and length, some botrytis notes.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goltropchen Riesling Spatlese 2011
Dense creamy lanolin texture, balanced yet rich and subtle sweetness.

El Bos Tinta de Toro 2011
Spicy Black Forest plum notes, bright fresh but a little fruit and oak sweet.

Monte Tondo Valpolicella 2011
Lavender potpourri, herbal lemon tea. A little tight and weedy, lacking depth and plumpness for the tannin structure.

Mazzei Badiola IGT 2011
Focused tight balanced fresh yet bold. Is what it says.

Vietti Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne 2010
Spicy nutmeg, black cherry red plum. Bright fresh approachable but focused.

Vietti Barbera d’Alba Vigna Scarrone 2010
Tighter leaner on the nose, density and focus. Fuller yet softer, more and longer tannins.

Louis Jadot Cote de Nuits Villages Le Vaucrain 2009
Safe. A tad hot. Serviceable.

Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny 2009
More depth and precision, more character and intensity. Delivers.

Pure Garrigue Cotes-du-Rhone Red 2011
Dense dark red fruits, very limited amounts of spice.

Domaine de la Renjarde Massif d’Uchaux 2010
Soft dense yet fresh and focused.

Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009
Totally against the grain for the appellation and vintage. Light fresh and vibrant rather than full soft and dark.

Chateau de Pez 2008
Serviceable but uninteresting.

Mazzei Mix 36 2008
Very international oak maceration nose. Very tight and focused but not full heavy or overworked. Focused fine yet intense tannins. Needs a lot more time for oak to blow off.

Red + White Imports

Red + White Imports

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The Wanderer – 13/05/2013

Chenin Blanc 2012
Finesse and elegance, restraint and florals. Clean light fresh, not overly sweet but long.

Rosé 2011
Lovely savoury style. Plenty of personality and excitement, food friendly balanced and long.

Lower Yarra Pinot Noir 2011
Light style characteristic of the vintage, nice savoury fungal game aromas. Vibrant but fresh and intense, tight lean and long.

Upper Yarra Pinot noir 2011
A bit leaner and quieter, but bolder and more intense on the palate. Still very fresh but more contained and potential to be explosive.

Shiraz 2011
Wilder herbal pepper notes, a touch green spice. A little too raw and wild, too much whole bunch, overwhelms fruit.

Carinyena Catalunya 2010
Dense and reflective of variety and region.

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Spanish metal (Impressions of Spain)

It was a great privilege to travel through Spain for five weeks and visit the fourteen major wine regions to meet some of the absolute top producers in the country. What an amazing learning experience to not only be introduced to the wines they produce, but also their philosophies, culture and traditions. A lot of this is thanks to Scott Wasley who as I have mentioned is probably the most important importer of Spanish wine in Australia, working with an exceptional range of wines from the worlds largest wine producing country. I was fortunate enough to not only gain an insight into the most premium wines that Spain produces from the source, but also to their generosity and hospitality as many of the producers very kindly invited me to share lunch or dinner with them, and sometimes offered me somewhere to stay which as I have said is such a huge help to me as I am completely self-funding this trip. So from the beginning I would like to thank both Scott and all of the producers who gave me such a warm welcome to their regions and wineries.
Attempting to draw fino from the solera at Sanchez Romate

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Nobody expects the Spanish disposition (Rias Baixas, Spain – Day Two)

When people think of Spanish wine 90 times out of 100 they would think of red wine. Nine times they may think of cava depending on where they are from, and maybe one time they would think of sherry. Chances are they wouldn’t think of white wine but there are two places in particular where white wine is pretty much all they make. The first is Rueda where wines made from the verdejo grape are one of the fasting growing in the country. The other place is Rias Baixas where they make wines mostly from albarino. In my opinion Rias Baixas white wines are the most Spanish that a wine can be. Firstly as a country that is mostly surrounded by water they eat a lot of seafood and other fresh and often salty dishes that are perfect matches with albarino thanks to its high acidity and zingy freshness. Secondly the country gets very hot as I have discovered myself, and as a chilled wine albarino is much more refreshing than a glass of Rioja tempranillo or oloroso sherry. As albarino wines are almost always made in a simple way they are also a reflection of the simple lifestyle that Spanish people lead, particularly in the current difficult economic situation. Then add to this the fact that albarino is very cheap to produce and can therefore be more affordable than many wines produced in Spain for the Spanish people. There aren’t really any complicated terms or levels of quality like crianza or reserve that mean almost nothing, it is simply good or it isn’t.  Albarino can be enjoyed across the whole country with any myriad of different dishes and is so easy to drink. What I’m trying to say is that Spanish should be drinking more albarino, but only as long as there is enough for the rest of us too.

Have you ever seen razor clams before?

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