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A mere generation ago, there mightn't have been much to say here about Sicilian wine. Apart from Marsala, the reds were mostly sold in bulk to fatten up pale wines from cooler European vintages, or lost in the production of vermouth somewhere.
But with it's special place at the confluence of Mediterranean and North African cultures, there's been a modern day renaissance in wine and food here that is nothing short of a remarkable. Australians have an affinity for this blend of warm Mediterranean climate, migrant culture and vibrant food. Sicily just makes sense.
Red or white?
Red production is dominated by Nero d'Avola, grown in most regions across the island. Ranging from juicy medium bodied cherry fruited styles blended with the lighter Frappato, to sturdy dark, structured and plummy numbers that will appeal to Shiraz lovers.
Nerello Mascalese is exciting for its structured, fragrant and tannic wines, coming on high from the steep volcanic slopes of the still very active Mount Etna.
Surprisingly, there's also plenty of white planted here, chief among them Carricante. Distinctively refreshing with notes of smoke, cut herbs and lemon tonic.
Carricante, Grillo, Nero d'Avola, Frappato, Nerello Mascalese
Occhipinti, COS, Terre Nere, Tenuta Aglaea, Feudo Montoni, Planeta, De Bartoli, Girolamo Russo, Passopisciaro
Within France, the Loire Valley region produces the greatest diversity of wine styles. The array of wines made reflects the different sub-regions that share little in common due to the region's sweeping expanse. It's an exciting mesh of sparkling, dry, sweet, rose and reds styles.
Known as the 'Garden of France' the Loire Valley is a prolific food bowl producing delectable treats across cheese, cherries, apples, butter and vegetables. Covering 1000km from east to west, this picturesque region is a feast for both your eyes and tastebuds.
White: Chenin Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne (Muscadet), Sauvignon Blanc
Red: Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Grolleau
The Muscadets of the Nantais are influenced by the maritime climate. These wines are subtly textured, freshly fruited and best drunk young with some oysters. Anjou is where Chenin Blanc shines in various styles - sparkling, dry and sweet. Touraine is home to the tuffeau soils which Chenin blanc loves in Vouvray, and we see some red wines here too. Lastly, in the Central Vineyards where the soils are similar to Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc is the cross-bearer producing some exhilarating wines in Sancerre and Pouilly Fume.
Pepiere, Baumard, Pierre Bise, Roches Neuves, Huet, Francois Chidaine, Didier Dageneau, Vacheron, Gerard Boulay,
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French Drinking Dozen - Summer 2022
France is an incredibly diverse country and one that offers a plethora of great drinking at all levels. From its balmy southern shores, warm and verdant interior to the cool limits of its northern hills there is truly something for everyone.
This mixed dozen offers up a selection of some of our favourite producers, regions and varieties as well as up-and-coming winemakers and dark horses you may not heard of. We have tried to include a little snap-shot of the state of play from this wonderful vinous country.
Each month this will be updated as we see great new wines, vintages rolls and the latest and greatest to hit our shores. At 15%-20% off or more, this a great way to explore France offering exceptional value and delicious drinking.
Don't forget to check back often to see the latest version of the French Drinking Dozen.$265.00 Regular Price $336.00