Saturday 7th April 2018 : "Spain v Italy" with Dinah in Lewes.

A splendid 'full house' for Dinah's evening in Lewes - with no extra assistance this year, Dinah managed the evening more than capably by herself.  Great wines and great food...!

The Whites:

1. Albarino, Nai e Senora, Terra de Asorei 2016; Rias Baixas; 100% Albariño; 13% abv; purchased from SWIG for £14.95


'Nai e Señora means ‘mother of the land’ and the label on this bottle depicts this noble woman. The sensational Albariño grape is on top form in this aromatic wine. With a floral nose with touches of exoticism on display, the palate tightens up with citrus tones and it strolls on for a long while. Great Albariño walks a tightrope between heady perfume and white-knuckle drama and Nai manages to make this spectacle look simple. Designed to go with all manner of seafood and fresh fish, you will adore this wine and it will give you a chance to leave your Sauvignons behind while you pamper your palate with a little aromatherapy.'

Tasting Notes:  White flowers mingle with pear, peach, apple, a little tropical fruit and faint herbal notes. Deliciously quaff-worthy with refreshing, tangy citrus and tropical fruit on the palate. Lively acidity, nice palate-weight and a touch of sea salt minerality. It's perfect for crossing the divide between drinkers of Sauvignon and Chardonnay; it has the light pleasing freshness of Gavi, but with sunnier disposition and more interesting flavour without being over the top. A pretty perfect house wine! Eat with: Percebes (aka, goose feet barnacles - see below). Admittedly these aren't very easy to find on our shores, even if they do make for an interesting illustration. Keeping with the Galician theme, you might also try a take on merluza a la gallega - a simple casserole of hake, chorizo and potatoes.

2. Ancilla Lugana 2015; Lake Garda, Northern Italy; Turbiana 100%; 13.5% abv; Purchased from Symposium for £ 20.50


Produced without the addition of sulphur, this wine has a super ripe pear and white peach character, textured with a very long and saline finish. The wine: The grapes were destemmed and lightly pressed, followed by a cold maceration on the skins. A slow fermentation took place in steel casks at a low temperature. The wine was aged on its fine lees, in stainless steel casks for five months, then saw further bottle ageing for one month, prior to release.

Intense aromas of grapefruit and citrus fruits are combined with intriguing undertones of jasmine and elderflower. These sensations come to fruition and linger deliciously on the palate, harmoniously balanced with notable body and the discovery of unsuspected warmth.

Ancilla Lugana is located on the shores of Lake Garda in North East Italy. The estate comprises two vineyards: La Ghidina, located in Lugana di Sirmoine, the heart of the production area of some of the most elegant whites in Italy, and Cadellora, situated in Villa franca di Verona. It is run by Luisella Benedetti, the third generation of women to run this estate, having inherited the farm from her mother, who inherited in turn from her mother, named Ancilla.

Between the Whites & the Reds Dinah served a paté snack

The Reds:

3. Bodegas Pascual Buró, Vendimia Seleccionada 2014; Ribera del Duero, Spain; 100% Tempranillo; 14% abv; Purchased from SWIG ( for £16.95


These wines usually take aeons to soften and lose their tannins – Buró is ready to go with stunning depth and richness and an ample, mellow finish.
Press Note: 'Made from 50-year-old ‘Tinta Fina’ (Tempranillo) vines and grown at 890m above sea level, this wine’s vital statistics are impressive. It sees six months in French oak and four months in American oak and so there is even some complexity woven into its woodwork regime. These wines usually take aeons to soften and lose their tannins – Buró is ready to go with stunning depth and richness and an ample, mellow finish.' Matthew Jukes, Money Week (on the 2014)

4. Chianti Rufino 'Cedro' Lavacchio 2016;Tuscany, Italy; 90% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo nero, 5% Colorino; 14.5% abv; Purchased from SWIG for £15.95


Organic – limited production – renowned oenologist – restaurant owners.  Nestled among rows of olive groves to the east of the city of Florence, Fattoria Lavacchio is an organic estate run by Faye and Dmitry Lottero. The secluded site provides the perfect setting for the couple to combine work with bringing up their young children. The fact that the vineyard is so isolated has also helped the team in their pursuit of organic wines that showcase purity of fruit. Oenologist Stefano di Blast, one of the most respected in Tuscany, recently joined the Lavacchio team, inspired by the patchwork nature of the vineyard and the opportunity to work with such low yields. Alongside the vineyard, Faye and Dmitry have a restaurant and shop that serves only local organic food, including a range of meats that they cure themselves. Wine lovers should not forget about Chianti Rufina. For the most part a high-altitude, cool-climate viticultural area, its Chiantis are some of the most perfumed, flinty and refined of all. 90% sangiovese, 5% canaiolo nero and 5% colorino, high-pitched aromas of tangy red and darker berries and violet are complemented by lower-toned earth and flint notes.

5. Yantra Tenuta Sette Cieli 2016; Livorno, Tuscany, Italy; 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot blend; 13.5% abv; Purchased from SWIG for £19.95


This hand-crafted Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend comes from a 7 ha organic family property located just 10 minutes drive from the sea and bordering the Bolgheri DOC vineyards. The full-bodied palate is full of intense redcurrant fruit and wild herbs with plenty of depth and vivacity.

6. Gran Passione Rosso ('Baby Amarone') 2016; Veneto, Italy; Merlot/Corvina/Negroamaro; 14% abv; Purchased from Vivino for £16.00


An 'Amarone' style wine which has instant appeal. Full in body, dark in colour, rich in berry flavours and soft in tannins, the Gran Passione is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Corvina. The Corvina is allowed to dry using the appassimento method, causing the fruit concentration and sugar levels to increase. It is the same technique used to make Amarone, and it is rarely used in wines as well-priced as this one! Very smooth and rounded. Delicious! Food pairing: Sirloin or rump steak

7. Alberto Loi 'Nibaru' Monica di Sardegna Riserva 2013; Sardinia, Italy; Monica grape; 13% abv; from Cellar £15.00


Captivating nose with flowery perfumes of red flowers, both fresh and dried, as well as strong cherry-fruity notes and delicate minerality, combined with a gentle spiciness.

8. Langa Classic 2013; Calatayud, Spain; 100% Garnacha grape; 14.5% abv; Purchased from Solera for £12.00


Tasting notes: Intense color almost opaque, to cherry red with violet overtones, thin layer. Powerful aroma bramble fruits (blackberries, currants) cherry. Light balsamic and very complex aromas. In the mouth it has structure and fat, high quality tannins and powerful.

Fermentation: In stainless steel tanks of controlled fermentation 25ºC. Autoclaves. In oak barrels 12 months in American oak, European and French.

9. Beronia, 2012; Rioja, Spain; 2% Carignan, 4% Grenache, 94% Tempranillo; 14% abv; Purchased from Majestic for £16.99


Dark fruit aromas lead into quite a fleshy, baked strawberry and raspberry palate. Ageing in mixed oak barrels for 20 months has lent precise wood and spice notes, which continue onto the finish alongside juicy cherry and hedgerow fruit flavours.

10.  San Silvestro Barolo 'Patres' 2013; ; 100% Nebbiolo


San Silvestro Barolo 'Patres' 2013 is an intense, spicy, elegant Barolo from a fine vintage. Nebbiolo grapes are ripened on south-facing slopes in the Langhe hills, then aged for two years in large oak barrels following the harvest. Beautiful aromas of 'tar and roses' give onto an intense, elegant palate with impressive length of flavour.

The Sartirano family wine business commenced in 1871, but it was only in the 1950s that they started to sell wines in Italian regions outside Piemonte, in 54 litre barrels. In the 1970s the family decided to bottle their own wines and they installed their first bottling line. Business prospered and in 1976 they built a new winery and renamed the company Cantina San Silvestro.

For supper Dinah served an excellent Lasagne (with a veggie option) with Caprese Salad and a mixed green salad.  Dessert was Grand Marnier Caramel Custards with Candied Peel.  A selection of cheeses from Italy and Spain was followed by tea and coffee.

To accompany the cheese course, Bryan gave us the opportunity to taste a single bottle from the SWAS Cellar:

The Wine Society's Exhibition Hermitage Rouge 2005 from the Rhône Valley, France; originally purchased by the SWAS Fine Wine Committee for £36 and now deemed by the Wine Society to be in its prime and ready to be sampled...!

The Raffle:

Details pending,  (but Claire won the White ...) and the Red was a 2017 Santa Ana Malbec from Argentina

Page last updated 02.05.2018 16:08

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