Monthly report - July 2022
July was a crazy month. In terms of work, in terms of wines consumed, in terms of novelties. I am happy that August begins with a short vacation. That gives me a chance to clean up my mind and come back full of mental energy to continue living and working during these war times.
This month I’ve organised two tasting events and attended four tasting events. And that explains why I consumed 97 wines and rated 86 (with 88 ratings total). Ok, constant background stress is also a reason for drinking that much. But at least I can say that amount of red wines increases. This month only 65% of rated wines were white (compared to 74% the previous month).
Every month the most rated countries are Italy, Spain and France. They just shuffle. But my curiosity is in lower rows. This time Greece wines were rated seven times. And unfortunately, four of them were of poor quality, despite being made by a somewhat legendary oenologist. More on that later.
I am happy to see that I’ve tasted ten new regions this month. But I am just angry that I’ve rated so few wines from New Zealand. I know that there are many Pinot Noirs available in Good Wine. Yup, it’s an official call for convives.
Vintage-wise, I started to drink fewer wines of 2019 vintage and more of 2020 vintage. Though somehow, I’ve got a spike in wines of the 2018 vintage. In that sense, the balance is good. And I am happy that I’ve got my hands on La Biancara Sassaia 1997. Legendary year for that region. You can read more here. I’ve tasted it as part of Mixed Bag Vol. 2: Orange.
In terms of grapes, July is a festival because I’ve rated wines made of 82 grapes! And 11 of them I tasted for the first time. Though if you take a closer look, many of them are rather rare. And it’s really funny to see how hard it is to move Chardonnay and Pinot Noir away from the first lines.
Before I share my favourites and outcasts of the month, let me briefly talk about the novelties of the month. It’s either a new grape or a new region. As they say, the world of wine is incredibly vast.
- Hummel Villányi Portugieser 2020 is my first Blauer Portugieser. I liked this wine so much that I’ve purchased a few extra bottles for home and office.
- Marto Crazy Crazy 2020 is my first Huxelrebe (used in blend). The wine itself is not my cup of tea (pun intended).
- Quinta de Chocapalha Branco 2017 is my first Viosinho and Arinto. Good table wine.
- Bel Colle Verduno Pelaverga 2020 is my first Pelaverga Piccolo and Verduno Pelaverga DOC. Happy purchase.
- Domaine Sigalas Santorini 2020 is my first Santorini POP wine. Does this experience encourage me to continue exploring Santorini? No. But I am going to regardless.
- Fio Wein Piu Piu Petnat Rosé NV is my first Dornfelder. One of my favourite petnat, even though I didn’t like it at first. But my mind is quick for changes.
- Victoria E. Torres Pecis Piezas #4 Malvasia Seco 2018 is my first La Palma DO. I am in love with Victoria E. Torres Pecis now.
- Soco Vinicola Soco Blanco 2020 is my first Lanzarote DO.
- Suertes del Marques El Chibirique 2017 is my first Listán Negro and Valle de la Orotava DO.
- Sandro Fay Valtellina Superiore Valgella Riserva Carteria 2014 is my first Valtellina Superiore DOCG.
- Francesco Boschis Dogliani Vigne in Pianezzo 2016 is my first Dogliani DOCG.
- De Fermo Don Carlino Pecorino Colline Pescaresi 2018 is my first Pecorino and IGP Colline Pescaresi.
- Ρίζες 2 Βιδιανό - Ασύρτικο | Vidiano - Assyrtiko 2020 is my first Vidiano and my first wine from Crete. More on that later.
- Shima L.P Winery Liatiko 2020 is my first Liatiko and PGI Rethymno.
- Shima L.P Winery Thrapsathiri 2020 is my first Thrapsathiri.
- Domaine Huet Le Haut-Lieu Sec 2017 is my first Vouvray AOC. Yup, and I am not ashamed. But happy that I tasted it at last.
As you can see, I was not lying when I said that July was crazy. So many new grapes and regions. But now the time has come for the trickiest part of the monthly report - the list of favourites. To help myself, I am going to select favourites in specific categories.
- My favourite traditional sparkling of the month is 9.0 Ulysse Collin Les Maillons Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut (2017) NV. It could be Cascina Bertolotto Spumante Brut Metodo Classico NV because it was a blast during Mixed Bag, but I hope you understand my choice. Besides, I already included it in the favourites list in May.
- My favourite petnat of the month is 7.5 Fio Wein Piu Piu Petnat Rosé NV. If you want white petnat, then I recommend 7.5 Lucy Margaux Pinot Gris Comme de Fleurs 2020. Still available.
- My favourite skin contact wine is 8.5 Gentle Folk Summertown blanc 2019. Aside from being well crafted and delicious, it also offers something new in terms of bouquet and palate. I am happy that I’ve shared it with others as part of Mixed Bag Vol. 2.
- My favourite white wine is 8.6 La Biancara Sassaia 1997. A legendary year and incredible wine even at its peak.
- My favourite red wine is 8.5 Domaine du Pélican Poulsard 2018. Nuff said. Delicate and complex expression of Poulsard by the skilful winemaker. Still available.
- My favourite wine with a unique style is 8.8 Victoria E. Torres Pecis Vino de Solera de Listán Blanco 2013. I am pretty sure it’s my first non-fortified Solera system wine. I simply fell in love with complexity, depth and palate. Still available.
- My favourite sparkling wine below 600 UAH is 7.5 Els Vinyerons Pregadéu 2020. Incredible Cava with a fresh take on region style. Still available.
- My favourite still white wine below 600 UAH is 7.4 Weinert Carrascal Chardonnay 2021. It’s just tasty and generous. Still available.
- My favourite still red wine below 600 UAH is 7.75 Testalonga Baby Bandito Chin Up 2021. The problem with this Cinsault is that it’s quaffable to an unhealthy extent. Luckily, they are not available anymore. And this makes me sad. Other reds in this line are worth noting.
- And the wine I want to emphasise is 8.5 Marco de Bartoli Integer Grillo 2018. Some would say that I just love Sicily. And that would be correct. But this Grillo became so beautiful after spending more time in the bottle that it’s hard to forget.
And now, instead of listing all the outcasts of the month, I want to tell you about Iliana Malihin and Spyros Chryssos. Two talented people from two islands - Crete and Santorini. They united the effort to craft a future for their land using pre-phylloxera vines. On the 29th of July, we tasted a set of their wines without knowing anything about them. And the next day, after collecting information about tasted wines, I read an email by Jancis Robinson with disturbing news.
Later on Tuesday we heard devastating news from Christos Fatouros in Crete, who wrote about the subject of his entry, ‘nearly 80% of the pre-phylloxera vines owned by villagers that Ms Malihin had brought together were burned by wildfires, along with centuries-old olive trees. The people of Melampes are farmers and are now facing a grim future.’ We therefore decided to publish his entry on Wednesday, with a link to a crowdfunding initiative to help these Cretan farmers whose livelihood has literally gone up in smoke.
You can support their effort to restore viticulture on island on giveandfund.com.
These are all the ratings of the month. Remember that you can search for specific terms and sort any column.