APRIL 2017 – ELEMENTS THEME

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BREAD

EARTH: Beetroot Bread / Beetroot / Tetilla / La Amistad & Pheasants Tears

WATER: Smoked salt roll / Macerated Strawberry / Mahon / Ocean

AIR: Digestive Biscuit / Rhubarb with juice / Monte Enebro / Petritis

WATER/AIR: 100% Rye Bread / Watercress and Parsley Pesto / Fontina / Santa Macerena Pinot Noir

FIRE: Tea cake / Plum / Picos de Europa / Vino de Anna Etna Rosso

 

CHEESE

TETILLA

The green fields of Galicia, in the far north west of Spain, are known for the quality of their pastures from which come some of Spain’s best known cows’ milk cheeses including Tetilla, the region’s most iconic cheese.  Made using pasteurised milk, this cheese has a lightly acidic and buttery aroma, a dense smooth, semi-soft paste, and good balance of lactic and creamy flavours. It is particularly good when used in cooking.

MAHON

Mahón is the iconic cheese of Menorca with a distinctive square shape and rounded edges. The vibrant, orange coloured rind is created by rubbing it with pimentón and olive oil as it matures.  The semi-hard, sometimes crumbly texture has a fruity, fresh and creamy aroma complemented by rich, savoury and yoghurty flavours.  This product has been awarded with 2 stars in the Great Taste Awards 2016. The judges’ comments were:

“Very good flavours rolling round the palate, with sweetness and savoury notes, creamy and fruity on the palate. Good firm texture and full bodied aroma and flavour. This cheese has a creamy mouthfeel and is full of flavour.

MONTE ENEBRO

Pasteurised. Very smooth, dense texture with some creaminess. Grey rind and an intense white paste. Flavours of sweet cream, very mild goatiness and a fruity acidity. From La Adrada, in Castile and Leon, Spain. It is aged for twenty to thirty days.

FONTINA

Fontina d’ Aosta is from raw milk in the Aosta valley in Piedmont, Italy. It has an earthy quality and is very good for melting and for use in fondues. This is a washed rind cheese, with weekly washing to encourage the rind to form and develop the flavours in the cheese.

PICOS DE EUROPA

The Valdeón (Picos de Europa) is a pasteurised blue cheese made from a blend of approximately 90% cows’ and 10% goats’ milk. This highly recognisable maple leaf wrapped cheese, has a creamy and mushroomy aroma, a buttery melting texture and nutty, savoury, sometimes spicy flavours. It is delicious by itself or used to cook with.

 

WINE

EARTH: LA AMISTAD (SPAIN) & PHEASANTS TEARS (GEORGIA).

La Amstad is 100% Rojal.  Not much is known of this local variety. Once planted widely in the 19th century around South-East Spain for both eating and wine when irrigated it gives very large bunches and yields copious litres of juice. When not irrigated it gives a very thick skin which lends itself to late harvesting and for keeping stored over the winter months so families could continue eating grapes for up to 6 months after harvesting. It is of rustic character with marked salty and mineral touches. These are pure, “minimal intervention” wines at the forefront of Spain’s slow move towards more elegant, terroir driven styles from Alicante, South-East Spain where the climate is hot, humid and Mediterranean.

Pheasant’s Tears estate vineyard plantings flow down the slopes of the eastern Georgian Kiziqi province overlooking the Alazani Valley and snow-capped Caucasus Mountains. Qvevri were the first vessels ever to be used for wine fermentation, with archaeological finds dating back to 6000 BC. Qvevri are clay vessels lined with beeswax and completely buried under the ground where the temperature stays even throughout the year, allowing the wines to ferment in the natural coolness of the earth. Pheasant’s Tears qvevri vary in age but some date back to the mid 19th century. The cellar is built in the vineyard itself to minimize the damage to the grapes in transportation, allowing harvesting and process before the heat of the day takes effect. In accordance with Georgian traditional wine-making methods, the ripest of stems are added to the grape skins, juice and pits, for both reds and whites. The maceration time depends on varietal and the size of the qvevri and varies between 3 weeks and 6 months. The Rkatsiteli is from thirty year old vines, fermented naturally for thirty days with wild yeasts in clay Georgian qvevri buried underground. The wine is neither filtered nor fined and only a touch of sulphur is added at bottling. Golden amber in the glass with a nose of wild honey, but dry, and unexpectedly, full-bodied in the mouth with background notes of walnut and apricot.

WATER: OCEAN THRAPSHATHIRI, DAFNES, IDAIA WINERY.

A bright, uplifting wine, with delicate fruit aromas followed by a generous and spicy mouthfeel with hints of liquorice and pine and a refreshing herbal, saline finish. Idaia Winery is located in Venerato, a village in the heart of the vineyards of the Malevizi district, which is part of the Dafnes appellation area. Idaia is a family company, specialising in producing wines from indigenous grapes. The indigenous variety of Thrapshathiri (pronounced Thra-psa-THEE-ree) is grown in vineyards located at an altitude of 400 to 500 metres above sea level.

AIR: PETRITIS, TROODOS MOUNTAINS, CYPRUS.

Delicious aromas of citrus fruits, candied lime, litchi and a touch of spice and vanila. A medium bodied yet refreshing wine with a long, persistent finish. The winery is located at Kyperounda, in the Pitsilia area of the Troodos mountain range, 50 km from Limassol. At an altitude of 1140m, it is higher than any other winery in Europe.

AIR/WATER: SANTA MACARENA PINOT NOIR, ESPINOS Y CARDOS, CHILE.

This wine is bright, aromatic and fresh with subtle oak play ing a supporting role. The emphasis on the delicious red fruit flavours, drinkability and enjoyment. A single vineyard Pinot Noir from one of the most coastal vineyards in Chile in San Antonioi just 5 km from the ocean, within a small vineyard region 55 miles west of central Santiago and just south of Casablanca Valley. Morning mists and spring frosts, often associated with the Napa Valley and Bordeaux are brought from the west coast by the Humboldt current.

FIRE: VINO DI ANNA, ETNA ROSSO

Anna Martens and Eric Narioo started making wine together on Mount Etna in 2008. In 2010 they purchased their first vineyard of old, vine Nerello Mascelese and a 250 yr old palmento and wine building which they restored and “Vino di Anna” was created.  Today they own 6 hectares of land which they farm biodynamically.

Mount Etna is an incredible place to grow vines. The soils are black, fertile and rich in minerals. The volcano is in constant eruption, often sprinkling the vineyards with fresh cinders.  The vineyards are located along terraces at high altitudes (600-1200 metres). The climate is extreme making it both an exciting and challenging place to make natural wine.

Vino di Anna makes a range of natural wines. The vineyards are farmed organically and tended by hand.  The grapes are all hand harvested. The vines are alberello (bush vines) and range in age from 60 – 100 plus years old. Nerello Mascalese is the principal red grape.  The white is a field blend of local grapes, mainly Grecanico and Carricante.  The wines are made with minimal intervention, natural yeasts, no additives, no fining or filtering.  Little or no SO2 is used.

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