NEWSLETTER X MMXVII
Autumn has fully descended on us, with the streets full of plane leaves, darker nights and sluggish mornings. Now that the weather is cooler we have begun shipping wine again, and so are looking forward to several new arrivals over the coming months.
This is an especially exciting time of year as the apple harvest is in full swing. A large team of pickers headed out west to harvest apples for our cider project, bringing in a whopping 1.6 tonnes of mainly Yarlington Mill, Somerset Redstreak and Stembridge Cluster. We will be milling and pressing them at the end of the month and hoping for a nice cool winter for the fermentation.
A VISIT TO COSTADILÀ
We arrived to meet Ernesto Cattel of Costadilà on the last day of harvest and were grateful he had the time to show us around. Like so many winemakers, Ernesto has had a difficult year; late frost damaged a number of his vineyards but he was optimistic about the quality of his smaller harvest.
Ernesto's vineyards are scattered around the "L" shaped area that forms the Prosecco region; a vertiginous landscape of the most vibrant green - as Ernesto points out a very different shade of green from the rest of Italy.
For an area that is essentially a monoculture the region has a rare feeling of wilderness, due to the steep slopes and deep green but also because the vines themselves are arboreal, often above head height with generous foliage. We noticed this while walking through Ernesto's 280slm plot, as he demonstrates the particular way that these Prosecco vines are pruned to create high walls of fruit-bearing branches, in a vineyard surrounded by chestnut woodland that provides a natural barrier and a diversity.
In the cellar we tasted what had been harvested in the preceding weeks and was hovering somewhere between juice and wine. His cellar has an energy of experimentation, there is such a broad range of flavour and Ernesto is almost brimming over with ideas and excitement despite referring to the vats as "problem number 1, problem number 2 and problem number 3"! The flavours are complex - bright, briny and wild.
FROM THE KITCHEN
We are incredibly fortunate to work with Brogdale Collections in Kent through our friends at England Preserves. They are home to the National Fruit Collection and as such produce a staggering variety of fruits throughout the year. Autumn sees a plethora of apples, pears and quinces of all shapes, sizes and flavours making their way to London. Favourite apples so far have been the Oaken Pin and Blenheim Orange, but the quinces always steal our hearts.
Baked Apple with Crumble and Custard:
Make a quick crumble by rubbing together roughly 1 part butter, 1 part sugar to 2 parts flour (a portion of which can be substituted with ground almonds). Add a generous pinch of salt and a handful or two of crushed flaked almonds.
Choose a few similarly sized dessert apples - Pippins and Coxs work well here. Peel and core them, leaving them whole. Fill the cavity you have made with a mixture of softened butter, brown sugar, currants, a pinch of allspice and some diced apple - make sure the apples are filled to the brim. Nestle them into a baking dish and heap a healthy amount of the crumble onto each apple. Bake in 170°C oven for 45 minutes, or until the apples are soft and yielding to your touch.
Serve with vanilla custard.
The first of our autumn deliveries has arrived, and it has been a much anticipated one. Two pallets from Jean-Yves Péron are now waiting patiently to go on our lists. Jean-Yves makes unique and fascinating wines in the Savoie, using predominantly indigenous grape varieties that highlight the alpine climate and the details of the terroir. He ferments everything in whole bunches for varying amounts of time, which produces whites of intense savour and salinity, and reds with dense tannin and beguiling deep fruit. We are enormously excited to taste through all Jean-Yves' new vintages and to release them in the coming weeks.
OUR PICKS THIS MONTH
Costadilà, O-X 2015
A fizz from Ernesto made from Pinot Nero, Glera and Chardonnay. The pinot sees a short six hour maceration, while the others are macerated for six days. The resulting wine is refermented with must from the year before. Captivatingly moreish, the O-X has peachy hue and rich acidity.
Skyborry, Rural Method 2015
We have a few bottles of a new cider from the boys behind Skyborry in Powys. Made from many different cider apples, they repeatedly rack-off to keep sugar and slow the fermentation. It has delicate tannins and a dark toastiness.
Jérôme Jouret, L'Ivraie 2015
Made from Ugni Blanc, Viognier and Clairette, this is a real go to wine for us at our bar. Jérôme makes wine in the Ardèche on the limestone slopes that mark the Massif Central's descent to the Mediterranean. His wines are always clean, bright and wonderfully drinkable, and the L'Ivraie is no different.
L'Arbre Blanc, Les Fesses 2014
Fred Gounan farms a few minute vineyards in Saint-Sandoux south west of Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne. This is a direct press of Sauvignon Blanc, into which whole bunches of Pinot Gris are macerated for a year. An interesting take on skin-maceration, the finished wine has an extraordinary tension and texture.
Andrea Calek, Chatons de Garde 2013
This is Andrea's Syrah, made from 30-50 year old vines planted around Alba-la-Romaine in the Ardèche. The grapes are macerated in whole bunches for up to 21 days and then aged for a year in old barrels. It is darkly fruited and spiced - pure Syrah.
Barranco Oscuro, 1368 2007
From a vineyard 1368m above sea-level in the Alpujarras, this is Manuel and Lorenzo's blend of Garnacha, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. They are vinified separately and then blended before being aged for two years in barrels. You can truly taste the character of Barranco Oscuro here; the heat of the sun during the day and the cooling winds of the night.
ORDERS & DELIVERY
You can buy our wines to take away from our bar and warehouse at 40 Maltby Street.
We offer a 10% discount on cases of 6 and above, and can deliver within London and beyond.
Call us on 020 7237 9247
OR email firstname.lastname@example.org