Wine Club – April 2022

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Fruita Analogica, 2021
Macabeo, Muscat de Alexandria

We first met the Dutch couple Dido Voorma and Jurriaan Morsink a year or two after they set themselves up on a 9.5ha patch of vineyards to the north of Barcelona. From there they’ve been making their Vinyes Tortuges wines, which we’ve featured previously in the club, and they’ve also gone on to purchase an old wine cooperative building with their friend Bart Obertop, former owner of the brewery Brouwerij’t Ij. With that, they’ve been able to expand their winemaking with a new négoce project called Fruita Analogica, thanks to the 30 cement tanks they now have access to. Little Fluffy Clouds is from their second vintage under this name; the nose has a lot of peach and tropical fruit from the fruit-forward Muscat, but there’s some dryness and salinity in the mouth as well.

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Novecentonovantanove, 2018
Cabernet Franc, Merlot

Having grown up on the small family winery close to Padua in northeast Italy, Nevio Scala had an interlude of several decades, first playing football professionally then coaching the Parma team during its golden years in the ‘90s, making him one of the local football greats. In the mid 2000s he started working back in the vines again and since that time he’s settled full-time on low-intervention winemaking. His Novecentonovantanove is a 60/40 mix of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, fermented separately in cement tanks, with 5% of the Cabernet aged in oak barrels as well, then added just before bottling. It’s a very Bordeaux blend, a classic medium-bodied red with rich fruit and soft spice.

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Vino Di Fognano, 2019
Malvasia, Ortugo
From the Trebbia Valley in Emilia-Romagna, this is one of several projects guided by Giulio Armani, the winemaker and oenologist behind Denavolo and long-time winemaker at the pioneering domaine of La Stoppa. Armani first started at La Stoppa as a cellar hand, working with the father of Elena Pantaleoni, who helped lead the way for natural wine in the region, uprooting the estate’s international varietals in 1996 after taking over from her father, and together with Armani replanting local grapes. He in turn started his own label in 2005, and via side projects like Vino di Fognano is getting even more wine into glasses. If you know the well-balanced, well-structured oranges he makes at Denavolo, you’ll know what to expect here as well: aromatic and herbal with light but present tannins, some apricot, basically delicious.
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Lucy Chilvers, 2021

Lucy arrived in Catalonia about a year ago from England, via a few months working with the legendary winery Radikon in northeast Italy, and she’s now into her second Spanish vintage. The first (Sasa) we sent out a few months ago, a pretty serious Xarel·lo, while this one’s lighter, more fun, an easy-drinking Merlot. We spent a day bottling this wine with Lucy in the Pendedès, where she shares some cellar space with the wine’s namesake, Ruben of Finca Parera. There was still a bit of residual sugar, hence the crown caps, but that could finish fermenting depending on the bottle, so you might get a touch more (or less) fizz, and hence more (or less) sweetness as well. Lucy recommends drinking this one very cold and fresh; it’s great for a picnic wine: fun and light-hearted.

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Plateau Du Cascal, 2019
It’s hard to pass on a well-made Cinsault, if the fruit is balanced with a freshness that makes it all very drinkable and a definite crowd-pleaser. With that in mind, it’s hard to know why Cinsault vines have been ripped up in large swathes over the years. Luckily a small plot remained for Plateau du Cascal, based in the southwest of France between Carcassonne and Limoux, where the winemaker Julien Veyret purchased an extra 24ha of vines in 2014 to add to his family farm. They still sell one part of their grapes to the local coop, but the rest are being put to good use in their own wines. Here there’s lots of red fruit in the mouth and a smokiness on the nose as well, both delicate and well-made. 
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Giuseppe Cipolla, 2021
Grillo, Catarratto

‘Solfare’ means ‘to sulphur’, but here it refers to the sulphurous rocks of central Sicily where Giuseppe Cipolla has been making wine since 2014. A mix of 90% Catarratto and Grillo, with 10% unidentified local white varieties, 2021 was unique for the extreme heat experienced during summer, making this vintage a touch more concentrated and direct than previous years. The grapes were macerated for a single day only, then fermented and aged half in stainless steel, half in French oak barrels. The result is a medium-bodied wine with some distinct oxidative notes on the nose, with stone fruits and a degree of saltiness in the mouth.


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