Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Adriano Marco e Vittorio Wines Masterclass in Singapore

When asked about her job in the winery, Michela Adriano explained with a mischievous smile: “It's a family run winery, there’s no strict job specification for family members here; whatever tasks come your way, you do it”. She was in town to conduct a workshop on her family’s winery and wines.

Michela Adriano
More pictures from this workshop can be viewed via this link:

Photo Album of the Adriano Marco E Vittorio Masterclass

The Agricola Adriano Marco and Vittorio winery is located in the Langhe region of Piedmont, close to the city of Alba. The region is famous for its wines, white truffles and rustic appeal. Presently the vineyards are located in San Rocco Seno d' Elvio (Alba) and in Neive.

The Winery

Michela informs that the family land was originally bought by her grandfather (Giuseppe) who began the task of planting vines within the acquisition. His son Aldo continued with the job of planting more vines when the land was passed to him. When the grandsons (Michela’s father and uncle) took on the management of the vineyards, they progressed into winemaking and bottling wines under their own label.

The Wines

At present the white wine varietals grown are Moscato and Sauvignon blanc; and the red wine varietals are Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetta and Freisa.

In Singapore, we often get to taste the moscato produced in the slightly sweet and sparkling style (using the Frizzante method); a wine popularly known as Moscato dÁsti. Apart from producing this style, the Adriano winery also produces a light bodied, still, dry white Moscato under the label 'Ardi.'

A pleasant surprise is this winery’s Langhe Sauvignon Blanc Basarico DOC. By and large we often get white wines from Piedmont made using Arneis and Cortese varietals. Sauvignon blancs from Piedmont are not a common fare over here. It certainly provides a welcoming addition to the offerings from this wine region.

Ever came across the Freisa varietal? A first for me. Michela explained that this red is used to produce different styles of wine from dry to sweet, and still to fizzy in Piedmont. In their winery, they use it to produce a dry red which is lightly sparkling. Unlike other wines made from Nebbiolo, Barbera or Dolcetta, a Freisa red is rarely heard of in Singapore and is certainly worth a curious venture.

Wines presented during this workshop

Adriano Marco e Vittorio Langhe Sauvignon Blanc Basarico DOC 2014
Fresh, clean, light plus body with light grassy and herb notes backed by refreshing acidity. Shows itself in a delicate manner. The vines are located about 250m above sea level; on hillside vineyards facing north-east and west in Alba. The grapes are gently pressed, fermented and stored in stainless steel tanks under controlled temperature before bottling.

Adriano Marco e Vittorio Barbera d'Alba DOC 2014
Red berry aromas; medium body, smooth texture, berry fruit flavours holding well against acidity in palate. Not a complex wine; more favoured for its easy approachability. The vines are located about 300m above sea level; on hillside vineyards facing east and west in Alba and facing south-east in Nieve. The crushed grapes undergoes fermentation on skin in stainless steel tanks; the finished wine is stored in stainless steel tanks as well before bottling. It undergoes bottle aging for 6 months before release.

Adriano Marco e Vittorio Barbaresco Basarin DOCG 2010
Garnet red; gentle floral, fruit and spice aromas; medium plus body with red fruit notes showing on the palate; notable tannin presence leading to astringency; acidity adding to structure. Shows a long finish with tannin presence. The vines are located about 300m above sea level; on south facing slopes. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks; aging of finished wine takes place for a year in stainless steel tanks and another year in medium sized oak casks from 35-50 hl. Upon bottling, the wine is aged for 6 months.

Adriano Marco e Vittorio Barbaresco Basarin Riserva DOCG 2008
A splendid wine with good showing on the nose and palate. Garnet red, medium plus body, well integrated wine with flavours showing in layers (tertiary development), smooth texture; tannins and acidity supporting fruit and spice notes in the palate; well balanced, it has a rustic appeal about it. Long, lingering finish with potential to age further. Certainly an elegant wine which you can sit back and enjoy. The vines are located about 300m above sea level; on south facing slopes in Nieve. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks; aging of finished wine takes place for a year in stainless steel tanks and 2 years in medium sized oak casks from 35-50 hl. Upon bottling, the wine is aged for 12 months.

For more information on these wines, you can contact:
The Italian Wine Club at 98535102

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sips from Russia

... if you wish to try sips from Russia when in Singapore.

It was an art show located in a gallery at Armenian street. The exhibit showcased works by Russian artists. True to good form, guests were introduced to sips from Russia during this event.

Though Russia has a long history in winemaking, it nevertheless faces challenges in making quality wine with an international appeal. Despite hurdles, some producers are striving to make their mark on the international wine scene.

One such producer is Abrau-Durso winery. I've had the opportunity to see their wines exhibited at Hong Kong Wine & Spirits fairs (an event held annually in Hong Kong). In Singapore, the Abrau-Durso wines can be found at Buyan Russian Restaurant & Caviar Bar at 9 Duxton Hill.

Two sparkling wines from Abrau-Durso winery were showcased during this art event: one the sparkling white demi-sec and the other an extra brut. According to the sommelier at hand, the demi-sec is made with Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot blanc varietals; while the extra brut is made using Pinot noir and Riesling varietals.

Both were made in easy, refreshing styles exhibiting a leaning towards fruit flavours like citrus and apple notes (as opposed to mineral or autolytic character profile).

An interesting spirit came in the form of the Kremlin Award Grand Premium Vodka as well. I must confess that I am not much of a 'spirits' drinker. To this novice, it came forth as an approachable sip with pleasing flavours and an enjoyable texture when tasted neat.

The good host nevertheless ensured the presence of strawberries and tomato juice as accompaniments for those inclined.

A representative from Wine Tatler, the firm marketing this vodka in Singapore, explained that this vodka goes through a '6 steps purification process' and is made under stringent conditions. If you are keen to try these sips from Russia, do contact the respective local merchants :)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Olivier Leflaive Wines

There’s wines produced by Domaine Leflaive and there’s wines produced by Olivier Leflaive; Jean Soubeyrand patiently explained to a question posed to him. He was in Singapore recently to share about Olivier Leflaive’s negociant business and wines.

Jean Soubeyrand
Olivier Leflaive had the good fortune to witness, learn and experience viticulture and wine making since young. His grandfather, father and other family members were involved in things related to viticulture and later wine production (with the purchase of the family vineyard in Puligny-Montrachet back in 1905).

In 1984, Olivier Leflaive went on to set up a negociant business. But unlike negociants who would have been content with trading in completed products, he however preferred to make his own wines. Initially he bought grapes from reliable growers and began making wines under his own label. Later he acquired parcels of vineyard land and included grapes from his own land for winemaking as well.

With Franck Grux as his winemaker (since 1988), not only was he able to produce and provide quality wines to a growing market; he was also able to expand his wine portfolio from beyond those produced within Puligny-Montrachet to include those made from other parts of Burgundy as well.

A few sound initiatives introduced over the years have certainly went on to enhance customer experience and product awareness towards his wines. Olivier Leflaive set up a hotel (La Maison dÓlivier Leflaive) in Puligny-Montrachet where folks can come, stay and spend some time in the commune. It helps people to get to know his wines better and goes to promote tourism in the commune as well.

Visits are organized to his vineyard and winery to explain viticulture and the wine making process to curious wine enthusiasts. There's also wine tasting workshops to educate people on his wines, and dining experiences (at his restaurant, La table de Olivier Leflaive) which showcases wines from his portfolio.

Locally, if you are keen to get more information on Olivier Leflaive wines, you can approach  Enoteca at Tel:63371263.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Yellow Wines from Jura in Singapore

For the inquisitive wine drinker. A white wine called ‘Yellow wine’ (Vin Jaune) from the Jura wine region of France.

Though by and large white wines try to retain freshness, youthfulness and fruit notes; the vin jaune on the other hand embrace and display a partially oxidative character . They are certainly not the sort of whites produced at large in other wine growing regions of France or across the world. A little unique in style and certainly an acquired taste for the local wine consumer in Singapore.

I had the opportunity to taste yellow wines from Domaine Rolet (Jura, France) recently at Vintage Wine Club (a wine company located at 49 Jalan Pemimpin). The colour in fact does not make one sit up and take note; I believe wine consumers are used to seeing white wines come in different shades (from colourless to deep amber). But the nose will certainly make one aware of the difference a yellow wine offers when you bring the glass closer for a whiff.

Domaine Rolet , Jura
Antonin Pon (one of the founders of this wine establishment) explained that unlike regular white wines which upon fermentation are aged with minimal oxygen contact (in order to preserve a wine’s freshness and fruit characters); yellow wines on the other hand are aged in partially filled barrels with a layer of yeast on the wine’s surface.

It’s similar to the process a Fino sherry undergoes during its aging phase (but unlike a Fino sherry; yellow wines are not fortified prior to aging). This manner of aging (with partial contact to oxygen) results in the wine attaining a good shade of yellow and a degree of oxidative notes. Also, aging in contact with yeast makes the wine embrace aromas and flavours that the yeast imparts.

One does not easily come across yellow wines in Singapore. Luckily, for those keen to see how older vintages perform, the Vintage Club carries back vintages of these wines as well (1985, 1988, 1995, 2000 and 2005). Apart from whites, Vintage Wine Club also brings in red and sparkling wines from Jura as well too.

It presently carries  more than 200 labels from different wine growing regions in France. Wine enthusiasts can attend free tastings held every Saturday (from 11am to 5pm) to learn about these wines.

For more details, you can contact:

Antonin PON - Founder Vintage,
Wine Warehouse
Tel : +65 9851 0749 49
49 Jalan Pemimpin, Loading Bay APS Industrial Building
01-09, Singapore 577203