Curious Case March 2023 - Reveal

Our Curious Case is a monthly enigma, a mystery to be unveiled upon arrival. It might contain a classic red, white, rosé, orange or sparkling wine from a renowned region, or an obscure gem from a distant and unconventional vineyard with indigenous and rare varietals. Join the intrigue and indulge in the thrill of discovery.

As the season of Lent approaches, we are reminded of the significance of abstaining from indulgence in the lead-up to Easter. However, we view this time as an opportunity to indulge in something that is "good for the sole", if you will pardon the pun. In that spirit, we have curated a collection of wines that pair beautifully with fish and seafood.

While fresh, crisp, and zingy whites are an excellent choice for shellfish, the bounty of the sea is diverse and complex, ranging from oysters to swordfish and langoustines to salmon. Each of these offerings requires a specific pairing to elevate the experience, and there is a more extensive range of wines that complement seafood than one might initially assume.

To choose the perfect wine, we considered several different recipes, ensuring that each wine would enhance the flavours of each dish. We have selected a wine for each recipe, from simply grilled fish to richly textured fish pie, succulent salmon, and meaty monkfish, as well as a vegetarian dish to complement the Lenten theme.

If you are exploring the world of fish and seafood this Lent, we invite you to indulge in March's Curious Case, the perfect accompaniment to elevate your culinary experience.

The aim of our Curious Case is to provide a fleeting glimpse into the world of quality wines at a reasonable price, curated around a central theme. This selection is merely a starting point, intended to capture your attention and stimulate further investigation into the fascinating realm of wine.

£90.00 per case
free delivery, or collect from the shop.

What's in it?
As usual the contents of the Curious Case remain a mystery until the end of the month. Nonetheless, we would like to offer some tantalizing hints to whet your appetite and ignite your inquisitive spirit. Are you curious?

Wine #1 - A northern Italian classic white with a little bit of weight that makes it perfect with a creamy fish pie.

Wine #2 - A fresh and bright white from the Rhône that's a superb partner to Tuna.

Wine #3 - The soft, rounded fruitiness of this super French Chardonnay suits salmon really well.

Wine #4 - This Loire valley red is big and generous and it makes a good pairing with a meaty piece of monkfish.

Wine #5 - Our joker in the pack - a scintillating Sangiovese which will work its magic with a rich mushroom risotto.

Wine #6 - A very accomplished, organic Provençal rosé that's at its best with simply grilled white fish.

Gavi 'La Fornace', Cinzia Bergaglio 2021

In a nutshell:
An excellent example of Piedmont's classic white wine from a small, dedicated producer.

The lowdown:
Gavi is a true Italian classic, starring on the winelists of many fish restaurants on the Ligurian coast near to where the wine is made. This fresh and floral white is made from the Cortese di Gavi grape, as it's know in the area, taking its name from the region's main white wine producing town of Gavi. This particular example hails from the hilly slopes of Tassarolo to the north of the region, where the Cortese thrives. It has a wonderfully complex nose and palate of toasted almonds with hints of aplle and sage. While remaining refreshingly light there's a touch of creaminess to the body which gives extra interest.

When to drink:
As well as being a natural seafood partner the extra touch of weight makes it great to drink by itself.

La Fleur Solitaire Cotes du Rhone Blanc, Domaine Boutinot 2021

In a nutshell:
Fresh and medium-bodied with a nose that is pretty and delicate, just hints of hedgerow flowers.

The lowdown:
The flavours are nuanced and refined rather than overt. Careful use of oak adds texture and viscosity to this very drinkable white. Following an experiment with a micro cuvée crafted from seven barrels back in 2009, Boutinot now source grapes from selected vineyards in the southern Rhône. Each parcel is picked separately in the cooler early daylight hours for gentle pressing that same morning, and each is fermented at a low temperature.

When to drink:
A lovely apéritif, or with light starters and grilled fish.

Suitable for Vegans

Beaujolais Blanc, Dominique Morel 2021

In a nutshell:
A soft, rounded, fruity unoaked Chardonnay from the south of Burgundy.

The lowdown:
Beaujolais is famed for its reds however Beaujolais is both the southern part of Burgundy and produces white wine from Chardonnay that are very similar to that of their neighbours in Mâconnais to the north. Beaujolais Blanc on the label but it might as well say Bourgogne Blanc or Mâcon-Villages when regarding the style of the wine. Made by Dominique Morel who has been winemaker at his family estate since 1991 and simply produces wines that he likes to drink and, thankfully, they are ones that many others do to! Harvested first thing in the morning to preserve freshness, fermentation in stainless steel and then maturing for five months on lees. The wine sees no oak but still has a lovely weight and softness to the body. Vibrant citrus and stone fruit aromas with hints of blossom lead onto a medium-bodied palate balanced with fresh acidity and a clean finish. Great Mâcon-Villages alternative from a great producer.

When to drink:
A really versatile wine, try with avocado and prawns, scallops, chicken in cream sauce or chicken curry, mixed salads, and the Morel's also suggest local cuisine such as frog's legs or andouillette.

Suitable for Vegans

Chateau Coudray-Montpensier Chinon 2020

In a nutshell:
A big and bold red wine with over-flowing red and black fruit flavours from the Loire region, France.

The lowdown:
The impressive Chateau Coudray-Montpensier, located in Chinon, has a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages. After various owners throughout history the property was eventually acquired by Dr Christian Feray in 2005, who undertook major restoration. The property comprises of 34ha of vines, situated on the left bank of the river Vienne. The grapes are grown on varied soil types. The Cabernet Franc used to the Chinon is sourced from 14ha of vines grown in the finest vineyards in the Chinon appellation. The grapes were destemmed and placed in stainless steel tanks where they underwent a combination of cold and warm pre-fermentation maceration, depending on the plot, to increase the extraction of aromas and soft tannins. Following racking the wine was aged for several months in stainless steel tanks to retain the Cabernet Franc’s fresh fruit characters. This wine is garnet red in colour with purple reflections. The nose opens with aromas of ripe red and black fruit mixed with hints of liquorice. On the palate, smooth tannins are balanced by bright acidity and intense flavours of blackcurrant.

When to drink:
This wine would pair well with red meat dishes, such as slow cooked lamp shoulder, or a cheese course.

Selvapiana Chianti Rufina 2021

In a nutshell:
A classic, perfumed and elegant Chianti from one of the top estates in the north eastern outpost of the region.

The lowdown:
The Rufina zone, from where this comes, is the smallest of the Chianti appellations and sits in rolling hills that lead to the Apennine mountains. Made virtually entirely from Sangiovese it's aged for 12 months in a mix of stainless steel and large and small oak barrels. It's medium bodied with juicy acidity, cherry, dried herbs and some notes of spice and earthiness. It has a lightly spiced, dark cherry fruit character where the fine grained tannins and tight structure lead on to a nicely floral finish that has a youthful freshness.

When to drink:
Benchmark Chianti from a benchmark estate, it's an ideal match with meaty dishes in tomato based sauces.

Suitable for Vegans, Organic

Chateau L'Escarelle 'Les Deux Anges' Rose, Provence 2021

In a nutshell:
A highly accomplished organic, fresh and crisp Provençal rosé.

The lowdown:
The certified organic vineyards of Chateau de l'Eecarelle sit within 1000ha of forest at 500m above sea level, hugging the slopes of the Montagne de La Loube, and have been awarded France's highest environmental certificate, the Haute Valeur Environnementale. This commitment to sustainability and the environment comes through to produce healthy soils, healthy vines, good grapes and good wines! Hand harvested and then sorted twice before fermentation. A classically dry, subtle and elegant rosé with wild strawberry and citrus notes on the nose, leading onto a soft palate with a nice weight, good depth, and notes of mango and pomelo fruit. The finish is long and clean.

When to drink:
A very well made, textbook Provençal rosé that is perfect as an aperitif, or try with grilled fish or vegetables.

Suitable for Vegans, Organic

Curious Case March 2023 - Good for the Sole

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