Curious Case - May 2022 Reveal


The Curious Case is a ‘mystery’ case that changes every month whereby you find out what is in it when you receive it. Could be red, white, rosé, orange, sparkling from a classic region or a boutique producer in some remote far-flung region using indigenous rare varieties.

Finally it’s getting to the time of year where the sun is staying out later and the temperature isn’t bitterly cold. To us that means that season has come to enjoy dining, alfresco style, whether that be a BBQ in your back yard a picnic in the park or a rooftop soiree. The term Al Fresco comes from Italy and loosely means “in the cool air” but we use it to mean dining outdoors. With this in mind we have picked the wines in this months Curious Case in order to match with some go to alfresco dishes.

Cantina Gambellara Classico

In a nutshell: A delightfully dry 100% Garganega from the Veneto in North-East Italy.
The lowdown: Gambellara is a small town between Verona and Vicenza just east of the Soave wine region. Vines have been cultivated here since Roman times and the area's speciality the Garganega grape which thrives on the local volcanic soils. The wine is nicely dry and delicatley scented with a pronounced minerality and lengthy finish. There's also an interesting touch of spice on the finish along some peachy aromas.
When to drink: It's ideal as an aperitif and with food try with grilled fish or prawns and langoustines.

Celler del Roure 'Les Prunes' Blanc de Mando Rosado

In a nutshell: A dry, fresh, minerally, biodynamic rosado from near Valencia.
The lowdown: A white wine made from a red grape that has turned out pink! Mando is an incredibly rare variety almost exclusively saved from extinction and grown by Celler del Roure in the hills of Moxient south of Valencia. Working biodynamically the grapes are handpicked and then very gently pressed with the free run juice fermented as you would a white wine, before being matured for 6 months, partly in underground amphoras. The result is a really dry, fresh and clean rosé with lots of minerality, pure stone and citrus fruit with some savoury touches and lots of crisp acidity.
When to drink: Really refreshing and perfect with lunch in the hot sun... Try with fish, rice and pasta dishes, or cold cuts.

Louise Chereau 'Katharos' Muscadet Sans Soufre Ajouté

In a nutshell: An impressive and vibrant Muscadet made without added sulphur.
The lowdown: Chéreau-Carré are among the most go-ahead Muscadet producers as this excellent low sulphur wine amply demonstrates. Its name 'Katharos' means 'purity' in ancient Greek and the aim here is to allow the bright aromas of the Melon de Bourgogne grape to shine through without the addition of sulphur during vinification. The grapes for this come from their Château de Chasseloir vineyards which, due to their south-facing aspect, achieve good levels of maturity. It certainly shows a real aromatic purity and has a good richness and length on the palate. Following the exotic fruit aromas are notes of ripe, juicy pear and crisp green apples on the palate. It's beautifully balanced right through to the deliciously persistent finish that has a characteristic hint of salinity.
When to drink: Well made and well structured this is a great match for charcuterie or, quite simply, the British classic of fish and chips.

Zagaluz, Quinta do Mouro NV

In a nutshell: A light, juicy and extremely moreish red from Portugal's Alentejo region.
The lowdown: Quinta do Mouro, from where this comes, is owned and run by self-taught winemaker Miguel Louro who is not your typical Alentejo producer, but they make some quite special stuff. This wine is not typical of the region either, but we enjoyed it so much we wanted to get it on the shelves. It doesn't conform with most of the region's winemaking rules, so while it's actually from 2017, it's technically an NV (non-vintage) wine. They've taken a modern, hands-off approach to the winemaking, with fermentation and ageing in stainless steel. A light maceration, with some stems, means this wine is light and juicy, with just a hint of soft, fine tannin adding a lovely texture. Pure cherry and berry fruit are balanced really well by a hint of green, woody earthiness from those stems.
When to drink: Interestingly different and very rewarding, a perfect red to drink by itself it's also good with feathered game and poultry.

Ciconia Tinto 2020

In a nutshell: A rich and fruity Portuguese red blend from the warm and arid inland Alentejo region.
The lowdown: The little known Alentejo region, in the hot, dry inland region south of Lisbon, is a source of super value generously fruity wines and this eye-catching, easy-drinking red blend has long been a favourite of ours. This is a modern fresh-tasting blend of traditional varieties such as Touriga Nacional and Aragonez with a bit of Syrah which is making inroads in the region. It's got a lovely touch of ripe brambles on the nose and a basketful of rich, soft red fruit flavours and a touch of dried fruit and peppery spice. The finish is nicely judged with subtle tannins seeing it all out.
When to drink: A flavour-packed glugger if ever there was one; it's also great with pasta, lamb, or poultry dishes.

Medici Ermete 'La Favorita' Reggiano Lambrusco Rosso Secco NV

In a nutshell: A classic, dry bit fleshy, slightly sparkling red wine from the Emiglia-Romagna region of northern Italy.
The lowdown: There's Lambrusco and there's Lambrusco. One is the low alcohol, sweet and fizzy red, white, or pink version that, shall we say, doesn't have a great reputation. The other, 'proper' Lambrusco, is a sparkling red made from grapes of the same name and is a satisfyingly enjoyable wine with a bit more to it. Medici Eremete's La Favorita, in the latter category, is crisp and bright with an abundance of red fruit aromas and hints of violet. Fresh and vibrant on the palate there are lively raspberry and blackcurrant fruit flavours with light tannins to give it structure and a clean and delicate finish.
When to drink: Serve it chilled and it's great to pair with Bolognese sauces or Parma Ham and sweet things like chocolate, or raspberry desserts.

Languish in Alfresco Dining Curious Case Selection

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