Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Urban Vineyard?

Its not everyday that you stumble across a vineyard on your way to the shops living in London. Despite traveling this route into Twickenham many times sure enough I bumped into these little beauties on Saturday going past Redless park on the Twickenham Road. I had to go back on Sunday to check them out and take some photos as its only about a 5 minute bike ride from my flat. Armed with my camera and laptop I took the following pictures and spent the best part of the sunny afternoon sitting in the park. I wrote up my tasting note from Saturday night sitting next to these vines and organised my collection of notes on Argentina and the Mendoza which was posted on Sunday.

Doing some digging online I found out that these vines yield Riesling, Pinot Noir and Dunkelfelder and were planed by Hazel Murray back in May 1997 when this space used to be an allotment. More information can be found here.

I look forward to documenting the progression of these vines of which ill try and take pictures regularly
.Enjoy the urban vineyard.

Ill end again on my favorite picture from the day. (Click to open a high resolution image)

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Argentina Value

The Country

Argentina is the 5th largest wine producing country in the world kicked off by the Spanish colonisation of the Americas in the 1500’s who introduced viticulture to the country. Red wine production accounts for nearly 60% of all Argentine wine. The high temperatures of most regions contribute to soft, ripe tannins and can result in high alcohol levels. The growing season in Argentina usually last from budbreak in October to harvest beginning sometime in February.

The Region

Around 70% of Argentina’s wine production is made in the region of Mendoza. This district is by far the dominant wine province with an array of varietals and many different regions within it making the province one of the top wine tourism destinations in Argentina. Located in the west of the country, the Mendoza wine region is flanked by the long chain of the Andes Mountains, often visible from the vineyards, which separates it from the wine regions of Chile. As of 2008, the Mendoza region contained more than 356,000 acres (144,000 hectares) of planted vineyards-producing nearly two-thirds of the entire Argentine wine production.

Under Argentine wine laws, if a grape name appears on the wine label, at least 80% of the wine must be made up of that grape variety. In this instance Luigi Bosca is using 100% tempranillo despite Malbec upholding Mendoza’s longest tradition and reputation for fine wine. Tempranillo (known locally as Tempranilla) often undergoes carbonic maceration, a wine making process used to achieve the fruity and fresh wine of Beaujolais in France.

The Producer

Luigi Bosca’s history begins with the Arizu family and their 100 years of wine making experience. The Arizu’s owned their first vineyard in the early 1900’s with European vines. These were cultivated by highly skilled English workmen who operated back then, the pinnacle in viticultural technology, the steam-powered plowing machine. Vintage after vintage skills were past through the generations of Arizu’s when the family commercialised into Luigi Bosca who's wines entered the international market in 1984. Today Luigi Bosca makes three levels of wine; The value entry level 'La Linda' which I've tasted below, 'Core' followed by 'Gala'.


The tertiary period brought alluvial deposits to the soil which combines loose sand over clay and pebbles on the 32 hectares at 960m above sea level. The terrain has good inclination which ensures the drainage of melted snow transported via canals and ditches for irrigation. Luigi Bosca has decided to adopt some, but not all, of the principles of biodynamic cultivation aiming to improve the life of the vines and surroundings so they can defend themselves against disease. They observe lunar cycles for some of the varieties so the maturation, planting and harvest coincides with the lunar cycle so as to improve the fruit.

The Wine

Finca LA LINDA - Tempranillo 2006 – Luigi Bosca - Mendoza Argentina

Nice deep colour, firm legs on the glass, Smells a little hot on the nose (only 13.5% on the label though), showing clear fruit maybe a little unripe, good initial attack on the taste buds bringing fresh plum fruit, present acidity that cuts from the front of your pallet straight through down to the middle then round the sides. Finish reveals baked dark fruit, not especially long, good soft tannins, almost velvety in texture but not quite, very slight astringency. Id have another glass! Decanted for 3 hours. Good value at between £6 to £8.


The Format

So ive been thinking about what im actually going to write in here and ive decided that for each wine that I write about im going to write more than just a tasting note. I want to include some information (Wine related of course) about the country, region, winemaker as well as the wine. The content accompanying the tasting notes will be a collection of information from the resources available to me that I think might be educational and relivent to the wine im discussing. I will be using a mix of images collected from the net to illustrate my points as well as pictures ive taken myself. If pictures are not from generic resources such as wikipedia ill be sure to point out where I got the images from if they are not mine.

First note comming in a min.

Friday, 24 April 2009

The Beginning..............

Id like to start documenting the wines that im tasting and buying as well as the new things im learning and heres where im going to keep it. Lets see if this goes anywhere. Cheers.