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translation missing: en.ACellars Newsletter, 6th May, 2021: ACellars Newsletter, 6th May, 2021

 

KOERNER WINES


Koerner Wines is the passion project of brothers Damon and Jono Koerner. Damon and Jono's family have strong roots in the Clare Valley - their parents have owned and operated Gullyview vineyard for over 40 years. Gullyview is situated within the Watervale sub-region and supplies the brothers with nearly all the fruit used for their wines, with a few additional parcels sourced from surrounding vineyards.

Their wines exist to reflect the place they come from and the boys offer a reinvigorated take on a region renowned for producing some of Australia's best wines. Vigilance in the vineyard, picking at the right times and careful decisions in the winery guide the wine to bottle. Combining these factors enables them to avoid the use of additives or enzymes to clean up their wines and hide any mishaps. Their understanding of their home block and surrounding sites - farmed organically - mean top quality fruit produced in the vineyards translating to top quality wine in bottle. Only minimal sulphur additions are used during the winemaking process.

A more modern mindset and approach to the traditional wines of the region mean the wines are brighter, fresher and more vibrant than more traditional wines produced in the Clare Valley.

The reds tend to be lighter in style across the board, picked early to retain natural acidity - no heavy hands in the winery to avoid over extraction! - with the ultimate goal being drinkability. The first wine I ever tried from the Koerner's was their Pigato Vermentino and for anybody else who's had the pleasure of trying this wine... you know how good it is. The boys aren't afraid of a bit skin contact either, building texture and mouthfeel to their white wines adding layers of complexity to their focused and typically aromatic whites.

They work with traditional Clare Valley varieties like Cabernet and Riesling whilst also making wines using some rather unconventional varieties for the region like Sciacarello, Vermentino and even some Carignan!
Each release garners more interest in these wines and they tend to fly off our shelves so if you are curious to try these wines click here!

 


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FRESH DROPS



This week for Fresh Drops we are back in Italy with a selection of natural wines from two new producers, Jacopo Stigliano and Cascina Tavijn plus cult natural wine producer from Mt Etna, Frank Cornelissen.

Jacopo Stigliano... never heard of him? Neither had we. A native to Valsamoggia, a village near Bologna in Emilia Romagna, Jacopo farms three hectares of vines in a series of low hills that head towards Modena. Jacopo took over and restored a number of vineyards with plantings around 100 years old, lined with trees and orchards. These vineyards are home to over 20 different varieties of grapes, making his wines true field blends of indigenous varieties to the region. They're the vinous equivalent of a little time capsule.
We feature three of his wines in Fresh Drops today that Pete and I loved when we tasted them. First up is the Buriana Bianco, which means "melting pot" in the Bolognese dialect. It's made up of a dozen different varieties harvested together, fermented on skins for 8 days and then pressed off to concrete to relax for a year. Fresh as the daisies that I imagine line the vineyards.

Next up is Pete's favourite. And the cool thing is, it's the same wine with a real twist. Instead of being pressed off to concrete for a year, the Buriana Ossidativo was transferred to terracotta amphorae and left so a layer of flor yeast could develop, adding a sherry-like layer of complexity. Fans of Sherry and Vin Jaune, this is for you. And Pete.

Finally from Jacopo, a Rosato that is once again a field blend. He believes that seven varieties went into this wine (but can't be too sure!), harvested and fermented together spending just one day on skins and then pressed off into concrete too. Alpine strawberry, citrus and orange rind with hints of pepper and spice. Delicious.

Ever had a Ruche? I think this is the second wine from this variety we have ever tried and we really wish there were more examples. There seems to be a few theories as to how this variety became a Piedmont native, calling Monferrato its home. We assume there is an immigrant story involved and we are glad Ruche found a place to settle. Anyway, the producer is Cascina Tavijn, helmed by Nadia Verrua. Nadia's family has been making wines in Monferrato for over 100 years, farming 10 hectares of land split between vines and Piedmont's other prime export, hazelnuts. Idyllic. A real story of healthy vines, healthy wines and the kind of people producing the things we love. This cuvee is named 'Teresa' after her mother, and is a deep red kept fresh with natural acidity and a floral perfumed lift. Completely natural and naturally hard to put down.

Finally, Frank... The 2019 Munjebel Rosso has arrived! But where to start, what to say? To make things easier we cracked a bottle of the previous release of the 2018 Munjebel Rosso, for Is It Called Wine Time?! So take a look to see our thoughts!

Click here for the list of the wines, and don't miss the video!


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Is It Called Wine Time?!

With the recent arrival of the new vintage from Frank Cornelissen - the cult natural wine producer from Mt Etna - we thought we'd take a look at one of our few remaining bottles of his last release, to see how the wines look with a bit of age on them. We popped the cork on a bottle of 2018 Munjebel Rosso, and while it's only had one additional year in bottle, that time can have a huge effect on helping a wine stabilise and come together - especially important for natural wines.

We knew we would enjoy the wine but as you'll see, we were quite shocked by how good it was.

See the latest episode here.

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Etienne Sauzet


Etienne's eponymous Domaine was founded in the 1920s in the prestigious region of Puligny-Montrachet. Etienne purchased several plots, which he then expanded some 30 years later to include several Premier Cru and Grand Cru parcels.

Sadly, Etienne passed away in 1975. Control of the Domaine was handed to Etienne's son-in-law, Gerard Boudot, until the early 1990s, when it was willed to Etienne's three grandchildren - Jean-Marc Boillot, Henri Boillot and Jeanine Boillot. Wanting to go his own way, Jean-Marc decided to remove his holdings from the family domaine, resulting in a long-term lease arrangement with Henri, and a downsizing of Domaine Sauzet.

To offset this downsizing Gerard Boudot, assisted by his daughter Emilie and her husband, Benoit Riffault, established a small negociant arm, purchasing grapes from growers in sites such as Champs Gains, Chevalier Montrachet and Le Montrachet.

Today, the Domaine is still managed by Emilie and Benoit, who have fully embraced biodynamic viticulture, gaining certification in 2010. The grapes are sorted then pressed without crushing and fermented in oak until racking into tank for a further six months élévage on fine lees. Oak treatment ranges between 20% new for the Premier Cru wines, up to 40% new for the Grand Cru cuvees.

Expect elegance, style and poise from the wines of Domaine Etienne Sauzet. As you work up the tiers the wines gain opulence and concentration, intense yet balanced.