A President's Wine From A King's Field.
And An Italian Master Keeps It Simple.
Adega Cachin Peza do Rei Ríbera Sacra (DO) 2017, 13.5%, €18.95
Barack Obama, no less, gave this very wine, a major boost a few years back when, thanks to his Galician wine guru, the Cachin Peza do Rei was chosen for the toast at a gala in Washington, D.C., to honour the legacy of the Hispanic community in the United States, according to the Daily Beast article.
The demand for Peza do Rei bottles has skyrocketed ever since. “Obama’s wine” has been selling out. The grape is the relatively unknown Mencia, a red grape native to the north-west Spain. It thrives in this warm but wet corner of the country and is often compared to Pinot Noir.
Mid to dark ruby is the colour of this 2017. Relatively intense aromatics, mainly red fruit, herbal notes also. Light-bodied, it is smooth and juicy on the palate, flavours of redcurrant and cranberry, refreshing acidity too, a lovely minerality also, and goes on to finish well. This light dry red is Very Highly Recommended.
Le Caveau tell us this Peza do Rei is fermented and aged in stainless steel and sees no oak at all. “Try with local chorizo stew, cured meats, even the local pulpo a la galena (octopus with paprika and olive oil) is a great match.” Another source recommends it with “tomatoey meat stews”.
As well as the assumed presidential nod of approval, there is something of an earlier (much earlier) royal link. Peza do Rei is a medieval walled vineyard and woodlands estate taking its name from the Kings of León, for whom it served as an income source and private hunting retreat.
Bellotti Semplicemente Vino Rosso 2016, 14%, €21.95
A couple of months back, in the Gallery Wine Bar in Westport, I was enjoying this red from the late Stefano Bellotti’s winery in Piemonte. My rosso was down to its last drops as owner Tom passed and, before I knew it, he had topped me up generously with the last bit in the bottle. That’s the kind of place this Gallery is. Generous, friendly. Just like the wine.
This red blend is mid to dark ruby in colour. Ripe red fruits in the aromas, herbal notes as well, even a hint of undergrowth (someone here mentioned dirty boots!). Vibrant and friendly on the palate, tarty fruit flavours prominent. Fresh and juicy too with a spicy dry (very dry!) finish. A simple country wine to enjoy with charcuterie and or cheese, or just as an aperitif. Very enjoyable indeed and Highly Recommended.
Bellotti Semplicemente Vino Rosso is a natural red wine that is a blend of Barbera (80%) and Dolcetto, produced by Cascina delgli Ulivi. The white Semplicemente is terrific too. Check it out here.
Cascina delgli Ulivi, according to the website, is a family winery established on a farm. Stefano Bellotti was the person who ran it until he died of cancer in 2018. He is considered one of the fathers of biodynamics in Italy: He started making natural wines in 1977 and cultivated his vineyards following biodynamic principles since 1984. Currently, it is his daughter Ilaria who has taken over the reins from her father and seeks to preserve and transmit his legacy. They suggest pairing the red with, Rice with meat, Roasts nd as Aperitif; serve at 16 degrees.