Two red wines to look out for, one from Burgundy, one from the Dolomites.
|Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks Park) in the Dolomites, just a couple of hours from Foradori vineyard.
Domaine Lacour Côtes Du Couchois Bourgogne (AOP) 2020, 13%,
Côtes du Couchois is a relatively unknown area of Burgundy and is the source of authentic and very well priced wines. This is one to look out for.
It is also one of the darker coloured Pinot Noirs. The grape is loved for its red fruit and you’ll note plenty of it (cherry, raspberries) in the aromas. More of the same on the smooth palate, enlivened by a wash of sweet spice (from the oak ageing). Tannins are soft and there is a long finish. Another superb wine from Lacour and Very Highly Recommended.
This father (Fabrice) and son (Antonin) team run a 13-ha estate in the appellations Côtes du Couchois, Hautes Côtes de Beaune and Bourgogne. Antonin, in his mid-twenties (captain of the local rugby team), is now working full time at the estate. The Côtes du Couchois is a tiny appellation located South of Maranges, at altitude between 300 to 420m.
They say: “Ageing in terracotta allows the freshness of the fruit to be preserved …Unique in the Couchois, this "Cuvée Amphore" allows you to pleasantly discover the typicality of our territory.”
Pinot Noir, and this a typical example, is versatile at the table. Try it with duck, chicken, pork and mushrooms.
As you know, the grape is one of the main ones in Champagne and no surprise that France is the world’s largest producer of Pinot Noir. The USA is second and Germany third with Moldova a surprising fourth.
We have come across Domaine Lacour previously on the blog and, two years back, were absolutely delighted with their Passe-tout-grains, a sort of vineyard blend (in this case mostly Pinot Noir and Gamay) somewhat similar to the Gentil of Alsace. A short review of the Lacour version here.
*The Passe-tout-grains is also available from Le Caveau.
Foradori Teroldego Vigneti Delle Dolomiti (IGT) 2019, 12.5%
This wine from the mountainous Trentino wine region of northern Italy has a dark garnet colour. Pretty intense aromas of a dark fruit character. This juicy red wine softly bathes the palate with notes of cherries, raspberries and blackberries, and there’s a hint of sweetness. It is fresh and lively and balanced all through to the lengthy finish that also comes with pleasant light tannins.
In 2016, The Modern History of Italian Wine (my review here) honoured the producer Elisabetta Foradori as one of the leading producers in the renaissance from the 1960s onwards. She led the local change from pergolas to Guyot (lower yield, more quality), practiced the “diligent use of small oak barrels” (to tackle the international market), and then her embracing of biodynamic cultivation and her adoption of the amphora in “this land where Regina Elisabetta (Queen Elizabeth) reigns” further enhanced her wines.
In the Trentino area, a favourite at the table is a bowl of giant canederli (bread and flour dumplings, which are laden with smoked bacon chunks and served in a warm broth). Local breads and cheeses are also on the table, dispatched before you tackle the filling polenta and sausage based dish known as Smacafam. Apples will feature in the dessert course, perhaps their version of strudel. And this is the wine to pair with the local food!
Here in Ireland, you could match it with cured meats and dishes that include bacon or guanciale (O’Mahony Butchers have this in the English Market). Teroldego would do well with spaghetti carbonara, for example, because it would both cut through the richness and compliment the bacon and pepper notes.
I was in that area just once myself, on a day trip from Austria, and remember having the best ever Spaghetti Carbonara in a high altitude restaurant in or near the Naturpark Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks Park) in the Dolomites and then enjoying a stroll around a nearby lake (in pic above) under some awesome peaks.
This dark aromatic wine is indeed a gem, light in alcohol but full of flavour, a distinguished part of the Trentino gastronomy. The wine itself is pure, precise and elegant and Very Highly Recommended.