I recently returned from a super week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where we brought together business and world leaders around great wine and the topic of supporting the Ukraine. It is always inspiring to meet face to face with some of the people who really are taking seriously the issues in this world and working on ways to make a difference.
Continuing my travels, I am now in Bordeaux, where I've embarked on a week of tasting across the region. I love returning to places where I have so many great memories and friends to catch up with. I started the trip by staying the night at Chateau Beychevelle, a famous wine estate dating back to the 15th century that is considered the "Versaille" of Bordeaux. The next morning, we headed to Chateau D'Yquem, a castle-like chateau, famous for making the best sweet wines in the world. Even though it's been 10 years since I was last in Bordeaux, the sights of rolling vineyards and smells of fresh lavender and wet limestone after a summer rain, are so familiar, I can’t help but feel the best kind of déjà vu.
Before I left on my trip, I tasted through some wonderful wines, and I was again bowled over by a stellar white from Austria and a wonderful red from Tuscany. Before you say "déjà vu!" you need to try them. They may be from the same regions as last week's wines, but they are wonderfully different.
Note: we will definitely feature some new Bordeaux wines in an upcoming email, as I'm getting lots of inspiration on this trip!
Pollerhof Frau Mayer Grüner Veltliner 2020 ($29) This is a new vintage of a wine we fell in love with last year. Made by Erwin Poller, who lives in the tiny Austrian hamlet of Roschitz. It’s at the end of a long narrow road seemingly to nowhere, but then you suddenly come around the corner and find yourself surrounded by vines. On either side of the road are lots of tiny wine caves dug into the granite hills. Most are for private use, but one belongs to Erwin who farms 20 hectares planted with a bewildering number of grapes.
His reserve Veltliner is from minuscule vineyard on 100% granite that Erwin was gifted by the old lady next door when she saw how much he cared for his vineyards. He honored her by making her wallpaper the inspiration for the label. This is a rich, wonderful wine full of mineral tension, with notes of lemon, herbal lemon balm, and a hint of green apple. It is such a sensual wine that I enjoy sipping it on its own, but it is also brilliant with pan fried sole or poached cod in lemon herb butter.
Pietroso Rosso di Montalcino 2020 ($40) Tuscany is our next stop, and the wonderful area of Montalcino, a mountainous region where the famed Brunello’s come from and home to the best Sangiovese wines in Italy. Pietroso was started in the 1970’s by Domenico Berni (pictured above) with one acre of land and a passion to produce soulful wine for himself and his friends. After his wines knocked the socks off his friends, he slowly expanded to a few more acres and now the third generation of the family are all involved in making wonderful wines.
We just tasted Pietroso's new releases, and their Rosso di Montalcino is just an excellent red, redolent with cranberries and cherries, and just that hint of earthy leathery undertones that the region is known for. It’s just deliciously juicy and smooth. I want to grab a bottle and head to the local pizzeria for a crispy flatbread with roasted onions and tomatoes, dripping with chunks of mozzarella.
Well, the sun is coming out after a rain shower here in Bordeaux and there is a glass of champagne waiting for me on the patio. So I will sign off and go and immerse myself in this great experience, which I cannot wait to share with you soon.