WanderCurtis Wine

Wine tastings, corporate events, reviews and recommendations

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Comelli Soffumbergo Bianco 2012 -Colli Orientali del Friuli


comelli5It was a delight to meet the charming Filippo Comelli at a recent trade tasting in London.

A multilingual polymath with a recent MBA and an interest in his families winery in the Friuli region of North East Italy.

This elegant Soffumbergo Bianco  has fruit and flower aromas in a balanced blend of Friulano, Chardonnay and Malvasia, with a drop of Picolit.

I have tried the whole range of Comelli , the quality , vibrancy and freshness is clear throughout.

This  wine was a delicious accompaniment to Vietnamese Spring rolls and coconut fish curry.

I was also fortunate enough to try the EOOS Picolit a native variety,Vino Santo with low production yields,with exotic aromas including apricot and orange blossom.

The Suffumbergo Rosso is equally impressive. Recommended buy.

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Gastronomic heaven in Chianti Classico , April 2014

CecchiniWith the fine palates and ample bellies of my father and brother in hand, we set of on an explorative journey to seek the finest food and wine of the Chianti Classico region , nestled between the delightful cities of Florence and Siena.
First stop Fontodi ,in the beautiful Tuscan countryside just South of Panzano ,olive groves ,rolling Hills, Cypress trees ,grape vines.

The perfect setting to explore the lovely terracotta amphora , an experimental medium for ageing wine.

Tasting included a good cross section including  Flaccianello 2008.


The appetite was growing, calling for a mandatory trip to Italies most famous and extrovert butcher Dario Cecchini, the most famous in Italy,  a charismatic and eloquent champion of Tuscan carnivorous cuisine a meat centric restaurant where  quality knows no boundaries. A homage to the cow ,full of character and quirkiness .


DarioGreeted with a glass of local chianti from traditional straw flask or’ Fiasco ‘.Bread drowned in local extra virgin olive oil.lard with herbs on brushetta , wild boar salami and pecorini cheese and that’s just while you wait to be seated.
Ushered after a short wait  through the pantry kitchen and sliding doors upstairs to vibrant bustling dining room open BBQ huge hunk of beef fiorentine .
The place eats sleeps and breathes meat .

Amply fed and somewhat dozy we made our way South on the 222 through Castellina in Chianti to the lovely Villa Trasqua .vino Santo



Giorgia had a fine schedule for us .A walk thorough  vines carrying most of the terroir with us  after recent rainfall. A tutorial on the guyot and cordon pruning methods and suddenly a downpour and a lift back through the vineyard to the tasting room.Fanatico ,Evolito traluna and Trasgaia deep ruby red, cherries ,spice great personality.
finished with a lovely  2005 vino Santo. Alan then showed us the stunning views from the tower over to Siena.


Daniele di Seta


Next on to Daniela and Maria at Tera Di Seta Kosher winery. A  walk through the  vines olive groves and then a Shabbat tasting .Very interesting to see the locked room leading to the winery no access only to approved personnel. Smoky, spicy and herbaceous wines and very peppery luscious olive oil.


Dinner  at Cacio e Pepe  in the local village of Vagliagli was a fitting end to a gastronomic day.
Wonderful soup  followed by ricotta and spinach cannelloni,  apple strudel and coffee with 3 spoons and  the delightful smiling  Lucia together with her mum and sister ran this most excellent restaurant.


Saturday we headed to Raddia in chianti. Coffee at Sandys followed by getting lost on the way to Castello d’Albola . A great   tour of  the property and cellars owned Fiascoby the Zonin family. What a marvellous selection of wines finished of with the vino santo  aged for 8 years in Chestnut barrels.
A trip back to Greve in Chianti to Castello Vicciomagio and  met the the rather efficious John Matta  on the way through the vines  . It felt like the Spanish inquisition !

vicchimagioHis wine though were great sat on the hilltop with stunning panoramic  views over theTuscan, Chianti countryside Vicchiomaggio chiant classico riserva 2010  .

Expect to get lost in chianti country , our sat nav useless .


South to Siena and the spectaular  Duomo and Piazza Del Campo . The last stop was back to the lovely Lucia at Cacio e Pepe for some home cooking in Vagliagli and a mal to surpass the gastronomy of last night.

Three satiated  bellies and back to Di Seta winery .


Sunday , A gentle meander north on Rt 222 stopped in Panzano  to shop in the street market and meet the gregarious Dario Cecchini ,

who surprised us with his name in Hebrew on his apron and trophy from the great shimon Peres peace foundation from his trip to Israel.Dario

Then North to  Villa Il Foggia  and finished off our wines we had collected on our travels overlooking the vineyards and Florence in the distance.

The final feast served by Maurizio in  a great aunthentic restaurant A Casa Mia run by two brothers in Montefiridolfi  .This a treasure of a find in a tiny village with only four tables wit a wonderful warm quaint atmosphere and food from the heart. The highlight being spinach and ricotta cannelloni which melted in the mouth.

That’s one of the wonders of Italy . Great food in local Trattorias, home cooking,  with  a warm atmosphere  and wine to match .


Here’s to our forthcoming trip to Puglia  …we can barely wait !


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Desert Island Wines , Music Rooms , Mayfair. Armit wines

Another fantastic Armit tasting . Their portfolio is enviable. I thought it would be impossible to follow the recent Armit Italian tasting but  I was once again

Knocked out by the sheer quality , diversity and beauty of the wines on show .

From the legendary Sassicaia 2000 and Gaja Sperrs 2008 to Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 1981. Tahbilk’s Marsanne and shiraz range , Bell hill pinot and Chardonnay and many more treats

And some of the wall additions including a Canadian Ice Cider!

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2007 Gaja Sori Tildin Barbaresco-Langhe, Piedmont, Italy

It’s a bit cheeky putting this as wine of the month. Firstly it’s a couple of hundred pounds a bottle and secondly it should be wine of the year.
Hard to find the right words but haunting, ethereal, sensual, evocative and deeply alluring come to mind. A wine you just want to keep smelling and can’t put down.
A wine that takes you to another place. Maybe a Christmas treat if you get a good bonus!

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Barolos and wines of Piemonte, Italy at Giovanni Rana

Aged Barolo and Barbaresco live up to their international reputation but lesser known local varieties such as Arneis, Dolcetto and Barbera can be fantastic value in the hands of great wine makers.

Thirty-two guests attended this tasting, which was held at Giovanni Rana’s swish and airy new restaurant, in the Regents Place development on Euston Road. The tasting was designed to give an overview of the various wines of Piedmont. Most people have heard of Barolo (made from 100% Nebbiolo), arguably the region’s most famous wine and one that inspires wine buffs to launch into rapturous praise of its unique character, complexity and aging potential. But the region is also host to a  range of other grape varieties that produce great value delicious drinking wines and the evening set out to show some of these too.

Rebecca Nightingale of Montforte Wines and Roger Barlow of Gerard Seel kindly introduced the region and presented the wines on the evening. The restaurant provided a superb selection of antipasti and some memorable pasta dishes that complimented the wines perfectly, proving just what food friendly wines these are.

The first wine sampled was a white Arneis from Roero by the fabulously named Gigi Rosso. This wine was fresh with a persistent lingering and unique flavour. Aromas of flowers and unripe pear, really very well balanced with a long finish. Lovely and very popular amongst the guests.

Round 1: Dolcetto (introduced by Rebecca)

  • Dolcetto d’Alba ‘Duset’ 2010 by Le Vigne di Ca Nova. Fresh, with morello cherries and savoury notes. A wine to drink in his youth as a light and refreshing lunchtime drink.
  • Dolcetto d’Alba Rutuin 2007 by Caibot Berton. Slightly older, this wine was less fruity but slightly more complex on the palate with a note of golden Virginia tobacco. At five years old, it’s probably reaching its peak. A lovely, tasty, moreish drop. These wines  have fairly low tannin but are nevertheless fresh and good with food.

Round 2: Barbera (introduced by Rebecca, contrasting oaked and unoaked)

  • Barbera d’Alba 2010 by La Licenziana. Fresh with lots of acidity, a wine that really reacted well to the prosciutto and salami on the table. On the nose, fresh, light strawberry and red fruits. Again, a wine for drinking in its youth.
  • Barbera superiore ‘Bric de Maschi’ 2007 by Le Vigne di Ca Nova. Delivered a slightly smoky nose with vanilla, perhaps chocolate and still plenty of cherry fruit. Absolutely delicious on the palate with sticky crust of cherry tart and savoury notes. Fantastic value for money and a delicious drop of wine from 2007.

Round 3: Barolo (introduced by Roger)

  • Barolo Roggeri 2007 by Caibot Berton. In Piedmont, where Barolo has a reputation for huge tannins that need many years in the bottle to tame, 2007 is thought to be a very approachable and friendly year with lovely soft integrated tannins. The Roggeri proves the rule with absolutely delicious complex notes of fruit, classic tar and floral aromas on the nose. In the mouth, again gorgeous, still plenty of tannin but smooth and tasty. This wine has structure and hints of how it may develop in complexity with age. No wonder Decanter gave this five stars and rated it top for value for money in recent review of Barolo 2007.
  • Barolo Serralunga d’Alba 2007 by Fontanafredda. Also a 2007 and if it if anything even more approachable with notes of tobacco and mushrooms and a little liquorice on the nose. On the palate nice, fresh and fruity with a bit of spice and very soft integrated tannins. Perhaps a little brief but a really approachable and tasty Barolo. In fact a wine that many people found easier to enjoy than the slightly more structured Roggeri.

These lines were accompanied by a great range of pasta including pappardelle al ragù d’anatra (duck) and porcini ravioli, again proving how well these winds even in relative youth go with food.

Round 4: Style and Age – Barbaresco and Barolo

The final round of wines contrasted a Barbaresco with an older Barolo. Barbaresco wines are considered again to be more approachable more soft and feminine softer and less fiercely tannic. On the other hand Barolo is famed for the way it delivers a delicate cocktail of aromas and flavours once the tannin has reduced with age.

  • Barbaresco Bric Balin 2005 by Moccagatta. This single vineyard Nebbiolo has lovely savoury notes then toffee, condensed milk some floral scents perhaps a little bit of the famous tar, complex. In the mouth, long, savoury, sweet and delicious. Really an outstanding wine. Still young, but with beautifully integrated tannins and that great long future ahead of it.
  • Barolo Carobric, 1997 by Paulo Scavino. A big name in Barolo and a blend of three of their best vineyards. Stealing the show and providing a brilliant lesson in just what the Barolo can deliver, but even at 15 years of age it still needed time to open up in the glass. Notes of tar, earthiness, a bit of mushroom and a whiff of violets on top complex notes. In the mouth, still quite tannic but slowly opening up and providing more of those savoury sweet notes with a core of ripe fruit bellow. Changing flavours, complex and persistent still, with many years ahead of it. Fantastic.

We finished the evening with a glass of Moscato d’Asti 2010, Santa Vittoria. Another white, lightly fizzy and sweet, but also fresh to cleanse the palate and end a hedonistic evening.

Kiran’s wines of the evening

  • Barolo Carobric, 1997 by Paulo Scavino (£86.00 – Fine & Rare)
  • Barbaresco Bric Balin 2005 by Moccagatta. (£32.75 – Gerrard Seel)

Kiran’s best value wines

  • Barbera superiore ‘Bric de Maschi’ 2007 by Le Vigne di Ca Nova (£12.25 Montforte Wines)
  • Dolcetto d’Alba Rutuin 2007 by Caibot Berton (£9.95 – Gerrard Seel)

Must have for Kiran’s cellar

  • Barolo Roggeri 2007 by Caibot Berton (£29.95– Gerrard Seel)


  • wine@gerrardseel,co,uk
  • rebbecca@montfortewines,com