Movies n Booze: Orange Wines

You asked about Orange wines, and today we answer

Fiano, Don Chisciotte, Campania IGT, Pierluigi Zampaglione2015

Pricing: around €26.95

Available: specialised off-licences around the country including the Wicklow wine company, The Hole in the Whole (Dublin 7) and Quintessential wines.

Some of our listeners where curious about orange wines last month so I decided to select one of them. This is a very friendly style and definitely one that I would consider a good option if you are looking to discover skin-contact white wines.

The farm of Pierluigi Zampaglione is situated in Alta Irpinia, East Campania. It was one of the first farms in Italy to convert to organic farming since 1990.

The cuvee “Don Chisciotte”, was born in 2006 from 100% Fiano Grape variety grown at 800 meters above sea level on a 2ha plot.

Fiano is an old variety from Campania which was first mentioned in the early 13th century. The name Fiano is said to derive from a place named Appia (today’s Lapio) near Avellino. After the phylloxera crisis of the late 19th century, Fiano plantings were drastically reduced and the grape was finally revived in the 1970s by Antonio Mastroberardino who has been a pioneer in the cultivation of traditional and forgotten varieties of Campania.

Fiano thrives in volcanic soils and the styles can range from mineral and zesty to nutty and rich. It can also develop a sweetness that makes it very attractive to bees, as referenced by another hypothesis that suggest that Fiano is identical to the Vitis Apiane (“the vine beloved of bees”) mentioned already under the Roman period by Pliny the Elder.

Don Chisciotte is aged and fermented in stainless steel tank, macerated on the skin for 7 days and resting on the lees until bottling. It is unfiltered and as very little sulphite added.

The nose of this wine is delicate yet perfumed. The first impression is very floral with aromas of orange blossom and rose petals. With a little aeration, more layers of aromas are coming through: citrus peel, apricot, apricot kernel and some robust herbs such as basil and sage. The palate is dry, elegant, lean with a superb freshness bringing tension and purity. The mid-palate reveals a beautiful intensity of flavours focused on lemon blossom, fresh almonds and stone fruits. The finish is cleansing with a touch of sweet fruit character bringing an extra dimension of gourmandise.

The delicious mineral and salty dimension lingers for a few seconds before letting a very mild astringent sensation express itself.

Try this wine with a citrus tuna tartare or some North African cuisine such as a chicken, preserved lemon and olive tajine.

Temperature of service: 10-14˚C depending on your taste

Ageing potential: 3-5 years

Rioja, Bodega Illusion, 2015

Pricing: around €17.95

Available: Specialist off-licences including Sheridan’s (Galway, Dublin and Carneros), Ashes of Annascaul (Kerry) and Greenman wines (Terenure).

I would not often talk about very classic wine regions as I feel they generally need no more introduction but I came across that wine 2 months ago and I fell in love with its for its pure, honest and extremely drinkable style. This is a Natural wine from Rioja made in a style which is closer to what Rioja used to be originally, before people started using oak barrels in the region.

Martin Alonso and his partner Gloria founded their mixed farm of grape vines, fruit and olive trees in 1992. The farm is based in the Rioja Baja area, which is considered the warmer area of Rioja, with a Mediterranean climate.

However, the vines are planted at 700 meters above sea level, in one the highest areas of this part of Rioja, allowing for some good temperature variations between day and night and therefore a slower ripening of the grapes.

From the beginning, Martin and Gloria embraced the teaching of Masanobu Fukuora, the pioneer of “do-nothing” natural farming and permaculture. Their philosophy is based on the saying “I wanted to change the World but nothing changes; I changed myself and everything changed”.

The vines are now 20 years old and the grapes are certified organic. The farm does not own a winery and the wine is made in an organic winery a few kilometres away.

This wine is a blend 80% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha and 5% Graciano. The grapes are fully destemmed before being fermented in stainless steel tank with wild yeasts. Very little use of sulphur.

This wine has a beautiful, bright rubis colour with a purple rim. The nose is pure, fruit focused with plenty of dark cherries, berries and floral nuances. The palate is crunchy, juicy with a mouth-watering minerality. This a wine without makeup and plenty of drinkability.

This wine is to be enjoyed for its simplicity and honesty. Serve it with a friendly conversation and with some barbecued Coeur de Boeuf tomatoes, roasted chicken or some charcuterie.

Serve a little cooler than a regular red wine : 14-16 ˚C

Ageing potential : 2-3 years.

- Julie Dupouy