Mothering Sunday – Word to your mother By Mikey on March 17th, 2022 in Blog Spread the loveMothering Sunday is on 27th March. It is time to choose your favourite mum and show her what she means to you. Let the bubbly corks fly or blow the budget on some incredible still wines. Toast your maker in style and make her the centre of your world once more. “To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” – Dr Seuss Champagne, daaaaahling! Where else to start than the home of the celebratory, decadent drink? René Jolly Blanc du Blancs come from grapes grown without any chemicals or pesticides. Unlike the big Champagne brands, they grow all their grapes and harvest when they reach perfect ripeness. ‘Blanc du Blancs’ means only Chardonnay is allowed in the wine. Given this is made in one of Champagne’s warmer sub-regions, this gives a lovely ripe quality. Lots of citrus, apples and pears and a little apricot comes through with all that lovely buttery-brioche and biscuitiness. A proper Champagne for a reasonable price, your mum will praise you for being price conscious and love you all the more for your excellent taste. And now for something completely different. Pétillant Naturelle is what French monks in places like Limoux and Gaillac made long before Champagne became sparkling. Instead of adding sugar and yeast to a bottle of wine for a second fermentation, Pet Nat follows the “méthode ancestrale”. The wine is bottled before it has finished its first and only fermentation. Yeast eats sugar to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2), so once bottled, fermentation continues, and CO2 is trapped in the wine creating bubbles. Simple! On the one hand, this is a very ancient style of wine, hence ‘ancestrale’. On the other, it has become vogue amongst those in the know. A little hipster-ish, if you will. It’s a brilliant style of fizz that offers something different, is always a little cloudy and errs on the lower-alcohol side of things. It’s a great wine with or without food. Poggio del Moro Pét Nat Rosé may be the best we’ve tried. Wild strawberries, peach melba, red apples, roses and cream are the dominant flavours. Backed up by a lovely nutty, brioche character, this is a proper winner. Mothering Sunday locked in. Swiftly does it When you know, you know. And when you know Orin Swift Mannequin, you know about something truly wonderful. Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room though. It ain’t cheap. But boy, do you get what you pay for! This is decadent, rich, complex, boutique winemaking at its very best. Flavours of peach, lemon, yellow apple, honey, butter, cream, a little chalky minerality and a round, rich, velvety mouthfeel make this wine a proper event. You could even buy a second and lay it down for a few years, it’ll just get better. Making the argument for expensive wine is rarely worthwhile. Those few that already spend larger sums don’t need persuading. The rest of us would seldom contemplate it, as much on principle as anything else. Orin Swift Mannequin forces us to make an exception. You. Will. Love. This. Wine. Que sera Syrah You say potato, no one says potaahto. You say Shiraz, I say Syrah. While we’re not entirely sorry for butchering that song, we aren’t making any apologies for returning to Twill Cellars for our next Mother’s Day wine. Twill Cellars Oregon Syrah does that amazing thing of teaching you a load of new stuff about something you thought you knew well. Blackberry and cassis, red cherry and black plums, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove all-star in a riot of delicious complexity for your tastebuds. Tannins are big but silky smooth and the finish is as long as your arm. Drinking now and great for at least another 10 years. And so what if it’s a little on the pricey side? We’re happy to stake our reputation on it being worth it. There are very few better ways to spend your hard-earned. Nature or Nurture? While most of the grape varieties we know and love naturally evolved over many hundreds or thousands of years, Pinotage was very much nurtured into existence. Back in the early 1920s a Professor of Viticulture at South Africa’s (SA’s) Stellenbosch University went to work. Being partial to a glass of Pinot Noir he was keen to make it locally. The only problem was that Pinot Noir’s delicate nature meant it was impossible to grow in SA’s very warm climate. Crossing Cinsault, a hardy variety from the warm climates of Southern France, with it, he hoped to produce a grape tough enough for SA’s heat but with all the delicate perfumed flavours he loved. Of course, these things rarely go exactly according to plan. Instead of a thicker skinned Pinot Noir, he created something unique. Often characterised by dark fruits and a distinctly earthy flavour, when it’s good, it’s very good, when it’s bad… Well. Best not go there. Make no mistake, however, Cape Chamonix Greywacke Pinotage is very, very good indeed. Dark berries, ripe red plums, liquorice and a whiff of smoke greet your mouth first. A little of that earthiness comes in later, with layers of spice and clean fruit that lasts through to a long finish. Make a Mothering Sunday roast, sit down with your mum and drink this. Your day is sorted. Drink it Pink Provencal Rosé needs no introduction. Dry, crisp, fruity, yet balanced with a little herbaceousness, it makes for excellent food and wine pairing. A little taste of sunshine, straight from the Northern Med. Mas de Cadenet Provence Rosé just gets it right. Plain and simple. Pear and apple flavours mingle with red berries and lemons when first tasted. A bit later that dried Herbs de Provence note balances all the fruit. Good minerality and refreshing acid complete the picture. On its own it’s excellent. Throw in a cheesy canapé and things just get better. Pair it with duck or a rich, creamy chicken dish and you’ll be in heaven. Cheers, Mum!