San Salvatore

On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Time to Talk Trasimeno

16 Jan 2023

The view of the water(May 2022) ... I was invited to Trasimeno, as part of a larger Umbrian tour that started with Sagrantino ... The draw for me here was a grape called Trasimeno Gamay; I thought: "Gamay? in Italy? ... This might be very interesting" ... It was, but not at all what I expected

Trasimeno DOC is a place on the water by Lake Trasimeno, which is from where the region takes its name - we spent a good part of our first day there on the water taking in the sights and sounds of the lake - and getting a vineyartd tourBoating Brothers by water. It is a small appellation with only 15 members in the consortium - the notable parts of the land are the hilly slopes that gently descend towards the lake. The DOC is in the province of Perugia and, as with much of Italy, has a long history of grape growing and wine making. The DOC includes six municipalities and parts of four others.

Trasemino LogoThe original consortium started in 1997, but in 2017 they had a renewal of their name and their logo, let’s call it a “re-branding” – changing to Trasimeno Consorzio Tutela Vini and the new logo represented more of the true identity of the region: the blue in the centre represents the lake, surrounded by green, to represent the hillsides. As with any consortium, there is a mission, that it must fulfill for itself and its members, in Trasimeno it's all about the Trasimeno Gamay.

This variety comes to the area in the 16th century, during the time when the Spanish dominated Central and Southern Italy. Being that the Gamay we think about from Beaujolais does not have roots in Spain, you can start to believe that maybe this is not traditional Gamay, and you would be correct. In truth, this gamay a is part of the Grenache family and is more closely tied to the Sardinian Cannouau, Lugurian Granaccia, and Tai Rosso (from the Berici Hills) then it is traditional Beaujolais-ian Gamay. The grape comes by its name honestly though (and totally by accident), it is a cultivated using a French technique, and because it is bush vine train, like Beaujolais grapes, it had been deemed to be Gamay many years ago.

White Trasimeno winesThe area has three major grapes, the red is Sangiovese and the aforementioned Trasimeno Gamay, for white wine production, Grechetto is the main player. And while Grechetto is used primarily for white and Sangiovese primarily for red, the Trasimeno Gamay grape can be found in all manners and styles: red and rosé, still and sparkling – so far there was no mention as to if anyone has tried to make it white.

The Data ...

15 wineries in the consortium
The consortium represents close to 90% of the total 270 hectares
Between 2016 and 2020, the average annual production was 13,000 quintals*
Wine wise that number is 7600 quintals*
The consortium has certified 990,000 bottles in the last 3 years


Breaking down the bottles ...

DOC. Trasimeno Rosso 100,000 bottles
DOC. Trasimeno Rosso riserva 10,000 bottles
DOC. Trasimeno Gamay (at least 85%) 15,500 bottles
DOC. Trasimeno Gamay reserva (at least 85%) 8,800 bottles
DOC. Trasimeno Grechetto 40,000 bottles
DOC Trasimeno Vin Santo 10,000 bottles

* A quintal is a unit of measure equal to 100kg


Tripping Through the Vineyards of Ancenis (Loire)

12 Jan 2023

Galloires(April 27, 2022) … Aboard a bus we travelled to Domaine de Galloires, where we unloaded and had lunch overlooking the vineyards – afterward we traipse through the vineyards (over hill and dale in some cases) to taste more wines and have some tasty treats (namely cheese and dessert) at different stops along the way – these are the wines we tried that afternoon:

Domaine Des Galloires 2021 Les Chailloux
Fresh, lively, good acidity, lemon/lime, bright, hint of melon - stony/salty quality, perfect with oysters.  (****)The wagon

Domaine Du Champ Chapron 2020    
Middling kinda wine with pith and lemon notes. (*** ½+)

Vignoble Marchais 2020 Vignoble de Thouaré
Quite citrusy, but with an underlying bitterness and heft on the palate - nice mineral and stony quality.  (*** ½+)

Domaine De La Cambuse 2021 Rosé
Nice raspberry-lemon with hints of lime on the finish.  (*** ½+)

ParcelleDomaine Merceron Martin 2019 Parcelles Rouge
100% Gamay … Lovely red berry fruit, lively acidity, subtle shake of pepper, black and boysenberry finish - 1 week carbonic (any longer and you take away the fruitiness and risk bitterness) - needs 2-3 years to meld and come together.  (****+)

Domaine Romain Moreau 2021 Rouge
Has depth with plenty of red berry fruit.  (*** ½)

Domaine Des Clerambaults 2021 Rouge Pretty with floral, subtle smoke and red fruit.  (*** ½+)

Domaine Du Haut Fresne 2021 Rouge
Red cherries and white pepper dominate.  (*** ½)

Domaine Des Galloires 2016 Champtoceaux
Fresh lemon zest and honeycomb notes.  (*** ½+)

Domaine Du Moulin Giron 2018 Champtoceaux
Shows an intensity of fruit: namely apple, nectarine and a little beeswax on the finish.  (*** ½)

Domaine Romain Moreau 2021 Malvoisie
A little on the sweet side, but with a good fruit core: peach and white peach with nice hint of minerality ... the name has been around for over a century, denotes Pinot Gris harvested late and with some sweetness – so this is bang on what it should be.  (****)


Dinner at Barco Vino …        

“Dinner” tonight was finger foods aboard a docked boat, a floating wine and food tasting would be the best way to describe it … and here are the wines that impressed. On Board

Domaine Aux Moines 2019 Roche Aux Moines
Nice structure and flavour, with beeswax, honeycomb and floral notes most noticeable.  (*** ½)

Manoir de la Tête Rouge 2018 Enchantoir
Vines planted in 1959. Nice earthy character with cassis and black raspberry. Interesting to note that this wine was also aged in amphora.  (*** ½+)

Les Sables Verts 2020 Les Poyeux
Floral, namely violets, with smoky-black fruit, along with a fresh, mineral note; elegant with subtle spice. Aged twelve months in vat … a very tasty wine.  (****)

Les Sables Verts 2020 Les Rouères Blanc    
Honeycomb and beeswax, a little bitter, but still nice. They grow 16 hectares - 10 go to the co-op while they keep 6hectares for their own use.  (*** ½)

Le Facteur Su’l Vélo 2021 Le Facteur Su’L Vélo 
A six hectare estate, this wine is aged and fermented in oak barrels. Nice and crisp with easy drinking appeal; the 10% new oak barely registers here and that is probably the point as it just adds weight and texture, but little in the way of flavour.  (****)

Le Facteur Su’l Vélo 2019 Bénasse
A one hectare vineyard of flint and limestone; the wine is aged 12 months in oak barrels, and produced a nice richness in the mouth, very pleasant.  (*** ½)

Domaine Grosbois 2019 Clos Du Noyer
Still has those green notes, but the fruit is there as well, subtly smoky and earthy; good acidity but still comes across a little lean.  (*** ½)

Domaine Grosbois 2020 Gabare  
A little green around the edges, but there is also black cherry, black raspberry, blackberry and cassis.  (*** ½)

Domaine Amirault 2018 Le Fondis
The wine is made using fruit from 63-year-old vines. There's a mineral component here along with cranberry, plus red and black cherry notes ... barrels are rolled to mix the wine, after 5 weeks they stop the rolling; they also use 40% new oak.  (*** ½+)

Domaine Amirault 2020 Ferme Des Fontaines
Violets and dark fruit; fresh and fruity: concrete fermented and aged for 9 months.  (*** ½+)


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