Unusual Varietals
Diversity in Wine
Page 11

Coop S Antonio Abad
Viura is the most widely planted white variety in Spain's Rioja region and it is now the grape of white Rioja. Here it is sold as a named varietal, oaked like Rioja. Made by an Australian winemaker, Peter Bright, the number 640 refers to the height above sea level of the vineyards.
This was a super zingy white wine, floral on the nose with bags of flavour and good acidity.
Monastrell is widely planted in Spain, although I don't recall seeing it before as a varietal.
We found this pleasantly characterful, with tobacco tones and a firm dry backbone.
One of the problems in cold northern countries is getting enough sun to make red wines. Germany has been developing new crosses specifically to get a good red coloured early ripening grape and Dornfelder is perhaps the most successful. Its parents are crossing themselves, and so Dornfelder seems to have a bit of every red German red wine in it. Dornfelder is popular also in England and I remember most clearly the spectacular red leaves and huge bunches of large black grapes on Dornfelder vines lining the driveway to Denbies winery last autumn.
This wine had a good deep red colour with a blackcurrant perfume. On tasting it was pleasant without being anything special. Very soft and inoffensive, almost a red wine for those that don't like red wines.
A smoky flavour to this typically Bulgarian variety. There was a bitter aftertaste that I could have done without. It is probably a characteristic of this particular wine as I don't recall it previously when I have drunk Mavrud. This variety is indigenous to Bulgaria and grown nowhere else, and I suspect this will remain the position in the future.
Aglianico del Vulture
A cracking good serious red wine from a variety that I had never heard of. According to Jancis the name Aglianico is a corruption of Vitis Hellenica, or Greek vine. But it has been grown in Italy for centuries, being the source of one of Rome's favourite wines, Falernum- frequently quaffed by detective Marcus Corvinus in David Wisharts Roman tales.
Cagnina is a white wine grape with several synonyms and grown exclusively in north east Italy.

Thanks to Rony Mahieu in Belgium for this label

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11 December 2000