WINE: What a week! Need a drink?
Not only is Mothering SundayÂ on the horizonÂ but next ThursdayÂ is International Women's Day.
It's often said woman are better wine tasters than men. Whether that'sÂ scientifically true or notÂ the wine industry comprisesÂ many amazing womenÂ '“ from esteemed wine writers such as Jancis Robinson MW (Master of Wine) through to Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, ofÂ ChÃ¢teau Mouton Rothschild fame.
So here's a selection of wines made by women to raise a glass to next week.
Helen Morrison is senior Marlborough winemaker at Villa Maria,Â one of New Zealand's most prominent producers.Â Her passion for wine led to a career change and in 2005 she completed her Bachelor of Viticulture and OenologyÂ as top female studentÂ at Lincoln University, Christchurch.
Working for Villa Maria since 2014Â she is responsible for many of theÂ producer'sÂ most recognisable wines.Â Villa Maria Private Bin Riesling 2017, Marlborough (Ocado, Waitrose, Majestic all Â£10.49 but Â£8.99 if part of a mixed six at the latter) shows why Marlborough's much more than a sauvignon blanc one trick pony.Â There's green apple and lime on the nose with juicy lime-like fruit on the palate alongside zesty acidity on the finish. It is just off dry andÂ makes a lovely aperitif. ItÂ works well with Asian-inspired food.
Audrey Braccini is the winemaker at one of southern Burgundy's most famous estates, Domaine Ferret in Pouilly FuissÃ©, and continues a
tradition of women winemakers going back to 1840.Â The estate was founded thenÂ by Jeanne Ferret who recognised the importance of '˜terroir'. The estate is now owned by Burgundy producer Louis JadotÂ which hasÂ continued to run the estate separately and on traditional lines.
Domaine Ferret Pouilly FuissÃ© 2015 (Fareham Wine Cellar Â£28.50) has aromas of honey, apple, pear, apricots and spices withÂ aÂ crisp, beautifully-textured palate andÂ aÂ rich,Â long finish. Grown upÂ wineÂ to serve with seafood,Â roast chicken or veal.
Imperial Reserva 2012, Rioja (Majestic Â£22.99 or Â£19.99 inÂ a mixed six, Waitrose Â£22.99) is classic Rioja, one of the region's finest wines. It isÂ made by Maria Larrea,Â the chief winemaker at CVNEÂ whichÂ produces ImperialÂ as aÂ flagship wine.Â It's calledÂ Imperial because the wine was once so loved in Britain it wasÂ shipped to us in pint bottles!
When you pull the cork it's like re-acquainting yourself with an old friend. There are notes of red fruit, vanilla, coffee and spices followed by silky tannins, savoury notes and great elegance on the palate.Â Take a roasted leg of lamb out of the oven, pull up a chair and enjoy this gorgeous red over a lingeringÂ Sunday lunch.
'¢Â Alistair Gibson is proprietor of Hermitage Cellars, Emsworth. Call (01243) 431002 or e-mail [email protected]