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Monthly Archives: April 2018

  • Twenty Twelve Wines - a Mallorcan experience

    Hard To Find Wines welcomes Twenty Twelve Wines by Es Fangar, the oldest estate on Mallorca, to our selection this week.

    The Eisenmann family bought Es Fangar in 2000. They have been reconstructing and replanting the land since. Currently, the reclaimed land stands at 1,000 ha, making Es Fangar the Balearics’ largest ecological finca, or estate.

    The vineyards at Es Fangar constitute 56 ha, planted with Mallorcan varieties
    Prensal, Giró Blanc, Callet, Manto Negro and Gargollassa and international varieties Chardonnay, Viognier, Muscat, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Another 400 ha of the estate are left as natural grassland which suits a wide variety of flora and fauna, including tortoises, rabbits, wild goats and a multitude of birds.

    Biodiversity and sustainability

    Es Fangar has full organic certification and makes use of an unusual biological agent to help with the vineyards: bees. Beehives are scattered throughout the estate, 22 colonies in total! The bees are partial to the grape juice and any punctured grapes that would otherwise mould, are hollowed out by the six colonies that live near the vineyards.

    The Es Fangar bees are treated with great care by apiculturists who support the hives in a number of ways. Honey remains in the hives as food for the bees and to ensure their immune systems remain strong. Water is provided by drinking troughs. Even homeopathic treatments are provided!

    Innovations in winemaking

    Quality is a big factor in Es Fangar's winemaking processes. There are a number of different ways that Es Fangar has approached making improvements to their winemaking processes to ensure their organic grapes and, in turn, their wines are of the best possible quality.

    To prevent loss of quality during the harvest, Es Fangar has tailor-made a solution. An electrified monorail system has been created to transport the handpicked grapes into the tanks in the condition they were picked.

    Es Fangar uses organic, plant and clay-based methods of fining. This makes the process more difficult for the winemaker, but produces a better quality wine that tastes better. This also makes Twenty Twelve wines perfect for vegans!

    All these and other steps such as timing viticultural events to the lunar calendar, ensure very carefully produced quality wines. Purchase your bottles today through the Hard To Find Wines website, by clicking on the links below.

    Es Fangar
    Twenty Twelve Pink 2016
    £14.99

    A bottle of Twenty Twelve Pink 2016

    This unconventional rosé, blended from Callet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Manto Negro, is crisp, dry and bursting with berries and spice. A clean and bright strawberry red colour. On the nose, fresh, red fruits through to red flowers with a mineral background on the finish. Once left to breathe, steeped fruits and spices emerge. The palate is fresh and fruity with good acidity, medium-bodied with red fruit notes, juicy, with a medium to long finish.

    Es Fangar
    Twenty Twelve White 2016
    £14.99

    A bottle of Twenty Twelve White 2016

    A floral explosion dominates this aromatic, dry aperitif, blended from Muscat, Viognier and Prensal. An attractive, pale yellow wine that is clean, bright and clear. On the nose, stone fruits, white flowers, honey and balsamic notes.  The spicy background of pink pepper and ginger notes contribute to the abundant array of aromatics. A fresh palate with very good acidity and ripe fruit followed by a sweet, long and generous aftertaste.

    Es Fangar
    Twenty Twelve Black 2016
    £14.99

    A bottle of Twenty Twelve Black 2016

    Berries dominate in this blend of Callet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Gorgollasa and Manto Negro. An impressive cherry red colour with violet tones in this bright, medium depth wine. On the nose, are fruits with violets, black pepper, cloves, and Mediterranean forest aromatics, including thyme and rosemary. The palate is fresh and light, fruity and velvety smooth with ripe tannins and round with a lingering finish.

  • Welcome to Quinta do Ermízio!

    This week, Hard To Find Wines welcomes Quinta do Ermízio, a tiny vineyard producing just 3 handmade whites in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal (40,000 bottles per year in total). Quinta do Ermízio has been passionately producing Alvarinho, Loureiro and Trajadura wines for generations.

    Concept

    Quinta do Ermízio believes that wine profile and character begins in the vineyard. The wine-making technology used in the winery enhances what already exists in the grapes and amplifies the house style. A minimalist wine-making philosophy is used along with no use of oak or low temperature fermentation. The objective is to magnify the expression of the terroir, the character of soil, climate and grape variety on the wine. This allows the style to be maintained while still allowing the differences between each vintage to show through.

    Harvest

    A photo of the harvest at Quinta

    Grapes are hand-picked and transported to the winery in small containers and immediately processed. Grapes from different varieties and vineyard plots are processed individually to either be bottled on their own, to enhance expression of a certain terroir, or they are blended to produce wines according to Quinta style and character.

    Bottle ageing

    Quinta do Ermízio produces wines that age well, in contrast to the usual perception of Vinho Verde wines. Their wines are often better the following year and last for many years in bottle.

    Purchase your bottles today through the Hard To Find Wines website, by clicking on the links below.

    Quinta do Ermízio
    Campo do Porral 2016
    £7.99

    A bottle of Quinta Campo do Porral

    A classic Vinho Verde, a blend of Loureiro and Trajadura, fresh and easy to drink, but expressing the terroir and the character of the grape varieties. An elegant nose, soft and long palate, and clean and fresh finish. Easy drinking with roundness and pleasant mouth feel. To be drunk when young but due to its acidity and structure it can age for a few years. Serve at 8 ºC. Best with a snack or light fish courses. Also very good as an aperitif.

    Quinta do Ermízio
    Vinha do Cuco 2016
    £10.99

    A bottle of Quinta Vinha du Coco

    A blend of 70% Alvarinho and 30% Loureiro, this is a charming wine due to its elegant and distinct nose.  The palate is round and intense, lovely fruit and fresh acidity, with a clean and mineral finish. The combination of a discrete nose with mouth feeling makes this wine very pleasant to drink. Only 10,000 bottles were produced. Serve at 10 ºC directly from the bottle. Best when accompanying an entrée or fish courses.

    Quinta do Ermízio
    Vinha da Bouca 2016
    £12.99

    A bottle of Quinta Vinha da Bouca

    A different and very mineral Alvarinho. Delicate bouquet combined with soft and fresh palate developing fruit and mineral hints. Good structure and mouth-filling with a long a clean finish. This is a wine with a refreshingly and harmonious aftertaste that requires some time to be fully understood. Only 10,000 bottles produced. Serve at 10 ºC directly from the bottle. Best when accompanying fish or light meat.

  • Calling all cricket fans!

    Get on the front foot with this prize draw exclusive to the UK!

    Did you know that First XI Wines are now available for delivery in the UK through Hard To Find Wines?

    The Belter, The Partnership and The Centurion Wines, created by South African cricketers Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers, are available for delivery to your door.

    To celebrate, we have this fantastic prize up for grabs:

    • a cricket bat signed by South African cricketers Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers
    • a case of First XI Wines created by Faf and AB and the team at Infinity Wines.

    Enter our prize draw to stand a chance to win this super cricket prize!

    Click here to enter online or to enter through Facebook.

    Prize draw open to UK residents 18+ only. No purchase necessary. Prize draw closes Sunday, 15 April 2018. See full Terms and Conditions when you enter.

  • First XI Wines: Wines to Bowl You Over

    We took a trip recently to Rickety Bridge in Franschhoek, South Africa to meet Anya Grobler, the woman behind Infinity Wines. Anya introduced us to the First XI Wines and filled us in on the journey the team has taken in creating their wines.

    The story began in 2013. Four friends and legendary cricketing heroes, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, Mike Hussey and Stephen Fleming enjoyed a meal together where they discussed a shared vision: to make a wine of excellent quality and craftsmanship.

    Faf introduced the cricketers to Infinity Wines which led to the creation of First XI Wines. All the First XI Wines are made at Rickety Bridge by winemaker Wynand Grobler. The first wine released as a result of this collaboration was the First XI The Belter 2014.

     

    Infinity Wines
    The First XI The Belter 2015
    £14.99

    A bottle of Infinity First XI Wine The Belter 2015

    Hard To Find Wines currently stocks The Belter 2015, a Rhone-style blend of Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault, Tannat and Viognier. Silky soft on the palate with succulent tannins and notes of white pepper, red fruit, chocolate and cherry tobacco on the nose, the wine was matured in small French oak barrels for 15 months. All grapes used to make this wine were hand-picked. The Belter is a very accessible, good quality wine with good aging ability. Only 6,000 bottles were produced.

    Enjoy The Belter with ostrich or beef carpaccio, duck, venison and rump steak with pepper sauce.

    Infinity Wines
    The First XI The Partnership 2015
    £19.99

    A bottle of Infinity First XI The Partnership 2015

    The First XI The Partnership is the flagship of the First XI Wines. It is an intriguing, multi-dimensional, Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. It shows great concentration and length with pureness and focus on the palate. A red fruit driven wine with silky but present tannins shape, the wine spends 20 months in oak barrels. Only 4,000 bottles were produced.

    The Partnership pairs well with a slow roasted leg of lamb.

    Infinity Wines
    The First XI The Centurion 2015
    £35.00

    A bottle of Infinity First XI Wines The Centurion 2015

    The First XI The Centurion is a single varietal Cinsault, irresistible and well-balanced with bright, ruby-red hues. This wine is produced from old, unirrigated bushvines planted in 1954, selected for unique, prominent terroir flavours.  Only 10% of the wine was aged in older French oak barrels with the rest being stored in stainless steel tanks. The resulting wine presents aromas of cherry, red berry, white pepper and some spicy notes on the nose and savoury, spice and fruit flavours complimented by freshness and subtle oaking on the palate.

    An ideal pairing for The Centurion is roasted springbok or venison loin.

    Competition time!

    A photo of a cricket bat signed by South African cricketers Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers alongside a promotional wine container for First XI Wines

    In celebration of the arrival of First XI Wines in the UK, through Hard To Find Wines, for two weeks only, we have this fantastic prize up for grabs:

    1. a cricket bat signed by South African cricketers Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers
    2. a case of First XI Wines created by Faf and AB and the team at Infinity Wines.

    Enter our prize draw to stand a chance to win this super prize! Click here to enter online: https://gleam.io/cCqTI/hard-to-find-wines-first-xi-wines-competition or to enter through Facebook: https://gleam.io/fb/cCqTI.

    Prize draw open to UK residents only. You must be over 18 to enter. No purchase necessary. Prize draw closes Sunday, 15 April 2018. See full Terms and Conditions when you enter.

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