The recipe is another of African Vanielje’s creations. I just couldn’t face making my own puff pastry (especially as the ready-made stuff is just so good) but followed the instructions pretty well (apart from serving the peas separately). I do wish I had included some kidneys though; the texture contrast, in addition to more depth and complexity to the flavour, makes for an improved dish I believe. That is not to say this version lacked anything!
The wine eventually selected was Italian.
Wine Tasting Note: Caiarossa, 2004, Tuscany, Italy
Available from Berry Brothers for £33
They have packed a massive amount into this bottle – not only the mix of eight grape varieties – but also a heck load of tannin and flavoursome, full, powerful fruit. It benefited from several hours opening (in fact 24 hours!) which then showed so much more on the nose and to the flavour. Delicious, individualistic, complex and very long lasting in flavour. Plentiful tannins mind! Therefore, a food wine. Simply delicious with the Steak and Mushroom pie.
The grape mix is quite amazing too – Merlot (33%), Sangiovese (22%). Its well honed tannic structure is given by the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) and Cabernet Franc (18%). There are also small quantities of Petit Verdot (6%), Alicante (3%), Syrah (2%) and Mourvèdre (1%). Alcohol 15%.
Scribblings Rating – 92/100 [4 out of 5]
Immersed in nature and its silence, Caiarossa, situated in the heart of the Val di Cecina, on the Tuscan coast, exists within its own area of unspoiled beauty. A winding, country road, keeps the estate hidden, until the final curve when the winery unexpectedly reveals itself, perched on the side of the hill, surrounded by its fourteen hectares of vineyards.
The location of this estate is part of its attraction, giving the sensation that one is the first to discover the property. Yet, Caiarossa, with its sensations of subtle luxuriousness, has existed since 1998. Prior to this, there was just the old manor house and the red, gravelly soil after which the estate has been named. What exists today has been created from the land, from nature, from the region’s history and the adoption of a philosophy that harmoniously combines the forces of earth, grape and man.
The fruits of this labour are two red IGT Tuscan wines, Caiarossa and Pergolaia. Both unconventional blends in which, despite local tradition, Sangiovese does not play the only leading role. Eleven different grape varieties make up this vineyard, each one planted on an appropriate soil, highlighting the complexity of the land.
For the rest, what shaped Caiarossa was not everyday logic but vision; the desire to create a true oasis in which to live and make wine, the Tuscan dream linking not only beauty and simplicity but also simplicity and value. In 2004 Caiarossa was acquired by Eric Albada Jelgersma, a Dutch entrepreneur with a great passion for wine and also the owner of Château Giscours and Château du Tertre – two Grand Crus classé in Margaux, Bordeaux.”
There are currently two Caiarossa wines, both IGT Tuscan reds. This multi-grape wonder is the flagship being a cuvée of the best grapes of the year. The second wine is Pergolaia, and is predominantly Sangiovese, in keeping with the regions’ wine-making tradition.
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