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Alexander V's The Ham Factory Casa Rojo

Casa Rojo ‘The Wine Gurus’ Range

We are delighted to introduce the fabulous Casa Rojo “The Wine Gurus” range of exquisite wines with eye catching branding to Northern Ireland.

The Casa Rojo project brought together the top 5 Wine Gurus in Spain to create the best example of each wine from each individual Spanish wine region. They produced 8 wines in total including an Organic and Biodynamic Priorat, Tempranillo, Monastrell, Rioja, Albariño, Verdejo, Godello and a very rebellious Cava.

The labels in this range of exceptional Spanish Wines are certainly something very different and have captured the imagination of fans and media all over the world. This perfect combination of imaginative branding combined with exceptional wine quality has quickly established Casa Rojo as a global brand and in fact a global movement. Every wine has won multiple awards and gold medals and all rank 90 + Points. “One of the 100 Best Winneries of the world 2014” (Wine&Spirits Magazine)

leo-di-caprio-macho-man-monastrell

Each wine label tells a story. MMM Macho Man Monastrell (100% Monastrell) depicts a cartoon image of the wine maker himself ‘Jose Luis Gomez’ who is in fact a very tall young man. This is the third year of vintage, so in the first year Macho Man Monastrell was only sporting a small goatee beard, however now as the winemaker’s beard has grown, so too has the beard on our MMM Macho Man Monastrell label, and he has a new tattoo ‘Love & Wine’ this year! Jose stands outs in a crowd and the same is true of this unique label on the shelves or in the wine bar. 6 Months aged in French Oak this huge wine was voted ‘Best Spanish Barrel Aged Red’.

MMM Macho Man Monastrell

MMM Macho Man Monastrell

MMM is a rich and hearty red wine. Hand-harvested 100% Monastrell grapes from very old vines create this big, boisterous, fruit-packed red; four months in oak barrels provides a touch of softness and spice. An impressive plum and strawberry explosion combined with licorice and chocolate. The 2013 vintage was named in the top 100 wines in the Wines from Spain Awards 2015, the judging was chaired by Tim Atkin MW.

The Alexander V’s The Ham Factory DO Ribera Del Duero label depicts a pig sporting what looks like a Bionic leg and matching goggles, having lost his leg to the Ham Factory. Casa Rojo consider this the finest wine in the range “Alexander V’s the Ham Factory is our masterpiece, a parody of real life, how a living being has being strengthened after a loss”. The label also reflects the story of Alexandra who runs the wine business, but her father owns a Ham factory and finds he is always calling upon her time for that business, therefore she has symbolically lost one leg to the Ham Factory of her father. This big red 100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) of 25 yr old vines from Pesquera del Duero has spent 20 Months in french and american oak. There are notes of cocoa, and roast mocha with intense black fruit compote. Iron with silk. A cyborg hero! 93 points Gilbert & Gaillard 2015 

alaxander-vs-the-ham-factory-montage

Alexander V’s The Ham Factory

The MAQUINON Priorat 100% Garnacha Negra – D.O.Q Priorat is certified both Organic & Biodynamic.  Certified by Demeter as one of the few Black Garnatxa 100% wines in the world and the only one in DOQ Priorat. Maquinon in dialect means Machine and the robotic machinery cartoon imagery is said to reflect the fact that the red clay soil is very hard land to work so it’s like Man V’s Machine. Electric red color, fresh Asian spice, minerally driven. Maquinon is made in the slate ‘Licorella’ style.

MMM Macho Man Monastrell

MMM Macho Man Monastrell

 

La Marimorena Albariño with Racy flavours of Blood Orange, Wild Pomelos and Dried Pineapple with a salinity straight from the terroir beside the Atlantic Ocean. The Albariño vineyards for this mineral and spice infused white are located close to ‘O Rosal’ in the Pontevedra in the south of the Rías Baixas region on Spain’s north-west coast. Here the vineyards are surrounded by water, both sea and river, the vines cultivated on granite terraces with fairly rich, deep soils. Unoaked, the wine shows herbal aromas, scents of citrus and clear notes of dried pineapple, apple and pear, fresh and fruity in the mouth, the finish continues along the mineral and spice theme. 

La Marimorena Albariño by Casa Rojo

La Marimorena Albariño by Casa Rojo


With Roberto Anselmi at La Peca

Iconic Italian ANSELMI Wines Arrive in Belfast

ANSELMI wines are more like a cult movement in Italy and now also in International markets beyond. Roberto Anselmi is known as the original rebel who redefined the image of Italian white wines.  As a result, his wines are so exquisite, that they can be found on the menus of just about every Michelin Star restaurant in Italy, right up to the 3 star Gods of Italian cuisine. Most carrying multiple vintages, which we were lucky enough to experience for ourselves with the charismatic winemaker and his lovely daughter Lisa at the fabulous 2 Michelin star ‘La Peca’ Restaurant outside Vicenza. There.  we had a very memorable life moment tasting his 1983 REALDA Cabernet Sauvignon – a 33 year old doing a great impersonation of a fine old French Burgundy after a masterful resuscitation by a world class Sommelier, after such a long time at rest in the bottle. With only 7,000 bottles of his Cabernet Sauvignon produced each year, the rarity of finding and getting to taste such an aged example was not lost on us. This was an honor and a privilege few get to enjoy and it is an experience we will never forget.

Anselmi REALDA Cabernet Sauvignon 1983

Anselmi REALDA Cabernet Sauvignon

In fact there is only one red wine in the stable. The ANSELMI white wines are what Roberto Anselmi is really famous for having deliberately divorced from the Soave DOC back in 2000. Frustrated by the lack of quality and ambition amongst fellow winemakers in the rolling hills of the Soave region, east of Verona, Roberto made the controversial decision to cut ties with the local Consorzio and take the hallowed Soave name off his wines, instead labelling them under Anselmi’s own vineyards and Veneto IGT.

ANSELMI WHITE WINES

ANSELMI WHITE WINES

Roberto had approached the Soave Consorzio to negotiate a reduction in the permissible yields in an attempt to increase region-wide quality. After years of painstaking meetings and communications, the day of reckoning arrived in the form of a letter, the contents of which threw Roberto into a fit of rage and caused him to burn all existing Anselmi labels featuring the name Soave. The Consorzio, mainly influenced by the industrial-sized co-operatives, had agreed to a reduction in yields, but only by around 1-2%, a negligible margin.

His self-imposed exile was a bold move, but one he felt was essential to be true to his ethos of quality over quantity, and in turn to producing world class white wines. “Quality is indeed the fruit of our labour and determination, but it cannot do without help from the kind of science which allows us to recognise the real values of tradition and yet stops us from placing too much value on those elements which have no scientific basis at all.”

And the risk has paid off. Widely considered one of Italy’s best white wine producers and ‘the conscience of Soave’, he’s redefined the image of the region’s wines on the world stage.  ANSELMI white wines age for 15 years, are from the volcanic soils on the best south facing hills of the Soave region, harvested by hand on CRU vineyards of just a few hectares, with the highest quality standards and very limited production.

As it happens, 2000 wasn’t the first time Roberto had rebelled against authority. Back in the 1970s, fresh out of university and having had a taste of some the world’s finest wine regions in his post-study travels, he quickly became frustrated working in his family winery.

“My grandfather had been an excellent vine grower between the 1920s and 1945, but with the economic crisis linked to the World War he was forced to sell off all his vineyards and my father, who had continued working in the wine sector, had created a large winery for the bottling and sale of wine that he bought in, but without having his own land or vineyards,” explains Roberto.

“I had always dreamt of buying back my grandfather’s vineyards and buying other land highly suited to vine growing. I had always dreamt of creating a high quality winery to produce my own wine and had a romantic vision of a land which inspires strong values, deep feelings, the right kind of traditions, and a way of living which is with the land and for the land. And so I began.”

But his ambitions found him knocking heads with his father, and Roberto eventually grasped full control of the business, and Marino went into retirement, though remained living on the property.

He wound up the trading side of the company and began buying pockets of hillside land planted at high density, where his less productive but more aromatic Garganega strains thrived. The current property extends to 70 hectares situated on the highest slopes between Monteforte and Soave, and annual production has grown to around 700,000 bottles (just 5% of the volume his father made, but it’s always been quality Roberto was after.)

Opting out of the Soave DOCG gave Roberto the freedom to grow the grapes he liked, and in whatever way he wanted. Instead of the shaded canopies of old-fashioned pergola-trained vines most commonly found on surrounding properties, guyot-trained vines let in plenty of sunshine for more concentrated fruit, and his limit of three small bunches per vine guarantees density of flavour and ripeness, while maintaining good acidity.

Freed from the constraints of the Consorzio that require 70 percent Garganega in all wines labelled Soave Classico and currently allow only two other grapes, Chardonnay and Trebbiano di Soave, Roberto also planted Sauvignon Blanc and Traminer, and uses the former in his San Vincenzo.

The winery is similarly advanced, with gleaming stainless steel vats and French oak barriques (Anselmi was probably the first in Italy to utilise French oak to ferment and mature its white wines). Vinification is precise in every detail, with cold maceration, fermentation at low temperatures and a long ageing period. Roberto has always been an early adopter of wine technology – collaborating on research into alternative wine closures and ongoing experimentation into new methods to reduce the presence of sulphites in wine. Frustrated by cork taint, Roberto moved his San Vincenzo wine into screwcaps a few years ago – a brave move in a traditional wine country.

He took this limited-production approach to the next level when he became one of the few producers in the Soave Classico zone to develop ‘cru’ or single-vineyard wines. Capitel Foscarino (10 hectares) and Capitel Croce (five hectares) derive their names from ancient shrines (in the Veronese dialect) which populated the areas when the vineyards were replanted.

The tour inside the winery and the cellar was as theatrical. It is more tranquil and ethereal than any Church or Cathedral we’ve ever been in. Large beautifully candlelit rooms, framed by stained glass effect walls made from wine bottles and bespoke commissioned sculptures of the Garganega grape, house the French Oak barrels of precious liquid awaiting re-birth as the next vintage of ANSELMI wines. It is no wonder that the Anselmi business is so highly regarded – the wines, the location, the people. Roberto Anselmi’s rebellious nature is perhaps also evident in his personal life, not least in that he flies his own helicopter, had a Porsche made to his personal specifications and has a passion for fast motorbikes.

Roberto Anselmi and Daughter Lisa

Roberto Anselmi and Daughter Lisa

Roberto crafts just five wines – in addition to the Cabernet Sauvignon and the two crus is San Vincenzo (a lighter apertif style wine), an unusual move for the area, and I Capitelli, a dessert wine made from dried Botrytis-affected grapes that matches the world’s best. The white wines are for big Chardonnay lovers with the San Vincenzo being a blend of 70% Garganega with 30% Chardonnay and Sauvignon. Intense and
complex on the nose with apple, almonds, citrus, melon and zesty tropical fruit. Dry but with intense fruit, medium bodied with fresh acidity.
The San Vincenzo 2015 delivers a long lingering finish from the Chardonnay. 

The November 2016 Wine Buying Guide of the revered ‘Wine Spectator’ awards ANSELMI 90 points and highlights it as a ‘BEST BUY’. Describing the Anselmi San Vincenzo, they say “An expressive white, creamy and lightly juicy throughout, offering flavors of blood orange granita, fresh tarragon, yellow peach and mineral, set in a light-bodied frame. The finish is juicy. Garganega with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Drink now through 2019. 41,660 cases made.”

The CAPITEL CROCE 2014 is 100% Garganega, aged for 8 months in French Oak and 9 months in the bottle. Fresh, fruit forward aroma guided by hints of peach, vanilla, honey and spring flowers. Dry, complex, beautifully balanced and structured, fat with rich, creamy fruit flavours; the use of  French oak adds a subtle and agreeable spiciness to this very accomplished wine, which ages for 15 years.

You’ll be glad to know that the rebel and his father made amends before Marino died, the latter coming to appreciate what his son had done for the family name. “My grandfather didn’t ever come to the winery,” Lisa says, “but finally when my father had success, my grandfather would tap him on the shoulder and say: ‘Not bad, not bad’.”

We are currently in the planning stages of bringing this iconic, cult Italian winemaker to Belfast in 2017 to meet the many fans we know his wines will very soon have here in Northern Ireland. Watch this space for further details.

To enquire about purchasing ANSELMI wines, email here for details.


Tasting new Montagner Prosecco Range with Raymond McArdle

Raymond McArdle’s Maisons Restaurant

GreatVine are delighted to announce that Maison’s Restaurant in Rostrevor owned by the fabulous Raymond McArdle has become our latest new customer. Maisons Restaurant and the bubbly Raymond McArdle himself is adding sparkle to the beautiful town of Rostrevor, while GreatVine and our Montagner range is adding sparkle to the wine menu in the restaurant.

The good people of Rostrevor and its many visitors can now experience two different levels of Artisan quality Montagner Prosecco harvested by hand – single vineyard, single grape (100% Glera) and single vintage. Raymond has added both the Montagner DOC Treviso Millesimato Exra Dry and the Montagner DOCG Valdobiadene Superiore Millesimato Prosecco to his menu to be enjoyed as an aperitif by the glass, by the bottle with fish or Asian style dishes and of course with dessert and after dinner drinks.

Montagner DOCG Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Extra Dry

In addition Raymond wisely selected the most elegant sparkling Grand Cuvee Brut Rosé Millesimato which is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes. Once again harvested by hand at family owned Montagner Vineyard established in 1955 in the town of Motta Di Livenza in the Province of Treviso. This exceptionally crafted sparkling wine has a strikingly pale colour achieved naturally from the skin of the pinot noir grapes. It pairs beautifully with fish or chicken dishes but is also a wonderful aperitif and perfect with soft cheeses too.

Montagner  Grand Cuvee Brut Rosé Millesimato

Montagner Grand Cuvee Brut Rosé Millesimato

Montagner  Grand Cuvee Brut Rosé Millesimato

A very unique new sparkler also on the menu at Maisons is a sparkling red Raboso Frizzante which red and white wine lovers alike are going crazy about. The most perfect pairing with this unusual wine served slightly chilled is Raymond’s beautiful salted caramel dessert. In fact perfect with anything chocolate or stand alone as an aperitif.

Montagner Raboso Frizzante Sparkling Red Wine

Montagner Raboso Frizzante Sparkling Red Wine

Last but not least Raymond has added the most exquisite Montagner sparkling Moscato which is Italy is referred to as ‘Fior di Arancia’ – Orange Flower. At only 7% alcohol volume with aromas of orange, roses and elderflower, it is a fresh and refreshing, frothy after dinner treat or perfect with desserts and cheeses. It also works really well as an aperitif and sparkling Moscato is growing in popularity with younger female customers these days who prefer the sweeter taste and lower alcohol option.

We look forward to hearing the feedback on this impressive range from Maisons customers in the weeks and months ahead

 PHOTO CREDIT: Photograph courtesy of Pat Byrne


GreatVine Prosecco Training at La Mon Hotel & Country Club

Prosecco Training at La Mon Hotel

GreatVine were invited to implement our Prosecco Training programme by Management at La Mon Hotel & Country Club this week.

Led by Bar Manager Jim Burns, the team participation and feedback was fantastic. There’s an undeniable enthusiasm for Prosecco amongst the staff as most enjoy it as their own personal favourite beverage. However, most would admit to not knowing the difference between a frizante or spumante, a DOC or a DOCG, a Brut or Extra Dry, a Glera or Perera and certainly had no idea what a Millesimato was before they undertook GreatVine’s free Prosecco training programme…and as for Cartizze…what’s that?

I think we can safely say that none of them will be buying a Prosecco that’s not Millesimato any time soon. They now fully understand the quality difference and the various grades of Prosecco. The feedback was overwhelmingly that they had no idea what Prosecco actually was before the training and had little idea of how to tell the good from the bad. They also received many valuable tips on storage and serving.

Thanks again to the fabulous team at La Mon for your unbridled enthusiasm and participation!

Long live the Sgroppino!

 

 


Branded Cabaret Supper Club AM:PM Bottle

Bottle Your Brand – Affordable Personalised Prosecco Bottles

It is unusual to be able to be able to personalise a wine bottle at volumes lower than 10,000 units, but Prosecco specialist importer GreatVine is the first to make fully personalised bottles of high quality Prosecco DOC Treviso Millesimato or DOCG Valdobbiadene Superiore available anywhere in the UK or Ireland from a minimum order volume as low as only 1,000 units with very affordable pricing.

In fact the 1,000 minimum order requirement can be split up into two orders of 500 bottles as long as the total amount of 1,000 is delivered within one year.

The entire bottle can be designed to the client’s specification and 2-3 initial design proposals are included within the price. The branding can go way beyond just the label, to a complete sleeve design and stunning mirrored finish options or accents of gold leaf. A new type of print technology enables bottle effects that reach far beyond traditional digital printing techniques, but this technology is exclusive to GreatVine in the wine sector.

Roberto Coin Branded Prosecco Bottles

The branded bottles are proving popular with corporate brands as well as hospitality brands and are especially popular for branding major events. Luxury Jewellery brand Roberto Coin wrapped the design for their Bollicine Collection, which aptly translates to ’Bubbles’ in English, for use at the world’s largest luxury jewellery & watch fair in Basel Switzerland, where it was served to their customers and media guests. Baglioni Hotel group now have their own slick black bottle of branded Prosecco throughout their prestigious venues, and the Cabaret Supper Club in Belfast ordered a glitzy Cabaret styled red and gold bottle featuring a show girl and Chandeliers which has proved extremely popular with their customers.

Branded Cabaret Supper Club AM:PM Bottle

The concept of a luxurious branded bottle containing one of the most popular beverages in the UK market, also offers a brand extension opportunity for example to brands in the fashion industry, that could benefit from distributing their own branded Prosecco bottles nationwide thereby putting their brand values directly into the hands and mouths (so to speak) of their target consumers.

Catering and event management companies pitching for large events, could also ensure they have the competitive edge by offering branded bottles for their client events.

So give your customers a taste of what you’re all about with a high quality bottle of Prosecco elegantly wrapped in your brand imagery.

Email info@greatvineimports.com for pricing information and design proposals


Paladin Raboso Fiore Paired with Chocolate Fondue at OX Cave

Ever thought of pairing a sparkling red wine with Chocolate Fondue? No? Well thankfully the very clever and experienced wine gurus at OX Cave have thought of it for you!

Call into OX Cave  for a chocolate fondue served with little squares of cake, marshmallow and fresh fruit to dip into a luscious little individual pot of melted chocolate in a mini le Creuset over a candle flame, washed down with a glass of equally luscious liquid in the form of Paladin’s Raboso Fiore sparkling red wine. Can you think of anything more decadent?

Paladin’s very unique and wonderful Raboso Fiore (which means flower in Italian) is a frizzante sparkling red made with the Raboso grape, which is the signature red grape of the Veneto region of Italy. A sparkling red is a surprise, but rather than being sweet as you might expect , this formidable red has a marvelous dry finish while it is also intensely fruity with rich aromas of wild violets and morello cherries. The colour is a bright ruby red with a marvelous pink froth.

Produced from the best grapes of Raboso, one of the oldest vines of Veneto, it represents the tradition of the region and especially of the Paladin Family: Valentino Paladin produced it for the first time in 1981 and since then Raboso Fiore has been a huge International success story.

The grapes are harvested late in autumn and the wine is done without pressing the berry; this makes it pleasantly round, fresh and rich in aromas, with fruity and soft notes. The Raboso is then enriched with a lively effervescence by an accurate, long sparkling process.

All in all it is a lively, fruity wine with a full flavoured and dry finish.

Chocolate Fondue and Raboso Fiore Pairing at OX Cave

Food Pairing:

Ideal alone, it is perfect with a barbecue or cold cuts, cheese, omelettes, pizza, pasta and snacks.
Drink it always slightly chilled.

  • Alcoholic content: 11% Volume / sparkling for natural fermentation
  • Serving temperature: 8 – 10 °C
  • Bottle size: 750 ml / Also available as a Magnum 1.500 ml

Thomas making the best Bellini Ccktails on the Grand Canal

The Story of GreatVine

Welcome to Great Vine wine import agency!  Thomas M. Soliman is the founder of GreatVine, having moved to live in Northern Ireland after 20 years working in the hospitality industry in Venice, Italy.  In 5 star hotels on the Grand Canal, he was famous for making the best Bellini cocktails and was featured in Italy’s leading Hospitality publication ‘HD Magazine’ for his Bellini and Rossini cocktails.


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