Bodega Bressia is a boutique Argentinian winery sitting on only 20 hectares of vineyards near Agrelo, Mendoza. Walter Bressia established his small winery in 2003. His style of winemaking is characterised by following the philosophy of “minimum-human-intervention”. The idea is to give the wines a possibility to capture their true character.
The wines quickly gained international acclaim, and his Icon wine “Conjuro” is recognised among Argentina’s finest. Bressia’s production is very limited as they only buy grapes from a scarce selection of contracted growers. Making it quite challenging to get your hands on a bottle.
The 2006 Conjuro is a blend of 50% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Merlot from the Tupangato Region in Mendoza. It has been aged in 70% French oak (Coopers being Taransaud, Mistral, and Radoux), and 30% American oak. Only 200 cases produced. Its style is very European; subtle and with well-integrated oak. Utterly delicious!
To most the 2006 Conjuro might seem like an odd pairing to even the best home-made Pizza and would have merged better with say “Tornedos Rossini”. The wine has though a pure elegance and complexity which pairs well with the simplicity and honesty a pizza can showcase, when only using the best possible ingredients.
The secret behind making great pizza is understanding the few steps in the Neapolitan’s recipe (Naples, Italy).
It is simply finding your optimal: Dough, Tomato Sauce, Buffalo Mozzarella and toppings.
The Dough is a mix of two flours (Typo 00 and Durum), water, olive oil, a small portion of natural yeast, and sea salt.
Tomato Sauce is made of boiled skinned and mashed cherry tomatoes (pomodoro) with dried oregano, and some finely chopped garlic.
The best pizzas are usually the simplest, as the ingredients get to stand out. Therefore you should initially teach yourself to master the Margherita. Here oven-baked with fresh basil and drizzled with a thick well-aged Balsamic vinegar.
Pizzas like fine wine should be enjoyed at their optimal temperature. Serve your home-made pizza on a wooden cutting board (keeps it warm longer).
Grilled artichoke and Parma ham are among my favourite toppings. Here flavoured with some wild thyme.
New Zealand was first recognised as a fine wine producing country in February 1985, when the New Zealand House in London presented wine critics, buyers, and journalists to the Marlborough wines.
It was especially a Sauvignon Blanc from Cloudy Bay that captured their affection. Its racy vitality and crisp fruitiness made them acknowledge the Marlborough wine region as truly unique.
The British wine critic Oz Clarke has on numerous occasions advocated for the region, which he accounts among the most suitable terroirs in the world for Sauvignon Blanc.
It is not due to coincidence that Clos Henri today is one of Marlborough’s most excellent terroir focused producers.
Clos Henri is founded and owned by the Bourgeois’ family, who originally revolutionised how Sauvignon Blanc was produced in the Loire valley in France.
Henri’s bold choice of creating terroir styled Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume quickly proved itself and Domaine Henri Bourgeois grew to become the largest producer in the their French Appellations.
Here we see the former church that makes their landmark and tasting room on their vineyards not far from Blenheim.
Northern view on their down sloping vineyard with Mount Fishtale in the background, which continues on the other side of the road to the bank of the Wairau River.
A careful eye will be able to spot some of the natural lines forming the individual terroirs and single vineyards. The soil samples, also showcased in their tasting room, clearly exhibit an equal difference of the soil types.
Here their Winemaker Damien Yvon is giving us a vineyard tour to explain the foundation of their terroir based wines.
His charming French accent does not try to hide his roots from Chinon in the Loire Valley of France, even after more than 7 years in Blenheim.
Western view on their vineyard based at the foothills of the Wither Hills flaunts a small insurance against frost.
Clos Henri has in contrast to many of the New Zealand producers imported specialised top of the line equipment from back home. Where most wineries in NZ have chosen to use steel tanks originally designed for the dairy industry, Clos Henri will not compromise.
Here some of their stunning tanks. The benefits of using the expensive tanks go both towards control and easier workflows, when cleaning, filling and temperature controlling the tanks.
Their barrels for their Pinots are of course also from the best French Coopers.
Here presented to their 3 Sauvignons; Petit Clos, Bel Echo and Clos Henri. They are products of two individual vineyards with different terroirs, soil types and yields.
Petit Clos is produced from the young vines in the Clos Henri vineyard with a higher yield than the old vines. The soil is mainly gravel.
The Bel Echo vineyard is an 80/20 mixture of clay and greywacke from the riverbed, the yield is similar to the yield of the vines going into Petit Clos.
The winemaking of the 3 Sauvignons also differ with Petit Clos and Bel Echo spending “only” 4 to 6 months on their lees, Clos Henri is kept an impressive 10 months on its fine lees; giving extreme texture and creaminess.
Here a close up of the 3 Sauvignon Blancs.
Petit Clos is their entrance Sauvignon and a real value buy. Much more subtle than the Clos Henri, yet its elegance make it a wine you can pair with many dishes, and also enjoy on its own.
Bel Echo is a rich and complex wine with classic Marlborough traits of gooseberries. The clay soil moreover gives the wine excellent minerality.
Picture is from their tasting room, where they present the different soil types found in their vineyards.
The Clos Henri Sauvignons resemble none of the other Sauvignons I have sampled from Marlborough. They are very original and much more French in their style. They are with no doubt among the very best from this region.
Their Pinot Noirs are also great and made with a similar dedication to detail.