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No. 26

¡Provocación, por favor!

«We love meeting new people and unfamiliar regions. Why not sit down at the table with a Spanish macho or a powerful knife-thrower? And let Europe's most beautiful vacation destinations simply come to you - in the form of wonderful rosés.»

Dominic und Renzo


Bottle of El Gordo del Circo Rueda DO from Casa Rojo

«Creative in the collective»

When the Verdejo becomes a knife thrower

Casa Rojo has managed to shake up the Spanish wine world in just 10 years. The story basically began back in 2007, when committed politician Laura Muñoz and young oenologist Jose Luis Gómez fell in love. «Laura and I had only one goal: to be happy», says Jose Luis looking back. Freedom, love, wine... that's how their shared dream of a «creative enology» came about – without their own winery, without borders, without family restrictions.

Step by step, they set up a unique team, bringing together oenologists, winemakers, engineers, designers and journalists from all over Spain. Under the name «The Wine Gurus» they entered the stage of the wine world together in 2010. In their luggage was a fine portfolio of eight wines from the most diverse wine corners of the country. Not only did the idea of a location-independent winery knock traditionalists on the head, but the witty labels also knew how to provoke. A rather daring thing, since oenology does not really get along with humor – at least not until now. The fear of not being perceived as a serious winemaker is probably too great.

But the wine gurus are fully committed to their core values of freedom and creativity: in an unconventional and exaggerated way, their labels show the character of the respective wine. Their Verdejo from Rueda, for example, called «the fat one from the circus», undoubtedly has the balance, precision and concentration of a knife thrower. Yes, it really takes your breath away. Aged on fine yeast, it is fuller than other Verdejos and thus an ideal companion to fish as well as grilled vegetables. The audience will be thrilled!

Bottle of Macho Man Monastrell Jumilla DO from Casa Rojo

Strong and free as en Machoman

Spain's viticulture has always been dominated by large producers and powerful traditional houses. Laura Muñoz and Jose Luis Gómez's young project counters this with a creative vision and proves that traditions don't have to be dusty and heavy. In less than 10 years, «The Wine Gurus» found numerous followers – including influential wine critics. The British Master of Wine Tim Atkin, for example, counts the Machoman Monastrell among the 100 best wines from Spain.

But why is the wine called Machoman? «We are not an old family of winemakers, so there is no heritage that obliges us. That's why we make wines the way we like. And we call them what we like», Jose Luis explained to us. The focus is solely on the wine. Instead of the family name, a caricature of Jose Luis is emblazoned on the label. Is he also a macho man? Laughing, he only says: «For unknown reasons, a friend from Japan started calling me that...» In fact, the character of a Monastrell can hardly be more aptly portrayed than in the form of a strong, bulky, tart macho. The trick is to turn him into a charming companion – Laura and Jose Luis have done it. In fact, they have grown so fond of this task that in 2015 they declared Murcia to be their permanent «wine domicile» and built their own winery, Casa Rojo. Is this the beginning of a new tradition?

«Rosé greetings from Europe»

Fruity freshness for hot summer days

Can we travel abroad this summer or better not? This is the question that will occupy us in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we make sure that the most beautiful vacation destinations in Europe come to your home. Because a glass of rosé makes you feel like you're on vacation right away. But how can you recognize really good rosé wine? Ideally, it convinces with the berry aromas of its dark grape varieties, but is light and fresh like a white wine. There is, as with all wines, a great variety of regional varieties to discover in rosé. Are you ready for the «Tour de Rosé» across Europe? Well then, here's to an unforgettable summer!

Bottle of Fabelhaft Mosel Riesling from FIO Wines

Now there's also «fabulous» Riesling!

The cult wine from the Douro gets a counterpart from the Mosel

Who doesn't know the «Fabelhaft» with the funny drawings by Wilhelm Busch on the label? The cult wine from the Douro now has a counterpart from the Mosel. Why? Because «Fabelhaft» winemaker Dirk Niepoort has always had a weakness for Riesling and his son Daniel has found a second home on the Mosel.

The picturesque wine village of Piesport is indeed a charming spot on earth. The Moselle meanders through old, steep vineyards... At first glance, it seems that everything here is still as it was during Wilhelm Busch's lifetime in the 19th century. Back then, German Rieslings were as highly valued as French red wines – and even a lot more expensive. We think it's high time for a revival of the great Riesling culture!

Together with young winemaker Philipp Kettern from Piesport, the Niepoorts make Rieslings like something out of a picture book. Terroir and tradition meet youthful lightheartedness – and this rejuvenating cure is really good for Riesling. Gault&Miliau recently named the Fabelhaft Riesling «Discovery of the Year 2020». This is no coincidence: fresh, cheeky, fruity – this Riesling is really fun to drink. Max and Moritz would be delighted with it. Whether Moselle or Douro – Niepoort definitely has a knack for fabulous drinking rivers!

Bottle of Barolo DOCG Bricco Rocca from Olivero Mario

«Small winery, great Barolo»

Convincing one-man show on 6 hectares

Many Piedmontese become winemakers because they inherit a vineyard. Lorenzo Olivero became a winemaker because wine fascinated him. He studied enology at the University of Turin and in 2001, together with his father Mario, bought a few hectares of vines in the Barolo village of Roddi.

For Lorenzo, producing only a small amount is not a compromise, but philosophy. He calls himself an «artigiano del vino», because for Lorenzo, making wine is a craft – and it takes time, passion and precision. Attentively, he therefore single-handedly takes care of every detail in the winery. In the vineyards as well as in the wine cellar, manual labor is the trump card for Olivero Mario. «Expensive equipment and the latest technologies don't necessarily lead to the best wine», the 39-year-old thoroughbred winemaker is convinced, «I prefer to trust my intuition and attach the greatest importance to maximum care in all work steps». His masterpiece is, of course, Barolo. The annual production is just 2500-3000 bottles. This wine is a matter of the heart – and so it tastes: aromas of pickled sour cherries, beautiful spice from the long aging in wood and lovely violet notes. A real insider tip!