We were back at Brawn for supper the other night, trying out wines by the glass. My favourite was this delectably dark smokey Italian red* from Sicily which turns out to be made by flying winemaker Anna Martens, aka Mme Narioo (the wife of Caves de Pyrène's founder Eric Narioo).
This is what Cave's Doug Wregg says about it:
"Anna Martens (our Anna) trained with Brian Croser for eight years before becoming a flying winemaker and plying her trade in various countries. She eventually settled in Sicily and has been making natural wines from grapes harvested on vineyards about 1000m above sea level in the Etna region.
The red grape of choice is Nerello Mascalese supplemented by a field blend of all manner of red and white grapes including Nerello Cappuccio and Alicante. Nerello combines a certain muscularity with good acid structure from the poor, ash-rich soils.
Jeudi 15 is described as a peasant wine and made in a way to enhance drinkability. The grapes are hand-harvested, 2/3 whole bunch and fermented in an open wooden vat, pressed after one week and transferred into stainless steel. The ferment finishes in July. After a period to settle the wine is bottled without filtration, fining or sulphur"
I also liked the 2009 Alsace Riesling from biodynamic growers Audrey and Christian Binner. Softer and slightly more appley than a typical Alsace riesling but very fresh and appealing.
* it costs £13.14 retail from Les Caves de Pyrène.