This month we're mainly drinking.... February 2023

This month we're mainly drinking.... February 2023

wines that we can enjoy while the weather yo-yos between depth of winter and early spring!

 Here's mixed case perfect for drinking right now, available on our webshop and in shop in Shrewsbury Market Hall…

The contents of our TMWMD case changes every month to reflect the season, the food we're cooking, and often to feature new arrivals. 

February is upon us with a hopeful look towards the spring. The coldest and darkest days are behind us but yet we're still blessed with fresh, crisp days, perfect for a little ramble in the hills, sure to exhilarate and satisfy the defiance of winter. This month's selection will be perfect for following any chilly escapade, whether it's cosying up with a 'cockle warming' red or accompanying a white with a big ol' rewarding bowl of pasta... or skip the outdoors altogether, stay in and treat yourself!

This box set contains six bottles, one of each of the following wines, made by inspirational producers, the kind of wines which inspired Robin to start Iron & Rose back in 2016. 

You can also subscribe to our This Month case and other regularly changing cases to ensure a regular supply of naturally delicious wine. Check out the case in the webshop or come and see us in Shrewsbury Market Hall. 

White wine

Commonwood White, Shropshire, England
The local hero! Commonwood vineyard is situated just a few miles north of Shrewsbury, in a very quiet, rural area west of Wem. At around a hectare of vines, it is tiny but unusually for a vineyard of this size, especially in the UK, all the still wine is made in a small winery (big shed!) on site. It was planted by Corinne and Alan Goddard in 2002/3 who purchased some land next to their house from a retiring farmer and inspired by a recent trip round New Zealand and Corinne's French / Italian heritage decided the best thing to do with it was create a vineyard.

After careful research into the soil and most suitable grapes and trellising systems (Alan's engineering attention to detail!) they planted two thirds white, mainly Phoenix, and one third red, mainly Regent and Rondo with some Dornfelder. We have been selling their wine for a few years and for the last couple the team at Iron & Rose and GlouGlou has been privileged to take part in all aspects of its production from vineyard to winery. 

Naturally low in alcohol, around 10%, this is a delicious aperitif but also has depth of flavour to match with food.

Producer          - Commonwood
Country            - England
Region              - Shropshire
Variety / Blend - Phoenix
Wine Style        - White Wine
Farming            - Practising Organic

Ciu Ciu, Oris, Falerio, Marche, Italy

Massimiliano and Walter Bartolomei are the visionary brothers behind Ciu Ciu (pronounced choo choo), a name given as their Great Grandfather worked for the local railway company. Ciu Ciu is a mixed organic farm in the hills of the Marche in central Italy so as well as vineyards they produce olives, grains etc.

For wines they focus on traditional, local varieties that match the local climate, soils and foods. Falerio is made from a blend of three white varieties and has a good depth of flavour, orchard fruits and an attractive lift. 

Perfect to drink with some fresh pasta with a mushroom sauce or some grilled fish.

Producer          - Ciu Ciu
Country            - Italy
Region              - Marche
Appellation       - Falerio
Variety / Blend - Passerino, Pecorino, Trebbiano
Wine Style        - White Wine
Farming            - Organic

Azul y Garanza, Blanco, Navarra, Spain

Navarra is the region directly east of Rioja in Northern Spain. It is drier and tends to have higher diurnal temperature range than it's more famous neighbour so while often the grape varieties grown are similar, the wines produced are quite different and there is much less use of oak.

Azul y Garanza's vineyards are located in the influence area of the Bardenas Reales desert, the biggest desert in Europe. The very poor and arid clay- calcareous soil, the dry weather and the big contrast of temperature between the day and the night provide the grapes with high concentration and a perfect balance. 

This is a blend of Garnacha Blanca with a little Viura which gives a delicious dry wine with stone fruit flavours and mineral, savoury finish. 

As well as wine, Navarra produces fantastic vegetables and salad crops so try drinking this with some simply prepared veg or, in the spring, some green or white asparagus.

Producer           - Azul y Garanza
Country             - Spain
Region               - Navarra    
Appellation       - Carcastillo
Variety / Blend - Garnacha Blanca, Viura
Wine Style        - White Wine  
Farming            - Organic    

Red wine

Domaine Lapierre, Raisins Gaulois, Beaujolais, France

There were a couple of crucibles of the natural wine revolution in France. One was the Loire valley centered on Nicolas Joly. Another was in Beaujolais, where Jules Chauvet, a fourth generation winemaker but also a chemist, took a critical view of what they were being encouraged to do in the vineyard and in the winery and decided that over-use of chemicals in both was bad for the environment and bad for the wine. Several other growers in Beaujolais followed M. Chauvet’s lead. Known as the Gang of Four, among them was Marcel Lapierre. Sadly he died quite young in 2010 but his wife Marie carried on the estate as well as farming her own Chateau Cambon and has now been joined by their son Mathieu and daughter Camille. ‘Raisin Gaulois’ is labelled Vin de France as it is mainly from vines around Morgon but with a little from outside so doesn’t fit a suitable Beaujolais appellation.
It is 100% Beaujo though, lovely, lively fruit, juicy, soft and ever so drinkable.

Producer         - Domaine Lapierre
Country           - France
Region             - Burgundy   
Appellation      - Beaujolais
Variety / Blend - Gamay
Wine Style       - Red Wine
Farming            - Organic / Biodynamic

Valdibella, Kerasos, Sicily, Italy

Valdibella is a cooperative mixed farm which, as well as being organic and promoting environmental biodiversity, through the 'Jonathan' project reaches out to help disadvantaged members of the community. They produce wine, wheat and pasta, almonds and oil, vegetables and legumes, grown on hillsides around Camporeale, 35km southwest of Palermo. 'Kerasos' comes from the Greek word for cherry and this is the most distinctive flavour character of the grape variety this wine is made from, the Sicilian workhorse, Nero d’Avola.

The grapes are gently destemmed, fermentation commences naturally in stainless steel tanks and lasts between 8 and 14 days with the wine remaining on the skins the whole time with occasional pump overs. After pressing the wine is returned to the tanks for 10-11 months before bottling.

Perfect with a rich, tomatoey pasta sauce.

Producer          - Valdibella
Country            - Italy
Region              - Sicily
Appellation       - Camporeale
Variety / Blend -  Nero d'Avola
Wine Style        - Red Wine
Farming             - Organic   

Te Quiero, Field Blend Red, Castilla la Mancha, Spain

Castilla La Mancha is known for its mass production vineyards but in between these are little pockets of ancient old vines that have been kept out of pride or merely forgotten to be re-found at the right moment. This wine and its partner white are made from a blend of these “lost” vines. Te Quiero translates as “love you”, a suitable sentiment for a wine great for serving at parties and family events. It's a perfect bottle to have on hand to have a glass from with whatever you are having for dinner too!

Producer         - Manzanares Coop
Country           - Spain
Region             - Castilla La Mancha
Variety / Blend - Field Blend
Wine Style       - Red Wine
Farming            - Organic