I hoped to be able to make it to the UK for London International Wine Fair 2011 yet pieces of the puzzle did not fall into place so I will have to report on it from afar.
For visitors with little time on their hands yet looking for fresh ideas, the organizers made life easier by selecting a Top 100 Tasting split into 5 categories: Aromatics, The Pinots, Rhône Varietals around the World, Natural, Organic and Biodynamic and Surprising Wines.
Browsing quickly through the Top 100 Tasting List 2011, I noticed many producers whose wines I have not had the pleasure to taste yet.
I also noticed 2 grape varieties unbeknown to me in Surprising Wines group.
At number 79, the Torre Guaceto Sum (red wine, 2007) from Puglia is 100% Susummaniello from the Brindisi area.
This ancient grape that almost disappeared is often used as a blending grape with Negroamaro and Ottavianello.
At number 72, the Henrich Hartl Rotgipfler (2009) from Thermenregion in Austria, 100% Rotgipfler. Wines made with that variety are described as aromatic whites.
The 2008 Rotgipfler was picked in Top 10 New Wave (indigenous) grape varieties by Decanter.
Simon Woolf of Morning Claret in Rotgipfler and Scamorza (March 2011) writes that Rotgipfler is sometimes compared to Viognier, although its parents are Traminer and Roter Veltliner. He hoped for something bolder in flavors yet enjoyed it with his light meal.
(* Photo of Rotgipfler 2009 from Morning Claret piece, Torre Guaceto vineyard image from Torre Guaceto site)