About Me “Egg Man”

RBW is the brand of wines made in Italy by Robin Baum, a specialist winemaker from England. All his wines are mainly matured in ceramic egg shaped vessels, hence the nickname “The Eggman.”

My Love of Italy and Italian Wine

In 2000 I was introduced to Giuseppe Sesti at Castello di Argiano in Montalcino by a good friend of mine who had just sold his highly successful wine merchant business in London and emigrated to Siena. By the end of my visit to the estate I was the proud owner of 2 barrels of Brunello di Montalcino 1997.
This was the foundation of The Winemakers Club which then went on to import wines from throughout Italy to the U.K. and open its own wine bar in London.
I was joined in this venture by my son John who now runs the business from its premises in Farringdon Street in the City of London. (http://thewinemakersclub.co.uk)
My training and education followed with Wine and Spirit Education Trust and attending Plumpton College in Sussex, England.
My love of Italy began in 1967 when I met my wife Mary on holiday in Lake Garda who tragically died of cancer in 2016. It was then that I decided to fulfil my ambition of making my own wine in Italy. (aged 71)

Discover our amazing wines

 

“The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.”

― Benjamin Franklin, circa 1700s

CHIANTI CLASSICO GRAN SELEZIONE

To me Gran selezione should be just that and not a longer aged Riserva. This is a different blend.
Just 500 bottles being made.
100% Sangiovese of which 50% has been matùred in old Stockinger Austrian Oak barrels. This to be bottled, in November 2020

 

 

Price: 22€ 21£ for bottle

CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA

100% Sangiovese Most people blend their grape varieties, I blend the vessels in which the same grape juice has been matured.
Fantastic length on palette

 

Price: 18€ 16£ for bottle

CHIANTI CLASSICO

100% Sangiovese mainly matured in Nomblot l6hl egg shaped cement vessel. A little Mittelberger Oak added.
Succulent unpolished cherry fruit. A delight.

 

 

Price: 12€ 11£ for bottle

BRUNELLO

100% Sangiovese matured for 2 and a half years in large Slavonian Oak and then transfetred to 3 different ceramics so we could compare flavours. In the end we blended all together. Bottle aged for 12 months. A lighter more fruit driven style. Probably, the only Brunello matured in Ceramic.

 

 

Price: 32€ 30£ for bottle

VENETO BIANCO

100% Garganega aged for 12 months in Clayver ceramic egg. A Soave in all but name but with more ripe fruit and intensity. A touch of oak.

 

 

Price: 12€ 11£ for bottle

TERRE SICILIANE BIANCO

Mainly Carricante, a grape varierty unique to Mount Etna.

 

 

Price: 12€ 11£ for bottle

ETNA ROSATO

100% Nerello Mascalese from the Northem slopes of Mount Etna. A real Rose with body and freshness.

 

 

 

Price: 12€ 11£ for bottle

PLONK

100% Merlot matured for 12 months in Magnum 675 made in Barossa Valley Australia and shipped by me to Italy. Not a typical Merlot more intense, deeper fruit and complexity. Dedicated to a group of my golfing friends.

UOVO

A one off blend of only 800 bottles aged for 2 years in Magnum 675 ceramic egg. Merlot; Alicante Bousquet and Sangiovese. No oak.

Why ceramic and why egg shaped?

I had become fed up with over oaked, high alcohol wines. If you like fed up with Parkerisation. Wine is made from grapes which have a natural taste and flavour. Wine has been made for centuries and was originally made in terracotta pots often placed in the ground as a form of temperature control.
Tom Shobbrook who trained in Chianti and returned to his family vineyard in Barossa Valley in Australia was using ceramic egg shaped vessels called Magnum 675. These were made of clay which originated in Cornwall in England. Winemakers imported Toms wines. So I bought two Magnum 675’s and imported them into Italy to be used by Setriolo and Sean O’Callaghan to make my first wines. My research then showed that similar vessels were being made in Italy by Clayver, Sirio and Porcellanea, I thought how interesting it would be to compare each of these vessels and so…
Sean O’Callaghan was using Nomblot cement egg shaped tanks and so….
I am now the proud owner of Clayver 400 Litre vessels, Sirio 650 Litre, and Porcellanea 300 and 500 Litre and Nomblot 1600 Litre and 600 Litre. These are situated in 5 different Wineries. 
The cone, the sphere, the ellipsoid, the tulip, the truncated pyramid – wine vats
come in a bewildering array of shapes these days, but none has made as much of
an impact on the 21st-century wine world as the egg.
“No serious winery would be caught dead nowadays without at least one eggshaped vessel. But why have they become so popular and what effect do they have on the wine?”

Anything but oak

In recent years in Italy Winemakers have moved away from using so much oak.

“ All of this is a reaction to the French barrique. “
But I do believe that a small proportion of oaked wine can add depth, tannins and character to my wines. So I have a small collection of oak barrels:

From Italy: Mittelberger; Garbellotto

From France: Boutes

From Austria: Stockinger

From Hungary: Kadar

All of these are lightly toasted. The object being to keep the tannins smooth and not intense.
Blending the oak into the wine.

How I operate

I buy the equipment in which the wine is made. (“The eggs”)

The vineyards provide the juice/grapes to make the wine which is selected jointly and maybe formulated from a blend of various tanks in their cellar.

The vineyards provide the juice/grapes to make the wine which is selected jointly and

maybe formulated from a blend of various tanks in their cellar.

I visit and taste with them frequently and we agree together the winemaking operations and

bottling date.

We establish the price per bottle I will pay at the outset.

The labels are provided by me.

FAQ about Eggs

What is the difference between cement and ceramic?
Cement has been used in Winemaking for many years. It is made as a mixture of sand and cement similar to what you use when you lay bricks and paving. Most cement tanks are lined with epoxy resin or beeswax. Most are large and rectangular. Nomblot egg shaped tanks are not lined and so are porous. Ceramic is clay based including sandstone and gres. Mixed, molded and fired in a kiln to around 1200 degrees for a number of days. It is porous and inert.
Why don't you use stainless steel like everyone else?

I think stainless steel is best suited to large production units. Ceramic eggs cannot be made over 700 Litres capacity without a steel frame to re-inforce them because they would collapse. Ceramic is porous. Stainless steel is not. I prefer the concept of oxidation which brings out a more rounded and complex style of wine. Like an oak barrel but no addition of flavours.

How do you choose the juice?

At Monterinaldi their Chianti is fermented and stored in large 140 hectare litres cement tanks. Together we taste wine from around 10 tanks and then short list the ones we like. These are retasted 3 months later. At this second tasting we also try blends of the short listed wines. Samples of each blend are subsequently made and retested. A lot of hard work – All this tasting.

Why are wines made in ceramic different?

My objective is to show the natural flavour of the grape variety. I believe ceramic does this by enriching the colour and flavour through oxidation within an inert environment. Rounder, balanced fuller flavoured,smoother wines.

Where can I buy your wines?

Right here on this website! Contact me.
I like to sell direct and engage in direct relationship with drinkers of my wines and people who have an interest in quality wines and how they are made.

Where can I taste your wines to see if I like them before buying?

I am based near Guildford south east of London and do a number of fairs in that area,
particularly at Christmas time. We have introduced two mixed tasting packs of 3 and 6 bottles respectively which can be bought via this website.

What is the magic of the egg shape?

Better circulation and mixing of pulp and juice. Wine is a living thing full of different types of molecules which interact to provide colour, flavour, intensity and complexity.
Also due to their porosity you get temperature control as the air cools the wine nearest the skin of the egg.

Why should I try your chianti Classico rather than a 100 or more other Chianti's produced?

The easy answer is to say it is better, but that is a judgement. to be made by the taster and we all have different palettes and different tastes that we like or dislike.
2 reasons: 1. It is made differently. I believe ageing in ceramic adds colour and depth of flavour. Producing a rounder silkier fuller bodied wine.
2. I age my wines in bottle for longer before releasing them for sale.
I am a small private producer whose priority is to make top quality wine. Wine which I would drink every day of the year – and I do!

Chianti Classico - What does it mean?

Chianti Classico is Chianti made in the originai wine Production area of Chianti between Florence and Siena in Tuscany cental Italy

DOCG - What does this mean?

DOCG is the top grade of Italian wine. Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita guaranteed to have been made in accordance with wine making regulations applicable to the area of production which usually include grape varieties and the percentage of each variety allowed, maturation period and method of maturation and time in Oak and release date etc.

What grapes used in Chianti?

The grape composition has changed dramatically over the years since Baron Bettino Ricasolis original recipe in 1872 of 70% Sangiovese, 15 Canaiolo and 15 Malvasia Bianco.

Today, Chianti must be at least  80% Sangiovese and white grapes are no longer allowed but a proportion of intemational grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot can be used. All my Chianti wines are 100% Sangiovese. 

What is IGT? And DOC?

Indicazione geografica Tipica. A wine produced in a certain geographical location with grapes from that ragion typical area

Fiasco

The straw basket enclosed bottle for which Chianti became famous in 20th Centmy.
Remember those Italian restaurants with them hanging from the beams and on the tables with candles in them. In fact it became a Fiasco because the bottle cost more than the wine inside and then wine fr aud was discovered in  the form of adding cheaper wine.

Do you make a super Tuscan?

In the 1990s a group of producers led by Antinori wanted to improve the quality of Chianti and to use intemational grape varieties.
The rules prohibited this wine being called Chianti .
Planting’s of these varieties were made along the coast ofTuscany, an area known as the
Maremma.
These wines became very successful and very expensive Sassicaia; Omellaia; Tignanello. But more importantly they did lead to a radical change in the quality of wines made in Chianti. Today the quality monitored strictly by the Consorzio under the chairmanship of Giovanni Manetti of Fontodi is higher than ever before.
The granting of the right to use the Black Rooster and the DOCG status really is an indicator of high quality and good winemaking practices.
I do not make a super Tuscan. I do make a 100% Merlot in Tuscany. 

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