Sparkling Wine Round-Up


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Beginning in Italy with Prosecco. Or not… Rivolto Zanotto Vino Bianco Spumante Extra Dry NV, Veneto, Italy (£10 Vino Beano) Fresh, satisfying fizz, not massively complex but scores for its dry caramel and green apple flavours, dangerously moreish… B+   And another Italian I didn’t film… Il Serraglio Saliceto Buzzalino Lambrusco di Sorbara Vino Frizzante […]

Five Bordeaux reds


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Bit of a Bordeaux round-up today, starting with an excellent value Merlot-based wine Château Clos l’Eglise Côtes de Castillon 2002, Bordeaux, France (£13.95 From Vineyards Direct) Excellent value for mature claret, this is warm and juicy, and still has plenty of plummy blackcurrant and cedar character. Yes, there’s a touch of brett adding a minty/savoury […]

Chardonnays from Burgundy & the Languedoc


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Louis Latour Pouilly-Fuissé 2015, Burgundy, France (~£25 Hailsham Cellars, Warlingham Wines, Saxty’s, North and South Wines, FL Dickins, Chester Beer and Wine, Fine Wine Sellers, Exel Wines, winedirect.co.uk, Amazon) Gentle, generous style of wine, the warmth of the vintage means it’s fat and fleshy rather than sleek, with rich, rounded nutty pear and ripe apple […]

Burgundy, Beaujolais and Bais. OK, Pais…


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Another batch of videos in an attempt to clear the backlog. Beginning with one of the best wines I’ve had this year… Maison Harbour Gevrey Chambertin La Justice 2015, Burgundy, France (£48.33 Vino Beano) Oh yum. Wonderfully supple style, still desperately young, but already showing its immense charms. Lovely pure gentle plum, berry and red […]

Southern Italy, Southern Rhône


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Have a bit of a backlog of videos so let’s get a couple in this post, beginning in the southern Rhône… Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2015, France (£13.99 Fenwicks, The Framlingham Wine Shop, Swift Wines, Italian Continental Stores, Bubbles And Wine Ltd, Direct Wines, Amazon) A good mix of richness and freshness, with honeyed […]

Two white wines from Casa de Paços


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Casa de Paços Fernão Pires 2016, VR Minho, Portugal (N/A in the UK) Has a light spritz, which brings freshness to the ginger-tinged grape, quince and (slightly cooked) red apple flavours, rounded and peachy and just off-dry, would be good with lightly spicy food. B(+) Casa de Paços Loureiro/Arinto 2016, Vinho Verde, Portugal (N/A in […]

Louis Latour Marsannay Rouge 2015, Burgundy, France


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Louis Latour Marsannay Rouge 2015, Burgundy, France (~£20 Hailsham Cellars, The Southwell Vintner, Mr Wheeler, Milford Wine, Saxty’s Wines, Heywood Wines, Flagship Wines, La Zouch Cellars,  Exel Wines, winedirect.co.uk) This is unoaked, but it’s picked up a touch of vanilla from somewhere. However the main event is the juicy, vibrant plum and raspberry (fresh and […]

Provence Rosé – not just for summer


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Mirabeau Pure Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016, France (£12.99 Mirabeau Direct, Waitrose, CellarVie Wines, Ocado) Juicy, fresh style, ever-so-slightly confected cranberry & peach aromas, but nicely textured and dry with an almost salty/sandy edge to the cooked apple and raspberry flavours. B+ Mirabeau Etoile Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016, France (£16 Mirabeau Direct, Sainsbury’s) A […]

Chardonnays from South Africa & New Zealand


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Seven Springs Unoaked Chardonnay 2014, Overberg, South Africa (~£12 contact North South Wines) There’s a slightly bitter pithy edge and a lemony character here that reminds me as much of Semillon as Chardonnay. It’s still fresh and juicy, but it’s too rich to fall into the ‘pure’ camp and too simple to be of the […]

Paso-Primero Tinto 2016, Somontano, Spain


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Half Cabernet, with Merlot and Tempranillo making up the balance Paso-Primero Tinto 2016, Somontano, Spain (£8.90 Tanners) No shortage of gutsy berry and damson flesh here, but the flavours veer towards the jammy and there’s a slightly drying edge of underripe tannin. Not so much that it’s unpleasant, but a little gentler hand in the […]

Two Southern Hemisphere Shirazes


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Seven Springs Syrah 2013, Overberg, South Africa (~£15 contact North South Wines) Ripe and juicy, with an almost savoury, cooked tomato character alongside more conventional blackberry, blackcurrant and plum, showing some leathery maturity, but still has a backbone of spicy tannin. S- The Restless Wine Merchant Shiraz 2016, Wrattonbully, Australia (£8.99 Aldi) A deeper, denser […]

Two Argentine red blends


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Viñalba Malbec Bonarda 2016, Mendoza, Argentina (£9.99/£7.99 mixed 6 Majestic) Alluring, savoury, fragrant style, almost with a Pinot Noir-like character, with its sweet plummy attack and wild hedgerow fruit, lovely texture with a light briny edge to the finish. Great value. S- Clos de los Siete 2013, Mendoza, Argentina (£15.75-£16 Waitrose, Cambridge Wine Merchants) A […]

Albariño meets Alvarinho


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Lagar de Cervera Albariño 2016, Rías Baixas, Spain (£15 Armit) Classic bracing style, setting sappy green apple and citrus freshness against more exotic, fleshier peach/nectarine flavours, with floral aromas and a nutty, creamy character. Full in flavour, but medium bodied, with a clean, pungent finish. S- Casa do Capitão-Mor Alvarinho 2016, Monção e Melgaço, Vinho […]

Fourth Dimension Pinot Noir 2016, Adelaide Hills, Australia


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Fourth Dimension Pinot Noir 2016, Adelaide Hills, Australia (£8.99 Aldi) A strange wine, seems like the fruit was decent, with gentle berry flavours and a touch of plum, but somewhere in the winemaking, there was a little too much extraction, which has given a lightly stewed note, along with a slightly heavy hand with the […]

Esporão Reserva Tinto 2014, Alentejo, Portugal


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Esporão Reserva Tinto 2014, Alentejo, Portugal (£19.99-£21.99 Cambridge Wine Merchants, Define Food and Wine, Tanners, Great Grog) It’s still a pup but this gentle giant has a very promising future. Rich, dark damson and berry fruit which veers towards the overripe but just stops in time, leaving bold flavours infused with a herby wildness, and […]

Grüner Veltliner from New Zealand & Austria


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Seifried Grüner Veltliner 2016, Nelson, New Zealand (£14.99 Liquorice, Roberts & Speight, New Zealand Cellar, James Molden, Banstead Vintners, Trina’s Wines) No shortage of fruit here – apple, grapes and light peach – along with a lightly floral/confected edge, like the sugary bits on Turkish Delight. However, the slightly smoky elderflower edge says to me […]

Château de l’Abbaye de Saint-Ferme Bordeaux Supérieur 2010, France


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Château de l’Abbaye de Saint-Ferme Bordeaux Supérieur 2010, France (£10.95 From Vineyards Direct) Mellow mature Bordeaux red, not massively complex, but then it’s not a sexy appellation. But this scores for its plush (Victoria) plummy berry and bramble flavours, gentle cedary spice notes and light roasted character. Excellent value. S(-)

Can you, should you judge a wine by its cover?


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Not yer average bottles, so are these not yer average wines…? Freixenet Prosecco NV, Veneto, Italy (£12 Ocado) Gentle, friendly style with a toffee-like edge to the ripe green apple and pumice-stone flavours, not massively complex, but slips down easily. B Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Réserve “Floral Sleeve” NV, France (£28 John Lewis) Quite a […]

Alain Voge Saint-Péray ‘Harmonie’ 2015, Rhône, France


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Don’t let the screen-shot put you off, this is tasty wine… Alain Voge Saint-Péray ‘Harmonie’ 2015, Rhône, France (£18.60 Cru) One of those wines that’s not immediately fruity, although it has some nectarine/peach character, but where textural, salty, nutty and creamy notes are more to the fore – reminds me of halva. Enticing and alluring, […]