Four Rosés from France & Italy

Private Beach Rosé 2017, Vin de France (£9.99 Laithwaites) Some vague peach and raspberry flavours here but not much else, OK and I’d finish a glass, but overall a bit meh. C- Château Terrebonne Côtes de Provence Rosé 2017, France (£12.99 Laithwaites) Manages to be fresher and crisper than the above wine, with perky citrus […]

Three Champagnes from H Blin

Champagne H. Blin L’Esprit Nature Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut NV, France (£40 Wine Cellar Club, The Secret Cellar) Young, fresh style of Champagne, which sees quite voluptuous baked apple, stewed rhubarb and brioche flavours wrapped round a slender, steely/stony mineral backbone with a chalk note to the finish. Very good. S(+) Champagne H. Blin […]

Introducing PEMO – Pecorino & Montepulciano from Abruzzo

A tasty and well-presented duo Pemo Pecorino Terre di Chieti 2017, Abruzzo, Italy (£8.99-£9.99 Ocado, Steevenson Wines, Starmore Boss, Eden Fine Wines) A wine that scores for texture as much as flavour, with a nutty, creamy feel to the fresh but fleshy peach kernel, nectarine and green banana fruit. S- Pemo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2016, Italy (£8.99-£9.99 […]

Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Terret Blanc 2017

Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Terret Blanc 2017, Pays d’Oc, France (£8.99 Waitrose) Reminiscent of a plump Picpoul, with plush Peach Melba flavours alongside sleeker aniseed and citrus notes, not hugely complex, but slips down alarmingly easily. B+

Sylvaine et Alain Normand Macon La Roche-Vineuse Vieilles Vignes 2014

Sylvaine et Alain Normand Macon La Roche-Vineuse Vieilles Vignes 2014, Burgundy, France (£14.83 Vino Beano) Great value Burgundy that offers a satisfying mix of richness and restraint, with generous, deep and almost creamy pear, apple and tinned plum flavours offset by a savoury tang and a seam of citrus freshness which leaves your mouth cleansed […]

Some Madeira for Fathers’ Day anyone?

Or indeed for any other day in the year… Blandy’s Madeira 10 Year Old tasting gift pack (£36.49 Amazon, Speciality Drinks, Lance Strother, Cambridge Wines, Thomas Peatling, Liquorice, In the Pink , Shenfield Wine , Guildford Wine Co , Peake Wine) The packs contains 1 x 20cl bottle of each of the following:- Sercial: Pungent […]

Jeroboams Bordeaux Rouge 2016

If only all young Bordeaux Rouge were like this Jeroboams Bordeaux Rouge 2016 (François Thienpont), France (£13.45 Jeroboams) Young, fresh plummy claret, with juicy blackcurrant fruit in abundance, sympathetic use of oak, and a vibrant, perfumed finish. Rounded and appealing, but carries its 14% alcohol well. S-

Albariño from Spain & California

Tesco Finest* Viñas Del Rey Albariño 2016 (Felix Solis), Rias Baixas, Spain (£8 Tesco) Age has given a hint of creaminess but this is still lip-smackingly fresh, with pear and custard apple flavours pepped up by pithy citrus acidity and a hint of herbs. B+ Marimar Estate Albariño 2015, Russian River Valley, California (£29.50 Amazon.co.uk, […]

Tempranillo from Rioja & South Australia

Jeroboams Rioja Reserva 2013 (Marques de Reinosa), Spain (£13.95 Jeroboams) 2013 wasn’t the greatest of Rioja vintages, and there’s a slight earthy greenness in the background here. But thankfully, it’s reasonably concealed by classic vanilla/coconutty oak notes, and generous orange peel, red berry and plum flavours. Good, and even better after it’s been opened a […]

Chardonnays from Burgundy and Australia

Bouchard Père & Fils Bourgogne Chardonnay La Vignée 2014, Burgundy, France (£13 Penistone Wine Cellars, Just in Cases, Hailsham Cellars, Sandhams Wine Merchant, Wine Direct, Amazon) A bit shy initially but then slinks out of the glass with bracing lemony edge and ripe green apple crispness balanced by an almost creamy mouthfeel. Young, taut clean […]

Two Pinot Noirs from New Zealand & California

Seresin Estate Leah Pinot Noir 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand (£21.99 The NZ Cellar, The Wine Society, Wholefoods, Davy’s Wine Merchants, New Zealand House of Wine, Noble Green, Handford Wines, Hay Wines, Cheers Wine Merchants) Lovely lithe, relaxed and confident wine, wonderfully aromatic with red berry & cherry fruit (fresh and lightly cooked), a spine of […]

In celebration of Malbec World Day 2018…

April 17th is Malbec World Day (yes, that’s what the organisers call it, no idea why, imagine if we had Book World Day). So to get the party started, a varietal Malbec, plus a Malbec-heavy blend. Doña Paula ‘Paula’ Malbec 2017, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (£9.99 Spirited Wines, strictlywine.co.uk) Really attractive young gluggable style, […]

An assortment of white wines

Two Kiwis to being with Seresin Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand (£17.99 The NZ Cellar, Wholefoods, Davy’s Wine Merchants, House of New Zealand Wines, Noble Green, Bon Coeur, Handford Wines, Hay Wines, Cheers Wine Merchants) 2015 Almost more Loire-like than New Zealand in style with quite precise herby stony mineral notes alongside the tense […]

A mixed bag of reds from around the world…

…beginning in Portugal Quinta Nova Reserva Terroir Blend 2015, Douro, Portugal (£16.48 Portugal Vineyards) Smells like a port winery at vintage time, the air thick with heady aromas of berries, cassis, violet and herbs, buoyant, spicy dark fruit flavours in abundance and a backbone of citrus freshness and ripe tannin – vibrant, joyful wine, I […]

A selection of sweet and fortified wines…

…beginning with sherry Barbadillo Manzanilla Pasada Pastora En Rama (2017 bottling), Spain (£9.99 per half Amazon, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Taurus Wines, Roberts and Speight, The Dorset Wine Co, Mumbles Fine Wine) Has the classic bracing briny edge of Manzanilla, but this is deeper in colour, and weightier, with pungest yeasty notes, greater depth of fruit […]

An Italian Assortment

A variety of Italian wines, mostly red, beginning in the North West Renato Ratti Langhe Nebbiolo “Ochetti” 2015, Piedmont, Italy (£20.49 Hailsham Cellars, Hoults, CMT Wines, Larner Bros, Mumbles Fine Wines, Liquorice, Framlingham Wines, Banstead Vintners) Promising young wine, starts off with (reduced) aromas of blackcurrant pastilles but then open up to reveal a softer, […]

Sparkling Wine Round-Up

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

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

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…

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 […]