2008 Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko, Santorini
If you want something deliciously wild for the weekend, or any other time, this is it: a dry, smoky, mineral white, bristling with flavours of lemon peel, toasted, smoky wheat and olive oil and carried aloft by piercing acidity. As it says, it’s wild ferment, meaning no added yeasts, and it’s made from the assyrtiko grape on Greece’s windswept, volcanic island of Santorini - so windswept, in fact, that the vines are wind round into basket shapes so that the bunches of grapes grow inside, sheltered from the wind, or that’s the idea anyway. Drink it on its own or with fish or tapas. Novum Wines is a young operation with a portfolio of interesting, high quality wines bought for them by the company’s co-founder who was head buyer at Oddbins for 17 years – the years when Oddbins was great. 13.5%
£14.00 Novum Wines
2006 Belles Pierres Les Clauzes de Jo, Coteaux du Languedoc Rouge
This red wine is a bit wild, too, in that it smells intensely of the aromatic herb-studded garrigue of southern France – all bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and mint - but interwoven with succulent, sweet berry fruit and a full, velvety texture. The grapes are syrah and grenache with a bit of mourvèdre, and Jo is Joseph, father of Damien Coste who is now in charge. 14%.
£8.95, Stone, Vine & Sun
2007 Leasingham Magnus Riesling, Clare Valley
Zingy, dry Australian riesling with exuberant, fresh lime, apple and tropical fruit aromas, and a juicy lime-peel palate. Medium-bodied with refreshing, pithy acidity. A good aperitif, but also an option with spices and the intensity and sweetness of grilled red peppers, tomatoes and so on. 12.5%.
£7.99 Sainsbury’s; £9.99 (or £6.33 if you buy three bottles), Wine Rack