Friday, September 25, 2009

WINES of the WEEK, 25 September 2009

2007 Domaine Yves Cuilleron Syrah Signé, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
This is a brilliant, benchmark northern Rhône syrah – with a little viognier, co-fermented in Côte Rôtie style. If you’re not a member of The Wine Society, its worth the £40 life membership just to be able to buy this wine - glorious black pepper, raspberry and tar aromas, a silky, supple texture and only 12.5% abv. Drink any time over the next two to three years.
£12.95, The Wine Society

2008 Grant Burge Benchmark Shiraz
A very different style of syrah from the one above, but also true to type. To call it ‘benchmark’ is pushing it a bit, especially as it’s a wine to drink, not keep, but it’s got real Australian shiraz character – a rarity at this sort of price these days. It’s plump and smooth, with sweet, but not jammy, blackberry fruit, milk chocolate and fresh peppery spice flavours. 14.5% abv.
£6.49, Booth; £5.95 The Wine Society

2008 Domaine Bellegarde Jurançon Sec
Lightly peachy, nutty nose; dry, tangy, quince and peach flavours on the palate; medium-bodied with citrus zest acidity. A delicious, reviving aperitif and a good accompaniment to seafood or salad/veggie first courses. Made from gros manseng and a little petit manseng, and oak-free. 13.5% abv.
£10.95, Yapp Brothers

Friday, September 18, 2009

WINES of the WEEK, 18 September 2009

2008 Matahiwi Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Wairarapa
Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand’s North Island, as opposed to Marlborough on the South Island. It has the classic grass, ripe gooseberry and mineral flavours and the vibrant freshness of New Zealand’s signature sauvignons, but in a richer, more textured style – and yet it’s still only 12.5% abv. Drink it on its own or with something like a goats’ cheese tart, caesar salad, seafood risotto or crab fettuccine with a touch of chilli.
£8.49, Oddbins

2007 Viña Somoza Classico, Godello, Valdeorras
If you’re an albariño fan, you’ll love this godello. In fact, it’s much better than many of the albariños on offer in bars and restaurants. It has a cracklingly fresh, apple nose and a concentrated, smoky-apple palate with a touch of spicy peach and an appetising, fresh, dry finish. 13.5% abv. If you know Flint Wines at all (two men and a dog called Flint), you probably think of them as burgundy specialists, which they are, but the rest of the list is well worth a look too.
£11.95, Flint Wines

2005 Castello di Potentino, Sacromonte, Montecucco Rosso
This is a dark, velvety, sangiovese with succulent sweet fruit and supple oak. Very definitely sangiovese, but not the dry, astringent school of Tuscan sangiovese or the jammy new world style. It carries its 14.5% abv effortlessly and is perfect for drinking now, but has plenty of life in it. Montecucco is a relatively new DOC in the province of Grosseto in the south of Tuscany between Montalcino and Scansano. Castello di Potentino is owned by Graham C Greene and the wine is made by Charlotte Horton.
£9.95, From Vineyards Direct

Thursday, September 10, 2009

WINES of the WEEK, 11 September 2009

2007 Peter Jakob Kühn Rheingau Riesling Trocken
Wonderfully intense, fabulously light - with just 11% abv. It’s also biodynamic and has a screwcap. The nose is smoky, mineral and piercingly fresh; the palate is dry, tangy, mineral and honeyed, with citrus and apple fruit and a tantalising minty, herbal hint. The Winery is in Maida Vale; no website, but a pretty shop with an unusual range of dry German wines.
£11.99, The Winery, 020 7286 6475

2007 Domaine Haut-Chassis, Les Galets, Crozes-Hermitage
This Crozes estate is new to me (and to Berry Bros). Les Galets is the top wine and it’s barrel-matured for 10 months, but the oak is seamlessly integrated. You feel it in the silky texture, but you barely taste it. It has a lovely smoky, almost iodiney Crozes character, with sweet raspberry fruit and savoury bay leaf, black pepper and graphite flavours. A real find (by BBR, not me).
£15.95, Berry Bros & Rudd

2009 Zalze Bush Vine Chenin Blanc
Old vines, new wine. Very young and lively, brimming with pear and apple fruit, but also with Chenin’s rounded nutty-straw and spice flavours. Pure, well-balanced (yes, with 14% abv), bright and engaging.
£5.99, Waitrose

Friday, September 4, 2009

WINES of the WEEK, 4 September 2009

No time to be wordy this week, some of you will be pleased to hear (all of you perhaps), but three stellar wines.

2008 Viña Leyda Loica Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosado
Smart Chilean rosé with focused cherry and raspberry fruit and a touch of spice. Combines pinot noir’s silky, supple texture with a lively, fresh, dry finish. 13.5% abv.
£8.95, The Wine Society

2008 Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
Debut vintage from Errazuriz’s new Chilean estate just nine miles from the Pacific. I’m sure I can taste the sea in the tangy, salty, mineral flavour. Delicious green, herbal, citrus flavours too. 13.5% abv.
£10.99, Booths and; £75 per 6 bottles, including delivery, Harper Wells. (It’ll be on a 3 for 2 deal in Booths from October 1-24.)

2004 Barón de Ley 7 Viñas Rioja Reserva
Latest vintage of this rich, complex, cellar-worthy Rioja – and 2004 was a very good year for Rioja. Plump damson fruit with spice, dark chocolate and glossy oak. 14.5% abv.
£15.49, selected Tesco