Some of the old Oddbins magic is back. Quite a bit, actually. So hats off to Simon Baile who’s turned it round – the range at least – in 15 months.
2007 Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz/Viognier
This is Michel Chapoutier of the Rhône in his joint venture in Victoria and it’s one of the best new Australian wines I’ve tasted in ages. Its full, ripe, succulent, but not jammy, and has an evocative, spicy, stony, sweet-herb character that’s far more Rhône-like than Australian. The tannins, such as they are, are smooth and fleshy and the finish is dry and clean. 14%. There’s also a denser, more aromatic version which will age longer – Lieu Dit Malakoff – at twice the price.
£14.99, or £11.99 by the case, Oddbins
2006 Castello di Farnetella, Chianti Colli Senesi
This is a lovely, accessible Chianti – nicely supple, but with a convincing chewiness, sweet cherry fruit and earthy spice. 13% abv. Just the sort of wine to spend a cold, wet weekend with. But not me – I’m off to Chile.
£12.99, or £10.39 by the case
2008 Onda Nova Verdelho, Algarve
You don’t need to be a fan of Sir Cliff to like this verdelho. Equally you shouldn’t let the connection put you off. His name is on the label, but it’s just a small scrawl – sorry, signature – on the back. It’s a full-bodied, zesty white with tropical lime-jelly and lime-marmalade flavours. Refreshing, but somehow comforting too. 13.5% abv.