2007 Kleos Aglianico, Luigi Maffini, IGT Paestum
The aglianico grape is one of Italy’s red gems. It grows in the far south – in Calabria, Basilicata and, as in this wine, in Campania – but that’s more or less it. There’s interest from the new world, not least because it keeps its acidity well, but nothing very interesting has emerged so far. This wine smells enticingly of blackberries and raspberries with a hint of bonfire smoke. In the mouth it’s full, dry and cherry-fresh with an attractive smokiness, good length and a fine balance of weight and freshness. 14% abv.
£11.95, Lea & Sandeman
2008 Ribolla Gialla, Visintini, Colli Orientali del Friuli
Beautifully crisp, expressive north Italian white from the indigenous ribolla gialla grape. It has a fragrance of pears and peaches and a mountain-fresh minerality; It’s medium-full on the palate, with a smoothness – almost an oiliness – cut by its peppery mineral flavour. 13.5% abv.
£10.95, Lea & Sandeman
Les Grands Cyprès Vacqueyras, Gabriel Meffre
I’m probably repeating myself, but the red Rhône selection shown at the recent Waitrose tasting was strikingly good – and in the context of a strikingly good tasting. This Vacqueyras, from the great 2007 vintage, is big, savoury and perfectly proportioned, with earthy, spicy fruit and a supple texture. 14% abv. It’s worth its £11.99, so it’s a steal at the current offer price.
£7.99 until December 1, Waitrose