Friday, March 26, 2010

WINES of the WEEK 26 March 2010

2008 Château d’Anglès Classique Blanc, La Clape
A white that shows: a) just how good the white wines of Languedoc can be (and this is the cheaper of the two Anglès whites); and b) why blends can be so much more than the sum of their parts. It’s based on bourboulenc, with some grenache blanc, roussanne and marsanne, and is lightly aromatic with floral and citrus notes; the palate is ripe and honeyed with creamy, peachy fruit, but with the richness off-set by lovely citrus zing. Château d’Anglès, in its present form, is the creation of Eric Fabre who bought the estate in 2001 after 25 years in Bordeaux, eight of them as technical director of Château Lafite. If you don’t know Essentially Wine, now is the time. There are two shops, Chipstead in Surrey (blue plaque moment: I was brought up there) and Richmond, which is a rather larger and better known town in Surrey.
£10.49, Essentially Wine

2008 Fabre Montmayou Phebus Cabernet Sauvignon, Lujan de Cuyo Mendoza
Full-bodied but sleek Argentine cabernet sauvignon – and all the better for being unoaked to show off its perfume and purity of fruit. Aromas and flavours of violets, raspberries and cassis around a core of ripe yet fresh fruit and a satin-smooth texture. The vineyard altitude – 1050 metres – doubtless goes a long way to explain the finesse and the effortless way the wine carries its 14.5% abv. That, plus wines of a decent middling age (average 15 years) and the expertise of Bordeaux-born owner Hervé Joyaux Favre. 13.5% abv
£7.99, Waitrose

2008 Clos des Cordeliers Cuvée Tradition, Saumur-Champigny
I hadn’t come across the Ratron cousins' Clos des Cordeliers until I tasted this at Richards Walford’s January tasting. What a find – invitingly fresh, red and green-pepper fragrance with rounded raspberry fruit and the supplest of tannins. Medium-bodied, beautifully balanced essence of cabernet franc. 13.5% abv £9.99, Adnams Cellar & Kitchen

Thursday, March 18, 2010

WINES of the WEEK 19 March 2010

2009 Domaine La Bastide Roussanne, Vin de Pays d’Hauterive
A lovely lime and floral perfume, bristlingly fresh lime and sweet-apple flavours and a rounded, smooth texture. Hauterive is in the Aude department, covering part of the Corbières area. 13% abv.
£7.99 (or £6.99 if you buy two or more bottles), Majestic

2008 Tasmanian Pinot Noir
Intensely fragrant, juicy and fresh, with black fruit as well as red berry flavours. Medium-bodied with fine acidity and just a touch of tannin. Not a complex pinot noir, but pure and aromatic and at a giveaway price. Made for M&S by Andrew Pirie’s Tamar Ridge Estates. 13% abv.
£7.99, Marks & Spencer

2007 Hacienda El Espino 1707 Syrah, Almansa
Expressive, raspberry-scented old-vine syrah from vineyards at 750m in Almansa, southern Spain. Full and round with succulent fruit, touches of spice and well-balanced oak (3 months in American and French barrels). Polished, persuasive syrah. 13.5% abv.
£8.49, The Real Wine Company

Friday, March 12, 2010

WINES of the WEEK, 12 March 2010

2008 Pewsey Vale Riesling, Eden Valley
Vivid, racy Australian riesling – tangy lime, apple and peach with a hint of spice; dry, but a little less steely and mineral than you find in Clare. 12.5% abv
£9.99, Oddbins

2009 Tesco Finest Darling Sauvignon
Stylish Cape sauvignon with the sweetness and freshness of sugarsnap peas, a finely textured mid-palate and faintly salty, mineral finish. 13.5% abv
£6.99, Tesco

2008 Tesco Finest Malbec, Mendoza
Medium-full with dark, spicy, slightly smoky plum flavours, subtle oak, fine tannins and a dry, clean finish. A very well balanced, well-judged wine, made by Catena. 13.5% abv
£6.98, Tesco

Friday, March 5, 2010

WiNES of the WEEK 5 March 2010

All under £8 this week.

2009 The Foundry Grenache Blanc, Coastal Region
The white wines coming out of South Africa just keep getting more and more exciting. Chris Williams makes a terrific Viognier, but this is the first time I’ve tasted his Grenache Blanc. It’s fairly full-bodied and has a smidgen of Viognier, which gives a perfumed apricot edge to the apple, pepper and mineral flavours, but it’s a less showy wine than the Viognier, as you’d expect. There’s a little bit of oak to round it out and round it off and the finish is clean and dry. 13.5% abv
£7.95, The Wine Society

2008 Cruz de Piedra Garnacha, Calatayud
Ebullient, young Spanish red made from 60-100 year old garnacha growing high up in the Calatayud mountains southeast of Rioja. Juicy, sweet-tomato and red-berry fruit spiced up with lots of earthy white-pepper flavours; medium-full, dry and fresh. 13.5% abv.
£5.25, The Wine Society; £5.99, Adnams Cellar & Kitchen

2007 Château La Bouscade Old Vine Carignan, Minervois
This is 14.5% abv, it’s been aged in oak barrels for 16 months and it’s carignan. Sounds like a recipe for the sort of heavyweight you can stand a knife up in. It’s certainly full-bodied, but it’s perfectly balanced and if there were any rustic, grating carignan tannins they’ve have been planed to smoothness by the oak. It has a lovely raspberry fragrance and fruitness, alongside stony, mineral, spicy flavours.
£7.99, Majestic; £6.99 when you buy two or more.