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.