Friday, August 27, 2010

WINES of the WEEK 27 August 2010

Millione, Vino Frizzante Rosé
Don’t buy this if you think wine should always be a drunk with rapt attention and accompanied by serious note-taking. Do buy it if you want to help raise £1 million to build 20 community-run primary schools in Sierra Leone. For every bottle sold, £1 goes to the project. And do buy Millione if there are times – sunny bank holidays, perhaps – when you just want something vaguely vinous and easy to drink – something fresh, pink, light-weight, lightly sparkling and on the sweet side of medium-dry. Millione is 11.5% abv and doesn’t need food, but you could drink it with something spicy.
£7.99, Laithwaites; and, soon, if not already, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

2007 d’Arenberg The Olive Grove Chardonnay, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills
A rich, oaky style, with cashew nuts on the nose and a smoky, dark chocolate oakiness to the palate, but with the richness perfectly off-set by the freshness, intensity and persistence of the fruit. 14% abv. Great value at the current offer price.
£6.99 on offer (down from £8.99), Sainsbury’s.

2009 Undurraga TH Pinot Noir, Leyda Valley
Polished pinot noir from Leyda, Chile’s answer to New Zealand’s Central Otago region. Sweet, fresh cherry and raspberry aromas, lovely purity of fruit, subtle oak and a bright, persistent finish. 13.5% abv. TH stands for terroir hunter, by the way, not the winemaker, who is Rafael Urrejola.
£11.95,The Wine Society.

Friday, August 20, 2010

WINES of the WEEK 20 August 2010

2009 Gladstone Vineyard Pinot Gris, Gladstone, Wairarapa
I was hoping to recommend Gladstone's splendid, mineral 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, but Great Western Wine is not moving on to the 2009 until the end of the year. This Pinot Gris, one of New Zealand’s best, is a more exuberant wine – spicy and floral with succulent, peachy fruit, a gentle nutty flavour and citrus freshness. 14.5% abv.
£13.95, Great Western Wine

2009 Mas des Mas Corbières
Just in time to catch this new wine from Paul Mas before the promotion finishes at the end of the month. Very much a modern style of Corbières -– deep in colour, rich, ripe fruit, mocha oak flavour and round, friendly tannins – but true to its terroir in the heady aromas of the garrigue. A blend of syrah, grenache and carignan from low-yielding vines. 14.5% abv.
£7.99, reverting to £9.99 at the end of August, Majestic.

2006 Torres Celeste Crianza, Ribera del Duero
A supple, velvety Ribera del Duero from Torres, Spain’s most famous wine-producing family. Spicy, coffeeish oak and black fruit on the nose; blackberries, graphite mineral notes, smoky oak and soft, but structure-giving tannins on the palate. It went a treat with roast lamb and potatoes cooked with smoked paprika. 13.5% abv.
£11.49, Noel Young

Friday, August 13, 2010

WINES of the WEEK 13 August 2010

2009 Domaine Cheveau Mâcon Solutré-Pouilly, Sur Le Mont
Mâcon with real polish and elegance: fresh, creamy, waxy and slightly nutty on the nose; nutty complexity with a light touch of spice and fresh apple on the palate; long, perfectly balanced, fresh and delicious now. 13.5% abv
£13.95, Caviste

2005 P J Druet Bourgueil, Les Cents Boiselées
Beautifully matured, complex, medium-bodied Bourgueil: spicy fruitcake, cedar, leather and mineral aromas and a velvety, dry palate with mellow fruitiness, spicy-cedar and mineral notes. Ready now, but will last another five years. 12.5% abv.
£14.99, Handford Wines

2008 Ermita del Conde Tinto, Castilla y Leon
This is a tempranillo, with 5% merlot, from vines – a lot of them 100 years old – growing high up (900m up) in the province of Burgos just outside Ribera del Duero. It’s full-bodied and ripe with a vanilla and chocolate richness, but retains a wonderful red berry and sweet-cedar freshness. Concentrated, polished, elegant. 14% abv.
£20, Hanging Ditch

Saturday, August 7, 2010

WINES of the WEEK 6 August 2010

Three really good sparkling wines this week
Chozas Carrascal Cava Brut Nature Reserva
Elegant, sophisticated cava with flavours of lemon, marzipan and honey and mouthwatering freshness. It’s a chardonnay/macabeo blend and has no dosage (ie no sugar added at the end): the depth and ‘sweetness’ come from the maturation – a small percentage in French oak and then into bottle for the second fermentation and 15 months on the lees. 12% abv. A much better bet than most cheap champagne.
£12.50, or £20 for two, Hanging Ditch

2005 Tesco Finest Alsace Crémant d’Alsace Riesling
Textbook riesling flavour, freshness and definition – ripe Granny Smith apples, lime and a hint of petrolly minerals, with fine, soft bubbles produced in the same way as for champagne. Dry, but not remotely austere; a crowd-pleaser in fact. Good as an aperitif, but also a winner with lightly spicy dishes. 11.5% abv.
£8.99, Tesco

Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut Cava
Chardonnay-based, matured for 15 months and a big step up in quality from Freixenet’s mass-market, black-bottled Cordon Negro. Pale and refined with fine bubbles, zesty lemon and peach fruit and a delicate nutty-straw note. 11.5% abv.
£14.99, Waitrose