2009 Wirra Wirra Mrs Wigley Grenache Rosé, McLaren Vale
I’m not entirely convinced by the idea of naming wines after pets, mother-in-laws, girl friends etc, but perhaps that’s sour grapes because I’m never going to have a wine named after me. Anyway, Mrs Wigley the cat: R.I.P. Mrs Wigley the pink grenache: very much alive and perfectly proportioned. Medium-deep pink and packed with juicy cassis and strawberry fruit, currant-leaf freshness and a touch of nutmeg. Good weight, without being big, and nicely dry. Goes well with lightly spiced, pan-fried prawns, parma ham and chorizo, and fruity, saffron-flavoured couscous – and no doubt other things. 13% abv.
£9.99, Stevens Garnier
2008 Ad Hoc Straw Man Sauvignon Blanc, Pemberton
Medium-bodied, beautifully elegant Sauvignon from ace Western Australia winemaker Larry Cherubino. Unmistakeable Sauvignon aromas of grass, lemon and elderflower, carried through on to the palate with an additional tang of lime-zest and gentle chalkiness. Lovely balance and still zippy and fresh. 12.5% abv.
£13.99, or £12.59 in a mixed case, The Vineyard (Dorking, Surrey)
2008 Passa Pequena, Douro
A junior red from Quinta do Passadouro at less than a third the price of the fabulous 2007 Reserva (£30). This obviously doesn’t have the concentration, complexity and staying power of the vigorously youthful Reserva, but it does have the mouthwatering Douro combination of perfume and sweet raspberry fruit with savoury, mineral flavours. Add in the softly chewy tannins and it’s ready for drinking now. 13.5% abv.