The Sour Grape

Tasting Event: London Wine Fair 2016

My First 'Press Credentials'

I’ve been at this whole ‘wine tasting/reviewing’ business for while now, but for one reason or another I hadn’t quite plucked up the courage to register myself as a member of the ‘wine press’ before. You see… there is a whole world of exhibitions and wine tastings that take place almost completely out of the…

M&S Barbera D’Asti 2013

A deceptively complex Italian table wine from M&S; poised with both concentrated fruit and a lifted floral aroma.

This is a good value Italian wine from the northwest of the country will make a cracking mid-week pasta wine. In the glass it has a medium ruby colour with a pink rim and black cherry, black currant, blackberry fruit aroma with soft vanilla and a violet floral note. On the palate there’s a fresh…

Greco Sannio 2014

Clean, fresh and above all characterful… this is what Pinot Grigio wishes it could be!

When it comes to un-oaked white wines, hard as it may be to believe, there’s a whole world of incredible options out there that have nothing to do Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio and Italy’s literally bursting at seams with them. Two of my favorite varieties from the sun soaked south of the country are…

Terres De Moraines Madiran 2012

049

The third Tannat based wine M&S have on their shelves at the moment is a classic French ‘Madiran’… though one closer to entry level for the region than the bottle of ‘Domaine Picard’ I reviewed here. In the glass it has a deep ruby/black colour with a pink rim and an inky earthy black fruit…

Pisano Cisplatino Tannat 2014

Uruguay is another South-American Country that is leading the way in Tannat based wines, as this fresh table wine from M&S shows.

Looks like M&S has a couple more Tannat based wines for us to enjoy! The last wine was from Argentina and this next one is another South American export, this time from Uruguay. In the glass it has a deep purple black colour with a medium intensity aroma of earthy yet ripe black & red…

El Esteco Tannat 2014

This is an inky brooding wine, the perfect accompaniment to a rich stew or a Sheppard’s Pie.

As much as I like Tannat, you don’t often see much of it around as it’s among the more obscure grape varieties to have originated in Bordeaux, but it is making something of comeback. Not only have the big French strongholds of the grape (Madiran, Saint Mont) in the south west of the country, been…

Domaine Pichard Madiran 2008

A heavy beast of a wine with all the layered textural complexity of high-end Bordeaux… for a fraction of the cost.

I love wines made with Tannat and those from Madiran especially… they’re typically inky, weighty, earthy, beasts that serve as a separate food course entirely; they’re the Guinness of the wine world! If that sounds like a good thing to you then read on… otherwise I’d skip this, however good a wine it may be,…

Castel Firmian Teroldego di Rotaliano Riserva 2012

Rich juicy Ribeana like fruit with depth and concentration... Great value Italian table wine.

Trentino in north-eastern Italy is an area mostly renowned for unleashing ‘Pinot Grigio’ on an unsuspecting world. However, it’s also the heartland for the ‘Teroldego’ grape variety, which makes dangerously moreish fruity wines. In the glass this has a deep ruby with purple rim, black cherry (Morello), Blackcurrant and purple flower (Violets) aroma. On the…

Cecchi Sagrato Chianti Riserva 2012

Solid entry level Chianti on offer at Waitrose.

Cheap Chianti, like Valpolicella, was exported to the UK in droves throughout the 60’s and 70’s, becoming synonymous with ‘plonk’… so it’s no wonder its taken a while for that reputation to fade enough for it to be taken seriously again. After a period of exile from our shelves, Chianti has started to make a…