The Sour Grape

Category: Quickies

Leeuwenkuil Bushvine Cinsault 2016

Cinsault is a grape that tends to be resigned to blends in France as it softens out tannic grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon etc. But it can make fantastic lighter wines all by itself if given the opportunity and right conditions. In Swartland – South Africa, the grape has found something of home away from home…

The Black Shiraz 2014

It’s been a while since I gambled on an Australian Shiraz, as quite a few of my friends struggle with the thick ‘heady’ weight of fruit and powerful American oak characteristics, (usually from a thorough oak chip ‘tea-bagging’) that typified the wines when they were at their most popular. However, time has moved on and…

Fresquito Montilla-Moriles PX 2014

This is an unusual wine by any stretch of the imagination. The producer had effectively made an amontillado style sherry using the ‘Pedro Ximénez’ grape variety (PX)… and instead of stopping the fermentation early by adding brandy (which is what usually happens with Sherry), they’ve allowed it to ferment the ‘usual way’. I won’t bore…

Barahonda Monastrell 2014

Monastrell (Mourvedre) is a grape that seems to have found a new identity for itself in southern Spain, in much the same way as Malbec has in Argentina. For a long time Rioja and it’s signature grape variety ‘Tempranillo’ defined Spanish wine in almost every way, but there’s a lot more the country has to…

Chateau Montus Madiran 2011

The wines of Madiran have a special place in my heart… just look at how many I’ve reviewed on this site! If you love the fuller bodied red wine from the Rhone, then you owe it to yourself to seek out the deep brooding reds of south-west France. Alan Brumont is a producer at the…

M&S Barbera D’Asti 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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…