The Sour Grape

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…

Finca Carelio Tempranillo Castilla y Leon 2011

The Spanish wine region of ‘Castilla y Leon’ is fast becoming one of my favourite go-to areas for good quality/value inventive wines. Technically it covers most of north western Spain including ‘Ribera Del Duero’ and ‘Toro’, but wine makers are able to use the wider ‘Castilla y Leon’ region to label wines made outside of…

Bodega Atamisque Catalpa Chardonnay Uco Valley 2012

Argentina, heartland for the Malbec revolution, has one aspect going for it above all other new world wine regions, altitude… lots and lots variable altitude. As a country, Argentina’s on the smoking hot side of the Andes, whereas Chile gets all the cooling ocean influence on the other. However, what Argentina has going for it…

Massif D’Uchaux Cotes Du Rhone Villages 2014

‘Cotes du Rhone Villages’ are a whole step up in quality from entry level ‘Cotes du Rhone’ and this example from Waitrose hales solely from the village of ‘Massif D’Uchaux’. In the glass it has a medium purple/ruby colour, with bramble blackberry and black currant fruit and a soft vanilla, pastel like minerality. Inky black…

Cecchi Sagrato Chianti Riserva 2012

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…

The Society’s Claret Nv

Another benchmark staple of The Wine Society is ‘The Society’s Claret’. Like their White Burgundy reviewed here, it’s a blend made up each year with the assistance of the Society’s wine buyers from recommended parcels of wine provided by Mason Sichel. Unlike the White Burgundy, however, this is non-vintage wine as some of the parcels…

The Society’s White Burgundy 2014

This great value un-oaked Chardonnay from southern Burgundy’s Macon region is something of a calling card for The Wine Society. Each year one of their wine experienced wine buyers travels down to the region to oversee the selection of wines and the overall blending process that goes into creating this classic icon of their range.…

Château Fourcas-Dupré Listrac-Médoc 2006

Just because the Bas-Médoc region of Bordeaux sits to the north of the larger and more prestigious Haut-Médoc, doesn’t mean fantastic wines aren’t to be found there. If anything far better wines can be found at a lower price point than from the south, as this wonderfully earthy, inky, complex wine shows. It has a…

Adega De Pegoes Colheita Seleccionada Setubal 2014

One of the best Portuguese white wines I’ve tasted to date. It has a pale lemon colour with clean fresh lemon, apple/pear and cream aroma upfront; developing more tropical fruit aromas as it warms a little. Clean acidity, ripe Lemon, grapefruit and pineapple on a textured palate. The finish is long and complex with layers…

Chateau Haute Galine Minervois 2014

A one off bottling for the Wine Society, blended together after a good harvest in 2014 left the producer with plenty of high quality wine left over. It has a deep ruby colour with Purple rim; intense inky aromas of bramble blackberry, blackcurrant and a lick of vanilla with a faint edge of brooding minerality…

Bouchard Aine & Fils Pinot Noir Vin de France 2013

Sometimes French Pinot Noir, especially from Burgundy can be designed to accompany food so much they become tangy by themselves… thankfully not so with this one! Pale ruby colour and a garnet rim full of red cherry, strawberry, Raspberry compote and soft vanilla aromas that join with the faintest hint of earthiness developing. On the…