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It's beginning to look a lot like ... Christmas press tasting!

christmas

#41

It is indeed! There was a little bit of a buzz when she arrived, and then she promptly got herself installed at that table, laptop out, and got stuck in.
I got there at about 10.05 - Jamie Goode and Jo Simon were the first there. Jamie tasted all 72, had time for a quick chat, and was gone by 11!


#42

You got to admire the professionals! Time for 72 wines before elevenses… Yikes!
Great to hear you were in the presence of the great and the Goode… (Sorry, couldn’t help myself!). It’s half the fun! :+1::grin:


#43

According to JRs twitter feed, she particularly enjoyed a couple of bargain Hungarian wines - even joking that Freddy Bulmer had got his exchange rates wrong. :grin:


#44

Oh, so it is a St. Andrea Pinot?


#45

The Hungarian PN was a 2016 Ostoros PN and very good it was too - particularly when you consider it’s £6.75 a bottle. On the train at the moment but full notes to follow. I thought it stood up very well in much more exalted PN company at many times the price.

For me it was one of the finds of the day!


#46

Just got home, and agree with all the comments and enthusiasm about the tasting. The 98 Suduiraut was so long I think I can still taste it, but there were several less expected finds (Langhe Riesling…). Full notes to follow.


#47

Ok, back home now and working through some notes. But before I review the wines I just want to say a huge thank you to @Ewan and @laura for facilitating Community Member involvement. This was a real a treat and I would heartily recommend it to you all if you get a chance at a future tasting. It was lovely to meet them both as well, of course, the other community members in @Bargainbob and @SPmember - I know we all come here because of a shared passion for wine, but that is really evident when you meet people in the flesh - and they were lovely company too!

We decided to split the responsibility for notes with me doing 1, 4, 7, etc, Sheila covering 2, 5, 8, etc and Bob doing 3, 6, 9, etc. Though I think we all tasted broadly across the 72 wines on show so I’m sure additional comments will be forthcoming.

Wine 1…

Pale lemon colour with fine and persistent mousse, this is like liquid lemon sherbert - very refreshing and eminently gluggable. Not hugely complex, but a definite crowd pleaser and comes with the quality you’d expect from Gratien & Meyer. At <£10 this is great value.

Wine 4…


Pale English sparkling wine that is very crisp and dry. It has interesting autolytic, bready notes. TWS notes suggesting to drink young but I felt this needed much more bottle age to mellow and fill out somewhat. At £52 it isn’t cheap, and I felt Wine 5 (a 2008 Boizel Grand Vintage Brut) was much better at £49 and still had a decent life ahead of it.

Wine 7…


This was lovely and one of my highlights of the day. Favorita is the piemontese name for Vermentino. A beautiful, sweet floral scented white wine with hints of honeysuckle. On the palate it has a distinct salinity and restrained fruit which would make it a great food wine.

Wine 10…


This was the first in a series of 4 Macon chardonnays and for me was perhaps the lesser of the 4. It was on the brighter, crisp apple end of the Macon spectrum – with a fine intensity driven by the fruity acidity. Would be interested to hear Bob and Sheila’s views on wines 11 and 12 to compare.

Wine 13….


Of the 4 Macon wines that I mentioned previously, this for me was the clear standout amongst them. A beautiful nose of sharp apple and crisp pear that evolved to more buttery and nutty notes and finished with hints of smoke. I stood enjoying this wine for several minutes before a drop passed my lips! The palate reflected the aromas very well and delivered a nice lengthy finish. More expensive than wines 10, 11 and 12 but I would suggest better value for money overall.

Wine 15….


Technically one for @BargainBob but this was one of my standout wines of the day and very much a new discovery for me – so I’m going to add a note.
An unusual blend of vermentino and semillon from Provence (who knew? Well, Marcel as it turns out!). This has a nose of stone fruit and floral notes; with a palate of nectarine and pear that evolves to candied lemon peel finish – the complexity to integrate sweetness, sharpness and then sweetness again and deliver good length is very accomplished, and all for £11.50 is outstanding value for money. This one is going in my basket!

Wine 16….


This wine was a favourite of mine before this tasting and I was pleased and disappointed to see it here. Pleased because it is fabulous. Disappointed because I want to buy every bottle before anyone finds out! Southern Rhone whites dominated by Clairette are a personal favourite and this doesn’t disappoint. Lemon coloured, medium bodied this is poached pear, creamy nuttiness with sweet, waxy and smoky notes and a length that goes on and on. Quite exceptional – buy a bottle for your Christmas turkey lunch and toast Marcel generously for securing such loveliness. Just don’t tell your friends… please!

Wine 19….


Crisp English blend of equal parts Chardonnay and Ortega that has been barrel fermented. There is crisp apple and subtle pear notes that blend to give a nice palate but with sufficient acidity in the backbone to hold it’s own with food.

Wines 21 thru 25 were a run of Rieslings from around the world – Italy, Australia, Alsace, Pfalz and the Saar. A very clear demonstration of the regional differences that can be achieved with this versatile and remarkable grape – I feel an expensive hobby coming on….

Wine 22….


The first thing that strikes you when you pop your nose into a glass of this is a pronounced kerosene aroma – other Rieslings here had distinct petrol notes but this was quite different. However, lemon and lime emerge and everything balances out nicely. The palate is classic with a brightness of lemon and lime, and hints of honey and petrol. Could be a bit of a “marmite” wine but I enjoyed it. Worth noting that the 2017 vintage is already for sale on the website at £10.95.

Wine 24….


Again technically a @BargainBob note (why did he get all the good ones?!), but the aroma of this wine literally stopped me in my tracks. Palate is bright, sharp citrus with good acidity that will allow this to age into honeyed thing of beauty. Delightful.
Buy some to drink now and some to hide away as a treat for your future self.

Wine 25….
Niedermenniger Riesling Kabinett, von Kesselstatt, 2016 - £10.50. Available 19th Nov.
Subtle petrol notes from this Saar riesling with lime in support. The palate has limey acidity with just a touch of off-dry sweetness to perfectly counter balance it all out. Of all the Rieslings this was my favourite – it is light, refreshing and perfectly quaffable with only 9.5% alcohol. Total bargain at £10.50.

That was it for my sparklers and whites – I’ll add my thoughts to Bob and Sheila’s wines in due course but will end with my overall top 3 whites based on quality and value for money….


2.

3.
Niedermenniger Riesling Kabinett, von Kesselstatt, 2016

Back with the reds soon!


#48

Thank you to @Ewan and all the other WS staff for inviting us, and talking to us about some of these, and to @Bargainbob and @alchemist for discussions and (mostly ) agreements.
We decided roughly to count off in 3s, so I am supposed to be talking about the 2nd, 5th, to 71st, but we all tasted most of them and I passed on the sparkling and rosé which fell in my third. So apologies for overlaps and omissions, but I have tried to say more about ‘mine’ and left out a few of ‘theirs’ which fell in my ‘good enough’ category. There were none in my planned category of ‘think twice before you buy’.

I’m not sure how well accents will go from my Word draft through all the stages to what you receive, so I have tried to put acutes in but not graves, circumflexes or tildes.

Absolutely stand out:
My list:


Made by Chave, and what is there to say which doesn’t sound obvious?: Good colour, incredibly rich nose, palette fruit, nuts, maybe not as smooth and rounded as it will be, but has all the substance now. Very long, but of course.


For me, the best of the PN type Pinots Noirs from outside France (see under ‘interesting’ for a good non PN type PN). Old German spatburgunder style, a little oak, but only noticeable as smoothing. Plums, probably very ripe or other dark fruit. Very, very long. Put as stand out because you usually have to go to Germany for this good a Spatburgunder, and even there too many are either light or overoaked.


I know what I meant when I wrote down ‘penetrating nose’, but I am not sure this communicates well: botrytis, fruit, mineral, but essence of all these. I just noticed that the tasting note says ‘lanolin’, so someone else was stumbling as much as I am. Don’t read us: try it. Palette: orange, lemon, but sharper and more intense than this implies. I had to look back twice at the year, because I don’t really believe it is 20 years old (although the colour is consistent with this). Yes, long, etc., but that goes without saying.

Other tasters’ lists:


Really strong Riesling nose; lots of fruit and petrol, long, absolutely ready for drinking now. (Not ‘stand out’ in same class as Hermitage blanc, of course, but ‘stand out’ as a surprise to us all.)


Unbelievably spicy, on nose, palette, cinnamon, pepper, nose coming out across the room and very long. We agreed that the technical word to use in our tasting note was ‘wow’.


Botrytis very evident, old fashioned vintage marmalade, sweet, yes, but that was not the overwhelming characteristic. It was the fruit, the muscovado sugar. A pity that they are wasting time on organic and vegan, but fortunately these aren’t interfering with the quality.

Good wines: look for them if this is what you like.

My list:

Lots of good fruit, but slightly earthy sensation in the middle, good to have Roero Arneis back on the list


very lemony to me (tasting note was pear: verdict: wine to drink for its fruit). Much more on palette than on nose, unusual and good to try.


Good Riesling nose, but slightly restrained on palette, and not ready yet. It probably will be in the ‘stand outs’ when it grows up.


Very good nose, good fruit, lots of different fruits coming out as it opened up. Tasting note says long, but I found it slightly short, but would still be very happy to see it again, and this is one for now.


Very light colour, showing its age, still fruit, but not a traditional forest floor type PN. It is slightly sacrilegious to demote it to just ‘good’, but given its name, reputation, and price, that’s the best I can give it.


Looks very young, and tastes young as well. Lots of fruit still, and some St Em can be drunk at this age, but I would prefer to consider this one in a few years.


Faint nose, slightly tannic, but probably much too young to be judging.


Smooth, not as interesting as some of the other riojas, slightly bitter after taste. But this is younger than I have tried Muga reservas before, so…


Lots of fruit, cherries, even candied cherries, on nose and palette. I tasted it after the string of good, heavy riojas, and expected it to vanish, but it stood up to them, and was excellent for its price level (or for twice that level).


Very bright colour, and that carried over into the fruit on the palette. Tasted young.

Sánchez Romate Oloroso Encontrado 1/5 NV half bottle £17. Excellent complex oloroso. Very nutty. (Brazil nut? Walnut? Something with more flavour than almond or hazelnut, the usual comparators.)

Other tasters’ lists:


Good fruit, fresh


pleasant light, good lemon fruit


Very floral style of viognier, fruit gives it a slightly sweet after taste.
Joseph Burrier, Macon-Vergisson,2016,£12.50: very well integrated, excellent Burgundy for price


Another excellent and reasonable Burgundy, good nose and good colour; medium length. I think the Macon-Vergisson is slightly better at the moment.


Slightly more concentrated, excellent balance of fruit and maturity. These were all an excellent start to the tasting.


Vermentino, Semillon blend, with the vermentino very prominent on the nose; lots of fruit, but surprisingly full, with a good after taste.


This would probably be on my ‘stand out’ list in a couple of years, but is still a little uncoordinated at the moment. Lots of body, fruit, long, but the oak is still coming out as well.


See comment above on Trimbach Riesling: will be good, but not yet. Good fruit, lots of Riesling sharpness and juice, but slightly earthier nose. Try it in a few years.

Niedermenniger Riesling Kabinett, von Kesselstatt 2016 £10.50, same year, but completely different style: delicate Saar, off dry, lots of fruit, really good now.


Austrian PN, good floral nose and palette, lots of fruit.

Patrimonio Rouge, Clos Alivu 2017 £14.95. Corsica, beautiful ruby red (as is obvious by this time, I don’t usually comment on appearance unless it is something unexpected). Apparently sangiovese, and while Tuscany does this better, there is nothing wrong with this.


(That’s really what the price says.). For that price, don’t hesitate. Good nose, very much Cab., and this carries through on palette. Fresh, in spite of 2 years age.


Mild; not the intense style of Coonawarra Cab Sauv that introduced me to Australians. Nothing wrong with it.

Ch Malescasse, Haut Médoc 2002 £16, see below for a vertical from a different Haut Médoc, ending in 2001. This is lighter style; like the others, still drinking well, but probably not for much longer


Good colour, good, fairly deep flavour, slightly short


Lots of character, good nose, still tannic, but this is not as pronounced as it is for the cheaper 2014 Barolo on ‘my’ list above.


Very good perfumed nose, good fruit, but also some rioja leather characteristics. Good now.

Rioja Alta 904 Gran Reserva Rioja 2004 £32. Showing more age, brick colour, much more weighty than the Muga or Lan; fruit and oak coming together well.


Again, good fruit and wearing its age well.


Almost stand out, with a very good nose, but not quite as unctuous as I expect of a Tokay (and not as much fruit as the C du Layon to make up for it). I can’t call it ‘thin’, but it certainly wasn’t as full and rich as I would expect. It may be a question of age, and I did get the promised rose blossom.

Unusual or had something that struck me
My list


(I hope, see also Jancis Robinson’s tweet, this isn’t a misprint). Brick red colour, very dry, but with fruit and lots of interesting almost spicy flavours coming out. For me, completely different from what I expected in a Pinot Noir, and certainly not a heavy Hungarian red, but these are not problems: what is there is definitely worth looking for. (But see above for the Austrian and German PNs if you want good PN-type PNs.)


So we all forced ourselves to try all of them (not very much forcing required). And although some of the years were less good than the best, it was great to see the same style across different vintages. It was also interesting that a cru bourgeois was so good after around 20 years.

An argument for the view that you should taste from young to old instead of old to young (as set up and as I did). Still young, in colour, nose, and palette; fruit, meat, long. Drink, but you don’t need to hurry. For me, the best of the six.

Looks and tastes older; little fruit left.


Younger seeming than 97, but not as good as 96; still some fruit, and the ‘meatiness’ came through more on this one. But probably not lasting much longer.


This one had both the maturity (meat) and fruit, and still some colour, ready, but with some time.


This is going to be very good; still slightly subdued, so the fruit is there, but not the maturity of the 96 and 98. Tasting note says decant; probably better to wait.


Looks older than the 2000, and tastes ready

Good enough, but not to rush out for
My list:


Very good nose, but less on palette. I could not get as much fruit and Chardonnay character as on other Macon at same price.


this suffered by being followed by the outstanding Rhone whites and preceded by the excellent Burgundies. Nothing wrong with it, but this is a blend that can seem bland, especially on its own. The tasting note recognises this: ‘great with chicken’. Yes


Not as full and fruity as I expected, but I still had some of the Rhones above in my mind and palette, so I think I was expecting too much of this. Nothing wrong with it, but I could hardly remember it after walking across the room.


With this and the Saint Chinian I worried that I was fading, not the wines, but the ones that followed showed that it wasn’t me. Maybe I expected too much from the tasting note about spice, etc., but this was just a nice smooth, not particularly Australian, wine.


Now that’s better. Good apparently mainly syrah, fruit, lots of spice on nose and palate. Slightly harsh, but definitely an interesting wine that I can remember. Not one I will rush to get, but I was happy to try it.


Pleasant Manzanilla, but I would prefer one with more bite, more salt to it. The tasting note says ‘balance’, but a good Manzanilla should probably be almost off balance, to keep you alert.

Other tasters’ lists.


Typical English blend (chardonnay,Ortega). Good nose, high acid.


#49

Wow!!! Thank you for the excellent notes, @Alchemist and @SPmember!! :clap::clap: Reading them made me feel giddy (though it might be the stinking cold I’m struggling with for a few days now!)… What a selection! My Christmas list is changing shape by the minute… :heart_eyes:


#50

WOW!! This is excellent @SPmember and @Alchemist. Great notes and write ups. Looking forward to more .


#51

Top notes! I’ve taken the liberty of editing the posts to reflect the wines that are now online (new List is being mailed out from today).


#52

Fantastic work from @alchemist and @spmember on your notes. Not sure I’ll be able to measure up to that but here goes!

Sparklers:
Wine 3


80% Pinot Noir and you can absolutely tell. There’s a richness here coming from the PN and hints of dark fruits on the palate. I preferred the Exhibition English Sparkling from Ridgeview for £21, but that’s just more the style of fizz I like. My favourite overall was 2014 Ridgeview Blanc de Blancs at £52. It felt like I could still taste that after about 5 minutes. Cracking

Whites:
Wine 6


A wine that made me wonder why there isn’t more Aligote planted (or, more to the point, imported). Although of course the prices for Burgundian Chardonnay pretty much answer that. Very fresh and bright, with some citrus notes but the big flavour I got was apples. Reminded me quite a lot of Normandy cider, and not in a bad way.

Wine 9


There was a stunning run of whites from 6 to 9 ending with this. This is a cracker at £9.95. Very creamy and rich with a hint of honey. Slightly short finish, but still a very good wine.

Wine 12


It looks like we all came away with different favourites from the white Burgundies - this was absolutely mine. The Burrier Macon-Vergisson was perhaps a little too subtle, the Macon-Bussieres richer but still retaining some freshness (and really good value at £12.50). This felt much rounder and altogether more elegant. The Pouilly-Fuisse was classy but more delicate and I quite liked the fuller style of the Saint-Veran.

Wine 15


Much like @Alchemist, I’ve got this one in my basket immediately. I can’t imagine stocks will last very long. Crazy value. There was a lot going on here - some peach, melon. Very long. A beautiful wine. The tasting note suggests pairing with fish soup and I can absolutely see that. My tasting note included the word ‘remarkable’.

Wine 18


The white Rioja I’m most familiar with is the Navajaz Crianza from the list. From time to time, I’ve lamented that it seems a touch over-oaked. That wasn’t a problem here. There was clearly a slightly nutty note from the oak but I thought this was actually quite zingy - maybe a touch of petillance even. Worth a try for those interested in Spanish whites, but I can’t say this one moved me very much.

Wine 21


This was the first of a run of Rieslings that took in Australila, Alsace, Pfalz and Saar, but started in Piedmont. I’ll definitely be getting this one. The merest whiff of petrol on the nose accompanied by nutty notes. Very fresh. Classically Italian while also unmistakeably Rieslingy, if that makes sense.

Wine 24


The pick of the Rieslings for me. The Australian was a stark contrast to the Piedmontese - paraffin, kerosene dominated the nose but was then fresh and zesty on the palate. The Trimbach was good but slightly subdued and I agree with Matt and Sheila that this might need a little longer to open up. The Burklin-Wolf was quite something. Much rounder and richer, verdant, full but still fresh. Zesty lime on the palate. A beauty.

Outside of my allotted wines, these also stood out. Apologies if I’m repeating what the others have said!


Fresh and grassy on the nose, very dry and fairly short but refreshing salinity. A glass of this on a summer evening with gazpacho would be heavenly.


Aromatic and light but very smooth and silky. Slightly herbaceous with a hint of green applies. Very long. A treat.

The bad news for my wallet is that these two were my clear favourites:


So good I’m finding it hard not to swear for emphasis in my tasting note. @alchemist did a great job with his tasting note. I’ll just say that it was beautiful on the nose, so pretty and aromatic, and then fresh and light on the palate. But then looooong and complex. Really, really good.


My first taste of Hermitage. Won’t be my last. I actually wrote ‘Goodness Gracious’ on my tasting note. The citrus flavours mingled with nuts and some sweetness and just kept going and going. I didn’t spit this one.

Right, time to do some work - reds and stickies to follow!


#53

Great notes thanks all - wouldn’t it be nice if some kind soul in TWS sifted through and actually put them up on the site itself for the bottles when they go on sale.

The notes would live forever then attached to their respective wine. Just a thought. Although may be a lot of work.


#54

Totally agree with you! I tasted it a few months back in the winery and it was outstanding. A great example of how good an English sparkling wine can be! :ok_hand::ok_hand:


#55

Gollox !!! That’s another event I’ll miss !!:roll_eyes::rage:


#56

I tasted this too at Ridgeview. Their range is great.

Last week we had the estate white fizz and the Rose. I must say they were excellent and the pink simply blow me away. I don’t even like fizz or pink that much usually. I stand by my on site assessment that the standard range is so good that the extra for the top isn’t worthwhile, but maybe in a few years.


#57

Do you mean the Fitzrovia Rosé? If so, I completely with you - it’s one of my favourite sparkling Rosés, English or otherwise!


#58

Not abrogating responsibility (yeah right! :wink: ) , but in order to get the ‘review’ attributed to the taster, and for administrative ease, it would be preferable for the taster to put the notes up against the wine. @Leah did that after the maiden tasting.


#59

Reds

27


Confession: although this was the first of the red according to the list, I thought ‘you can’t possibly taste a zinfandel and follow it with Beaujolais?!’ so I left this until last. How wrong was I? Very. Very well balanced, the sweetness were countered by gentle acidity. Sat very comfortably with the Beaujolais in the end.


As @JulianFox mentioned, JR thinks @Freddy got his pricing wrong on this one. It is an absolute snip for under £7. Light and pale, easy drinking, crunchy red fruit. I thought it tasted more like a gamay than a Pinot. This would make for a very decent house red.

33


My second favourite of the Pinots (which I preferred to the Domaine Burguet Gevrey-Chambertin at nearly twice the price - Sheila said, ‘with a Gevrey-Chambertin, at this price, I want mud. Where’s the mud?’ Couldn’t agree more! It’ll no doubt turn up in a few years time, of course…). This is very classy, with flavours of cherry, strawberry and plum. Quite a bit of spice on the long finish. Velvety smooth and delicious.

36 2017 Patrimonio Rouge, Clos Alivu CN 13% £ 14.95
100% Nielluccio, and about as different from a Tuscan Sangiovese as you could get. Full and richly coloured, and tasted like spiced cherries. Quite tannic and crunchy. I’ll stick with Tuscany - this wasn’t really my thing.

39


I can’t claim to be a big Cab Franc fan, but I thought this was really good. Really smooth and silky texture, and such clean, fresh, fruity flavours on the palate. I needed a reminder of how much enjoyment you can get from a Chinon, and this delivered it.


Really interesting to get such a powerful demonstration of a house style with vintage variation. Each wine was clearly of a type with its siblings but all showing subtle differences. The 96 and 2001 stood out for me. The 96 retained its fruit but with the added complexities of meaty and tobacco aromas. The 2001 had the fruit to the fore, with raspberries and warming spice most apparent. In between, the 97 seemed like it was fading a touch, the 98 had a surprising but not unpleasant, and very subtle sweet and sour thing going on. I made no note on the 99, and the 2000 was fruitier and probably has the most improvement ahead of it.

48


For me this was absolutely definitive Dolcetto. Rich and full and, as the name suggests, sweet. Very sweet. A bit too sweet for me. Requires food, without a doubt.

51


Oh hello, prime vineyard Barolo! Lucky me. Noticeable alcohol on the nose, but all the beautiful perfume that you’d expect from a maturing, classy Barolo. So long, so elegant, and surprisingly juicy in spite of the still very present and slightly dominant tannins. There’s enjoyment to be had here now, but it might be 10 years before this is truly at its peak.

54
2004 La Rioja Alta 904 Gran Reserva, Rioja CN 13% £ 32.00
This followed two younger (2012 Muga Reserva and 2015 Lan D-12) examples, and its class and age were very apparent. Still some fruit present but spice had really come forward. Very very long. Delicious.
But I preferred the 2001 Exhibition Gran Riserva. Which I can still taste now. Yum.

57


This was the second of 3 Riberas, and it was interesting to me that there was a very distinct mellowing from the cheapest to the priciest. The Avaniel was first, and reminded me a bit of a sweeter version of the Chinon - very fresh and fruit forward. The Momo was much smoother and softer, but still with a distinct sweetness. You know those chewy strawberry sweets that look like strawberries? More than a hint of that!

60


Somewhat unsurprisingly, the 2017 vintage is again reliable and enjoyable. I’ll still be going for the Grignan-les-Adhemar and Les Traverses instead, but it’s easy to see why this has proved popular. Loads of fruit, gentle sweetness - it’s really good value.

63


If you enjoyed the Blind Spot Gundogai Shiraz that was in the list over the last few years then this is a good replacement. From the cooler climate of Central Victoria this is quite a light and pretty shiraz. I enjoyed it, but thought it was maybe a touch too delicate and a little short in the finish.

66


Now we’re talking! Full and generously spiced with a subtle sweetness on the finish. This is a bit of a belter. It would be great with chunks of peppery beef. No messing about here, big full-flavoured and rich. Loved it.

Sweet wines - I am an absolute novice here so bear that in mind. I don’t buy or drink sweet wines generally. Well, I didn’t…

69


This was absolutely beautiful. Sweet, mellow apple flavours. A bit like soft, sweet stewed apple. With crumble on top. And custard.
Like apple crumble and custard.
Absolutely fabulous.

72


This reminded me a bit of a really good rum truffle, with a hint of toffee and cinammon. The tasting notes say it would be good with chocolate at Chrismtas. It absolutely would, but this is more delicious than any chocolate I’ve ever had, and I used to work for Godiva.

Others worthy of mention:


Easily my favourite of the Pinots. Beautiful bright flavours of plum and cherry, maybe redcurrant, with savoury notes underneath. Still refreshing. A joy.


Unmistakeably South African with hints of liquorice that always seems to be there to some degree in SA wines. The cabernet was dominant, but the blend is bang on. Whenever I’ve had cinsaut in blends recently it’s taken over, but here it was just enough to add some brightness. This is really good, and goes right up there with the best sub-£7 wines in the list.


Very nicely balanced. Tiny hint of leather and still slightly tannic, but above all this is very pretty. Bright, floral and fresh. Good now, but a year or two in the cellar certainly wouldn’t hurt.


Still a long way to go with this one, but the potential is obvious. A little too tannic at the moment but beautifully aromatic. A little fruitier and definitely spicier than the Barbaresco. I’d probably park it 5 years +.


This is the real deal. Softer and much more polite than the two less expensive Riberas. Really refined, elegant, fresh and so very long. There are strawberry notes here, but they’re real strawberries and they’re wild and pretty. My favourite of the Spanish reds on the table, and it wasn’t very close.


Bargain alert. Excellent grenache/syrah blend. A beautiful balance to this, as it was full flavoured but by no means overpowering. A little black pepper in the mix but still retaining freshness alongside the layers of dark fruit.


New world - Shiraz
#60

Good shout - will do!