If you’re a fan of light, charming, grassy Cabernet Franc from the Loire, look no further than this unoaked stunner from Frédéric Mabileau. It’s appealingly scented, with aromas of cut grass, dill and pencil shavings, a supple, charming palate and bright, crunchy acidity. It tastes even better chilled.
A Rhône meets Bordeaux blend, via Emporda of course, this is a four-way cuvée of Garnatxa, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Floral and nuanced, with subtle red fruits that nod towards Pinot Noir, despite the alcohol, backed up by minerality and balance. Drink it chilled.
Using organic and biodynamic methods, Marta Arenas makes appealingly refreshing, understated wines. This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and other local varieties is grassy and cassis-like with firmish tannins.
Aromatic, grassy Bordeaux style blend with some Grenache and Syrah for added complexity. The tannins are a little firm here, but the fruit is still fresh and sweet, with cassis and blueberry to the fore.
A blend of Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Samsó, this has a strange, pine resin-like nose reminiscent of Retsina. The palate is a little earthy, with some baked, drying tannins and fading fruit.
If you’re looking for a tasty claret to enjoy now, but that will keep for another six or seven years, this is the perfect candidate. Made by the team at Fifth Growth Pauillac estate, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, it’s a light, perfumed, refined, Merlot-based blend with notes of graphite and blackcurrant leaf and impressive balance and poise.
So-called Cape red blends are controversial, largely because of the inclusion of Pinotage, which can dominate other varieties to a remarkable degree. But that’s not the case here, despite the presence of 57% Pinotage, offset by Merlot and Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc. This is a classy, nauanced red, with well judged oak, fine tannins and leafy, grassy Cabernet combined with sweeter, raspberry notes from the Pinotage.
A lipsmacking blend of five red grapes from one of the cooler, more Atlantic influenced sub-regions of the Languedoc, this is light and refreshing in a Bordeaux meets the Midi sort of way, with some pepper spice, a bit of mint and oak and bags of aroma. Great value, too.
There are some surprisingly good wines at this increasingly popular discount chain, particularly at Christmas. This Bordeaux cru bourgeois from a celebrated recent vintage is a case in point. It’s a light, elegant, easy-drinking claret with fine tannins, good freshness and plenty of juicy cassis and green pepper notes. A red that really delivers at the price.
A ripe, expressive , full-bodied Tuscan blend of no fewer than seven Bordeaux, Rhône and Tuscan vareities. The wine is is ripe and textured, with sweet oak, ripe fig and plum flavours and attrctive clove spice. The oak os a little drying on the finish perhaps.