Jean Gardiés is one of the leading names in the Roussillon, making balanced, herbal reds that have a true sense of place. Violets, thyme and rosemary combine appealingly here on the nose, backed up by flavours of raspberry and mulberry, medium weights tannins and a long finish.
The sort of wine that has made Gascony one of the best value-for-money white wine regions in France, this is a comparativley unusual blend of Sauvignon and Gros Manseng, a grape more often found in Jurançon. It’s tangy, refreshing and crisp, with peach, apricot and grapefruit flavours and a zesty finish.
Essence of Primitivo (aka Zinfandel) from the Salento Peninsula, this is rich, ripe and textured, but carries its 14.5% alcohol with ease. The focus here is on fruit rather than oak: plummy, spicy and sweet, with tobacco and Asian spices and enough acidity for balance. Needs robust food to show at its best.
if you’re flirting with Greek wines but haven’t consumated the relationship yet, this is the place to start. Sourced from the volcanic island of Santorini, it’s rich, spicy, yet unoaked, with plenty of weight, notes of pear and fresh hay and a thrilling backbone of stony acidity. Like a cross between a Chablis and a Rhône blend, but with a herbal, Mediterranean twist that is all its own.
It’s a pleasure to be recommending a bottle from Oddbins as my wine of the week once more! And what better way to start than something from Greece, long an Oddbins speciality? This is a musky, perfumed, dry white with hints of pear and rosepetal, crunchy acidity and a tangy, seafoood-friendly finish. A great introdcution to an indigenous grape variety.
Comparatively developed for a 2010, but this still has attractive aromas of white flowers and acacia honey, with fresh acidity and good concentration. I’d just like to see a little more zip in its step.
A really innovative blend (12% of it Sangiovese) from a comparatively new Adelaide Hills winery, this is a very smart, textured red with cherrystone and plumskin aromas, supple, yet savoury tannins, bramble and mint flavours and an Italianate dry flourish. One of the best Italian-influenced reds I’ve had from Down Under.
Attractive Margaux made in a very approachable style, even for a 2009, with sweet cassis fruit and stylish oak integration. The wine has good acidity for the vintage, with elegant, fine-grained tannins and good palate length. Not a keeper, but attractive now.
The tamptation with Fiano is to pick it too ripe and flacid, so it’s a joy to taste this subtle Ausse expression of one of southern Italy’s most promising varieties. This is minerally and fresh, flecked with pearskin and a hint of apple and a long, spicy finish. A winery to watch.
If you’ve always struggled with the idea that Pinotage is the Cape’s USP, try a glass of this amazing example from Pinot Noir specialist Cape Chamonix in Franschhoek. It’s made in a ripasso style (like some Valpolicellas) to give it a little more alcohol and weight. It’s supple, smooth and sensitively oaked with black plum and blackberry fruit, sweet oak and a harmonious finish. Best of all, perhaps, it doesn’t taste like most Pinotage.