Too many UK retailers are already on the 2009 and even 2010 vintage of CNDP, so it’s good to taste a wine that, while still young, is showing some bottle maturity. This is rich and deeply coloured with dark berry fruits, a hint of clove and a spicy, meaty finish.
Polish Hill is always the tightest and most restrained of Jeffrey Grosset’s wines and that’s the case here, but this excellent dry Riesling seems a little more open than usual. It’s floral and delicate with lovely, minerally acidiity and notes of lime and green apple. Long and complex.
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.
Just to prove that I don’t always have it in for Pinot Grigio, this one from Friuli is deliciously drinkable. It’s spicy and intense, with notes of pears and citrus fruit, with a nice undertone of fresh fennel and a zesty bite on the back palate.
Good value Italian drinking from the Wine Society, made without oak to allow the variety to express itself, this is fresh and zesty with some weight and texture, notes of aniseed and spice and a breezy, zesty finish.
If you’ve never tasted Torrontés before, this is an excellent place to start. It’s abndantly aromatic with notes of orange peel and lemon sorbet, a fresh, flavoursome palate that has more acidity than many examples and a fine finish.
Hugely quaffable white Burgundy from the southernn end of the region, made without oak but with some lees contact to fatten it out. Peach and pear flavours are underpinned by some carbon dioxide and a lift of acidity.
The palest of rosés made from the Sauvignon Gris grape in the south-west of France. The wine is delicate and fragrant, with a touch of green pepper and summer fruits and plenty of crunchy, food-friendly acidity.
An impressive Lebanese blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, which benefits from the consultancy of Bordeaux’s celebrated Stéphane Derononcourt. The high altitude of the vines (900 metres) is reflected in the freshness of the wine, which has notes of honey and cinnamon, a twist of orange peel and a long, well-balanced aftertaste.
One of the more drinkable Chinese wines to cross my tasting bench, this is a quaffable, sweetish blend with slighty angular acidity and pleasant cassis and red cherry fruit. Not masively (or even slightly) complex, but certainly drinkable.
There are no fewer than six varieties in this well-crafted red from the high flying Iona winery in Elgin. Syrah dominates to the tune of 80%, with support from Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Mourvèdre and Viognier. The wine has real density, with smoky, bramble and blackberry fruit, toasty oak and the freshness you’d expect from a cooler area. A bright debut.
If you can’t afford Comtes de Champagne (the 2000 is delicious), this is a more than acceptable substitute at under £50. It’s got lovely toasty, autolytic complexity, notes of grilled hazelnuts and citrus fruit and a very long, satifying finish. A delicious fizz.