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.
Taittinger is in a rich vein of form at the moment, from this its non vintage blend right up the Olympian heghts of Comtes de Champagne. This is dry, toasty and well balanced with Chardonnay providing the freshness and lift on the palate. Appealingly dry for non vintage blend, using bottle age rather than sweetness for balance.
Freixenet was opposed to “”international varieties” for many years, but I’m glad it has relented, because this is a very well made blend of Pinot and Chardonnay. Savoury and dry, with a Cava-like twist, it’s palate-tinglingly fresh and long.
A comparatively old-fashioned, worked style of Chardonnay, with lots of sweet peach and coconut flavours, but plenty of fresh acidity to keep the whole barrage ballon up in the air. Mealy and slightly sweet, with bags of fruit.
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.
Heady, aromatic, garrigue-saturated red blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah, made in a modern style with some carbonic maceration and French oak. Richly aromaitc, with lots of fresh herbs and a sweet, spicy succulence. Needs a barbecue to show at its best.
Sourced from the Pla de Bages appellation in Catalonia, this is made from the same grape as Picpoul de Pinet, but is somehow weightier and spicier than many French examples. Pear and apple with an undertone of peach, Mediterranean herbs and crunchy, zesty acidity.