(2017) Cune is a brand of a large and high quality Rioja house called CVNE ('Compañía Vinícola del Norte del España'). Made from Tempranillo and aged for a year in French and American oak casks, this Reserva nicely straddles modern and traditional Rioja styles. Cherry and plum are there in abundance, but also tobacco and clove in a nicely wrought fruit and spice combination. In the mouth it is juicy, the concentration is good, and this has a full, sweet fruit ripeness nudged into savouriness by taut tannins, subtle barrel smokiness and its good acidity. Should cellar for a few years too. It's around £12.99 full price in Waitrose, Wholefoods and few other places, also in Majestic, but they have it at £9.99 as part of a mixed six purchase and note: that drops to £8.99 from 28th March 2017 - 11th April 2017. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2017) From a vineyard within the city of Colmar, a fine, salt and lemon-scented wine, a tiny suggestion - but no more than that - of waxiness, but pretty and pristine stuff. In the mouth it is dry and taut, an unflashy style, all cool apple cores and lemon, with a refined, quite long finish.
(2017) Winemaker Jonathon Mattick explains that the Wallis vineyard was planted in 1992 on volcanic soils, the breeze from the Bass Strait only 4km away being a big influence. This sees 20% new oak with batonnage. Hints of green fig and a bit of slaty/flinty character and a fair bit of oak showing. The palate has a pithy, limey citrus character, with a deal of juiciness that is deliciously mouth-watering.
(2017) The Roussillon is a wonderfully dramatic vineyard landscape, with rugged hillsides planted with vines right up to the edge of cliffs over the pounding Atlantic. This comes from such a vineyard, planted on slate soils, and is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. It has a deliciously expressive spice and red fruit nose, full of life and energy. Is there a hint of iodine from that sea spray? In the mouth it is both sweetly ripe and mouth-wateringly savoury, the medium bodied finesse and subtle yet precise axis of tannin and acidity balancing perfectly. Watch the video for food matching suggestions and more information. Please note: this is a special parcel in Majestic so limited supply, and it's £10.99 as part of a mixed six.
(2017) The white wines of the Rhône Valley in France tend to be big and powerful, full and expressive grapes like Roussanne and Viognier delivering quite heady wines. Here in the Languedoc Paul Mas has blended those with the local Vermentino and Grenache Blanc, part barrel-fermented, to produce a similarly generous style. Aromas of vanilla, honeysuckle and peach lead on to a full, broad palate that is all about super-sweet and plush, fleshy fruit married to a rounded, background acidity that makes this quite fat and feel quite low in acid, but there is a core of steel in there, the sweet hint of the barrel also adding a layer of complexity. The price is £12.99 as part of a mixed six from Majestic.
(2017) 'Boya' is the Spanish of buoy, reflecting the vineyards proximity to the ocean in the Leyda Valley. It's a Pinot with a distinctly meaty and stemmy character, lots of chestnut and highly aromatic, almost liniment characters, before a palate with good fruit and a certain earthiness and smokiness, a fresh raspberry brightness to the acidity and infill of creamy oak adding height and depth to the profile. The lovely sweetness at the core of this asserts in the finish. £9.99 when you buy a mixed six from Majestic. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2016) A top-end Chardonnay from the Uco Valley, aged eight months in French oak, this is elegant, restrained and rather European in style, with a soft vanillin sheen of almond and oatmeal, then lots of creamy apple fruit. The extra slippery texture and touch of sweetness sets it more as Southern hemisphere in terms of luscious ripeness, but the acidity stays firm and tempered in a very nice wine. £17.99 as part of a mixed six.
(2016) A different wine from Royal Tokaji's 'Dry Furmint' or Vineyard Selection it appears, this blending Furmint with another Tokaji main grape, Hárslevelű. It is very dry, pithy, apple core and herby on the nose, the merest hint of something more peachy. On the palate the story is the same: crunchy apple and citrus just reveals an underlying layer of more unctuous stone fruits, but then the searing core of acidity pushes on. Sippable, fresh and seafood-friendly in a bone-dry style.
(2016) Whilst enjoying nowhere near the same fame as Red Rioja, Rioja Blanco is a very traditional style and this is a fine example at a very good price - £6.99 as part of a mixed six from Majestic until the 24th of October. Aged three months in barrel has given a definite buttery vanilla cream character to the Viura fruit which is otherwise lemony and bright. In the mouth it has some real acid grip, though medium-bodied with 12.5% alcohol, but there's that supporting creaminess again to the apple and citrus fruit. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2016) From Alicante on the southeast Spanish coast, this is made from Monastrell, aka Mourvèdre, and is a glorious big mouthful of sunny 14.5% alcohol red. It's a special parcel in Majestic in Autumn 2016, so there is limited stock, and its price falls to £7.99 if you are buying a mixed six. It's loaded with kirsch-like, cherry lift and red plum juiciness, a twist of smokiness and liquorice too. On the palate it is full and silky textured, a chocolaty density and the plush fruit supple across the mid-palate. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.