(2022) The 'nude' bit refers to the wine being stripped down in terms of packaging, bottled in 100% recycled glass, stoppered with local cork and finished with a paper collar instead of a tin capsule. It is also organic and vegan-friendly. It's a Côtes de Provence rosé made from Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Rolle. Aromatically it has a little bubblegum/cherry lips florality, and a peachy undertone. In the mouth there's a clever tension between sweet and ripe berries, pear and peach again, and a tugging mineral and citrus acid core. It has a pleasing, rounded mouthfeel and good length in a stylish package.
(2022) The giant French company behind this product (which I believe is made in Spain) failed to have 'Nosecco' accepted as a brand name, but the intention is surely obvious. It's an alcohol free fizz, or as the label so appealingly puts it, an 'aerated flavoured drink based on de-alcoholised wine'. I have no idea what grapes are used, but that really is unimportant in a product like this, a neutral base sparged with CO2 and flavoured with who knows what. It smells floral and herbal, reminding me of other alcohol free wines flavoured with elderflower and green tea for example, and the considerable sweetness - which I think might be as high as 50g/l of residual sugar - offset by decent levels of acidity to leave it refreshing enough. So why is a serious wine site recommending this? Well it's the start of 'Sober October' for some people looking to have a month without alcohol, and as long as you don't take it - or yourself - too seriously, it does its job well enough at a giveaway price - as low as £2.50 occasionally. Very widely available. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) My first tasting of the deluxe Cuvée des Hussards from Frerejean Frères, a house created by Guillaume, Richard and Rodolphe Frerejean-Taittinger in 2005. It is 85% Chardonnay from Cramant, Avize, Grauves and Chouilly, and 15% Pinot Noir from Vertus. All vineyards are rated Premier or Grand Cru, with vines more than 40 years old. It is Extra Brut that spent eight years in the cellars. Even with a very low dosage, there is obvious ripeness and a suggestion of lusciousness on the nose. There are characters of its long ageing, with maturing notes of fig and honey, truffle too, but then a cleansing note of citrus and firm pear that balances. In the mouth the fruit sweetness belies the lowly dosage, the palate is nutty and caressed by creamy sweet flavours, but the sheer acid core gives a shimmering lemon brightness, flitting touches of saline and spices adding to the complexity of the long finish. I think this certainly ready to drink now.
(2022) From Jumilla in southeast Spain, a delightfully vibrant Monastrell, or Mourvèdre, unoaked and celebrating bursting red and black berry fruitines. There's a floral aspect on the nose, very violet-tinged, as well as a slightly dusty but ripe cherry fruit. In the mouth, bags of punch and flavour, but it's a smooth devil this, creamy-textured and with very rounded tannins, a good level of acidity giving the needed freshness. A pasta and chilli-basher for sure, but watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas. Use the wine-searcher link to find other stockists.
(2022) Winemaker Nathan Kendall has returned home to establish his winery, citing the cooler climate as a main driving force on that decision. He suggests global warming has shifted the winter climate, with less consistent snowfall and more extreme weather events. His wine sees spontaneous fermentation in neutral oak, with around 11 months on the lees in barrel and partial malolactic. Lovely nose - it is Burgundian, both the gentle toast and butter of the nose, but also a touch of spice and creamy lemon fruitiness. The palate has plenty of sweetness, along with a touch of RS there is a sweet nectarine fruit juiciness. The acidity, again salts and zest, really pushes through. pH: 3.3, Acidity: 7.7g/l, RS: 4g/l.
(2022) From a biodynamic estate in Rutherford, Napa, that is dedicated to this single Bordeaux blend (91% Cabernet Sauvignon plus Cab Franc, Merlot, Carmenere and Petit Verdot). The wine spent 22 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. It has an arresting nose, where balsamic and liquorice notes play against ripe black fruits, intriguing hints of anise and flowers, graphite, but a solidity too. In the mouth the sweet fruit and thick, creamy tannin coats the tongue. There's a hint of something edgy and herbal, and the acid beautifully pitched, adding a rasp of extra grippy freshness. Subtle spicing and dark, olive-twisted savoury fruit dominate the long finish. Very impressive and surely with a 20 years of cellaring potential. The wine will be released on Bordeaux's 'La Place' in September 2022 before being distributed to retailers.
(2022) From 100-year old vines, this lees-aged Melon de Bourgogne comes from the western Loire, close to the Atlantic coast. It has a golden colour after four years in bottle, and a succulent, nicely maturing character of waxy lemon rind and juicy apple, with a hint of ocean spray. The palate has that juiciness too, a hint of nutty maturity, but lovely mouth-filling texture and balance. Long and delicious. Part of the special 10% off offer for wine-pages visitors until end September 2022.
(2022) From the IGP Pays de Cucugnan in the Corbières area, and a property run by Alexander Sichel, this is Grenache, Syrah and Carignan from vineyards at 350 metres in the Vallée de Cucugnan. It's a dark, brooding, but ultimately very plush and fruity red, creamy tannins and moderate acidity giving backbone. Peppery spice flits around aroma and flavour in a robust but very approachable red.
(2022) Yes, you can legitimately say you are serving Eyquem tonight, and just hope nobody notices it is red and dry. From some of the oldest Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the Right Bank appellation of Côtes de Bourg, there's a slightly funky, gamy character here at first, then black fruit with high-toned notes. On the palate the oak adds toastiness to the picture, with raspberry-edged dark berry fruit, firm tannins and plenty of substance with its 14% alcohol. At its best with a bit of red meat protein I think.
(2022) From Rías Baixas,the very heart of Galicia's Albariño country, and 20-year-old vines planted at altitude. The nose is reminiscent of waxy lemon rind and crunchy apple, just a little whisper of the briney, seaside character that some of these wines express. In the mouth it is quite a ripe and forward style, mouth-filling citrus and peach, with a clean finish.