(2020) The largest producer of organic wines in the Mendoza province with 305 hectares of its own vineyards certified organic, Bodegas Argento's new wine blends 70% Malbec with Cabernet Franc. 20% of the Malbec is aged in French and American oak, and 30% of the Cab Franc in French oak. The wine is also Fairtrade accredited. Saturated and dark in colour, there's a touch of coffee and gravy browning, solid and spicy black fruit, and with swirling a little hint of something floral and violet-like. In the mouth it is dense and rich, sweet curranty fruit bolstered by a roughening edge of tannin. Powerful stuff, that really has to be matched with robust foods. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2020) Yes, you read it right: Roger Daltrey, as in the lead singer of British rock institution, The Who. Released in celebration of his 50 years fronting one of the UK's most loved bands, a percentage of proceeds will be donated to Teen Cancer America, a charity founded by Daltrey and fellow band member, lead guitarist and songwriter, Pete Townshend. The bottle comes adorned with the band’s trademark bullseye symbol, as well as artist Mike McInnerny’s artwork from the album, Tommy. Roger Daltrey himself says "I am very excited to have the opportunity to express my passion for Champagne through this limited edition cuvée. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do."
Composed of 45% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier coming mostly from the Marne Valley, there's a glint of gold to the colour, fine, streaming bubbles and the nose has a biscuit and brioche richness over ripe and juicy lemon and ripe pear fruit. In the mouth it is softened by a healthy level of dosage (10g/l), but is nicely fresh and free-flowing, the fruit and the acidity staying crisp and lively, the little creaminess to the texture and softening hint of vanilla making it a very easy-drinking and approachable in style.
As well as the Champagne itself, sets of The Who Champagne glasses and a limited edition pewter ice bucket are also available from Eminent Life
(2019) From Lazio, a red wine made from the Nero Buono variety - the Nero, or 'black' giving the clue that it is a grape that gives intense colour and is often used in blends to beef up the lighter-coloured varieties of the region. Very handsomely packaged, the aromas quite subtle with a wisp of smokiness, some twig and bracken notes and dry redcurrant fruit. In the mouth there's a silky texture that is pleasing, and a good density of sweet plum and winter berry fruits, a typically Italian bitter cherry bite to the acidity and some decent, nicely ripe tannins to bolster the finish. Unusual and really rather good - and £9.90 to Daily Drinker Club members. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas. This comes from the Daily Drinker Club's most recent six-bottle case offer: read my notes on other wines in the selection.
(2019) What a fascinating wine, made from a single plot of Pinot Meunier that ripened exceptionally well in the 2018 vintage, it was harvested on 19th October and aged for a short period in a combination of French and American oak. It is pale-medium in colour and has an intriguing nose, somewhere between fresh-hung game and raspberry, gentle earthiness and tobacco spices adding to the complexity of aromas. In the mouth there is beautifull creamy sweetness, touching on summer-pudding fruitiness, but that gamy nuance persists, a touch of a darker, coffee character and a rasp of plum skin grippy tannin. The acidity is good too, in a light and yet substantial wine that's full of interest.
(2019) The name is a pun on 'sept', the French word for seven, as all seven of Champagne's permitted grape varieties are used: it's a bend of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier, Pinot Gris, Arbanne and Pinot Meunier. Made in stainless steel, but with six months batonnage, it's one of those wines which you would swear had been barrel fermented and aged: the nose is creamy with buttery and almond tones, beneath citrus and golden apple, quite firm and not too showy. In the mouth the wine immediately tightens up, a flowing citrus zest character and more of that dry crab apple bite of acidity, the finish long and full of zippy fruit and etched by acidity.
(2019) The first vintage from Adrien Surain, the latest generation of the family to take over the reins of the estate, this is boldly packaged in a Burgundy-shaped bottle, no doubt meant to disrupt the classic Bordeaux scene as much as the name 'Popcorn'. A powerful wine with 15% alcohol, it has an intensely deep and dark crimson/black colour, the nose vinous with black vine fruits and plum, a nicely spicy tobacco edge too. In the mouth it is smooth and dense, but does seem to have a little edge of tannin and acidity to give a touch more structure, a touch more energy compared to the 2015 for example, a twist of liquorice joining the plummy dark fruits.
(2019) Again, 100% Merlot for this vintage, and an appealing nose, the touch of spicy-chocolate to the ripe, dark vine fruits, is there a hint of charred toast there too? Quite plush and ripe on the palate, the tannins a tiny bit grippier than the 2015, giving a crisp edge to the finish, perhaps just a little extra length too with fresh acidity. Enjoyably honest and fruit-forward.
(2019) Even in this Bourgogne Pinot, the average vine age is 45 years. The wine had a "light barrel treatment." The colour is pale garnet, the nose offering briar and brushwood, some rose hip and delicate cherryish fruit. The pure, sweet, ripeness of the fruit as it strikes the palate is remarkable, a silky, almost confiture red berry fruit, but some more earthy and a savoury acid edge cuts through, tannin and a bit of spice too, in a very good and quite complex Bourgogne of high qualty.
(2019) Like the Bourgogne Pinot, the oak treatment here is very light, and the vines are old again, on average 40 years old. It has a creamy and lightly nutty nose, a touch of almond or oatmeal to ripe, mellow apple fruit. On the palate the acidity gives tension and freshness, the oak a little nutty underpinning, but the savoury and sweet fruit on the mid-palate is very moreish and approachable, in a lovely Chardonnay similar to good examples from the Mâconnaise perhaps.
(2019) Moving south of the Côte d'Or and into Beaujolais for this Cru Brouilly wine, 100% Gamay and from a very good year, and made in stainless steel tanks. Beautifully expressive nose, all violets and lifted rose and cherry scents, there's a sense of real ripeness here, even touching on blackcurrant, and something gently spicy or smoky. In the mouth plenty of bouyant fruit, lithe and fresh with pert acidity and a nice rasp of tannins to show its more serious side, this is lovely and savoury Beaujolais of excellent quality. It finishes with a lick of spice and good fruit concentration.