(2017) Made from 100% Rolle, or Vermentino as it is also known, this is unoaked and has exemplary freshness, obviously picked quite early as it is both bone-dry and has only 12.5% alcohol. It's a lovely bright and summery wine, pristine aromas of firm yellow plums, orchard fruit and a touch of sweet almond as well as hints of blossom. In the mouth the clarity and texture is so reminiscent of its rosé partner in many ways, focused more on racy, dry pear and a touch of apricot, but the verve and saline tang carries through in the long finish. Poised, elegant and seafood friendly. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2017) Monterey, just south of San Francisco and on the Pacific Coast, is perhaps best known for its world famous aquarium rather than wine, but this is a terrific Pinot showing a fine understanding of the variety. Aged in French oak, only part new barrels, for around six months, it has a pale/medium cherry colour and alluring nose, crammed with cherry, vanilla and hints of Sandalwood and cocoa. In the mouth the spice and the briary character is wonderfully rich, but there's a flood of creamy fruit too. Five spice and cocoa emerge again on the finish, enlivened by a touch of ripe peach, then good acidity and fine tannins to round out a sumptuous picture. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2017) Vranec is closely related to Zinfandel apparently, and this version pours a very deep, dense colour, with a vinous nose of dark vine fruits, a little truffle and game, but all quite compact and dense aromatically. IN the mouth there's suddenly a creamy, mocha coffee-chocolate velvet texture and flavour, with lots of dark sloe and plum blue-black fruit flesh, spice cocoa on the finish. It's a big wine, and relatively 'showy', but it does deliver a massively pleasing comfort blanket of flavour and texture. £12.37 to Daily Drinker Club members.
(2017) I am familiar with (and a bit of a fan of) the Rkatsiteli grape from my years of chairing the Georgian National Wine Competition, but this version comes from Macedonia, and consultant winemaker Philippe Cambie (apparently declared 'best oenologist in the world' by Robert Parker in 2010). There's a lovely zing to the aromas, a touch of Torrontés florality, plenty of elderflower and herb punch and fruit too. In the mouth it is really quite substantial, quite full-bodied, but it is pithy, citrussy and dry, a mouth-watering quality to the acids that is very moreish. Daily Drinker Club members will buy for £12.37.
(2017) A new operation in Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast from Fuedi San Gregorio of Campania, this is a Bordeaux blend (typical of the region) with the addition of a little Syrah. It spent 10 months in a mix of new and old French oak barrels and larger vats. The nose has an inky dark hue, firm black fruit and a touch of coal dust, gently cedary in the background. The palate to is firm and quite tannic, a big drying tannin presence on the cheeks, the taut, savoury black fruit and black olive coming through. Spicy notes and a little coffee emerge, but the tight, lean black fruit and a hint of minerality drive this. It should ease over three to five years. A promising first release I must say. No UK stockists at time of review, but given Fuedi San Gregorio's presence I imagine it will become available.
(2017) A very pleasing hint of mineraly, flinty character to this, but more apple fruit really floods the nose, the lick of mineral salts a really pleasing adjunct. In the mouth good texture, the salinity definitely there and giving proper Chablis character, some nuttiness and loads of apple fruit before a long, zest citrus finish. Lovely example.
(2017) OVNI = 'Objet Viticole Non Identifié', is Mourat's playful name for wines that he labels "anti-conformist," and different from what you might expect. This Chenin Blanc from organic vineyards is vinified in concrete 'eggs' and has a beautifully precise nose, aromas of gentle flowers, crunchy green apple and a touch of straw or melon rind. In the mouth it is crystal clear too. Is there just a touch of rounding old oak? There's certainly texture and a hint of creaminess, but its the dazzling freshness of the sweet fruit and crunchy acidity that drives this terrific wine. Even better, Daily Drinker club members buy for £11.25. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2017) This organic Nero d'Avola from Sicily is immediately striking because it comes in a tall 'flute' bottle more commonly seen on aromatic white wines. It is dark and powerful stuff, almost syrupy and balsamic in its aromas, but a welter-weight of spicy berry and plum fruit too. The palate is bold and ripe, with plenty of tannin and textural fat in the mouth, a wine with a bit of real heft despite that sweet opulence of the fruit. Good value, especially for Daily Drinker members at £8.10.
(2017) Confusingly there's already a 'Pure Provence' rosé from Domaine Mirabeau on the UK market, so if this wine does appear on UK shelves I wonder how it will be labelled? The wine has just picked up 96 points and a 'Platinum' award at the Decanter World Wine Awards. The colour is typical Provence-pale, the nose has a delicate peach down and ripe melon fruitiness, but classic herbal touches. On the palate it has a bit of grip and structure, a very slightly phenolic bite, in a fairly serious style. It's good, but what it is absolutely not, for me, is a 96 point wine.
(2017) A typically steely rendition of Riesling from Hugel, and a fabulously accurate one. There is some spice, some beeswax lift, but the thrust is resolutely of precise apple fruit. It's an effortlessly concentrated wine, the dry extract is there to give it some gravitas, but it's all about those apple and tangy sherbet lemon flavours and streaking lemon and grapefruit acidity to make the mouth water. This has the concentration and balance to cellar rather well.