(2020) Cono Sur produced some of the first Chilean Pinot Noir that I ever came across, with my first tasting note from the 2000 vintage. Then the wine came from Casabanca, and was not organic certified like this 2018 vintage, so things have changed. Grapes come from San Antonio and Chimbarongo in Colchagua, home to the first Pinot Noir plantings in Chile. 70% was aged in oak barrels for eight months. It's a Pinot in the earthy, smoky and vegetal mould, aromas of beetroot to the fore, with a little rhubarb. That's a totally legitimate profile for Pinot, though a sweet cherry fruit character comes through nicely on the palate, the texture quite creamy, and the finish juicy and appetising. Note the price is down to £7.50 in Sainbury's until the start of July 2020. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2020) Always a value for money favourite, the recipe for this entry-level Viognier in the Yalumba portfolio still involves 100% wild yeast fermentation, three months of lees ageing, but not oak. Very aromatic and pure, it has a lovely soft downy peach and floral character, fresh but soft and summery. In the mouth there's just a hint of that nice phenolic grip, a tang of citrussy, orangy acidity and a fresh but easy-drinking finish. A lot of wine for the money really.
(2020) What a lovely style of Chardonnay, taking advantage of the cool conditions of high altitude vineyards at 960 metres on the Cape of Good Hope. Fermented in French oak barriques, 33% new, it spends a further six months in barrel, with lees stirring. Though that recipe gives richness with oatmeal and crushed almond on the nose and a sheen of creamy oak to the palate, there's also a definite cool climate edge to this, a hint of herbaceousness and very crisp, elegantly fresh and decisive limey acidity, the cool, lightly flinty character just showing a little peachy weight mid-palate before the racing acidity kicks in to the finish. A delightful wine. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2020) The blend is 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot. Lovely cedary and graphite character, very good black berry fruit. Tobacco and spices, cigar box. Deliciously juicy and cool fruit, very pure, a lovely finish with length and balancing acidity and tannins, mellow and resolved but will cellar. No UK retail stockist at time of review.
(2020) Cabernet Sauvignon with 12% Merlot. Huge depth of colour, bright fruit aromas - blackcurrant and cigar box. Smooth, svelte, beautifully pure and dark flavours. Tangy fruit skins, bold, blackcurrant and ripe but has structure too with creamy tannins and pure acidity. Quite classy.
(2020) An unusual blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Tempranillo, 23% Cabernet Franc. Lovely depth of colour, creamy and firm, with dry tannins and juiciness, tobacco and smokiness, with a firm tannin and acidity. Real intensity of vibrant fruit and juiciness in the finish, the Cabernet tannins firming things up. No UK stockists at time of review.
(2020) The wine with the longest name in the history of grape juice. 54% is Merlot. This has a nice floral touch, a nuttiness, a cedary style too. There’s juiciness to spare here, quite high acid adding a sour cherry bite, and firm, drying tannins.
(2020) From the Bridge Pa region, a new wine for Smith & Sheth. Beautifully fragrant, floral lift, spices, a lovely red fruit raspberry and cherry brightness. Plenty of spice and a touch of chocolate on the palate with such mouth-filling sweet fruit, beautifully smooth tannins and creamy acids to make a delicious and elegant wine. No UK retail stockists at time of review.
(2020) From Gimblett Gravels, a lovely meaty, plush wine with ripe fruit, flecked with spice, game and tobacco. Very good fruit and acid balance, a savoury, gastronomic wine, with a smooth, but grippy and serious character. No UK retail stockist at time of review.