(2018) This wine is not currently retailed in the UK, but its price appears to be very similar to the straight Albariño. It is a blend of 68% Albariño with Treixadura, Caiño and Loureiro. Hinting at tropical fruit and honeysuckle on the nose, there are floral notes too, it seems ripe and sweetly vibrant. A passion fruit note continues onto the palate, before being tensioned by its lemon and lime juice acid backbone.
(2018) Much more mealy and salty, immediately seems a little more serious with those leesy notes, more green to both colour and aroma too, giving a touch of figgy richness. So fresh on the palate, beautiful firm white fruit, more structured, more dense, but that saline tang and fresh, firm lemon acidity are delightful on the finish.
(2018) When David Hohnen contacted me to say this wine he'd made had just gone into Aldi stores at £5.99 I just had to try a bottle. David's track record is formidable: the first winemaker for Cloudy Bay, on to Cape Mentelle, and now producing some fabulous wines under his own McHenry Hohnen label. To put a wine from premium Western Australia on the shelves for £5.99 is a coup, David explaining that the "South West Australia" designation allowed him to source fruit from an expansive area encompassing Margarent River, Mount Barker, Frankland River and many other appellations. It's a beautifully pitched wine, with a touch of pea-pod and nettle characater, but much more focused on the pure lime and luscious nectarine fruitiness, exotic touches of mango and lychee too, but the creamy-textured palate finishes on whistle-clean acidity. A terrific bargain really. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2018) From hilly regions of Evia and Viotia, this is a blend of Merlot with Vradiano, an indigenous variety particularly associated with the island of Evia. Soft, not terribly aromatic, but with a plummy depth of fruit and a little herbal twang. In the mouth pleasantly sweet-fruited, though a little short, the finish just a touch abrupt as acidity and roughening edge of tannin bites.
(2018) In many ways I enjoyed this blend of Viognier and Assyrtiko (with 5% Muscat) as much as any in the Avantis range, so full of vibrant luscious fruit, but never losing that typically saline edge of acidity. From the island of Evia, the Muscat gives a charming floral nuance to the peachy-ripe, quite exotic Viognier aromas, then there is real weight and creamy texture on the palate, those tropical fruit tones squeezed into a long citrus and salts acidity in the finish. Long, tangy, aperitif wine or seafood friendly yet again.
(2018) A Rhônish blend of Grenache and Syrah, this has a really polished and appealing nose, a subtle creaminess to black fruit and a sour cherry depth suggesting it will have some edge to it too. In the mouth a little charriness, but a lovely sweet and full fruited palate, black fruit creaminess but also enough tart cherry raspberry freshness, a bittersweet touch of endive to the acidity, and a finish that's considerably longer than the 'Harmony' red. Very nice, substantial, yet refined.
(2018) A really nice, cool-character Chardonnay from Colchagua's more coastal vineyards, fermented with wild yeasts and with only a small proportion fermented and aged in French oak. Lime and peach fruit touched by creamy oak lead on to a palate that's citrussy and fresh, with a nice saline lick of salty acidity, and a long finish where the ripe fruit and creamy oak just fattens nicely.
(2018) I've recently been tasting lots of Greek wines and a full report will appear on wine-pages soon, but to kick off, a fine example of an island white, which Greece seems to do so well, capturing terrific freshness and a saline tang of mineral acidity. Based on the island of Evia, Avantis Estate has blended the local Malagousia with Italy's Trebbiano, to produce a fine, modestly priced example, only 12% alcohol ensuring plenty of zippy acidity and fruit brightness is retained. Apple, blossom and a touch of nettle moving through to fully-flavoured palate, sweet and ripe fruit notes sit against that bracing acidity to give this mouth-watering appeal. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2018) Sourced from Toledo, not far from Madrid in northern Spain, this comes from old bush vines planted at around 700-metres. There's a touch of smokiness to the deeply-scented black berries of the nose, something slightly leafy too, then a really quite firm, slightly chewy palate, the wine just a touch hollow in the centre, with a rasp of tannins and acidity, some slightly bubblegummy lifted fruit character, but it just needs a bit of somethig to fatten out the middle.
(2018) Sourced from the Limestone Coast of South Australia, the back label peels off to reveal a recipe for an Aussie beef barbecue which is a neat touch. In the bottle, a fairly deeply-coloured crimson wine with nicely buoyant aromas of white pepper and cherry, and a gamy and earthy background which is pleasing. On the palate it is a very juicy style, the 14.5% alcohol adding a touch of heat to the finish, but the peppery and spicy black fruit pushing through to the finish, which is roughened nicely by a plum-skin rasp of tannin.