(2021) The original and classic Spanish red, in production since the 1950s and still with a small plastic bull attached (though these days it's an eco-friendly plastic). It's a blend of mostly Grenache with Carignan. A little darker in colour than Running with Bulls, there's a plum jam note on the nose, perhaps also a little darker in character, a little leather baked in there too. Equally sweet fruited on the palate, the style is remarkably similar really with copious ripe fruits, creamy background tannins and soft acidity for crowd-pleasing appeal.
(2021) Barrossa-grown Tempranillo is fermented with wild yeasts and aged in oak for this red wine from the Hill-Smith family, who own Yalumba and Jansz among other brands. Though it weighs in with 14% alcohol, the colour is medium to pale, suggesting a lighter touch on the winemaking, and the nose has cherry cola aromas, a touch of wild strawberry and spice. In the mouth the fruit is super sweet, a creamy fruit coulis style, with barely perceptible tannins and ripe, generous acidity barely ruffling the flow. Easy-drinking with a captial Easy.
(2021) This West Sussex rosé is made from Pinot Noir, and is the first pink released by this family-owned single estate vineyard. Their own vineyard was planted only in 2019, so I presume this is made from purchased fruit. Pale and Provençal, it has a lovely lifted floral nose, peach down and rose-hips, a litte watermelon note too. In the mouth there appears to be a touch of sweetness, but the fruit here is summery and elegant, very much in the strawberries and cream spectrum, and crucially it has perfectly pitched balancing acidity. A really charming English rosé.
(2021) Seven Springs rosé is 100% Syrah, and opens with strawberries and cream in abundance, a light herbal note and some floral, violet nuances. In the mouth there is more cream, both flavour and texture, with a light smokiness and plenty of pulp red fruit charm. A lovely sun-kissed rosé.
(2021) Mellot suggest not chilling this too much and I can understand that: the Pinot Noir character is quite strong, and a light chill wirks well. Rose-hip and cherry aromas lead on to a certain creaminess on the palate, relatively robust red fruits and super clean freshness from the lemon-fresh acidity and the touch of saline minerality.
(2021) The Society's first Provence rosé in the Exhibition range blends Cinsault and Grenache with a a little Syra. Very pale peach pink, it is perfumed with mineral salts, fowers and rose-hips, gentle summer berry fruit.In the mouth it is dry and delicate. There's enough peachiness to the fruit, a little strawberry, to make it very easy-going but the oranges and lemons acid really is well-judged. It's workaday bottle lacks the appeal of the fancy £15 and £20 brands, but the stuff inside is really very nice.
(2021) I've tasted most vintages of this Riojan pink over the past six years or so and I'd say this is the best yet. 85% Garnacha (Grenache) and 15% Viura from higher altitude vineyards, it is a very pale pink and offers fresh floral notes, a little strawberry and feshly-sliced pear. On the palate 12.5% abv gives it a light, elegant character with very well-balanced acidity.
(2021) Porcupine Ridge is a second label of the excellent Boekenhoutskloof estate, the wines made in big volumes in conjunction with the local cooperative cellar. Note too that there is a straight Sauvignon Blanc in the range on sale in Sainsbury's at less than £7, but untasted by me. This blends some Semillon, though it is the capsicum and gooseberry-touched fruity blast of Sauvignon that comes through most strongly. In the mouth there's a flattering touch of sweetness to offset juicy lime acidity. The fresh flavours across the mid-palate show a bit of fat, lemony character which the Semillon and just a touch of oak influence will be boosting. No aggressive side to this, in an easy-drinking style. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) 2020 is shaping up to be a great vintage in the Marlborough region, especially for Sauvingon Blanc, where some winemakers I have spoken to rate it as one of the best harvests of recent times. This is also the best Sauvignon Blanc I have tasted from Allan Scott, and one of the most perfumed and aromatic too. Loads of vivid, scented talcumy tropical fruit leaps from the glass, passion fruit and mango and lychee, florals too with so much fragrance. The palate bursts with similar exotic fruit, nicely pitched acidity, juicy concentrated fruit and great balance into a long finish. £9.99 from N.D. John at time of review. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) Ten months in a combination of American and French oak for this wine, which I'd certainly describe as classic Barossa Shiraz. That's to say it is bountiful and crammed with fruit, but it absolutely does not lack in freshness or vibrant personality. There's elegant, floral lift and raspberry brightness to sit against the creamy depth of vanilla-infused berries. In the mouth it has a racy acidity, firm, slick tannins and loads of almost mindlessly pleasurable chocolate-smoothed dark berries. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.