(2017) Getting a Pinot Noir on the shelves at under £6 is a rare thing these days, and Nederburg have done not a bad job with this cherry cola-like, light and easy-drinking version. Cherry pits and briar on the nose, a touch of twiggy character, then the palate of modest red fruits - raspberry edged - light earthiness and a sour lemon acidity. It's no great Pinot by world standards, and a bit abrupt, but it is quaffable.
(2017) Though classified as a Vin de France, the fruit for this wine comes from the Languedoc, a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Merlot. It is boldly cherry and raspberry scented, the palate soft in tannins, medium bodied, and very much the epitome of easy-drinking with modest but sweet fruit and a nice, fresh finish.
(2017) Plums and cherry skins on the nose, a touch of smouldering bonfire, in a nicely judged Merlot where sweet and ripe fruit has enough plushness without becoming too jammy, with easy-going tannins to give it a bit of grip.
(2017) I've reviewed several of the premium 'Ghost Corner' wines of winemaker David Nieuwoudt in the past, but fewer from his Cederberg project in a remote, high-altitude region where few others make wine. It's a fresh and vibrant style of Sauvignon, very pale in colour but with nettle and asparagus as well as peachy fruit. In the mouth it punches through in nervy, dry style, lots of mineral salts and lemon, just tempered by that hint of peachiness, but all about the steely clarity of the finish.
(2017) Sourced from Chile's Central Valleys, and bearing a lovely label depicting Georges Seurat's lovely 'Bathers at Asnières' on the label, this is a modestly-oaked Chardonnay with orange and lime through more tropical peachy aromas, and flavours that marry the same to a firm lemon and lightly salty acidity.
(2017) Maybe it's the cool of the high altitude vineyards, but there's a touch of the Sauvignon Blancs about this Chenin, certainly exotic fruit and gooseberry notes, as well as a more expected apple and light lanolin quality. A blast of tangy pink grapefruit reverberates across the palate, a great core of acidity punching through, some melon skin and lime peel bite and texture, and a long, dry finish of some style.
(2017) A lovely organic (and biodynamic) Chardonnay from film-maker Michael Seresin's Marlborough estate, the high quality French oak perhaps a trifle obvious on the nose for some, but I enjoyed its nutty, buttery sense of opulence because the tangy lime and crunchy, vivid red apple fruit more than matches on the palate, with that salty mineral edge adding another layer of complexity, the broad texture sliced through by the tensioning acidity. A long, poised Chardonnay in a classic, quite Burgundian mould.
(2017) The grape here is Bianchello (stockist The Daily Drinker never ceases to surprise me with new varieties). Though some authorities say it is a local Marche synonym for Trebbiano, others disagree confident that it is a variety all of its own. It has quite a deep greeny-gold colour, and quite a waxy, attractive nose suggesting waxy lime skins and apple peel, and a tiny floral note. On the palate it is full-textured and full flavoured, a really nice bitter almond bite to the finish, and a white wine with a bit of substance.
(2017) A blend of Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Castelâo, Syrah and Alicant Bouschet, this is dark in colour and aroma with damson plum and blueberry, a touch of chocolate, and a touch of Indian ink. In the mouth it is smooth, silky and offers a deep pool of glossy black fruit. There's a nice inky dryness from the Alicante Bouschet, and good levels of acidity and creamy tannin. It's just grippy and rustic enough in the finish to nicely offset that suave character.
(2017) This is the first still wine I have tasted from Prosecco producer Sentio, and you know it is a rather good one: it's a northern Italian Pinot Grigio with a bit of weigh and substance, the clear juicy pear aroma (not pear drops, but succulent fruit) leads on to quite a full palate, a bit of lime, and the merest hint of sweetness is from ripe fruit, not sugar, and is soon swept up in matching acidity to leave it dry, moreish and very easy to drink.