(2017) Sicily, the Italian island in the Med just off of the 'toe' of Italy's boot, is home to some very interesting indigenous grapes, and plenty of good, affordable wines. This blends the local Grillo with Viognier to lovely effect, and it is certified organic too. There's a creaminess on the nose - lemon cream - but it's not oak, just some of the ripe fruit character. In the mouth it marries weight and texture, peach and ripe melon fruit, with tangy citrus, dry and quite bracing with a salty edge, but the fruit matches that stride for stride. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2017) The Pedro Ximénez grapes (popularly shortened to 'PX') have been partially dried in the Jerez sun, so the wine is effectively made from raisins rather than freshly picked grapes. That makes it a dark and unctuous liquid, brimming with rum-soaked raisins, chocolate and coffee and walnut aromas, a lick of salt and zest of Seville orange. Very sweet with 400g/l of residual sugar, it is mouth-coating and beautifully balanced by its acidity, making it a great partner for your bitterest dark chocolate desserts. There are more profound examples, but it's very good indeed, well priced, and widely available too.
(2016) Tank sample. From organic vineyards, this is riper and more obvious in some ways than the Vau de Vey, with plenty of fruit and a touch of orange and marmalade, a freshness and a crisply citric quality. The palate has great clarity and precision, and it is a complete and beautiful wine, though perhaps the Vau de Vey just wins on complexity.
(2015) JP Ramos of the Alentejo produce a number of brands appearing under their own name, or bottled and labelled for retailers. Red Leg is one such brand, and this blend of the native Arinto and Antão Vaz with Viognier has an appealing nose of rosy red apple and lime, with a touch of almond and a little herbal nuance too. In the mouth it is quite fresh and zesty, fairly anonymous in some ways, but balanced and highly drinkable.
(2011) 13.5%. Gorgeous nose - bright and aromatic with a lovely but discreet floral lift and fine peppery and nectarine and tropical notes. The palate has lovely focus, the fruit very pure and fresh, notes of lime and peach combine to give a lush but fresh character and the finish has great brightness and food-friendly zest and zing.