(2017) Moët et Chandon created their Argentine operation in 1959, so have a 60-year record of making sparkling wines here in Mendoza, this a traditional method blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It's a delicious and elegant wine, reminding me of some Franciacorta 'Saten' wines, dominated by creamy, fuller-bodied Chardonnay fruit and with a silkiness to the mousse and texture. Add a soft but persistent acidity and it's a classy Champagne lookalike at a very decent price on Majestic's promotional offer of £13.49 when you buy six (at time of review).
(2017) Taittinger's 2008 is a great wine, there's no doubt about that. With its pale yellow colour and streaming, minuscule bubbles, the initial aromas are of citrus and salts, with a touch of pasty in the background, and an elegant hint of white flowers. In the mouth it is full of verve and vitality, loads of crisp lemony fruit, but that subtle biscuit and brioche is there, a lovely saline lick of acidity, tightening and extending the finish into an ultra-fine point. Drinking very well, it has finesse and concentrated power, and undoubtedly some serious cellaring potential for those who prefer their Champagnes to show more development.
(2017) The 75th anniversary release of this wine (the 1942 was the first release) which blends Tempranillo with around 20% Garnacha from Ardanza's own vineyards. Three years ageing in barrel gives minty chocolate notes, tobacco spices and exotic Sandalwood over elegant berry fruit, just edged with a gamey, cedary touch. In the mouth it delivers a big, personality-packed mouthful of ripe, plush, expansive berry fruit, but the elegance is undeniable again, a certain firmness to the cherry acidity, a bite of bittersweet cocoa and plum, and the swirl of toast and smoke into the long finish. Classic and utterly delicious. For more information and food-matching suggestions, please watch the video.
(2017) Though I've tasted Pelorus and Pelorus Vintage many time, this was my first tasting of their Pinot Noir Rosé, a traditional method wine from Marlborough. It pours a very delicate, pale colour, with plenty of minuscule bubbles. Gentle peach and redcurrant, raspberry aromas lead the way, a little whiff of stony, herbal character, onto a palate where the tangy raspberry and citrus is lively and really dances across the tongue with its fine acidity, the sweetness of the fruit always matched by crisp, pithy flavours into a long finish. Very stylish.
(2017) Cune is a brand of a large and high quality Rioja house called CVNE ('Compañía Vinícola del Norte del España'). Made from Tempranillo and aged for a year in French and American oak casks, this Reserva nicely straddles modern and traditional Rioja styles. Cherry and plum are there in abundance, but also tobacco and clove in a nicely wrought fruit and spice combination. In the mouth it is juicy, the concentration is good, and this has a full, sweet fruit ripeness nudged into savouriness by taut tannins, subtle barrel smokiness and its good acidity. Should cellar for a few years too. It's around £12.99 full price in Waitrose, Wholefoods and few other places, also in Majestic, but they have it at £9.99 as part of a mixed six purchase and note: that drops to £8.99 from 28th March 2017 - 11th April 2017. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2017) From a vineyard within the city of Colmar, a fine, salt and lemon-scented wine, a tiny suggestion - but no more than that - of waxiness, but pretty and pristine stuff. In the mouth it is dry and taut, an unflashy style, all cool apple cores and lemon, with a refined, quite long finish.
(2017) Winemaker Jonathon Mattick explains that the Wallis vineyard was planted in 1992 on volcanic soils, the breeze from the Bass Strait only 4km away being a big influence. This sees 20% new oak with batonnage. Hints of green fig and a bit of slaty/flinty character and a fair bit of oak showing. The palate has a pithy, limey citrus character, with a deal of juiciness that is deliciously mouth-watering.
(2017) The Roussillon is a wonderfully dramatic vineyard landscape, with rugged hillsides planted with vines right up to the edge of cliffs over the pounding Atlantic. This comes from such a vineyard, planted on slate soils, and is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. It has a deliciously expressive spice and red fruit nose, full of life and energy. Is there a hint of iodine from that sea spray? In the mouth it is both sweetly ripe and mouth-wateringly savoury, the medium bodied finesse and subtle yet precise axis of tannin and acidity balancing perfectly. Watch the video for food matching suggestions and more information. Please note: this is a special parcel in Majestic so limited supply, and it's £10.99 as part of a mixed six.
(2017) The white wines of the Rhône Valley in France tend to be big and powerful, full and expressive grapes like Roussanne and Viognier delivering quite heady wines. Here in the Languedoc Paul Mas has blended those with the local Vermentino and Grenache Blanc, part barrel-fermented, to produce a similarly generous style. Aromas of vanilla, honeysuckle and peach lead on to a full, broad palate that is all about super-sweet and plush, fleshy fruit married to a rounded, background acidity that makes this quite fat and feel quite low in acid, but there is a core of steel in there, the sweet hint of the barrel also adding a layer of complexity. The price is £12.99 as part of a mixed six from Majestic.
(2017) 'Boya' is the Spanish of buoy, reflecting the vineyards proximity to the ocean in the Leyda Valley. It's a Pinot with a distinctly meaty and stemmy character, lots of chestnut and highly aromatic, almost liniment characters, before a palate with good fruit and a certain earthiness and smokiness, a fresh raspberry brightness to the acidity and infill of creamy oak adding height and depth to the profile. The lovely sweetness at the core of this asserts in the finish. £9.99 when you buy a mixed six from Majestic. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.