(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) It is still relatively rare to see a single varietal Petit Verdot: one of Bordeaux's minor varieties rarely gets star billing. In Bordeaux small amounts are used to add spice to the blend, but here under the South African sun it gains extra fruit concentration, ripeness and smoothness. The colour is deep and saturated, and the nose shows plenty of spice and pepper, a clove and nutmeg character and glossy black cherry and plum. In the mouth that spiciness continues, and despite its 14.5% alcohol, it is braced by tight, fine tannins and a pert cherry pit acidity, that works against a creaminess and depth to very nice effect.
(2017) This is a dry, straight down the middle style of citrussy Riesling, but very nice done. Crisp and only lightly aromatic, its the concentrated, pithy lemon of the fruit and direct, apple core dryness that drives through the finish, not carrying any excess weight, clean as a whistle.
(2017) There have been several quite successful attempts recently to introduce a new generation of drinkers to the delights of fortified wine like Sherry, Port and Madeira. Here's a novel idea, where Croft have blended Fino Sherry with aromatic elements based on English spring water and cordials, introducing gentle fizz and notes of elderflower, mint and lemon. With only 5.5% alcohol it opens with a definite note of the Fino, nutty and saline, but also those hedgerow aromas that are very summery. In the mouth that dry Sherry nuttiness continues, a lovely underpinning to the delicate sparkle, sweeter flavours from the cordial, and plenty of citrus and mint freshness. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2017) The label doesn't list the varieties for this distinctly off-dry to medium-sweet Loire pink, but it's 60% Cabernet Franc with 20% each of Gamay and Grolleau. Quite pale in colour, it has a sweetie, cherry lips and red liquorice nose, some floral aspects, and a plenty of sweetness on the palate. Fruity and simple, there is decent acidity, but it is verging on a dessert wine for my palate and perhaps best matched to strawberry shortcake or similar desserts.
(2017) Despite bearing the legend "The botanical soft drink for wine lovers," do not expect this to taste like a de-alcoholised wine: it's very much its own thing, a lightly sparkling, herbal, bone-dry drink made from herbs, minerals, vitamins and amino acids that is certainly something of an acquired taste. On first sniff I found it aromatically odd, with pungent nettle, ginseng and chamomile 'high' floral and herb character, clove-like and medicinal. However I did grow to appreciate the fact that this is no weak wine substitute, but a fairly intriguing and grown-up alcohol-free alternative that has an under-ripe pear and citrus dryness and does keep you coming back for one more sip, even just in an effort to understand it. Certainly no shortage of character. Postscript: a second bottle tried around a month later seemed much less pungent, and was most enjoyable on a hot late May afternoon.
(2017) I had feared this would be just another Sauvignon lookalike from Rueda in the north of Spain, which has produced a torrent of elderflower-scented wines recently from the Verdejo grape. But in fact it is a more serious example in some ways, still with some herbaceous nuances, but more about fruit concentration with a firm yellow plum and apple fruitiness, a touch of oatmeal, and then just a glimpse of more exotic lychee and guave before the dry, lemon and grapefruit acidity kicks in.
(2016) The 2008 blend is 61% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay and 5% Meunier, with 5% of the wine fermented in large oak casks and a dosage of 8g/l. It's a bright and youthful colour, streaming with tiny bubbles, and already offering biscuity and apple-pie notes that are inviting and generous. There's a sense of depth here, but of clarity too, and onto the palate it has delicious tang and juicy orange fruit brightness, the toast and biscuit, the vanilla and nuttiness all riven by shimmering acidity. A superb vintage Veuve and can be had for a good price from various retailers.
(2016) Delightful earth and cedar character here, the sweet fruit ripeness and fruit concentration is terrific, but the cedar and supple, creamy tannins impress. It really is a very complete and harmonious wine - Pierre Giles says everything from 2010 could have been Grand Vin, so in theory, this could be too.
(2016) The second wine of Lamarque shows lovely bold, fresh red fruits, but it has good structural elements and very qood spice and freshness. Up-front fruit making it so easy to drink. Ocado stocks this wine, and online is showing the excellent 2010 at time of review.