(2022) Sourced from several South Australian wine-growing regions, this is made with wild fermentation and lees ageing. Very attractive Viognier aromatics, lightly floral and herbal, which gives an attractive edge to the more ripe and tropical fruit. The wild yeast ferment no doubt adding to the quite complex aromatics for a £7.50 wine. In the mouth it is quite oily-textured and weighty, and there is a sour lemony acid that drives the mid-palate and finish. That gives a savoury character, quite orangy, the sweet peach fruit just balanced on the mid-palate.
(2022) There's a tinge of bronze to the colour of this South Australian Pinot Grigio. On the nose, Williams pears and subtle floral and herb nuances, very easy-going and straightforward. In the mouth it is dry, and braced buy some citrus acidity against the succulent pear and peach fruit of the mid-palate. An easy drinker, but natural fermentation has added some interest and it has a bit of style.
(2022) What a lovely, refined and joyously delicious rose, based on Grenache, its typically pale colour is attractive, as is the peachy aroma, nuances of sherbet and small, redcurranty and dry berry fruits. The palate is refined and elegant, finely etched acidity enlivening the ripe, sweet summer berry fruits, adding edge and extra freshness. Nobody will be disappointed in this.
(2022) I wanted to like the stuff in the bottle more than I did sadly. Created in collaboration with LGBTQ+ charity, Queer Britain, and supporting the nation’s first LGBTQ+ museum which opened in May 2022, the cause is worth support, the wine... It's a Grenache/Syrah blend, with confectionery aromas and, for my palate, just too much residual sugar. I rather wish the wine was more ambitious to match the project, but sadly it's a middle of the road offering that could have been so much more interesting.
(2022) A big name in Cava production, but such a nicely made inexpensive fizz. Like Champagne, it is made by the traditional method with second fermentation in individual bottles, from the three classic Cava varieties: Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada. Fine small bubbles and creamy apple pie aromas, little herb and citrus notes. Fresh, zippy and yet with plenty of ripe pear fruit, it is mouth-filling in texture and finishes with good balance and a bit of length too. At £8.00 a nice - and different - alternative to Prosecco. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) A Malbec from the Uco Valley of Mendoza in Argentina, this is a big, dark and plummy wine with some spicy fruit cake character and a hint of chocolate. That, says its producers, makes it a perfect candidate as a mulled wine base. On offer at £7.00 at time of review. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) From vineyards across Burgundy, this traditional method wine blends Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with a little Gamay and Aligoté, matured on the lees for 18 months. Terrific nose, gently biscuity and creamy, nicely fruited too moving from fig to citrus. On the palate an easy-drinking but classy balance between fruit sweetness, that nutty and creamy autolysis and pin-sharp acidity. A very attractive wine at an extremely fair price. Watch the video for more information.
(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) Another example of the currently trending breed of lower alocohol wines from Marlborough, with 9% abv, the canopy managed so that fruit could be picked early, at lower potential alcohol. Less overtly herbaceous than the Villa Maria version also tasted, more elderflower and fruity. In the mouth obvious sweetness again and a sense of some dilution, but I do think the finish merges the fruit, sugar and acid a little more successfully.
(2020) This is a modern, taut and muscular style of Rioja, not the vanilla and coconunt softness of an aged traditional reserva, but instead a wine of bitter cherry and plum, a twist of liquorice and lift of kirsch on the nose, the palate firm, tannic and savoury, a rasp of plum skin roughness to add some rustic bite and the smooth black fruits always in that context. I might decant this for an hour or two, a wine with a bit of brawny, sinewy structure as well as fruit.