(2022) This is £12 to £13 in most retailers but is on a deal at our listed stockist at time of review. That's a great price for a charmer of a Riesling, the 'Peach' of the title very apt, as it is crammed with soft, downy, peach skin aromas and peachy flavours, juicy and succulent, plenty of sweet fruit ripeness offset by very well-judged, slightly pithy lemon zest and peel to the acidity. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2022) From the Finger Lakes, again creamy and ripe, with red fruits as much as black, a light Cru Beaujolais-like character perhaps. Fleet-footed and crisp on the palate, those Beaujolais images are still in my mind, surely some carbonic maceration here. Lovely fruit, dry, touches of florals, but balance of acidity and medium-tannins are lovely.
(2021) From Geelong, 25 kilomteres from the Ocean, and made organically. The soils are clay over limestone, and the wine is fermented with wild yeasts before spending 10 months in French oak (larger barrels and 20% new). Around 70% goes through malolactic. Creamy cashew nut, melon and juicy apple, not so much flint here, but not in the tropical spectrum either. The palate is lovely: decisive acidity for sure, lemon and salt, but a rounded, creamy fruit quality, the almond and hazelnut oak is delicious, and this has excellent length and balance.
(2020) I see from my database that I did taste a Sauvignon/Semillon blend from Hollick way back in 1998, but it was still something of a shock to see this: a Sauvignon Blanc from Coonawara, normally associated with South Australia's premium Bordeaux-style red wines. It's certainly packed to the rafters with character; abundant and pungent herbaceous and elderflower aromas, pea-shoots and tropical fruit, then the palate showing just a little bit of a sweet-sour character for me, the vivid exotic fruit surely a little residual sugar against lemon-jelly acidity.
(2020) A Californian cab that brought a huge smile to my face: the epitome of what a generous, sweet-fruited wine from the Sunshine State should offer, but with a bit of class too. From vineyards in the homeland of the Sonoma Valley, but also further afeild as far south as Monterey and Paso Robles, it spends time in Frenach and American oak (40% new) and is really rather glorious: aromatically OTT with rich blackberry and chassis, patchouli, sandalwood and menthol, soaring from the glass, then a lush palate of sweet and ripe, succulent black fruit, smooth and creamy tannins and juiciness to spare. Sometimes a wine just has to be delicious, and that's what this offers in abundance.
(2020) Another stylish bottle for this blend of Syrah, Grenache and a little of the white variety, Rolle. Pale in colour, and an intense nose of lime peel, small red fruits and something quite mineral and concentrated, maybe melon skins. In the mouth again there is an impressive level of fruit concentration here, more intense and powerful than many Provence rosés, but it does not lack clarity or finesse, or fresh acidity. Very good. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the previous vintage.
(2019) Aromatic, a little more floral lift than the 2013 for sure, a touch of kirsch and that fleshy sweet black fruit over the big powerful tannins. Wonderful balance here, and length. Very fine.
(2019) Spicy, bold, quite a deep colour, bold fruit and spice-driven, some aromatic tobacco notes, the palate creamy and rich, the figgy sweetness offset by the acidity. Lovely freshness with unobtrusive spirit just warming the finish.
(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.
(2017) What a beautiful Champagme from Marc Hébrart, a blend of old vine Pinot Noir (around 60%) and Chardonnay, the vines more than 40 years old. It has a richly toasty nose, plenty of depth and lightly earthy, terroir substance here, the crispness of the mousse giving fine initial attack on the palate. Everything comes sharply into focus here, an incisive, thrusting core of citrus and taut Asian pear, but that coolness balanced by real depth of creaminess and that powerful, much more broadly painted toast. A touch of salinity completes a very complex but utterly delicious Champagne.