(2020) A certified organic white from Sicily, increasingly the source of interesting mid-priced and elegant white wines of character. There's a touch of talcumy, powdery florals on the nose, pear fruit and a litle herby note adding subtle complexity. In the mouth it has real presence for a 12.5% abv wine, a grippy, nectarine and peach skin character, a touch of yellow plum skin too, dry and with a definite saline lick to the acidity, its a wine that balances sweet mid-palate fruit and fresh, salty acidity very nicely. Daily Drinker club members buy for £9.00.
(2020) Chót, the back label informs me, is the Occitan word for 'owl', often to be found in the trees around the vineyard for this Languedoc rosé. A pale coppery-pink, it has a super-fruity nose, lots of lift with flowers and vivid cherry and quite exotic hints of almost Turkish-delight character. In the mouth it feels quite substantial: there's a bit of tannic grip, plenty of limey acidity, and the red fruit somewhere between tart berries and softer peach, a hint of sweetness flitting around the finish. £10.80 for Daily Drinker club members.
(2020) Only a handful of Armenian wines exisit within the 20,000+ tasting notes on this site, and only one - this one - made from the Voskehat grape variety. Old, ungrafted vines at 1400 meteres above sea level - over 4,500 feet - this falls into the herby and dry, orchard fruit spectrum of natural feeling wines, the palate delivering a certain but unquantifiable fruit sweetness, swept up in a rush of lemon and mineral salts acidity. Refreshing, different, and most enjoyable.
(2020) What a gorgeous little wine, made from the Insolia variety grown at 900 metres altitude in the Marsala region of Sicily, and certified organic. I don't know if this wine sees a little oak, but there is spice and a fine kaolin earthiness as well as copious citrus fruit and some floral, herbynotes. Despite it's lowly 12.5% alcohol, the texture is quite broad and mouth-filling, the spice continues, as well as orange rind and lemon, not lean or tart, quite expansive, but drawn to a fine point by its acidity. Really lovely saline sweep to the finish. £12.60 for Daily Drinker Club members.
(2020) Smederevka is one of North Macedonia's most widely-planted white wine varieties, here blended with around 10% Rhine Riesling and made in stainless steel. Lovely aromatics, bright and floral, with a touch of sherbet and lemon zest, the palate quite textural and weighty despite only 11% alcohol here, presumably some lees ageing adding that texture and a certain creaminess to the mid-palate, before very juicy red apple and citrus acids that sit nicely in an easy-drinking and rather delicious picture.
(2020) Voskehat is Armenia's most-planted grape variety, here made in stainless steel without any oak influence, though it was stirred on its lees for eight months in tank. Scents are delicately floral but with a slightly nutty, creamy apple quality too, quite rich and strong aromatics that lead on to a full-textured palate, quite grippy, with chewy density of melon and apricot. I would have guessed some skin contact here, but there's certainly a richness from that lees-contact and plentiful sweet fruit set against a firm acid background. A substanial white wine with texture and density of flavour, to take on poultry, maybe Middle Eastern cuisine.
(2020) From Heraklion on the island of Crete, this is 100% Liatiko, the local speciality red variety, aged 12 months in larger French oak barrels. Medium-pale ruby in colour it has a beguiling nose, crammed with small red fruits but with a mellow autumnal depth of dried leaves, into tobacco and coffee. On the palate a rush of sweet and ripe fruit, especially raspberry and redcurrant, but that mellow coffee character is there and balanced by a fine, sandy tannic grounding, good acids and a long, savoury and spice-fruity finish.
(2020) Forget the crude stuff of seaside tavernas, reeking of pine and rough as old boots: this Retsina is so delicately touched by pine that there is just a faint - and pleasant - wild herb and scrub note to zinging lemon fruit. It's far from ordinary, being organically certified, made in amphora, and fermented with wild yeast. On the palate the piney/herby note is there in the background, but the wild yeast gives light earth and bready notes, which support more direct crunchy apple and citrus into a fresh, appetising finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2020) Though Tabali's home turf is the Limarí Valley, on the edge of the Atacama desert, this comes from further south in the coastal Cachapoal region. It is 100% Carmenere, matured for one year in French oak barrels. Dense and almost black in colour, the nose has just a touch of the herbal and tobacco leaf character typical of the variety, and an obvious depth of black fruit. On the palate it is firm and juicy, a deal of cherry-ripe acidity and smooth, fine tanning supporting the weight of blackcurrant and black cherry fruit. It stops short of being chewy in character thanks to a glimpse of red fruit amongst the black and its agile acid and tannin profile, in a satisfying wine of very good quality. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) From Lazio, a red wine made from the Nero Buono variety - the Nero, or 'black' giving the clue that it is a grape that gives intense colour and is often used in blends to beef up the lighter-coloured varieties of the region. Very handsomely packaged, the aromas quite subtle with a wisp of smokiness, some twig and bracken notes and dry redcurrant fruit. In the mouth there's a silky texture that is pleasing, and a good density of sweet plum and winter berry fruits, a typically Italian bitter cherry bite to the acidity and some decent, nicely ripe tannins to bolster the finish. Unusual and really rather good - and £9.90 to Daily Drinker Club members. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas. This comes from the Daily Drinker Club's most recent six-bottle case offer: read my notes on other wines in the selection.