(2019) Picpoul may be relatively unknown when compared with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, but over the past few years it has come from nowhere to be something of a crowd-pleasing favourite. This is typical in many ways, relatively simple and upfront, down-the-line easy to drink but fresh fruit - pear and lemon - and balance on the palate with a bit of concentration and texture, and fine acidity to set off fish and seafood. It's actually a very good, quite concentrated example, of a variety that tends to deliver very good wine without any real fireworks. £10.35 to Daily Drinker Club members.
(2019) Cesanese is the principal red grape variety of the Lazio region, home also to Frascati, in the hills around Rome. This is a terrifically deep, juicy and soulful example, crammed with crushed cherry and sweet red berry fruit on the nose, a little lift of rose-petal or the sweetie shop. In the mouth it is dry and substantial, but that smooth, elegant core of fruit never wavers. There is tannin structure here, and there is a lithe, juicy acidity at the core, but the phalanx of creamy, concentrated fruit drives through the finish.
(2019) Once again The Daily Drinker have delivered a 'first' for me: a wine made from the Cayetana Blanca variety, never tasted by me before, and a speciality of the Extremadura region near the Portuguese border in the southwest of Spain. It's Spanish and it's white, but forget the feathery charms of Albariño - the volume here is turned up much higher, with its gold-green colour and 14% alcohol, and fruit-filled nose of pear and herbs, something nutty and yet with a zip of lime zest too. In the mouth sweet, ripe fruit dominates, with weight and substantial body, flooding with bittersweet orange and juicy pear, excellent acidity and grip, and a really long, focused finish that tapers to a fine but confident, concentrated point. Terrific and different - what more could you want? £12.60 to Daily Drinker club members.
(2019) Certified organic, this Vin de France classified wine actually comes from Cabernet Franc vineyards in the Southwest of France, around Gers. It has a saturated, deep colour and an expressive, bright nose, a pinch of pepper over buouyant black fruits, perhaps a touch of carbonic maceration here? Certainly it has that lift and immediacy, as well as tell-tale Cab Franc nuances of capsicum. Juicy, vital and lithe on the palate, there's a linear flow of the black fruit, but always edged by tight tannins and juicy acidity. Very moreish, elegant and yet with a bit of food-friendly backbone too. £12.60 for Daily Drinker club members.
(2019) Continuing the Daily Drinker's capacity to surprise, a light red wine made from the Cereza grape variety, actually a white wine grape that develops a deep blush colour, much like Pinot Gris for example. So the skin contact here has made a wine that is definitely red - or arguably a very (very) deep rosé. There's a pretty floral and cherry character on the nose (fitting, as Cereza means 'cherry'), and in the mouth a bit of confectionary, cherry-lips sweetness before rather abrupt acidity kicks in. That gives freshness, but the palate doesn't quite live up to the charm of the nose. £10.60 to Daily Drinker Club members.
(2019) Notice the 11% alcohol in this zippy and aromatic wine from the chalk soils of Kent, the freshness of this 2017 vintage giving it great élan. There's a touch of the florals and of ripe citrus, certainly more lime and orange than lemon, before a palate where a touch of sweetness is soon grabbed by the scruff of the neck by the firm but generous acidity. Quite long, finishing with a hint of chalky, flinty character, a more pithy bite of acidity, and an impressive follow-up on the 2016 vintage.
(2019) From the oldest and largest Bacchus vineyard in England, vines dating back as far as 1977, this is super-fresh, partly due to obvious early-picking given it is more or less dry and only 10.5% alcohol. It's super-aromatic too, flitting around Sauvignon Blanc, Gavi di Gavi and Torrontes, but its own thing too with crunchy pear and citrus, and some nettle and floral notes. In the mouth a touch of spritz, then the sheer acidity drives this, delicate talcumy aromas and flavours persist, that clean, cool pear fruitiness, and zippy acidity to finish. A cracking summer in the garden contender this. £10.80 for Daily Drinker club members. Watch the video for more information.
(2019) A big and bountiful Rioja this, brimming with fruit, creamy dark oak and spice, and substantial with its 14.5% abv. Made, unusually, from Graciano rather than Termpranillo, 50% was aged in new French oak, 50% in American oak, for a total of 12 months. It has a wild edge of gaminess, but really it is all about plush, luscious, damson and chocolate on the nose, the palate sweet fruited and just as dark and glossy with fruit and vanilla. There is a sheen of polish to this with its creamy tannins, and freshness too, cherry-pit dry acidity seeing to that. In all, a big, bold, unabashed crowd-pleaser, and very well done. £10.80 for members of the Daily Drinker Wine Club.
(2019) The variety here is Mustoas de Maderat, originating from the village of Maderat in the western Romanian region of Transylvania. The colour is a pale yellow/gold and the aromas are unsually spicy and deep, nutty, appley and a little oxidative, but in an attractive, bruised pear way that has certain similarities to Champagne perhaps. In the mouth it is quite full and textured, rich and substantial, yet there is no disecernable oak and the alcohol is modest. An unusual wine, fresh and yet broad, it has a touch of the 'natural wines' about it, and the price falls to £8.10 for members of the Daily Drinker's wine club. Watch the video for food matching suggestions and more information.
(2019) From Rías Baixas, a cool hot-spot for crisp, seafood-friendly wines on Spain's northern Atlantic coast, this has the mix of sea-breeze salinity and pretty floral and peachy fruit that is so appealing. Bone-dry, it has an invigorating, fresh-squeezed lemon juice directness, electric on the tongue, but it is not without those hints of peach juice ripeness and sweetness, a bit of broadening, yeasty character and that saline hint of thicker texture that would make it a wonderful partner for ceviche or sushi, or freshly shucked oysters perhaps. £10.80 for Daily Drinker club members who enjoy a 10% discount.