(2018) An Assyrtiko not from Santorini, but from a new venture in Halkidiki in the north of the mainland, a cool region where the grapes are picked considerably later. There's a lovely waxy citrus and almost figgy character here, in a very aromatic and quite intriguing wine, somethig like blood orange, maybe even a hint mango in the background. On the palate lovely drive and focus: salty minerals for sure, pithy lemon and zesty, tangy grapefruit, but that lighter, stony and fine earthy quality shines through into a long, citrus finish.
(2018) A blend of Agiorgitiko with 10% Xinomavro, this pours a really saturated deep red colour. The wine was aged 12 months in French oak, and that might partly account for the smokiness on the nose, but there's an interesting balsamic and black cherry skin character too, peppery and lifted. In the mouth it is very firm, an extracted, very dry black fruit character, pretty good structure from inky tannins and cherry acidity, and the oak again just adding a smoky, rounding quality. It finishes on dry fruit and decent acidity.
(2018) What a lovely sweet-fruited, ripe and glossy wine this is, but tempered with a bit of real structure and bite. Twelve months in French oak barrels has rounded and added cedar and a touch of smokiness, but the purity of fruit and the taut, wirey structure of firm but ripe tannins and cherry-pit acidity is lovely.
(2018) Though labelled as an IGT Toscana, most of the grapes for this Sangiovese come from Romitorio's own vineyards in the Scansano region of the coastal Maremma. Its a big, warm-hearted Sangiovese that opens with lightly herbaceous notes of earth and twigs, that briary character joined by sweet plum and cherry fruit. In the mouth it is firm and dry, the tannins giving lots of grip, keen cherry-pit dry acidity too adding to the savoury, food-friendly appeal. If it sees oak it must only be in older, larger barrels, as this maintains an edge of sappy freshness and core of fruit through to a dry, nutty finish. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas, and note that Daily Drinker club members can buy this wine for £11.70
(2018) Though the name of the estate sounds like a not so subtle cash-in on Provence, in fact domaine de la Provenquière traces its history back almost 500 years in it's corner of the Languedoc close to Béziers. Having said that, this certainly has Provençal leanings, pale in colour, dry and fresh with only 12% alcohol, though made from the pink-skinned Pinot Gris rather than Provençal varieties. Summer berries, fragrant lemon peel and a little wisp of peach on the nose, then a dry, chalky palate with pleasingly sweet fruit, medium body and then plenty of tangy acid. Daily Drinker club members will pay £9.00 for this.
(2018) An organically certified wine from Rueda, not too far from Ribera del Duero in northern Spain, fermented with indigenous yeasts. That gives it a bit of extra complexity compared to many commercial examples of Verdejo, the nose showing not just the pungent, elderflower and gooseberry punch of the grape, but a little chalky, lightly earthy, herbaceous blackcurrant leaf. The full-fruited, exotic fruit-tinged palate has a lightly creatmy texture, and plenty of zingy acidity to offset. Easy to drink on its own, great with fish and with grilled goat's cheese.
(2018) A lovely Grenache that is labelled as a 'Vin de France', so the fruit probably blended from two or more different appellations. It is full of deep plum and berry fruit, spice and a perfumed, floral touch too, but the freshness of the acidity and silky tannin structure give both crunch and a bit of savoury grip. A flavour-packed, but very approachable red wine that's broadly food-friendy. Members of thedailydrinker.co.uk club get 10% off too. Watch the video for more information and food matching suggestions.
(2018) Lyrarakis is arguably the best producer on the island of Crete, and champion of the indigenous grape variety Plyto. It's another crystalline, delicate white, a style that Greece can do so well in places like Santorini, floral-touched apple fruit, apple blossom perhaps, with an intriguing aromatic spiciness too. In the mouth it has quite a full, slippery textrue, a background of river stone minerality and plenty of fresh orchard fruits that are dry and savoury, an apple-core acidity to finish. Most certainly a fish (oily fish or firm white fish) or seafood banker.
(2017) The grape here is Bianchello (stockist The Daily Drinker never ceases to surprise me with new varieties). Though some authorities say it is a local Marche synonym for Trebbiano, others disagree confident that it is a variety all of its own. It has quite a deep greeny-gold colour, and quite a waxy, attractive nose suggesting waxy lime skins and apple peel, and a tiny floral note. On the palate it is full-textured and full flavoured, a really nice bitter almond bite to the finish, and a white wine with a bit of substance.
(2017) Red wines that can be lightly chilled are a summer pleasure. Thoughts turn to Gamay and Cabernet Franc, but this is another Loire variety called Grolleau, often made as rosé and here as a crunchily fresh red. Small, firm berries, herbs and a crack of pepper on the nose, then a palate that is not short of that dry, cranberry and raspberry fruit, but has such a clear line of acidity, gentle tannins and that fine herby, sappy character that it is an easy-drinking delight. £11.70 for Daily Drinker Club members. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.