(2020) From the famouse Barone Ricasoli of Chianti, this IGT Toscana rosé is blended from Sangiovese and Merlot, and is an absolute dead ringer for a Provence pink, from the attractive, plump bottle to the pale colour and dry, herb and red fruit aromas. It is very different from the Cantele rosé tasted alongside, with a very light the palate, perhaps the fine lemony acidity would benefit from just a little more fruity substance lying over it, but it finishes with a nice tang of cranberry or rasberry and has the savoury credentials to make a very good food wine, maybe with a prawn pasta or risotto.
(2020) Concentrated glossy black fruit aromas, a refined violet edge. Immediately layered, plush and supple, taut tannins and the sweetness of fruit comes through again. Deliciously savoury, a tonic with savoury tannin and acid balance, supple, sweet length and spice.
(2020) Dry, with less than 2g/l of residual sugar, this Riesling from Washington State spends some time on the lees in older oak barrels just to add a little texture, and that works: it is brimming with bright citrus and rosy apple, a little floral aroma, a tang of lemon sherbet and lots of zest. The palate has that bit of weight and texture, but those sweeping acids fire through the peachier, slightly more tropical tones, but shimmering and long and delightfully zippy and fresh. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas. Costco members can buy this for around £11.70 per bottle. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) Antão Vaz, harvested in two parts, two weeks apart, "first on melon skins second on white fruit". Oatmeal and almond touches, with clear, cool white fruit, fine apple and pear clarity and acidity, touches of light breadiness add interest.
(2019) From two vineyards of dry land Chenin Blanc bush vines, planted in 1980 and 2002. Fermented and aged in small and large oak barrels, this has sweet earth on the nose and sour lemon and lemon rind fruit. The palate is all about orange and clove, the skin-contact giving grip and a real whip of acidity and tannin finishing very briskly and racily.
(2019) Again from the Hemel-and-Aarde Ridge, made with 50% whole clusters from a vineyard on heavy clay with iron. Wild fermented. Just fabulous nose, the exotic spices of the oak and the Pinot fragrance of flowers and seasoning, totally inter-twined, the palate flowing and fresh with red fruits and a hint of rhubarb tart and bittersweetness, lots of tension and drive, but in the most elegant way.
(2018) Carmen was one of my first go-to Chilean producers, thanks largely to a wine called 'Grand Vidure', a real favourite of mine in the 1990s, and one of the first wave of Carmenere-based wines before the variety became established as Chile's 'signature' grape. Here we have Carignan, one of Chile's current superstar grapes thanks to old-vine plantings, this aged 12 months in French oak. There's an interesting melange of meat-stock cherry and vine fruit on the nose, a dark and savoury character. In the mouth it's very much about the fruit, quite sinewy and chewy, the oak well into the background, with a balanced savoury finish.