(2023) The term 'Col Fondo', meaning 'with sediment', indicates the unusual style of this Prosecco, which is not disgorged and pours a cloudy off-white thanks to the yeast still in suspension (invert the bottle a couple of times before opening). It comes from the higher quality DOCG area of Asolo and is organic certified. The other very unusual aspect is that it was fermented with indigenous yeasts and has zero dosage, both far from the Prosecco norm. Bottled somewhere between frizzante and spumante, it fizzes gently and offers lemon and light bready aromas, some floral aspects. In the mouth it is bone dry and so refreshing, more crunchy, underripe apple and lemon, and totally enjoyable as it races across the tongue to a dry but balanced finish. Watch the video for more information.
(2023) This is a wine from the Western Cape of South Africa, most of the fruit sourced in the Franschhoek valley. It's a very European-style Sauvignon, with little trace of the more pungent, herbaceous aromas of some, but majoring more on ripe orchard fruits and a fat lemony freshness. It has good texture; a surprisingly creamy edge to the mouthfeel, and again that ripe, pristine fruitiness that is well-balanced through to the finish. An ideal 'cellar defender' - one of those modestly priced bottles to pull from the rack on a Tuesday evening without having to worry too much about it. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2023) From silty loam soils, half the juice started fermentation in tank, the remainder was wild fermented in barrel (French oak hogsheads, 30% new oak). Malolactic occured in barrels, with lees stirring, for around nine months. There's a sour orange and lemon, invitingly grown-up note on the nose here, some toast and a core of apple fruitiness. Lovely sweetness to the palate fruit, smooth and supple texture too. Plenty of juiciness, a vivacious citrus streak and again that pithy, savoury acid character pushing the finish. Concentrated and age-worthy I suspect.
(2023) Hard to believe that the 2000 vintage of this same wine was my 'Wine of the Week' 22 years ago, but here we are in 2023, not 2001, and the wine is better than ever. From the north of Italy, Pinot Grigio is the ubiquitous pub wine with oceans of refreshing but undistinguished stuff exported to the UK each year. But there are producers of superior quality products, and this still moderately priced example fits that bill. CAVIT is a giant cooperative that dominates wine production in the Trentino region, the Tyrolean part of Italy close to the Austrian border. They are leading lights in research and improving quality, and here we have a Pinto Grigio with the requisite lemons and limes aromas, touched with florals, but the wine is stamped with quality: a little more texture on the palate than you might expect, racier, punchier flavours, but still light on its feet and with perfect acid balance. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2023) From the less heralded Sylvaner variety, quite an interesting nose here, slightly yeasty and bready, apple fruit. In the mouth quite dry, with that slight wheat beer character for me again. Juicy and tangy pear fruit and apple acidity, easy drinking and enjoyable.
(2023) Limestone Grand Cru soils, and again relatively modest aromatically. Lemon and apple aromas don't exactly leap from the glass. In the mouth more concentration than the Bollenberg for sure, a thrust of decisive citrus, a teasing hint of peach before the stony acidity clamps the finish.
(2022) On organic certified wine, fermented and aged in large, old wooden vats. The grapes are grown on soils of clay and limestone. There's a stony, mineral cool on the nose, hints of a burgeoning peachiness beneath. In the mouth this is intense and substantial stuff - 14.5% alcohol contributes to that, but so too does the fruit concentration and mouth-filling texture, before a pithy, waxy land lemony acidity extends the finish.
(2022) Cadiz in the south of Spain is not the first name that springs to mind for table wines, as this is Sherry country, home to the famous fortified wine's vineyards and bodegas. Breaking new ground, this winery was established by one of the partners in Sherry bodega Fernando de Castilla. This is 60% Syrah, along with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and the local Tintilla de Rota, aged six months in French oak barrels. Five years of ageing has softened this beefy 15% alcohol wine, with some tawny on the rim and notes of both dry, cranberry-like red berries and more plummy black fruits. There's a wisp smoky oak in the background. In the mouth there's plenty of ripe, sweet fruit, but the acid is really keen. Along with quite grippy tannins and a herbaceous twang, there is energy here, though perhaps the wine could do with a little more flesh and fat.
(2022) Vineyards here are 20 kilometres from the coast and 20 years old. Sauvignon makes up 84% of the blend, partial fermentation in barrel, and partially with wild yeast. 24% of the wine also spends some several months on the lees in oak barrels. There's a little sprinkle of crushed oatmeal over vivacious Sauvignon aromas, hinting at tropical but with plenty of citrus too. There's more of the vegetal/herbaceous character coming through on the palate. Tangy, textured and balanced.
(2022) A multi-regional blend from vineyards in the Adelaide Hills (South Australia), Tasmania and Tumbarumba (New South Wales), this was fermented in French oak barriques and aged eight months, 35% of the barriques new. It saw 100% malolactic fermentation and lees stirring. This one combines toast and nuttiness with that flinty aspect in interesting combination - possibly thanks to combining fruit from such different areas. Lovely, rounded, fruit-filled palate with a definite creaminess, the acidity here pithy and lemony, coming in slightly more abrubtly than in the Forrest Hill for example.