April 2010 – Pievalta, Hartenberg, Inninskillin

These might be wines that have been reviewed during the month on wine-pages, or have appeared on my TV slot, or they may be wines from a recent tasting that hasn’t yet been written-up in a full-length report. There is a growing archive of these four of the best choices each month.

under a fiver

Asda, Mendoza Torrontés 2009, Argentina
Made for Asda by Trivento, which is the Argentinian outpost of Chile’s Concha y Toro, this has an unctuous honeyed note of ripeness to floral, exotic aromas that is very appealing. On the palate there’s a juicy core of orange here, wrapped in a spicy layer and enlivened by fine acidity playing against a touch sweetness. A lovely example of the intriguing Torrontés grape, and a banker for Oriental cuisine. 86/100 – £4.47 at Asda.

under a tenner

Barone Pizzini, Pievalta Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2008, Italy
This is, quite simply, a terrific white wine. I love fruity whites: wine made from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling that are crammed with exuberant fruit. But sometimes it is nice to have something more restrained and mineral, and this biodynamic wine from the east of Italy has a delicious subtlety. It has a typically nutty character with hints of flowers, herbs and honey, with layers of delicate complexity. In the mouth a ripe, golden, juicy apple crunch and vivid lemon, with that long, nutty mineral finish. £8.99, Vintage Roots.

under twenty

Hartenberg, Shiraz 2006, South Africa
From one of the Cape’s most impressive Shiraz estates, this Stellenbosch wine has a delightfully pure blackcurrant pastille fruit quality, sweetly underpinned by oak and just showing little violetty nuances. On the palate the density and richness of this wine surprises, with a thick mouthful of creamy black fruit and chocolaty tannins, with spice and pepper adding a roughening, chewy edge into a long, powerful finish. A big and bountiful wines now, but will cellar for a decade. 92/100. £19.20 (£17.28 by the case), Bancroft Wines.

sky’s the limit

Inninskillin, Oak-aged Vidal Icewine 2006, Canada
With 240g/l of residual sugar, the Vidal grapes for this icewine were harvested in January 2007, with picking completed on the 31st. It has a honey colour, and the nose overflows with apricot and marzipan aromas, a touch of beeswax and mandarin orange. On the palate it is thick and viscous, those dried apricot and orange flavours flooding across the tongue with terrific intensity, supported by a little toasty, vanilla background and with good natural acidity maintaining an edge very nicely. It might not be the most complex dessert wine on the planet, but it is long, balanced and absolutely delicious. 92/100. £45.00, Ocado, Direct Wines, Wimbledon Wine Cellar, Planet of the Grapes. See all stockists on wine-searcher.com.