August 2012 – de Bortoli, Altano, Longview, Perrier Jouet

My favourite wines tasted during the month, in four price brackets.

under six pounds

De Bortoli, DB Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Australia
From the Limestone Coast in South Australia, a large area encompassing Coonawarra and other well-known territories, this wine is normally prices at £7.98 but is on one of Asda’s ‘roll-back’ promotions with its price reduced to an attractive £5.98 until 4th October 2012. It has a bold and attractive nose of very ripe plum and cassis, with a sprinkling of cocoa and pepper. A little floral lift of volatility fits very nicely into the picture, and the dry, rich, fruity yet spicy and firmly balanced palate adds up to a very decent buy indeed at its roll-back price. £5.98 until 4th October 2012, Asda.

under ten pounds

Symington, Altano Douro Tinto 2010, Portugal
The Symington family are renowned for their Port wines, but increasingly their Douro table wines too including those made in the joint-project with Bruno Prats of Bordeaux. This comes from thier own organic vineyards in the Douro’s Vilariça Valley and is a typical Douro blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca. Only gently oaked, the nose is freshly fruity and spicy, with a little bit of a sappy herb character and glimpses of something floral. In the mouth it has some chewy tannin giving a rustic and grippy edge, the fruit staying fresh despite its hot valley origins. A wine that undoubtedly needs some robust food to show at its best, as so many of the most enjoyable reds do. 87/100. £10.00, Berry Bros, Waitrose, Booths, Ocado.

under twenty pounds

Longview, Yakka Shiraz 2009, Australia
Our second contender from Oz this month is a Shiraz from the cooler Adelaide Hills area, more familiar for producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Yakka is a type of Plane tree in case you wondered, and this is aShiraz that wears its cool-climate credentials pretty well, majoring on the slightly wild, herb and floral notes of cooler climate Shiraz. The creamy oak sits behind along with black £15.00 at Oddbins.

sky’s the limit

Perrier Jouët, Grand Brut Champagne NV, France
This is not the best Champagne in the world, but I was really impressed by it when tasted in late Auguest at Majestic. The fact that it is also on offer at a very competitive £25 per bottle sealed the deal for me awarding it this month’s title. It has such a fine, yeasty, bruised apple and herb quality as well as plenty of appealing fruit. The palate has elegance and precision – probably more elegtant than the Canard Duchene, also on offer currently at Majestic – with bright apple and pear, a touch of delicate floral and mineral character and lovely length. 91/100.£35.00, Majestic, but down to £25.00 until 29th October 2012. The wine is widely available for around £30.