August 2013 – La Grille, Vinkara, Calcinaia, Remirez de Ganuza

My favourite wines tasted in August, in four price brackets.

under seven

La Grille, Pinot Noir Rosé 2012, Vin de France
Is there still time to squeeze in one more excellent little rosé this autumn? If so, this could be the one to go for on special offer at £6.99 until October 28th 2013. Screwcapped and weighing in with a modest 12% alcohol it has a very attractive nose and pale salmon pink colour, with a touch of spice and pepper, a touch of Pinot truffle and very nice strawberry fruit beneath. Crisp, bone-dry and well defined on the palate, the redcurrant and cranberry dry fruit is delicious and broadly food friendly. 87/100. £6.99, Majestic

under a tenner

Vinkara, Kalecik Karasi 2011, Turkey
The UK seems to be seeing more and more wines from exotic and unusual places, with retailers like Waitrose and Marks & Spencer joining fine wine merchants to explore new and resurgent wine countries from Armenia to Bolivia. One retailer that has really gone for it is The Wine Society, who have a whole host of wines from unexpected places. One of my absolute favourites is this, made from the Kalecik Karasi grape, which for me has very Pinot Noir-like qualities. It has a pale colour and aromas of soft berries, cherry and autumnal dry wooodland leaves and truffle. On the palate it is a delight, fairly light bodied but velvet-textured, but the cherry and berry fruit edged by smokiness and that woodland quality, soft tannins and good acidity against the creamy mid-palate fruit. Watch the video for more information and specific wine and food ideas. 89/100. £9.50, The Wine Society.

under twenty

Villa Calcinaia, Chianti Classico 2010, Italy
There’s a refined and very classical character to this Sangiovese (with 10% Canaiolo) its savoury, keen-edged raspberry and cherry aromas are edged with graphite and a light, ashy earthiness. There’s a hint of tobacco and something vanilla-like, but the aromas are always elegant. On the palate it bursts with a surprising volume of fruit and flavour, the juicy black cherry ripeness and hint of chocolate fills the mouth, with a hint of alcoholic heat (this says 14% abv on the label) but massively juicy acidity and lithe tannins power through giving this a nimble quality as well as that all-encompassing fruit sweetness. 91/100. £15.50, (£13.95 by the case) Berry Bros & Rudd.

sky’s the limit

Remírez de Ganuza, Fincas de Ganuza Reserva 2006, Spain
From slightly younger (but still 25- to 40-year-old) vines than the estate’s very top cuvée, this is 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano, aged for 26 months in new oak, 80% French and 20% American. It has a dense ruby colour, and the nose is delightfully rich, deep and seductive with copious red and black fruit compote notes, a polished sheen of oak and some nicely pitched gravel and earth savour. On the palate it is a powerful and substantial wine, the concentration of fruit is obvious, grippy and tart with plum and cherry skin grippiness to the fruit and acidity. Tannins are also fairly beefy at this stage, though they are refined. The wine finishes on that matière, with real intensity. 93/100. £34.15, Bancroft Wines