Independent online merchant The Daily Drinker sources wines that catch the eye of owners Caspar and Victoria Bowes, often coming well off the beaten track in terms of regions and grape varieties – there’s always something of interest. Their wine club members enjoy 10% offm and regular mixed case offers. Here’s a roundup of some of the wines featured in recent mixed cases.
(2019) Notice the 11% alcohol in this zippy and aromatic wine from the chalk soils of Kent, the freshness of this 2017 vintage giving it great élan. There's a touch of the florals and of ripe citrus, certainly more lime and orange than lemon, before a palate where a touch of sweetness is soon grabbed by the scruff of the neck by the firm but generous acidity. Quite long, finishing with a hint of chalky, flinty character, a more pithy bite of acidity, and an impressive follow-up on the 2016 vintage.
(2019) Picpoul may be relatively unknown when compared with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, but over the past few years it has come from nowhere to be something of a crowd-pleasing favourite. This is typical in many ways, relatively simple and upfront, down-the-line easy to drink but fresh fruit - pear and lemon - and balance on the palate with a bit of concentration and texture, and fine acidity to set off fish and seafood. It's actually a very good, quite concentrated example, of a variety that tends to deliver very good wine without any real fireworks. £10.35 to Daily Drinker Club members.
(2019) Once again The Daily Drinker have delivered a 'first' for me: a wine made from the Cayetana Blanca variety, never tasted by me before, and a speciality of the Extremadura region near the Portuguese border in the southwest of Spain. It's Spanish and it's white, but forget the feathery charms of Albariño - the volume here is turned up much higher, with its gold-green colour and 14% alcohol, and fruit-filled nose of pear and herbs, something nutty and yet with a zip of lime zest too. In the mouth sweet, ripe fruit dominates, with weight and substantial body, flooding with bittersweet orange and juicy pear, excellent acidity and grip, and a really long, focused finish that tapers to a fine but confident, concentrated point. Terrific and different - what more could you want? £12.60 to Daily Drinker club members.
(2019) Continuing the Daily Drinker's capacity to surprise, a light red wine made from the Cereza grape variety, actually a white wine grape that develops a deep blush colour, much like Pinot Gris for example. So the skin contact here has made a wine that is definitely red - or arguably a very (very) deep rosé. There's a pretty floral and cherry character on the nose (fitting, as Cereza means 'cherry'), and in the mouth a bit of confectionary, cherry-lips sweetness before rather abrupt acidity kicks in. That gives freshness, but the palate doesn't quite live up to the charm of the nose. £10.60 to Daily Drinker Club members.
(2019) From Lazio, a red wine made from the Nero Buono variety - the Nero, or 'black' giving the clue that it is a grape that gives intense colour and is often used in blends to beef up the lighter-coloured varieties of the region. Very handsomely packaged, the aromas quite subtle with a wisp of smokiness, some twig and bracken notes and dry redcurrant fruit. In the mouth there's a silky texture that is pleasing, and a good density of sweet plum and winter berry fruits, a typically Italian bitter cherry bite to the acidity and some decent, nicely ripe tannins to bolster the finish. Unusual and really rather good - and £9.90 to Daily Drinker Club members. Watch the video
for more information and food matching ideas. This comes from the Daily Drinker Club's most recent six-bottle case offer: read my notes
on other wines in the selection.
(2019) Cesanese is the principal red grape variety of the Lazio region, home also to Frascati, in the hills around Rome. This is a terrifically deep, juicy and soulful example, crammed with crushed cherry and sweet red berry fruit on the nose, a little lift of rose-petal or the sweetie shop. In the mouth it is dry and substantial, but that smooth, elegant core of fruit never wavers. There is tannin structure here, and there is a lithe, juicy acidity at the core, but the phalanx of creamy, concentrated fruit drives through the finish.
(2019) Certified organic, this Vin de France classified wine actually comes from Cabernet Franc vineyards in the Southwest of France, around Gers. It has a saturated, deep colour and an expressive, bright nose, a pinch of pepper over buouyant black fruits, perhaps a touch of carbonic maceration here? Certainly it has that lift and immediacy, as well as tell-tale Cab Franc nuances of capsicum. Juicy, vital and lithe on the palate, there's a linear flow of the black fruit, but always edged by tight tannins and juicy acidity. Very moreish, elegant and yet with a bit of food-friendly backbone too. £12.60 for Daily Drinker club members.