March 2007- Pulenta, L’Hospitalet, CAVIT, Artadi

These might be wines that have been reviewed during the month on wine-pages, or have appeared in my newspaper column, 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 tenner

Chateau L’Hospitalet (France) Rouge 2005
Nice spicy and tight, nutty oak quality here, with a freshness and richness of quite bright raspberry and cherry fruit coming through and a hint of something mineral. Lovely palate, with fine sweetness and a really lovely red fruit brightness. This is delicious, with a gorgeous fruit structure and fine, racy acidity, a lovely refined, fine tannic background and delicious balance. A real star this, with beautiful fruit, structure and intelligence shining through. £8.99, Oddbins

under twenty

CAVIT (Italy) Quattro Vicariati 1998
This top of the range wine from CAVIT comes in a numbered bottle from a limited run (3,000 cases in this vintage). Its name translates to “four parishes”, namely Ala, Avio, Brentonico and Mori, where the vineyards that supply the Bordeaux varieties in the blend are situated. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc is aged for 18 months in barriques. It has a healthy, quite youthful ruby colour, and a joyously sweet, rich, cassis and blackcurrant jam nose with a fine, fragrant cedarwood character coming through. On the palate this is medium bodied, elegant and creamy, but there’s a real black fruit juiciness, with plenty of mouthwatering blackcurrant and ripe damson plum, and a fine edge of tart, bittersweet acidity. A nice background depth of toast and chocolate, and a smoky, spice and tobacco edge adds warmth and depth in a terrific wine with good length. £13.99, D Byrne, The Wine House, The Vineyard, Chimney Row Wines.