(2016) From the northeast of Italy, I'm a fan of Bardolino, in this case made from Corvina, and with only 12.5% alcohol in a typically refreshing and agile northern Italian red style. There's small redcurrant and pomegrante fruit notes, a little twig-like steminess and beneath a sweet curranty layer of fruit. On the palate that dry, ashy quality and fruit continues, very nicely fresh with its crisp acids and tight tannins, and whilst a little sweeter and denser than the Baga reviewed below, again not a million miles from the Beaujolais Crus in style. Price for members: £9.00.
(2016) A glorious Riesling this from Trimbach, with a delightful waxy, mineral complexity on the nose, hints of paraffin wax and flowers, ripe orchard fruit beneath. On the palate it is sharp as tack but has its own sense of fat concentration and juiciness, as well as pin-sharp citrus and dry apple acidity. A beautiful example of an Alsace Riesling in a style that's bone-dry, but never austere.
(2016) Another example of Marlborough's shifting shape, a barrel-fermented, natural yeast treatment loads the wine with minerals, smoke and flint, very much of the complex and super dry mould. Massive assertive grapefruit finish and such formidable presence. Bravo to Ben Glover, the winemaker here at his family estate, for an exceptional effort.
Sky’s the Limit
Oh what a tough, tough choice this was in a month when I tasted the glorious Château d’Yquem 1989, the beautiful Tenuta San Leonardo Rosso 2010 and a clutch of other wines scoring in the high 90s. But in the end, this, from a tasting of nine exceptional wines from Gravner, won the day.
(2016) Wonderful tobacco and honey colour. Beautiful nose, delicate salt and tiny meat-stock notes. Extraordinary salty intensity, like a great Fino sherry but without the oxidation, meaty notes, such superb natural concentration with a great lemony thrust of acidity, huge precision to the finish. No doubt this will age for a decade or more.