These might be wines that have been reviewed during the month on wine-pages, or have appeared in my magazine column or TV show, or they may be wines from a recent tasting that hasn’t yet been written-up in a full-length report.
under a fiver
Luis Felipe Edwards, Mountain View Chardonnay 2011, Chile
Some subtle floral and vegetal notes add a pleasing complexity to straightforward orchard fruits. Some open, quite buttery and Burgundian tones on the palate too, with sweet fruit at the fore and a nicely punchy, well-pitched finish that delivers a lot of Chardonnay pleasure at the offer price. 86/100. £6.24, but £4.99 until end January 2012 in Majestic.
under a tenner
Patronus, Barossa Shiraz 2009, Australia
Big, vegetal, Italian plum tomatoey aromas with eucalyptus and black fruit assault the nostrils in typically flamboyant Barossa style. The palate has immense fruit sweetness, flooding across the tongue with ripe, burstingly juicy black fruit flavours and that chocolaty richness to the tannins. A big, joyous style that’s not for everyone, but it’s a fine celebration of an Australian classic style (at a very fair price). 89/100. £8.99 at Laithwaites.co.uk
Darting Estate, Scheurebe Eiswein 2009, Germany
This ice wine from the Pfalz comes in a 37.5cl half bottle, and is in only 150 M&S stores and online, but it is well worth seeking out. Grapes are handpicked in December at minus 10ºC, and it has the most beautiful nose with gentle herby notes amongst the pure nectarine and peach juice vitality, with a layering of spices, gingerbread and melting honey. Gorgeous palate; such refined fruit with that tanginess of citrus and peach skins, but beautiful purity and glacial acidity into a long, long finish. 93/100. £18.00, Marks & Spencer.
sky’s the limit
Disznókő, Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 1993, Hungary
Burnished gold to tawny colour, with loads of mushroom and truffle Botrytis, and the caramel richness backing it up, but has a dry essence and smoky minerality. Little vegetal notes of age just add an intriguing note. The palate has loads of earthiness and smokiness, some toffee and chocolate depths to this, a touch of wild mint and balsamic richness, with delightful acidity still: fabulous sweetness, and a terrific core of acid in a most complex picture. And despite the tertiary development, seems very young and hugely tight in the finish. 96-97/100.