September 2016’s wines of the month


Under £10

(2016) From Alicante on the southeast Spanish coast, this is made from Monastrell, aka Mourvèdre, and is a glorious big mouthful of sunny 14.5% alcohol red. It's a special parcel in Majestic in Autumn 2016, so there is limited stock, and its price falls to £7.99 if you are buying a mixed six. It's loaded with kirsch-like, cherry lift and red plum juiciness, a twist of smokiness and liquorice too. On the palate it is full and silky textured, a chocolaty density and the plush fruit supple across the mid-palate. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.

Under £15

(2016) I really liked this wine when tasted nine months ago on my visit to Chile, but tasting again in the UK it showed possibly even better. From the same wild, rugged coastal Aconcagua vineyards as Errazuriz's icon 'Pizzaras' Chardonnay, one of South America's greatest white wines (but made in only tiny quantities and at three times the price), this sees 10 months in older barrels, and has a toasted oatmeal richness with wheaty touches, a little honey, the fruit subtle with apple and citrus. The palate has delicious ripeness and sweet mid-palate fruit, but finishes with lovely clarity and just a hint of mineral saltiness.

Under £25

(2016) From quality-conscious négociant Albert Bichot, this is aged in oak, 20% of which is new. It does have toast and a rich oatmeal and almond creaminess, and a ripe, sweet apple fruit that's very appealing. Then a hint of minerals, of slightly flinty character adds lots of interest. On the palate, very racy, the taut acidity driving the wine, layered with creamy nuttiness and bright citrus and crisp apple fruit. Fine white Burgundy.

Sky’s the Limit

(2016) What a treat to taste this wine on release, having been so impressed (97 points) by a pre-release tasting at the Quinta in 2011. The nose of the 2001 Naçional is still sensational in its soaring, floral and Maraschino cherry brightness, the spices and the depth of chocolaty, smooth richness, tar and tobacco nuances and the solidity of the fruit. On the palate, still so impressive in the purity and supple, balanced finesse, so dense and smooth in the delivery of its blue/black fruit and Christmas cake spice and Agen prune richness, but the tight tannins so elegantly constraining any sense of obvious ripeness, the acidity balancing the huge core of sweetness so effortlessly. Yes, a Nacional that's as great in the bottle as the barrel, and which is probably close to immortal.


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