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(2018) A deeply coloured wine with an attractive blackcurrant pastille ripeness and peppery lift on the nose, certainly fruit-driven. On the palate there's a light meat-stock character to the supple black fruit, quite soft tannins and a juiciness to the acidity, thought the 14.5% alcohol does show through a little in the finish.
(2018) Very deep, crimson/black stuff, this comes from a single vineyard on the slopes of the Hawekwa Mountains in Wellington. It is meaty, dense and quite closed on first pouring, but opens up to blackcurrant and spices, a touch of graphite and cedar, but stays meaty and dark. In the mouth the ripe sweetness of the fruit powers through, a fleshy richness, with the tannins and spiciness from the barrels filling in beneath, the 14.5% alcohol this time being soaked up rather better by the fruit and structure, to finish on spice and sweet fruit.
(2018) If you catch up with winemaker Giles Cook at my Glasgow or Edinburgh Festivals of Wine where Thistledown are pouring their wines, he might well be sporting his 'Gorgeous Grenache' tee-shirt. A zealous advocate for the quality of old vine Grenache in Australia, Giles has sourced old vine fruit from across South Australia for this entry-level bottling. It's a truly lovely wine, brimming with ripe black fruit, spices and a chocolate depth, soft tannins and a hint of gingery heat, finishing with pert cherry acidity. That all adds up to an easy-drinking but deep and soulful red, heaven sent for summer barbecues. Even better, buy two six-packs from M&S at time of review and the price falls to a bargaintastic £7.50 per bottle. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2018) A not so common blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot, this range-topping wine spent 15 months in French and comes from vineyards close to Madrid. The nose is dark and glossy, cocoa and black plum, a hint of violet, a hint of anise. In the mouth the French oak has eased the tannins, but this is liquoricy and grippy, a plum-skin bite of roughening acidity and tannin as well as the 14.5% alcohol making it svelte but grippy.
(2018) Like its big brother, the Seleccion Especial, this blends Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah and is aged in French oak for a year. Still deep and dark on the nose, it is a little softer and creamier, more focused on spicy black fruits. The palate has a similar combination of sweetness and roughening tannins: its perhaps a little sweeter in fruit profile but also a little more rustic in the finish, but is a pleasing big mouthful of wine at the price that would be good with casseroles or a juicy steak.
(2018) A blend of 50% Graciano, 40% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon grown at 650 metres altitude, this spends 12 months in barrique, 90% French and 10% American. Dense and tightly furled, the nose doesn't give much initially, revealing some meat stock and savoury plum. In the mouth the picture is somewhat the same: meaty, dark, brooding, spicy with a big tannic framework. For me just a little overdone.
(2018) A blend of 50% Garnacha, 40% Syrah and 10% Merlot that spends six months in barrel, 80% French and 20% American. It is a dark and meaty style of wine, but there is a little more light and shade aromatically than in the DV+, spices and red plum, a touch of red liquorice too. In the mouth the sweet ripeness of the fleshy fruit fills the mouth, back-filled with savoury dark oak, and the tannins, alcohol and acid a touch balsamic and leathery, but powerful and persistent.
(2018) From a small plot of Syrah planted at 650 metres on limestone and sand, this is aged 16 months in 500-litre barrels. The nose is fairly tight, dense, mysterious, with meat-stock and balsamic notes, the fruit savoury and equally dark. In the mouth it is a slightly unrelenting style, which seems to mark this house, the wines rather big, extracted and tannic, masking the ripe and plush black fruit that is there in a cloak of dustiness, and slightly agressive structure. It strikes me that all of the DV wines could just lighten up a bit to great effect.
(2018) By all accounts there is a recent surge of interest in France's 'other' sparkling wines, the Crémants from Burgundy, the Loire, Alsace and various other regions, made by the traditional method and normally priced substantially lower than Champagne. This from Alsace is composed mostly of Pinot Blanc and aged nine months on the lees in bottle before disgorgement. Pouring a pale green/gold with a lively mousse, this has baked apple and pastry aromas, a sense of richness, and a touch of lemon peel. On the palate it's pretty straightforward, but it has a fine stone fruit juiciness and ripeness, a bit of weight and creamy texture and a generous finish with the acidity elegantly balanced against the fruit and touch of toastiness. At £14.99 I may not have rushed to make this Wine of the Week but I note that until Tuesday 12th June 2018 it is reduced to £11.24, which is good value. Watch the video for more information.
(2018) Juan Pi√Īero was a new name in Sherry for me. Although the company was founded in 1992 in¬†Sanlucar, with a second winery purchased in 2000, wines under its own brand were not released until 2013. This Fino has considerable age in the 'almacenista' style, the blend is around ten years old from a 400-barrel solera. Loads of developed flor aroma, more intense than many Finos, chalk, nutty Cox's pippin apples and a green tinge of fresh olive oil. Bone dry in the mouth, saline, with quite a limpid, slightly oily mouth-filling texture, lots of almond and green-fig and bitter flavours, salt and excellent acidity in the finish in a very superior and totally delicious style of Fino.¬† Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.