(2022) Amongst the cheaper wines of this selection, 100% Garnacha or Grenache, made in stainless steel. Immediately juicy, easy and attractive on the nose, there's a little floral perfume to the ripe red berries. The palate has a creamy texture and almost chocolaty edge, the fruit a little darker than the nose suggested, with a ripe but biting axis of spice, tannin and acidity to freshen the finish. Excellent everyday house wine potential here.
(2021) Cherry, lipstick and red liquorice aromas in this relatively deep pink wine, a touch of tanky pear drop. Onto the just off-dry palate, well-tempered raspberry and small red berry fruits, the texture is nicely medium-bodied and the balance of acidity and fruit is good. No heather will be set on fire, but summery and quaffable. Available early May (tbc)
(2021) An unoaked blend from Navarra, this has a generous dark berry fruitiness, a little tug of tobacco spice too. In the mouth it's a sweet and juicy, gluggable drinker. There is a welcome touch of grippy and rustic tannin and some dry, cherry-pit acidity to add a bit of austerity against the sweet fruit.
(2021) A barrel-fermented Chardonnay from Navarra in the south of Spain, as cheap as chips at £5.99 and nicely understated on the nose, just a creamy background to ripe, red apple fruitiness. On the palate it is straightforward, lemony, more juicy apple and it is clean and well-made. Not a distinctive Chardonnay, but a light- to medium-bodied quaffer, oak way in the background.
(2020) Grenache and Grenache Blanc are combined here in a wine that has seen partial barrel fermentation, followed by ageing on the lees for five months. It's a wine with a very appealing blend of power and concentration, but good freshness and a vivacious side too. Cool, orchard fruit and citrus aromas have just a little suggestion of maybe marshmallow, or certainly something sweet with a touch of berry fruit. In the mouth it has good texture and weight, very cool and pure fruit, and the acidity drives the wine to the finish.
(2020) One of the more unusual and more interesting pink wines, principally because it is a rare barrel-fermented rosé, the blend composed of 54% Garnacha (Grenache) and 46% Tempranillo, from Chivite's Navarra vineyards in northern Spain. It is pale in colour and pretty on the nose, the aromas immediately betray that barrel influence from the Alliers oak, vanilla, toast and a touch of truffle, but that's amongst the fragrant raspberry and summery, blossom fruits. In the mouth that creaminess and toast from the barrel is evident again, adding lots of intrigue, and melting into the soft pillow of red berries, a good and slightly salty acidity, all completing a fascinating picture.
(2020) Another wine in a 250ml ringpull can (aluminium and recyclable), this is 100% old-vine Grenache and is organic, from vineyards in Navarra, Spain. It pours a pale and vibrant rose pink, with quite mellow aromas, lightly creamy red fruits. In the mouth it is lively, with a very gentle spritz on opening that dissipates, then sweetly-ripe, strawberry and papaya flavours and gentle acidity making it very easy to drink and picnic-friendly. It's quite widely available, and 31Dover.com sell a four-pack for just under £15.
(2015) This Chardonnay comes from the 500-600m altitude vineyards pf Chivite in Navarra and is fermented partly in stainless steel and partly in French oak barrels (2nd and 3rd use). It is made by Bordeaux white wine superstar Denis Dubourdieu. A lovely cool nose of schist, river stones, flint and complex sulphides, with a fabulously punchy palate, loads of fruit, loads of tangy Seville orange and lime acidity, long and really rather superb in a Chablis mould. Unfortunately it is in only six branches of Waitrose, but it is available from their online store too.
(2014) An unspecified blend of indigenous grapes, the 12% alcohol of this northern Spanish wine suggest it will be fresh, and indeed it is. There's a touch of peardrop and bubblegummy youthfulness, a hint of very ripe Ogen melon, and plenty of zesty citrus. On the palate it is vibrant and keen, with good fruit personality, and its inherent sweetness punchily counterbalanced by orange acidity. Easy to drink and nicely pitched for aperitif or lighter, salad, seafood and fish dishes.
(2014) >From vineyards in Navarra, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, this unoaked and youthful Tempranillo has plenty of deep colour and a super-fresh, curranty and crunchy nose of black berries and cherries, with a hint of charcoal adding a dry, serious note. On the palate there's plenty of sweet black fruit, bursting with ripeness, though medium bodied and retaining freshness into a long finish of gentle tannins and cherry-juice acidity. Deliciously quaffable, vital stuff and great with chorizo or, indeed, chilli con carne.