(2017) It's nice to know that the wines of Pinalta are available in the UK, some time after I wrote about them when they had little UK distribution. This blend of Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca is unoaked and made using only ambient yeasts - the name 'Oçitsac' meaning 'unadulterated'. There's a soaring, fresh, vinous nose of cherry and kirsch, taut black berries and a touch ozoney, minerals and spice. In the mouth it is full and ripe, the dense sweetness of fruit set against creamy, plush tannins, and a framework of acidity that gives some agility and length.
(2017) In this Vinho Regional (a bit like France's IGP/Vin de Pays) some Caberenet Sauvignon joins the local Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira. Black cherry with a touch of kirsch lift and cassis gloss on the nose, leads to a firm but fruity palate, the spine of tight, fine tannin and acidity underpinning fresh black fruits. Balanced, powerful and direct, it's a food wine, perfect with some rare roast beef perhaps.
(2017) The sixty-year-old Monastrell (Mourvèdre) here is planted on its own roots, grown by an 83-year-old Pedro, a fourth generation farmer in Jumilla, in the south east of Spain. There's a pure, ashy, dry black fruit on the nose, very direct and bold, some juicy currants and a hint of something violet-like. In the mouth the sweetness of the fruit is abundant, but as it fills the mouth with juicy ripe flavour, the firm tannins and edge of acidity clamps down, giving this savoury appeal, a little herbal and nutty dry note adding to that. Is there a little oak here? It certainly has some rounding and texture, in a lovely, easy drinking but quite powerful style.
(2017) This Fleurie is made in the Château's cellars, which belong to one of the Loron family. The Gamay is grown on pink granite soils and the wine vinified in old oak vats. It has a youthful crimson colour and pleasing, quite svelte nose of crushed black berries, cherries and a little graphite edge. In the mouth it is firm and racy, a fine core of acidity and taut tannin draped with quite concentrated black fruit. Elegant, fairly lean in style, and long.
(2017) From 50-year-old vines grown on granite soils in Saint-Amour, this is dark, slightly duller in colour than the Fleurie. Vinous, with black cherry and a sense of richness, it seems more powerful but a touch less aromatic and refined. On the palate it is solidly fruity and relatively well-balanced, perhaps a touch chewy in the finish for Beaujolais, but concentration is obvious.
(2017) From 50-year-old vines, this has a deep and vibrant crimson colour. I like the slightly herbal, sappy note of the nose that to me says 'Gamay' rather more than the Saint-Amour for example, earth, a touch of iron, and small, dry red berries beneath. Again charming, light, and full of that redcurrant and cherry fruit, a modest finish of spice, fruit and gentle tannins and acids. I prefer the style of this to the Saint-Amour, but I guess it perhaps lacks a tiny bit of substance, so I'll score it the same. Note:price and stockist quoted is for the 2014 vintage at time of review.
(2017) From granite soils rich in large crystals, vines are 50 years old on average, and this was vinified traditionally (not using carbonic maceration). Beautiful ripeness is evident, and a liquorice intensity, though it begins to reveal a tiny floral lift on the nose. Weight and delicious persistence on the palate, with a sweet black cherry fruit and tartness of cherry skins, and that firm youthful finish. Price and stockist at time of review are for the 2014 vintage.
(2017) Morgon, a village where all of the appellation's vines are situated, has slate soils that are rich in maganese. Once again the vines are quoted as being 50 years old, and the wine is vinified traditionally. Delicious aromas, lots going on and with an intense slick blackness and in the mouth, firm at the core, with plum and cherry skins. Taut stuff, glossy and ripe with such glossy character to the finish and again feeling as if it will age. Price and stockist quoted at time of review are for the 2014 vintage.
(2017) From vineyards on sedimentary soils with old alluvial deposits, again vinified traditionally and coming from 50-year-old vines. A smooth and intense character immediately, with greater intensity and meatiness compared to the Fleurie, but a soft and ripe red fruit character comes through too. Savoury, taught on the palate it is really quite grippy, its tannin structure and acidity adding to that sense of concentration and fullness. This might age rather nicely for several years. The most recent vintage I can find for retail sale in the UK is the 2010.
(2017) Red wines that can be lightly chilled are a summer pleasure. Thoughts turn to Gamay and Cabernet Franc, but this is another Loire variety called Grolleau, often made as rosé and here as a crunchily fresh red. Small, firm berries, herbs and a crack of pepper on the nose, then a palate that is not short of that dry, cranberry and raspberry fruit, but has such a clear line of acidity, gentle tannins and that fine herby, sappy character that it is an easy-drinking delight. £11.70 for Daily Drinker Club members. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.