Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Finca Flichman Gestos 2008

Tasted 27/06/2011, 14% ABV. The 2010 is about £7.50. I realised that I had had this wine in stock for nearly 2 years, so decided it was time to drink up. Argentina, particularly the great stables such as Flinchman, Balbo, Joffre and Catena, are producing superb affordable Malbecs for everyday drinking and for keeping too.. This wine falls into the former category but is a nice, elegant wine nonetheless. Dark purple colour, still very youthful. Smoke and ripe cherries on the nose, damsons and spice on the palate. Great value, versatile wine. Drink now.....15.5 / 20

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Casillero del Diablo Viognier 2009 Reserva, Casablanca Valley

Tasted 24/06/11, 13.5% ABV. About £7.50 UK retail. I am not a big fan of Viognier at any price (or from anywhere) and hence was not reall ylooking forward to 'cheap' Viognier, even from the quality-driven Concha y Toro giant. But, this wasn't bad. From their website: 'After being on the brink of extinction in 1965, this variety, a native grape of the French Rhône Valley, has seen a steady increase in its production to the point where it now stands as competition for the ever-classic Chardonnay. This is an aromatic wine with delicate flavours, mostly defined by its apricot and peach notes and low acidity'. About right. Zesty, I had a hint of pineapple too. Drink now, 14/20

I Satiri, Salice Salentino Riserva 2006 Candido

Tasted 24/06/11, 13.5% ABV. About £8.50 in Majestic. Good expression of the Negroamaro grape from Puglia - with some age - at a great price. Clear, red-brown colour with some age on the rim. Great nose of raisins, smoke, prunes and oak. Firm tannins, with lots of dark cherry fruit and a longish finish. From 2011, 16.5/20

Monday, 20 June 2011

Gran Vendema Rioja Gran Reserva 2002

Tasted 19/06/2011. 14% ABV, about £10 (Majestic). This is cheaper, 'new style' Rioja that is now coming into its own. It was a bargain a year ago when I bought a case and it is now drinking well but has life yet. Cherry red, showing just a hint of age around the edges of the glass. Leather, toffee and cinnamon on the nose. Elegant and full in the mouth with lively tannins still. Vanilla and berry fruits. This has improved since tasting it about a year ago. From 2012. 16.5 / 20

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Barbera d'Asti DOCG 2009 De Forville (Piedmont)

Tasted 18/06/2011 with Sara, Beata and Jean-Marc. 14% ABV, £12.49 in Majestic. A good Barbaresco of the new style. Good for youthful drinking or will keep. Deep red colour, clear. Great aromas of smoke, spice, red cherries. Lots of tannin masking the fruit. In the mouth, it shows its credentials and elegance but it needs longer. Drink now with a rich antipasti or creamy sauce - but I'd keep it for a while yet. From 2013. 17/20

Errázuriz Wild Ferment Pinot Noir, 2008 (Casablanca)

Tasted 17/06/11 with Sara, Beata and Jean-Marc. ca. £12 UK retail. My last bottle of the '08 and improved on last year when I first tasted it. One of the best wines from Errázuriz, this is made from young vines but hand picked and selected bunches, and has 9 months in French oak after fermentation with 'wild yeasts'. This is an incredibly young-drinking but complex and elegant pinot noir, a universe away from tannic and long lived Burgundy-style wines. The nose is beautifully complex strawberries and rosehips. In the mouth it's long and elegant with smooth red fruits and a surprising richness. Highly recommended and superb value for money. From 2011, 17.5 /20

Macon-Uchizy AOC 2008

Tasted 17/6/2011 with Sara, Beata and Jean-Marc. 13% ABV, £8.99 Marks and Spencer. Very pleasant commune Maconnais, 100% Chardonnay by R & G Sallet. A very well balanced wine with a nice buttery roundness and citrusy flavours. Perhaps this shows that white French wine below £10 can compete with the New World! Recommended. From 2011, 16/20

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Valdivieso Reserva Merlot 2008, Rapel Valley

Tasted 7/6/11, 13.5%, about £9 UK retail. This Merlot may be a long way from a 10 year old St. Emilion in style, but it is a fine example of great Chilean wine making. It's deep red with beautiful red berry fruits, cherries and a hint of allspice on the nose. The restrained oak gives a nice layer of vanilla. This is fruit-forward for sure but its elegant and refined and well balanced with smooth tannins. Lovely - what value! From 2011, 16.5/20
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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG Filicheto Castellani 2006

Tasted 01/06/11 with Sara. 13.5% ABV, about £10 UK with Majestic. A 'cheap' VNdM but a good expression of the style and the Sangiovese grape. Light ruby red, showing some age. Lovely nose: full, cherries, vanilla and a hint of pepper. In the mouth, it's still quite full and a little tannic but long and elegant. There's lots of dry, juicy red fruits and a finish that is reminiscint of cherries and rapsberries. Not the highest echelon of this Tuscan region but a very nice wine, excellent value for money. From 2011, 16.5 /20