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6 Well Deserved Touches of Luxury

Bit of a change this time folks with a broader sweep of wines ranging from unusual or unexpected gems to one with a very corny name, but sharing one characteristic – all are drinking brilliantly this summer.

With life a little quiet on promotions this week, my spotlight shifts to a tasty selection of wines, mostly at on-going prices, that I think are drinking really well this summer.

I have strayed beyond the normal retailers – and price bands – but many of you really do deserve a touch of the unusual (and luxurious) just occasionally.

As ever, click on any image for a larger picture of the wine in question.

Killing two unappreciated birds with one stone

First up, let’s tackle two seriously neglected chaps – the wines of Germany (where terrific examples of organic wines and lovely pinot noir abound these days) and riesling (no need to say more!).

These come together in the aromatic and savoury edged 2016 The Society’s Ruppertsberg (£6.95 at The Wine Society and 12.5%abv) which blends riesling with sylvaner to produce white wine with apple and pear fruit, taut lime based acidity and touches of basil.   

A smooth Italian possibly round the corner

Another often under regarded group is convenience stores so here is lovely Italian white sourced by ex Asda wine supremo, Philippa Carr MW, who is currently giving SPAR a helping hand.

With all the soft smoothness of skilfully made cortese based wine, 2016 Hand Selected Gavi (£7.50 – instead of £8.50 until 16 August at SPAR and 12%) has chalky mineral influenced apple and pear fruit with gentle – but clearly discernible – lemon acidity.

Complex wine from the Loire Valley

My final white features another underestimated grape – chenin blanc which in South Africa and, as here, in France’s Loire Valley can produce delightfully complex wine with flavours ranging from orchard fruits to honey.

Dig that bit deeper, then, for the fresh and relatively delicate 2015 Domaine Cady Anjou Cheninsolite (£14.99 at Waitrose and 14%) which, neverthless, delivers intense pineapple and ripe apple fruit combined with clean lime centred acidity yet vanilla influenced lemon curd touches too.

Switch to a red from an unknown gem

We do not wander far for the first red – a gamay from Côte Roannaise, a little known Loire region west of Lyon which (Beaujolais style) specialises in gamay.

I was hugely impressed by the floral and vivid 2015  Côte Roannaise ‘Eclat de Granite’, Domaine Sérol (£9.50 at The Wine Society and 12.5%) with its soft raspberry and pomegranate flavours and the hints of cloves, violets and thyme that support them.

Now for something intense and powerful

Next stop is for a red from Southern Italy using a grape that is weighty, rich and meaty –even by Italian standards.

Sicily’s concentrated and figgy 2016 Cantine Settesoli Aglianico (£8 at Oddbins and 13.5%) has substantial loganberry, bramble and elderberry fruit with firm tannin, good acidity accompanied by touches of graphite, chocolate, cinnamon and black pepper.

Over the ocean for an odd name but lovely wine

Finally then to the new world and the grape that the Italians call primitivo but which often seems to produce more sophisticated and food friendly reds over in California.

Forgive the name of Lodi’s bold and bright 2014 Zin-phomaniac Zinfandel (£12.99 at Inverarity Morton and 14.9%) but this is serious and complex wine with plum and red cherry fruit, suggestions of almonds, star anise and butterscotch, firm acidity but surprisingly soft tannin.

Enjoy our little excursion along the road (for this website) less travelled but we shall resume normal service next week with a look at the next Tesco promotion.   



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2 Responses

  1. Hi Brian
    Nice and different selection, not normally a fan of Gamay not found one I really enjoyed yet but I will give this one a go on your recommendation (this may be the one I’ve been looking for !)
    The Sicilian will definitely go on my to try list and the Gavi sounds interesting, all I’ve got to do is find a SPAR near me.
    Salud !

  2. I know gamay can be a hard sell – although I am one of the (sadly) small band that love it – especially as winemaking styles in Beaujolais are converging with those in Burgundy, but not on price!

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