Thursday, 30 April 2020

Vasse Felix Filius Chardonnay 2016 Western Australia

This is consistently one of my favourite New World Chardonnay is from a great producer in Western Australia. This is the second from bottom entry level wine punches above its weight at about £ 14 per bottle from Majestic and other retailers. Well made with some judicious use of oak but not too oaky for sure. The four years of bottle age has definitely benefited. Zesty nose and a buttery pallet with restrained vanilla.
Really lovely wine and at this price point gives AOC Chablis and Macon Villages a run for their money. 16.5/20 - drink now.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Cotes du Rhone Les Peyrouses 2017 Alain Voge

A great wine, courtesy of my merchant, Lay and Wheeler.

It's lovely, good now and screams of Rhone. I assume it's a GSM blend though it does says 30% Carignan and I suspect it errs toward Syrah. CdR is so often disappointing and I don't buy much Rhone generally (if I do, it's southern Rhone like CndPape) but this is lovely, elegant and well balanced - a good mouthfeel of soft tannins and lovely dark fruits on the nose and on the palate.

A good sense of place - well made - could only be from this part of the world.

A long, peppery finish. Ca. £18 from L&W, drink now 2024. 16.5/20

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Saturday, 18 April 2020

Giovanni Almondo ‘Roero’ DOCG 2015

A lovely wine supplied by Lay And Wheeler. A fine Nebbiolo from Monta d'Alba in Piedmont from a well regarded producer. The five years of bottle age has paid dividends. It is perfect to drink now. Light brick red in colour, the nose is classic for the region - hints of tar and black fruit on the nose, the palate is dry and long with lingering stewed plums and liquorice. The fruit is still prominent and it's not as concentrated or tannic as some of the more classic Nebbiolos but at about £15 a bottle this is an absolute bargain. Drink now - 2025. 16/20

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Domaine Alain Chavy Bourgogne 2016

From a top producer, this is a Domaine-driven Bourgogne Blanc and represents excellent vslley and quality from the fine merchant Howard Ripley.
This is so unmistakably chardonnay from Burgundy as opposed to anywhere else! Beautifully balanced with judicious use of oak, quite buttery and rich on the palate but balanced with good acidity. Vanilla and citrus on the nose. Punches above is weight and price! 16/20. Drink now - 2022.

Luis Pato vinho tinto Beira Atlantico 2012

The great winemaker Luis Pato (and now his daughter Filipa) pioneered viticulture in the less favoured region of Barraida, to much international acclaim. This lovely table wine, forgotten in our household stock, and hence 8 years' old, was excellent with a pasta supper and a roasted meat lunch.
Not too alcoholic at 12%. A mixture of the local Baga grape and Touriga Nacional. Great farmyard, gamey and forest floor notes in the nose. The palate is dry, a touch tannic and with lovely character of cured ham. Reminiscent of a good village Burgundy with some age.
A bargain at about €5 in Portugal (when bought in 2016). 16/20. Drink now.

Emiliana Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon / Carmenere 2015

From a top Chilean producer, this is a fine wine that illustrates that at this price point (about £12) the New World punches much better than the Old World. Five years of age now it's drinking beautifully. This is from a producer that has gone increasingly organic (but thankfully not biodynamic or natural!).
This is well-balanced and elegant, beautiful black fruits, cassis and pepper on the palate. The nose has a hint of age and the colour is slightly tinging to brown. Well worth the putative 92 points. And it shows that there is value in keeping the South American wines for a few years from the good producers - they're not all early drinking fruit bombs!
18/20. Drink now 2022.

Friday, 10 April 2020

Traboules Coteaux du Lyonnais, G.Clusel 2017

Almost in the Rhone, the very name C du Lyonnais unfortunately conjures up images of 1980s cheap red wines, when people didn't want to pay the price for proper Burgundy or Rhone.
But you'd be greatly mistaken if that was your judgement on this wine and these wines today.
This is the Lay And Wheeler wine and hence has that good pedigree, from a good producer and actually uses the gamay grape.
It's fruit forward for sure but very balanced, well-made and a fantastic food wine and not too heavy. 16/20. Drink 2018-22.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Le Haut Lieu Vouvray 2017

From a top producer this is a lovely wine and although being drunk slightly young, it's very accessible now. Beautiful sense of place, this really has lovely chenin blanc typicity with real feelings of terroir that scream of Loire! Rich, elegant and complex, one of Lay and Wheeler's best. Tart apples on the palate with a great finish. Drink 2020-25. 18.5/20

Volpaia Chianti Classico 2016

A solid Chianti from a find a state visit sample of the good 2016 vintage. This is the entry level wine - there is a riserva and gran selection above this. And it shows. Though it was better a day after opening, this is a little thin and doesn't have a great deal of fruit or the fine tannins I would expect. There are certainly the classic sangiovese characteristics on the nose and palate but just rather understated. 16/20