Sunday, 28 June 2020

Maison Roche de Bellene Bourgogne Rouge Vieilles Vignes 2015

From the great negociant Nicolas Potel comes a somewhat superior Bourgogne Rouge. This is an old vines blend from several of his holdings but it's 2015, so the five years of age pays off. This is very much there entry-level wine but at about £13 including duty and VAT et cetera from Lay And Wheeler this one is better then than most entry level red burgundy is that you can put your hands on. This is very much there entry-level wine but at about £13 including duty and VAT from Lay And Wheeler, this one is better than most entry-level red burgundy that you can put your hands on....
It's not incredibly complex or nuanced but is a wonderful example of an entry-level Pinot Noir from Burgundy at its best. It's very much French, dry, brick red with some brown tinges but there is lovely red fruit with just some judicious use of oak. After four hours of opening it has definitely improved. There was a hint of farmyard and charcuterie on the nose But ready now and matched superbly with my slow roast beef brisket. Drink 2020-23. 16.6/20

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG 2019

Santa Rita Medalla Real Carmenere 2018 Gran Reserva (Colchagua)

The usually reliable Santa Rita winery, which is quality driven and produces some of the best value wines in Chile, unfortunately comes up short this time. Okay, it was on offer for £8 reduced from a putative £12 at Majestic (as part of their 40th anniversary celebration) but I was expecting better. Didn't really taste like Carmenere much at all! It was very green and stalky and dominated by bell peppers on both nose and palate, which I associate with cheap South American Cabernet Sauvignon! Short finish and very angular tannins. It's only two years old so I'll store away my second bottle for a while to give it another chance. Disappointing. Drink from 2021. 13/20

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Barolo 2013 Peironte

There is a belief in the wine world that you should not pay less than £30 pb for a Barolo (and ideally more, much more in some cases) and I'm afraid that this is a living testament to that aphorism. I don't want to be churlish as this was a gift to me from a colleague two Christmases ago and it's Marks & Spencer's in-house Barolo for about £16. Though it had seven years of age, it was fairly uninteresting, a little bit thin and uninspiring. The wine's nose was non-descript and could have been any red wine rather than a signature of Nebbiolo. The palate was somewhat fruit forward with a short finish. Oh dear. 12/20

Manuel Marinacci Barbareso 2014

A lovely Nebbiolo from a fine producer. This is my birthday wine for this week and probably my most expensive but also honestly my best wine of my lockdown tastings so far. One day after opening, it is superb. The nose is gamey and dark fruits with hints of stewed plums. The palate is dry, nuanced, elegant with a very long finished. Great balance of fruit and tannins, good now but drink until 2030. Quite lovely. Well done Lay and Wheeler. 18/20

Chablis AOC 2018

This is from the Sainsbury's Taste the Difference range and it's from the reliable and quality-driven UVC stable - the Viticultural Union of Chablis. They produce scores of in-house wines and own label wines for retailers across Europe. Sainsburys led the way with supermarket wines in the early 1980s, when there was a lots of snobbery about wines that didn't come from merchants. Before the likes of Waitrose or Ocado they were the leading lights of supermarket wines in the middle to lower level. Many of their wines complete favourably with merchant ones that I have higher prices.
But this one is disappointing. Even though the 2018 was a variable year, it should be better and at two years old should be a drinkable level now. Very generic, little minerality and not very distinctive. £10 13/20