Archive for the ‘Red wine’ Category

De Bortoli VAT 1 Petite Sirah 2006 (Australia)

April 3, 2010

Petite Sirah, also known as Durif in Australia, is a little-known red grape variety that’s starting to crop up in all sorts of interesting places (Mexico for example; L.A.Cetto produces a fascinating wine that we also stock). It’s probably originally best-known as one of the grapes sometimes used in Bordeaux as part of the world-famous red blends the region produces, but has been showing it’s potential as a single varietal in other climates for a while now.

This award-winning example from De Bortoli exudes powerful, intense dark fruit flavours and aromas. In the glass it is an inky purple colour, and on the nose shows some fabulous spicy cedary chocolatey aromas. After just one whiff of this beauty, my mouth was watering and I knew I was going to love it. Absolutely gorgeous stuff! I tweeted my thoughts live as I tasted (see here) and the flavours didn’t disappoint. “Warm brambly blackberry fruits, nice lick of spice and oak giving it great depth and character.” (Quoted from this Tweet of mine)

This is a really top-drawer full-bodied red, and offers a stunning QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) with bags of flavour and complexity. A new and very firm favourite for me, that falls wonderfully into my own budget for wine at £8.99 a bottle (special offers running this weekend whilst it’s open for you to try for free: 2/4/2010 – 5/4/2010).

Come and see us at the shop if you’d like to taste this wine for yourself, and bring your wallet because you’ll want to stock up if you do. The wine suggests an aging potential of up to 5 years, but as you might have guessed, it is already drinking very well indeed.

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Painter Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (California, USA)

March 26, 2010
Painter Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (California, USA)

Painter Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (California, USA)

Tonight’s red I’m trying is Painter Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 from sunny California, USA. American wines often get a bad rep over in the UK, particularly Californian stuff, due to the glut of sweet, alcoholic, lower end wines like Blossom Hill, Sutter Home, and Gallo. However, the yanks produce mid- and top-tier wines too (this example being a mid-level offering) and have established themselves as capable wine-makers. They are often criticised for being overpriced, although this has been changing in recent months, with the recession pushing many producers into exporting more heavily. As a result, we are starting to see some good wines coming across the pond at more realistic prices, and in some interesting styles that aren’t often found elsewhere (notably, old vine Zinfandel is fairly unique to California).

This Cabernet Sauvignon fetches £7.99 on our shelves, and only just came into stock today. As it was a wine Barry had ordered, I was yet to try it so it promptly went into my bag for tonight. On the nose the wine has strong fruity aromas, and on the palate it is full of fruit flavours, with just a touch of vanilla. Cherry and raspberry dominate, with a little bit of a curranty note on the finish, which is fairly persistent. All in all, very tasty stuff, at a more than reasonable price. Definitely a good pizza wine in my book. If you prefer your reds less forwardly fruity and jammy, and with a bit more oak in them, give the Chilean “Tormenta” Cabernet Sauvignon I tried the other night a go.

Norfolk Rise Shiraz 2006 (Mount Benson, Australia)

March 25, 2010
Norfolk Rise Shiraz 2006 (Mount Benson, Australia)

Norfolk Rise Shiraz 2006 (Mount Benson, Australia)

For tonight’s tasting I’ve been getting you guys to vote today for which wine I tried, as the previous blog entry details. The Aussie Shiraz just pipped the Argentine white, so without further ado, here’s what I and a few friends thought of it:

A fantastic nose with a real smokiness and dark berry fruit about it. The aromas were by far the best thing about it for one of us. The palate was incredibly rich, full of dark berry fruit and a sweet-sour edge that a couple of us really enjoyed, and a couple were not so excited about. We all got slightly different flavours in the mouth, with some getting cherry, others grapefruit, and myself finding chocolatey blackberry notes. Everyone agreed that the wine was very smooth, with supple soft tannins (a quality Australian Shiraz is known for) giving it a velvety mouthfeel, and we all picked up the pepperiness and warmth that the producer described on the back label. The finish is pretty persistent too, with some nice fruit flavours sticking around for some time.

All in all, I’d happily recommend this to fans of Aussie Shiraz as an excellent quality full-bodied red (the 14.5% alcohol was fairly evident). Another Australian Shiraz that we also stock, which has also been written about on this blog, is the Billi Billi Shiraz 2005 (Mount Langhi Ghiran, Australia), which has less chocolatey peppery notes, and much more damson plum, violets and vanilla in the mouth. Both are cracking wines, although for my own palate, I prefer the Billi Billi style, with less sweet-sour flavours and more upfront fruit.

If you’re interested in getting me to review any particular wines in the weeks and months ahead, get in touch and let me know what you enjoy and I’ll be sure to include an example of a style/grape/region in a write-up soon. You can also follow me on Twitter to see what I’m drinking on any given night, and what I think of it (it’s almost always something new I’ve never tried before, and I love suggestions for what to try next).

Rioja Gift Set in 6 bottle wooden box

January 23, 2010

Rioja Gift Set in wooden box

This set of six fantastic bottles of Rioja includes four Reservas and two Gran Reservas, worth almost £80 sold individually. Bought together in this beautiful wooden gift box, they are just £75.00! The following wines make up the collection (click their names to see tasting notes):

Azpilicueta Rioja Reserva 2003 – £11.99

Alcorta Rioja Reserva 2003 – £11.99

Marques de Arienzo Rioja Reserva 2002 – £12.49

Marques de Mudela Rioja Reserva 2000 – £12.99

Siglo Rioja Gran Reserva 2000 – £14.49

Marques de Arienzo Rioja Gran Reserva 1998 – £14.99

Marques de Arienzo Rioja Gran Reserva 1998

January 23, 2010

Marques de Arienzo Rioja Gran Reserva 1998

An exceptional Rioja winery, Marques de Arienzo produces estate wines with emphasis on the soft, aromatic characters of the Rioja Alavesa region.

The Wine

Its intense colour has mahogany and ruby hues. Amidst its tremendous aromatic complexity we can highlight the exotic spice and balsamic hint, and an elegant touch of leather. In the mouth it is vigorous, very powerful and robust, with excellent persistence that leaves a pleasant long lasting aftertaste.

Marques de Arienzo Rioja Reserva 2002

January 23, 2010

Marques de Arienzo Rioja Reserva 2002

An exceptional Rioja winery, Marques de Arienzo produces estate wines with emphasis on the soft, aromatic characters of the Rioja Alavesa region.

The Wine

Intense ruby red in colour, this Reserva’s aromatic elegance lies in the subtle blend between spices, ripe fruit and vanilla. Its elegant flavours transmit balanced and persistent notes with an extraordinary rounded finish.

Marques de Mudela Rioja Reserva 2000

January 23, 2010

Marques de Mudela Rioja Reserva 2000

Juan Alcorta winery is arguably one of the world’s leading edge wineries boasting the latest in winemaking facilities and innovative winemaking techniques. This innovation combined with 30 year old vines gives rise to some of Rioja’s most prestigious and enjoyable wines.

The Wine

Ruby red colour with a gold rim. Complex nose combining a fruit side with hints of oak. A smooth, balanced attack, elegant and full-bodied, with a long lingering finish.

Marques de Mudela Rioja Reserva 2000Rub

Alcorta Rioja Reserva 2003

January 23, 2010

Alcorta Rioja Reserva 2003

Alcorta wines are produced from the premium single estate vineyards of Navarette and Torremontalbo in the Rioja Alta region. These vineyards plant only high quality Tempranillo grapes to produce elegant and fruity wines.

The Wine

Cherry red with a ruby hue, bright and clear, with good depth of colour. A complex nose with ripe red berry aromas and hints of toasted wood and spices. In the mouth it is smooth and meaty, with good backbone and a long aromatic finish.

Siglo Rioja Gran Reserva 2000

January 23, 2010

Siglo Rioja Gran Reserva 2000

Bodega AGE combines traditional Rioja techniques and new technical advances, with the sole aim of creating and improving quality in wines such as Siglo.

The Wine

Ruby red in colour with coppery, golden glints. Smooth, with a harmonious complexity of vanilla and spices from the oak ageing process. On the palate, meaty and velvety smooth, with a powerful complex finish.

Azpilicueta Rioja Reserva 2003

January 23, 2010

Azpilicueta Rioja Reserva 2003

Juan Alcorta winery is aruably one of the world’s leading edge wineries boasting the latest in winemaking facilities and innovative winemaking techniques. This innovation combined with 30 year old vines gives rise to some of Rioja’s most prestigious and enjoyable wines.

The Wine

Intense ruby red colour with nuances of brick. Subtle aromas of vanilla and quince on the nose. In the mouth, it is smooth and silky with a pleasant persistence. Elegant and round on the palate.