Posts Tagged ‘Red’

Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz 2007 (Australia)

April 9, 2010

If you’ve not tried Australian Shiraz, I’m surprised you’re even reading a blog about wine to be honest! Incredibly popular in the last 10-15 years, it’s undoubtedly one of the best-selling styles of wine in the UK, and for good reason. Reliably good quality, good value, and great flavours are very typical when it comes to these big reds from Down Under. Almost always spicy or peppery to some extent as a result of a good whack of oak during the aging period, they are usually full of dark fruits and vanilla too, and almost always bring super-supple, silky smooth tannins to the table, softening the edges of what can otherwise be immense and intense wines.

The likes of Hardy’s, Yellow Tail and Jacob’s Creek may dominate at the supermarket (and to be fair, offer very good value for money given the rock-bottom prices they achieve these days), but spend a couple of extra quid, and you can get some storming wines for your money. Push the boat out to £10+ and you’re onto another planet entirely, reaching up towards some of the best wines in the world at the very top, and stumbling over some absolute corkers in between.

This weekend’s bottle brings all of the classic Aussie Shiraz qualities to the fore, at a very affordable price. The colour is a lovely deep red with a vibrant purple rim, and the aromas immediately grab your nostrils and suck you in. Deep and rich scents of blackberries, plums and cedar are quickly followed up by flavours of dark cherries and juicy plums in the mouth. Intense and full-bodied, spicy and warm, smooth and supple. The finish is persistent and thoroughly enjoyable. Great value for money at £7.49.

This was another wine I tweeted about live as I tasted (See here, here, and here). If you want to know more about this wine, the technical sheet is available here. We’ve opened a bottle for you to try this weekend, and while it’s open, you get 10% off 2 or more bottles, and 15% off 6 or more.

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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.

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.

Twitter Wine offer – 8/3/2010

March 8, 2010

For tonight only, anyone who orders my selected mixed case of tip-top sub-£10 wines gets a whopping 20% off if they place the order through Twitter before midnight! This is a fantastic chance to sample 6 different wines that I absolutely love, at a brilliant price. The set would normally set you back £48.94, but for tonight only, Twitter can have it for £39.14! Tweet meto order, or for more info if you’re interested. Below are my own brief tasting notes on each wine along with their usual full-price:

Tohu Kono Sauvignon Blanc, 2008 (£7.99) – Marlborough, New Zealand
Kono is made by the indigenous Maori of New Zealand, and is probably our best selling white wine in the shop, for very good reason. Sauvignon Blanc is immensely popular in the UK, which certainly helps, but this is a very good value example. It’s much more elegant and subtle than most Sauvignon Blancs at this price level, and has really nice melon, peach, lemon and gooseberry flavours. Lovely refreshing stuff!

“Dr. L” Loosen Bros Riesling, 2008 (£8.49) – Mosel, Germany
Light (only 8.5% alcohol), zippy, vibrantly fruity white wine, with the classic sweet palate and crisp refreshing acidity that good German whites are famous for amongst wine lovers. This is a fantastic example of precisely why Germany is regarded as one of the best wine-making countries in the world, despite a bit of an image-problem amongst the population at large. This is a far cry from the frankly shocking stuff that used to be churned into the UK market a decade ago! One of my absolute favourite white wines, simply for being so different to everything else out there (aside from other German Rieslings).

The Lizard Pink Shiraz, 2008 (£6.49) – Languedoc, France
Crisp and refreshing rose, demonstrating how good (and affordable) the stuff can be if you know where to look. This is no White Zinfandel, lacking any of the sweetness that California’s become famous for. Instead this is a wine that’s full of crisp and dry cranberry and redcurrant fruit flavours, and leaves me licking my lips thirsting for more every time.

Chat-eu-Oeuf Rose, 2008 (£6.49) – Languedoc, France
A similar style rose to the Lizard Pink Shiraz, this again offers crisp and refreshing red-berry fruit flavours. This example also has a nice touch of sweet spice, and a bit more warmth on the palate. All around more juicy and mouth-filling, this is a more openly fruity rose.

Patrizi “Bricco Rosso” Dolcetto Di Dogliani, 2007 (£9.49) – Piemonte, Italy
Probably my favourite Italian red I’ve tried to date for under £10, this wine has an intense purple colour with pleasant brambly, wild berry and plummy fruit aromas. Bitter cherry and gripping tannins on the palate and a deliciously long, spicy finish. Fabulous stuff!

Lapostolle “Casa” Merlot, 2007 (£9.99) – Rapel Valley, Chile
From arguably one of Chile’s best wine producers, this is a cracking example of why Chile has become so well known for good Merlot. A red that features typical and intense plummy and red-fruit flavours, a fascinating set of aromas and a luscious, velvety smooth texture, this is some seriously good wine at a very good price. 6 months of oak lend it a spicy complexity. As well as being a fab wine to drink now, this is one that will keep improving for another 5-10 years.

De Bortoli Windy Peak Sangiovese 2005

January 29, 2010


De Bortoli Windy Peak Sangiovese 2005

Originally uploaded by The Wineyard

De Bortoli Windy Peak Sangiovese 2005: Wonderfully rich brick-red colour. Fantastic nose; what I usually imagine classic old-world reds like Chianti and Rioja to be like – plenty of cherries and vanilla (definitely got some oak in this one), but also full of fascinating aromas that I still struggle to identify (maybe you guys will have some better ideas?). In the mouth, it’s light and fruity stuff. Cherries dominate but some lovely spicy warmth and vanilla notes coming from the oak ageing. Very similar to Italian Chianti (which mostly uses the Sangiovese grape, so no surprise there). Really tasty stuff, and a more unusual and interesting bottle to get from Australia. Definitely a great food wine – pasta/pizza should be great with this.

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.