Posts Tagged ‘Vanilla’

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.

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.

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.

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.