For your cellar: Great wines you should be trying. November/December 2009

Drinks: Wines

Great wines you should be trying

Liberty Wines Portfolio Tasting
A diverse selection from this merchant’s recent portfolio tasting – Italians, Australians, and even one Canadian offering. 020 7720 5350

D de Devaux La Cuvée NV, Champagne Devaux, France, £23.55
Excellent mousse with good autolysis and brioche on the nose. Raised lime acidity with angular lemon and lime fruit but an extra dimension of weight and balance. Long and refreshing finish. CA

Dolcetto d’Alba 2008, GD Vajra, Italy, £9.78
This explosive red is packed with bursting cherries and violets, with true Piedmontaise spirit and vibrant acidity. To be enjoyed with charcuterie or cheeses at any time of the afternoon. AB

Entity Barossa Valley Shiraz 2006, John Duval, Australia, £13.88
John Duval produces this exquisite, savoury and gamey Shiraz in a very Rhône style in the Barossa Valley; I love his style of winemaking, which produces subtle yet deep wines that actually work well with food and aren’t too jammy or too concentrated. AB

Innocent Bystander Chardonnay 2007, Australia, £7.28
From Phil Sexton in the Yarra Valley comes this elegant, well-balanced Chardonnay. It shows tropical fruits on the nose and has a very unintrusive palate where the oak is not evident but very much Burgundian in style. AB

Kamptal Riesling 2008, Loimer, Austria, £8.53
Lovely pale green colour. Fresh lime and grass on the nose. Rich in the mouth but with great balance and acidity. Crisp citrus fruit and a long, refreshing finish. CA

Le Clos Jordanne Pinot Noir Single Vineyard 2006, Ontario, Canada, £17.23
This was a true discovery; from organic vineyards in Ontario comes this elegant and velvety Pinot, rich with roses and dark berries, with an incredible spicy character and luscious, lingering finish. AB

Quinta da Romaneira 2007, Portugal, £11.00
A blend of Malvasia and Gouveio, a rich, complex white, aromatic on the first attack, with a subtle oak finish giving richness and spiciness, and a long, nutty aftertaste. AB

Roero Arneis San Michele 2008, Deltetto, Italy, £9.03
Intense rich peach and apricot nose with elegant structure, good body and dry finish, to be enjoyed any time, with anything, as long as the company is good! AB

All wines featured here are available only to the on-trade and small independents. Prices quoted are single bottle, ex-VAT unless specified.

Tasters: AB: Andrea Briccarello (Galvin Restaurants) CA: Caspar Auchterlonie CC: Clinton Cawood JS: Julie Sheppard

£10 AND UNDER £10-£20 OVER £20

Hospices de Beaujeu Beaujolais-Villages 2007, Beaujolais, France
Instantly appealing on the nose, which is packed with bright cherry fruit. The palate is more subdued, with stewed strawberries, cherries and a touch of violet, but soft tannins make it easy drinking. Good house wine. JS
£6.66, Wine Studio, 0845 085 8855

Lourens River Valley 2004, Morgenster, Somerset West, South Africa
Some interesting funk and undergrowth notes, plus blackcurrant fruit, and a smoked-meat character, both on the nose and palate. A juicy, substantial wine, with sour cherry and blueberry on the palate, and a modest amount of tannin. CC
£12.35, Wine Studio, 0845 085 8855

Poderi Aldo Conterno 2004, Barolo, Italy
A truly great wine. Superb perfume on the nose of violets and some chocolate. Firm acidity and tannins, with outstanding plum and bramble fruit, with smoke and leather. Full mouthfeel and a lingering, smoky finish. CA
£39.65, Liberty Wines, 020 7720 5350

New Generation Wines
01233 656787

Chablis Domaine Hervé Azo 2007, Burgundy, France £9.97
Now I am not one to recommend Chablis lightly, as virtually every list needs one, but this really ticked all the boxes. Proper mineral nose and lovely depths of flavour with real richness and a zing of acidity. Lush and long with a lovely crisp precise finish. CA

Alex Gambal Fixin Blanc 2007, Burgundy, France £16.73
Rare as hen’s teeth. Full, lifted, peach stone nose. Lovely weight and balance with lush peach and pear fruit. Full, with elegance and structure. Balancing acidity with a long and persistent finish. CA

Prosecco Frizzante Spago NV, Rive della Chiesa £5.95
Astonishingly good value for money. Fantastically light and frothy with loads of fresh apple fruit. No aggression, just clean, light refreshing flavours and a long juicy finish. Lovely. CA

Wines of Chile
Three stand-out wines from the annual Chile tasting

Vinedos Terranoble Carmenère Gran Reserva 2007, Maule
Appealing richness of bright blackberry fruit with some leafiness on the nose. Bramble and blackcurrant fruit on the palate that is very enticing. Long and quite restrained finish. CA
£7.50, Pimlico Cellars Agencies, 020 7834 3647

Emiliana Adobe Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Casablanca
Nice greeny yellow colour. Fresh grassy citrus aromas on the nose with predominant lime. Crisp and fresh on the palate with bright lifted acidity and a clean, refreshing finish. CA
£4.92, Boutinot, 0161 908 1300

Terra Andina Altos Carmenère/Carignan 2007, Valle Central
Deep purple colour with attractive bright bramble aromas. Super sweet ripe fruit on the palate – fresh blackcurrant and some plum. All wrapped up with a smoky, long finish. CA
£7.00, Grupo Codorniu UK, 01892 500250

Best of the Rest: Our Top Picks

Circumstance, Waterkloof, Paarl, South Africa
We were highly impressed by a selection of wines in this great-value range from Paarl producer Waterkloof. The 2008 Viognier (£5.92) is full and fruity on the palate, with nectarine, Cape gooseberry, orange and a slight honeyed note, ending with surprising freshness. The Circumstance 2007 Shiraz (£9.25), while similarly packed with fruit, is an example of considered winemaking. Smoke and spice notes are well supported by great acidic red currant, blueberry and blackcurrant 

flavours – a structured and approachable wine. CC
Boutinot, 0161 908 1300

Levin Sauvignon Blanc 2006, Loire, France, £5.50
The latest vintage of this excellent-value Sauvignon, 2007, impressed Sommelier Wine Award judges, making the 2009 shortlist. There’s still stock of the 2006, though, and it’s ageing gracefully. CC

Levin Wines, 020 7808 0600

Champagne Penet-Chardonnet, France
We sampled two grand cru fizzes from this small grower and were equally impressed

with both. First up, the Reserve Brut (£24) has approachable aromas of apples freshened up with intense ripe lemon notes. This is followed by flavours of Pink Lady apples and hints of orange zest on the palate,

which has lovely balance and a crisp finish. The Grande Reserve Extra-Brut (£35) has surprisingly rich biscuity aromas, along with pear, grapefruit, apple and candied orange peel hints. Lots happening on the palate too: ripe pear, orange and lemon zest with a persistent acidity. Makes a fabulous aperitif. JS
Wine Aux, 01435 874444

Indigenous Grape Varieties

Tenuta Di Capezzana 2007, Barco Reale di Carmignano, Italy £8.50, Liberty, 020 7720 5350
Sangiovese sums Italy up perfectly, wine wise. Tight structure with good tannins and fruit, this has another dimension with bramble and damson notes.

Figure Libre Maccabeo 2007, Gayda, Languedoc, France £11.15, New Generation, 01233 656787
Brooding and weighty with good colour. Integrated wood with soft apple, honeyed fruit. A lovely autumnal wine.

Filosur Torrontés 2008, Andeluna, Mendoza, Argentina £6.00-£7.99, Novum Wines, 020 7953 7550
Lovely floral, perfumed nose of melon and honeysuckle. Rich and floral on the palate with soft peach and pear flavours, and good acidity.

Owner and Operator, Sam’s Brasserie & Bar, and Harrison’s

Duckbill Riesling 2008, Great Southern Region, Western Australia £5.99, John Armit Wines, 020 7908 0690
I love the freshness and mineral qualities of this wine, it reminds me of the two years I spent in Australia.

Satzen 2008, Grüner Veltliner, Weingut Manfred Felsner, Kremstal, Austria £7.04, Laytons Wines, 020 7288 8888
I really like the slight peppery quality of this wine and it goes so well with food. It is always a fun wine to recommend and get customers to try for the first time.

Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Robertson, Western Cape, South Africa £4.55, Jascots Wines, 020 8965 2000
Really delicious South African wine that delivers well beyond its price point – packed full of vibrant flavour.

Editorial feature from Imbibe Magazine – November / December 2009

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