Hallgarten's new wines: Our top seven

Chris Losh

Chris Losh

20 November 2019

From wines you could barely spell to resurgent classics; from regions you couldn’t find on a map to wine list stalwarts; from ultra qvevri to sans-soufre Muscadet… The Hallgarten tasting at Vinoteca last week packed as much interest and fascination into 50 wines as most tastings do in five times that number of bottles. Chris Losh picks out his stars on the day

Louise Chéreau Muscadet sans soufre ajouté Katharos 2018, Loire, France
Louise Chéreau Muscadet sans soufre ajouté Katharos 2018, Loire, France

Louise Chéreau Muscadet sans soufre ajouté Katharos 2018, Loire, France

Rumours about the revival of Muscadet are gathering force, and when you try a wine like this you see why. It’s a beautifully vibrant wine – like walking through an apple orchard full of windfalls in the rain, but beneath the fruit there’s breadth and texture too.

£11.98

Vachnadziani Qvevri Rkatsiteli 2014, Kakheti, Georgia

If you’ve got customers crying out for qvevri fermented whites, then this is the wine for you. It’s exceptionally savoury – an umami hit of earth, mushrooms and fresh oysters that spreads broadly through the palate. It’s a total food-wine, but could be exceptional with the right food, and it’s not too pricey. Their non-qvevri Rkatsiteli is a beautiful peachy swigger at a bargain £7.62.

£14.54

Tahbilk Marsanne Museum Release 2012, Nagambie Lakes, Victoria, Australia
Tahbilk Marsanne Museum Release 2012, Nagambie Lakes, Victoria, Australia

Tahbilk Marsanne Museum Release 2012, Nagambie Lakes, Victoria, Australia

How this wine is available for this price I have no idea, but you need to snap it up quick before all the journalists at the tasting buy it for their cellars. 90% Marsanne, backed up with an eclectic mix of Riesling, Chardonnay, Rousanne and Verdelho, it is a wonderful expression of how good Victorian Marsanne can be with a little age. Like finger limes spread on toast and dusted with honey, it has wonderful depth and flavour, with a pithy structure holding it all together. Superb food-matcher.

£12.84

Vale de Mata White 2018, Lisboa, Portugal

Portugal has become a real powerhouse in the Sommelier Wine Awards over the last few years, particularly with its whites – and wines like this show you why. A mix of Arinto, Viosinho and Vital (nope, me neither) it’s gloriously vibrant – like fresh lemons covered in sea spray. Easy to match for somms, easy to like for your customers.

£11.12

Bodegas San Alejandro Garnacha Evodia 2017, Aragon, Spain
Bodegas San Alejandro Garnacha Evodia 2017, Aragon, Spain

Bodegas San Alejandro Garnacha Evodia 2017, Aragon, Spain

This wine is huge in Asia after appearing in a top-selling manga, but it deserves its fame in any case. From 60-100 year old vines at 850m of altitude, it’s a lovely expression of Grenache at a steal of a price. Spicy raspberry and damson flavours hit upfront but the palate is cooler and more elegant than you’d expect for this money. Structured but accessible.

£10.35

ArmAs Karmrahyut 2014, Aragatsotn Province, Armenia

Built by Armenian-Americans, who have big plans for the rebirth of wine in the country, this winery is one to watch. With its spicy licorice and herb notes overlaying red cherry fruit there’s a faintly Italian style to this red. Interesting without being weird, it’s a great way to add a point of difference without scaring your customers. The Reserve (£18.73) is excellent, too.

£11.99

Herdade do Rocim Amphora Red 2018, Alentejo, Portugal
Herdade do Rocim Amphora Red 2018, Alentejo, Portugal

Herdade do Rocim Amphora Red 2018, Alentejo, Portugal

There are some interesting and innovative wines coming out of the Alentejo now, and this is a good example. With its vibrant, spicy red fruits and gentle balsamic flecks it is juicily approachable, but with an effortless stretch and weight through the palate, the tannic structure beautifully integrated by the time in amphora. A fabulous trade-up for wine-engaged consumers.

£17.07

Related articles

Wine

Hallgarten & Novum introduces over 80 new wines to the UK trade

Hallgarten & Novum Wines has showcased 84 new wines to the trade with a dedicated tasting in London's Soho, including its first Armenian and Georgian producers.

Wine

Hallgarten tasting: Spanish islands the pick of new agencies

Steve Daniel, Hallgarten’s wine-searcher-in-chief has been busy over the last year – particularly delving around the more obscure regions of Spain.At

Promotion

The Wines of Germany Top 50 in full

Now in its fourth year, the Wines of Germany Top 50 competition is back – a journey around Germany in 50 wines presenting you with some of the best ex

Wine

Hallgarten boosts its Burgundy numbers

Big changes in Hallgarten’s Burgundy portfolio were announced this week, with the addition of a number of new producers to the range, and with a focus