I'm on a bit of a good run with wines at the moment, and I'm enjoying my drinking. Two interesting wines open at the moment, both of which overdeliver in the value for money stakes. These were purchased this week as part of a mixed case from Andrew Chapman. Yes, I know it, I've been buying wine again.
Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2004 Canberra, Australia
Deep coloured, this shows lovely pure, smooth, aromatic red and black fruits. Itís hauntingly pure. The palate is smooth and concentrated with a nice spicy complexity under the fresh dark fruits. Pretty serious stuff: I guess this shows that the purity and aromatic richness of the more expensive Shiraz Viognier from this producer isnít all to do with the Viognier addition, more the quality of the fruit. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£13 Andrew Chapman) 08/06
Churchillís Late Bottle Vintage Port 1999 Portugal
Itís rare that I actually have to decant an LBV, but this unfiltered beauty from Churchill really needs it. Itís sweet, dark, concentrated and spicy with nice aromatics and relatively firm tannic structure. This is pretty serious, and probably has the potential to improve with a few years cellaring. Interestingly, 1999 wasnít a vintage year in the Douro (it was tricky), but the Niepoort and Noval LBVs have also really impressed from this year, too. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£12.50 Andrew Chapman, http://www.surf4wine.co.uk/)