Always nice to try something different, although I'm anxious not to give excessive coverage to wines that are novel over better wines that aren't (if you see what I mean).
These two wines are from Cyprus, and are the result of a collaboration between Sodap (a large co-operative winery) and the Co-op (UK retailer). Both are priced £3.99, and represent good value for money, although I'm not sure exactly how commercial they are.
Island Vines White 2006 Cyprus
A blend of the Xynisteri, Ugni Blanc, Malvasia Lunga and Gordo grape varieties. This is quite rich and minerally, with taut savoury, herby, citrussy fruit and good acidity, as well as a slightly grippy persistency on the palate. It's very fresh, but there's depth here, too. A bright unoaked white that's highly food compatible. You'd expect the 2007 to be on the market now, which would have added freshness, but this is still a very appealing white wine with a hint of seriousness. 87/100 (£3.99 Co-op)
Island Vines Red 2006 Cyprus
A blend of Carignan, Alicante, Mavro, Mataro and Cabernet Sauvignon. There's sweet, slightly baked jammy, raisined fruit here, but this is countered by some peppery, spicy freshness. It's quite tasty, though: the fruit remains to the fore, and the rather grippy, peppery structure, leading to a drying finish, serves to counter the sweeter, more-ripe elements of the wine. Overall, a satisfying, grippy, peppery red that's very food friendly. 84/100 (£3.99 Co-op)
Labels: cyprus, greece