wa3.gif (3780 bytes)






August/September 2007

Previous months' recommendations:  April 2006 | May 2006 | June/July 2006 |August 2006 | September/October 2006 | November 2006| December 2006 | Jan/Feb 2007 | March 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007

Caves St Pierre Côtes du Rhône Preference Blanc 2006 France
Bright fresh and fruity with a hint of melon and some herbiness on the nose. The palate is rounded and quite rich with a lovely soft, fat texture to the fruit. It’s a bit floral, too. Really nice for the price. 85/100  (£4.99 Tesco)

Marks & Spencer Famatina Valley Pinot Grigio 2006 Argentina
Bright, crisp and fresh – so much so, it’s almost transparent, with lovely purity and focus. Good acidity keeps the palate really fresh, with apple and citrus fruit and a lemony finish. 86/100 (£5.49 Marks & Spencer)

Henschke Louis Semillon 2005 Eden Valley, Australia
Made from vines up to 50 years in age, this is a stylish, complex Semillon with precision and balance. Tight, minerally nose shows a lovely, perfumed lemony character. There’s a bit of toast and even a hint of struck match. The palate is concentrated and quite complex with lovely spicy, herby character, waxy richness and a fresh lemony finish. 92/100 (Waitrose £12.99)

Boschendal Chardonnay 2006 Coastal Region, South Africa
This is a wonderfully balanced, complex new world Chardonnay, showing notes of toast and vanilla, along with some fresh lemony notes countering the richer, fatter fruit flavours. Broad and satisfying this has nice depth and weight. 91/100 (£9.99 or 3 for 2 at Thresher, £7.99 Waitrose)

De Bortoli Heathcote Shiraz 2004 Victoria, Australia
Bright, fresh dark fruits on the nose with some vivid raspberry notes. The palate is quite fresh with high acidity giving it a lively character. Nice forward fruit here with some Syrah pepperiness. Vibrant with real definition and presence to the fruit. A lovely wine. 90/100 (£7.99 Oddbins)

Leasingham Magnus Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Clare Valley, Australia
This is a brilliant Aussie red in a full-on style from the Clare Valley. There’s lots of fruit and plenty of oak, but the result is balanced and very appealing. The nose shows some typical American oak, with spice, tar and a hint of dill. The palate is dominated by very rich blackcurranty fruit and some spice. Very satisfying. 89/100 (£7.99 Thresher but £5.33 if you buy 3)

Canale Reserve Merlot 2005 Patagonia, Argentina
The garish orange label isn’t a good indicator of what’s in the bottle. This stylish red wine, from Patagonia in southern Argentina, is really quite restrained and balanced – it’s not at all brash. The nose is quite fresh, with bright dark fruits joined by a bit of gravelly minerality and some vanilla and spice oak notes. The palate is quite Bordeaux-like: there’s a freshness and savouriness to the dark fruits that’s not usually found in the new world, with tar, spice and earth notes joining the well defined dark fruits. This rather sophisticated, well mannered Merlot is a wine that’s best with food, and which will age well over the medium term. 90/100 (Marks & Spencer £9.99)

Marananga Dam Old Vines Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2005 Barossa Valley, Australia
From celebrated producer Torbreck, this is a really interesting, articulate expression of the Barossa. The Grenache grape, which is the major portion of this blend, is a good variety for communicating Barossa terroir. Shiraz and Mourvèdre add depth to this voice. The wine has a wonderfully aromatic sweet, herby, spicy nose with an almost liqueur-like richness offset by peppery freshness. There’s just the faintest hint of mint, too. The palate is sweet, spicy and a bit herby. It’s one of those wines where you think its sweet and simple one moment, but then have to revise your judgement the next when some Barossa-penned complexity sneaks up on you. A thought-provoking wine for current drinking. 90/100 (£9.99 Marks & Spencer)

La Motte Shiraz Viognier Pierneef Collection 2005 Franschoek, South Africa
With a relatively large contribution from Viognier (9%), this is an attractive wine. Deep coloured, it has a sweet, ripe, meaty nose with perfumed black fruits and spicy depth. The palate is concentrated and ripe, showing smooth dark meaty fruit backed up by spicy tannins. A dark, sweet, intense wine with nice balance and a savoury edge. 90/100 (£9.99 Tesco)

Trinity Hill Syrah 2004 Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
This deep coloured Syrah has a thrilling, meaty, spicy, intense dark fruits nose. The palate has great balance between the sweet dark fruits, the spiciness and the peppery freshness. World class. 94/100 (c. £16, Wines4Business) 

My rating system explained. Use www.wine-searcher.com to locate a stockist in your area and my directory of UK wine merchants for details of those listed here. See also: the wineanorak's shopping list - recommended wines from each of the main UK retail outlets. These recommendations are truly independent: I don't accept payment or other favours for inclusions, nor do I sell wine.

E-mail me with your recommendations or suggestions at jamie@wineanorak.co.uk