wa3.gif (3780 bytes)






January/February 2007

Previous months' recommendations: December 2005/January 2006February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | June/July 2006 |August 2006 | September/October 2006 | November 2006 | December 2006  

Château La Fleur Peyrabon 2003 Pauillac, Bordeaux
This is a nicely refined, classic Claret - who'd have thought it from a 2003? Dark coloured, it has an attractive nose of sweet dark fruit with some chocolatey richness and subtly tarry, roasted, gravelly definition. It smells fresh. The palate is supple and midweight with an earthy, gravelly edge to the bright, sweet dark fruits. There’s really good balance here. Fresh and supple; very digestible. Very good/excellent (c£15, Millesima)

Arretxea Irouléguy 2004 Southwest France
I love Irouléguy, and this is a good one. A deep cherry red colour, it has a wonderful nose of bright red fruit with a delicious, minerally, gravelly, rain on a hot pavement quality. Deep and quite complex. The palate shows fresh fruit and more of that gravelly quality, together with a meaty depth. It’s fresh, focused and savoury: the sweet fruit makes it accessible but what I enjoy is the minerally savoury depth and the freshness.
Very good/excellent 92/100 (Les Caves de Pyrene, www.lescaves.co.uk)

De Bortoli Gulf Station Pinot Noir 2005 Yarra Valley, Australia
A delicious, affordable Pinot from Yarra star De Bortoli. Sweet, open bright cherryish fruit is the main player, but it’s well balanced and nicely countered by some spiciness. There’s a bit of Pinot medicinal character and some structure, too. An impressive expression of the New World Pinot style. Very good+ 89/100 (£8.99 Oddbins)

Sainsbury’s Albariño 2005 Rias Baixas, Spain
Made by Lagar de Fornelos. Bright, focused, limey spicy fruit on the nose. Nicely crisp, but rich at the same time. The palate is full flavoured, warmly fruited and has just a hint of nuttiness under the almost overwhelming citrussy freshness. Assertive and complex. Very good+ 89/100 (£6.99 Sainsbury)

Champagne Devaux Cuvée Rosé NV
Devaux are Rose specialists, and this wine is a lovely salmon pink colour.
Very fine nose of herbs, toast and soft strawberry fruit. The palate is quite broad with delicate balance, nice fruitiness and a creamy, bready texture. There’s even a bit of grip on the finish. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£24.95 Moriarty, Frank Stainton, Robersons, Villeneuve, Liberty Wine)

Kendermanns Dornfelder 2005 Pfalz, Germany
This German red has a lovely purity of soft fruit, a trademark of the Dornfelder grape. Nice open nose of sweet red fruits. The palate is soft and fruity with lovely accessible pure red berry fruits. Almost no tannin; just a little bit of spiciness. A soft, ripe, rich, almost jammy wine that’s easy to drink. Very good 84/100 (£4.99 Tesco)

Naked Grape Riesling 2005 Pfalz, Germany
On the back label Ernst Loosen says he had a ‘vision of a fruity, off-dry Riesling with such purity of flavour that it can truly be called “The Naked Grape”’, and with this wine he’s succeeded. It is crisp, clean, lemony and herby. Quite bright with a bit of transparency and a rounded texture. Simple, fruity and versatile. Screwcapped with a Saranex liner. Very good+ 86/100 (£5.99 Waitrose, EH Booth)

Charles Back Chenin Blanc Viognier 2006 Paarl, South Africa
Gorgeous forward, ripe nose with pear, melon and a bit of honey. Ripe, broad and perfumed. The palate is fat and fruit, yet fresh and expressive. Lots of flavour here, hitting all the way across the spectrum. Finishes Fresh. Very good+ 88/100 (£7.99 Somerfield)

Preiss Zimmer Gewürztraminer 2004 Alsace, France
A brilliant inexpensive Gewürztraminer. This is a lovely perfumed, lychee, grapey, peachy wine with nice freshness and acid offseting the rich-textured, off-dry fruit. It’s tasty and shows good concentration. Screwcapped with a Saranex liner. Very good+ 88/100 (£6.99 Morrisons)

Cave de Turckheim Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Brand 2002 Alsace
Yellow/gold colour. Lovely sweet perfumed nose of honey, apricots, sweet lychees and spice. The palate is fat and viscous with sweet melon and lychee fruit. It’s concentrated and bold, with acidity and spice balancing the sweetness well. A sweet Gewürz of real class. Very good/excellent 93/100 (£13.99 Morrisons)

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Riesling 2005 South Australia
Sweet limey fruit on the nose, which is quite spicy with a nice savoury presence. The palate is bright and has a lovely spicy liminess, along with a rich texture. It’s dry, but with enough weight and richness for it not to be at all austere. A versatile wine that has the advantage of being available just about everywhere. Very good+ 87/100 (£6.99 Morrisons, etc) 

Gascogne Cuvée Speciale 2005 Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne, France
A full flavoured, crisp, savoury grassy wine, showing precise lemon and apple fruits with a green herby edge. Boldly flavoured. Nice and fruity. Very good 82/100 (£4.29 Marks & Spencer) 01/07

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