Given the climate of the Western Cape, South African Sauvignon Blanc shouldn’t be up to much. But the proof is in the wines, which are frequently very good. This is a nice example, distinctively packaged.
Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Western Cape, South Africa
12.5% alcohol. Fresh, crisp and fruity with lovely balance between the grapefruit and lime [...]
Of all the Alsace varieties, Pinot Blanc is the one that gets forgotten most easily, I reckon. It’s underrated. Good Pinot Blanc is lovely. This is a nice one, from Lucas and Andre Rieffel.
Rieffel Pinot Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2008 Alsace
13.5% alcohol. Full flavoured with notes of citrus, herbs and straw, as well as subtly toasty [...]
UK supermarket Waitrose are doing a French Wine Showcase over the next month, with 25% off a range of French wines. The emphasis is on good value stuff, and there are some bargains. Here’s a 2007 Bordeaux that’s actually really nice. It’s proper Bordeaux, the way it should be, with no spoofiness, and it’s drinking [...]
These two wines are brilliant. Rioja is a frustrating region: some great old vineyards, but average quality dreadfully low. However, like all leading wine regions, there remains a core of ambitious, talented producers willing to make quality their only goal. One of the new wave producers doing this is actually an old hand: Basilio Izquierdo, for [...]
This is the second wine of Chateau Haut-Brion, which prior to this vintage was labelled ‘Bahans de Haut-Brion’. At around £40 a bottle, it isn’t cheap. It sort of delivers, but this isn’t a wildly pleasurable wine at the moment, although it does have some savoury interest.
Le Clarence de Haut Brion 2007 Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
13% alcohol. [...]
Swiss wines rock. I tasted a lot on a visit in 2006 (write up here) and was really impressed. Of course, in the UK we don’t see all that many of them. But they can be quite serious.
This is a superb Swiss white, part of the Chandra Kurt collection from Provins Valais. Chandra is a [...]
Natural wines are often expensive, but frequently worth it. Here’s one that’s fantastic, and affordable. I can’t find it on the Oddbins website, so it may be a case of scouring stores to locate bottles. But this is a wine worth hunting down, I reckon. One of my bargains of the year, especially at the [...]
Spain, like Portugal, is best known for its red wines. But it is exciting to see some serious Spanish whites emerging. Like this: a thrillingly complex expression of the Verdejo grape variety. It’s big, bold, but not overblown – and coming back to it after 5 days in the fridge, it is still beautifully focused [...]
This is a slightly curiously labelled wine. 30670 is the postcode of where the wine comes from, and it’s made by Domaine de la Dromadaire (the camel’s domaine?), which is a partnership by the Goellner and Redon families in the Languedoc. The innovative packaging contains a really appealing Languedoc red, which flirts with jamminess but [...]
Beaujolais is a bit unfashionable these days. So many of the wines failed to deliver what Gamay from this part of the world is known for – ‘fun’.
Kermit Lynch famously described Beaujolais as the ‘one-night stand of wines.’ Fortunately, with the 2009 vintage, Beaujolais seems to have rediscovered fun, and mingled in a hint of [...]