The Lidl fine wine sale, full notes on all the wines

Lidl Wine Cellar Magazine - Google Chrome 07092014 210921

Lidl have just launched a fine wine offering. Titled the ‘Lidl Premium French Wine Collection’, they have purchased a large quantity of decent French wine and are selling it at very competitive prices, in a bid to entice more middle-class shoppers into their stores. The scale of the offering is impressive: Lidl bought 5% of Bordeaux’ entire production this year, and it’s Bordeaux wines that dominate the sale.

I have a conflict of interest to mention: I was hired to write the copy for the brochure, of which they’ve printed 6.5 million copies to use in store and as newspaper inserts. So it’s by far the largest circulation my writing has ever had! You can read the brochure online here.

The ratings in the brochure are decided by a panel of four MWs. My ratings and notes for all the wines are as follows.

Cave Bel Air 2011 Bordeaux
A really easy-drinking, lighter style of Bordeaux red with bright cherry and plum fruit, and a smooth, perfumed personality. Very attractive and supple, with no rough edges. 82

Chateau Marjosse 2012 Bordeaux
Pierre Lurton. Full colour. Lively, focused berry fruit aromatics lead to ripe, juicy flavours in the mouth. This is rounded and attractive with lovely texture and seductive sweet fruit. But there’s a hint of seriousness, too. 86

Château Galès 2011 Graves
Sweet, ripe and accessible with bold, sweet cherry and berry fruits. Nice depth here, with a slightly jammy richness and hints of gravel. 84

Château Venus 2011 Graves
A lovely example of Graves with some grippy, gravelly notes providing a backbone for the sweet, ripe, juicy cherry and plum fruit. Has some sweetness on the finish. So drinkable. 87

Chateau Sociando-Mallet 2008 Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux
13% alcohol. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Attractive cedary, spicy, plummy aromatics are very classic. The palate is savoury, spicy and quite grippy with textured red berry and cherry fruit. There’s real depth here with a lovely smooth, sweet core. 92

Chateau Barthez 2009 Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux
13.5% alcohol. Assertive, bright plummy fruit with nice grip under the sweet cherry and plum fruit. Finishes with some grainy, spicy notes. 86

Chateau Laborde Cru Bourgeois 2011 Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux
13% alcohol. Smooth, pure and vivid with perfumed black cherry and plum fruit. There’s a linear purity to the fruit, which is really smooth, but finishes with a bit of grip. 87

Champion 2011 Médoc, Bordeaux
Fresh with an almost chalky, mineral undertone to the sweet blackberry and plum fruit. Fresh with some sweetness to the fruit. A very supple, drinkable wine. 86

Chateau de Panigon Cru Bourgeois 2011 Médoc, Bordeaux
Really seductive style with soft, open, sweet cherry and plum fruit as well as some spiciness on the finish. No rough edges here: very soft and approachable. 87

L’Escargot Sauvignon Blanc 2013 IGP Côtes de Gascgogne, France
Lively, slighty stony aromas of pear, citrus and green pepper. The palate has a fresh, stony character with herbs, citrus and pear fruit, with keen lemony acidity. Very attractive. 87

Camillet Bordeaux Blanc 2013 Bordeaux, France
Lovely balance here with nice bright lemony fruit as well as some pear richness. Some appealing grapefruit pith notes here. Drinkable and appealing. 86

Domaine Chatelain Les Vignes de Saint Laurent l’Abbaye Pouilly-Fumé 2013 Loire, France
Lively and bright with a citrussy core and lovely direct, grassy lemon and herb flavours. Some pithy notes too. 88

Domaine de la Vieille Cure Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2013 Loire, France
Fresh, bright and really lively with lovely citrus and pear fruit, a stony core and some bright tangerine and grapefruit notes on the finish. Lovely delicacy here, and so well balanced. 88

P. de Marcilly Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune 2011 Burgundy
12.5% alcohol. Crisp and focused with bright citrussy flavours, as well as a hint of pear richness. Clean, direct and pure with nice precision. 87

P. de Marcilly Mâcon-Villages 2011 Burgundy, France
Deliciously balanced with a subtly creamy, slightly buttery edge to the ripe white peach fruit. Lovely pear and spice notes add interest. Classy white Burgundy at a good price. Very stylish. 89

Philippe de Bois d’Arnault Montagny 1er Cru Les Bouchots 2013 Burgundy, France
Lovely balance here, with a subtly creamy, vanilla edge to the pure, open citrus fruit, with some richer melony notes, too. Very stylish wine. 90

Philippe de Bois d’Arnault Chablis 1er Cru 2013 Burgundy
Very attractive, textured, stony, mineral Chablis with lovely bright citrus fruit and some pear richness. Really delicious, and beautifully balanced. Classy. 90

Marechal Chablis 2012 Burgundy, France
Stony, slightly flinty aromas and flavours of lemons, grapefruit and herbs, with keen acidity. Slightly smoky, too, with a savoury core. 87

Mignot Fleury 2011 Beaujolais, France
Bright and juicy with fresh cherry fruit and a sappy, slightly green edge that’s really attractive. Very juicy and drinkable. 85

Domaine de Grangerie Mercurey 2012 Burgundy, France
Juicy and fresh with some grippy, savoury, cedar and spice note under the fresh red cherry and plum fruit. Shows some elegance, with nice fresh fruit and acidity. 88

Domaine Condorcet Chateauneuf du Pape 2013 Rhone, France
Lovely sweet, pure red cherry and berry fruit with some lovely texture and a fine, grainy structure with sweet herbal overtones. Very stylish. 90

Saint-Joseph 2012 Northern Rhône, France
Really fresh, vibrant raspberry and black cherry fruit with a hint of black pepper and some fine herby notes. Nicely typical. 88

Domaine du Gourget Rochegude 2013 Côtes de Rhône Villages, France
A supple, fresh Rhône red with juicy, grainy cherry and raspberry fruit. Nice purity and has a savoury, peppery bite on the finish. Really focused and appealing. 88

Réserve de Fonsalis 2011 Fitou, Languedoc, France
Ripe and direct with attractive blackberry fruit and some cherry stone freshness. Hints of liqourice, herbs and pepper add interest. Finishes spicy and a bit grippy. 87

Gigondas 2013 Rhône, France
Sweet, ripe and textured with distinctive peppery, spicy notes complementing the cherry and plum fruit really well. Finishes quite warm. Robust and food friendly. 88

Serabel Vacqueyras 2012 Rhône, France
Really attractive, ripe, perfumed wine with lovely textured cherry and blackberry fruit, a hint of spicy, earthy savouriness, and real depth of flavour. Quite a serious effort that will develop nicely over the next few years. 90

Nuit de Provence Rosé 2013 Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, France
Pale pink colour. A fresh, fragrant, dry rosé with flavours of cherries and herbs. Delicately fruity with lovely focus. 87

Fleur des Templiers Rosé 2013 Pays d’Oc, France
Bright pink in colour, with really nicely judged red cherry and raspberry fruits, as well as some lemony acidity. It’s dry and well balanced, and highly food friendly. 85

Sancerre Rosé 2013 Loire, France
Pale orange/pink in colour. Mineral and stony core to the strawberry fruit with a distinctive savoury, herbal character. Dry and savoury in style, showing some restraint, this would be best with food. Intriguing flavours. 85

Chateau La Sabatière Monbazillac 2011 France
12.5% alcohol. Just beautiful, with honey, lanolin and wax notes as well as peach, apricot and citrus fruit. Lovely balance between the sweetness and freshness – a serious dessert wine. 91

Chateau Mauras Sauternes 2010 Bordeaux, France
13.5% alcohol. Rounded and fruity with lovely fresh citrus and grapefruit notes complementing the apricot, grape and pear fruit. Lovely hints of tangerine and cabbage add complexity. 90

Chateau Siaurac Réserve de la Baronne 2007 Lalande de Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Dense, firm, grippy and quite spicy with ripe berry fruits and some tannic structure. This has nice weight and a chalky, mineral edge to it. It should age well. 88

Chateau Haut-Chaigneau 2011 Lalande de Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Nicely structured and quite firm with sweet berry fruits and a chalky, gravelly edge. Pure and quite stylish, this needs some time to come together. Classic style. 89

Chateau Haut-Chaigneau 2009 Lalande de Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Dense, ripe, gravelly blackcurrant fruit with a hint of tar and spice, and an attractive sweetness to the fruit. Lovely seductive style with a chalky, mineral core to the lush fruit. 90

Chateau Vieux Ferrand 2010 Montagne Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Beautifully fresh, pure blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with nice acidity and good structure. There’s a chalky, mineral edge to the fruit. Very stylish wine. 90

Chateau Larcis Jaumat 2012 Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Dense but supple with lovely cherry and raspberry fruit. Youthful and tight with good acidity, but also lovely purity of fruit, and some tight, spicy oak playing a supporting role. 91

Chateau de Cauze 2011 Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
14.5% alcohol. Ripe, warm and spicy with sweet blackcurrant fruit and some tannic grip. A seductive style but with a savoury bite to it, too. 87

Chateau La Tour de Pin Figeac 2006 Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc from an 11 hectare estate. 13% alcohol. Mellow, textured blackberry and cherry fruit with a fine, chalky, spiciness and subtle hints of undergrowth. Developing nicely and ready to drink now. 89

Chateau Gaillard de la Gorce 2011 Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Fresh, ripe berry fruits with a savoury, cedary spicy edge from the oak. There’s a bit of grainy structure, too. Needs time to settle down. 86

Chateau Haut-Bergey 2003 Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France
Sweet, herby and mellow with a bit of spice as well as ripe berry fruits. Warm and inviting with some evolution, and drinking well now. 89

Chevalier de Lascombes 2011 Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Ripe, sweet and broad with lovely supple blackberry and cherry fruit. Very seductive and forward with good definition and a sweet fruit core. 90

Chateau Haut de la Bécade 2008 Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Supple, sweetly fruited and very drinkable, with nicely balanced cherry and plum fruit supported by some spicy oak notes. 88

Chateau Tronquoy-Lalande 2007 Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux, France
Warm, sweet, ripe and berryish with nice freshness and grip, alongside smooth, pure, almost liqueur-like fruit. Seductive style. 89

Weiber Crémant d’Alsace Blanc de Blancs
Crisp, focused and bright with pure citrus and pear fruit. Very lively and focused with lovely fruit. 87

Champagne Comte de Senneval Rosé NV France
Pale pink. Fresh, slightly herby with bright citrus and apple flavours. Nice taut acidity with a bit of structure. 87

Champagne de Senneval Premier Cru NV France
Powerful, lively and appley with keen citrus fruits. Bold and edgy with lots of presence and a sharp finish. 85

Champagne de Vallois Brut Millesime 2007 France
Aromatic, herby, taut and structured with lemony acidity and some savoury pithy notes, too. Quite grippy finish. 85

Clairette de Die NV Rhône, France
7.5% alcohol. Lovely, pretty off-dry fizz with delicious grapey flavours and some floral, lychee hints. Very pure and attractive. 88

Champagne Bissinger NV France
12% alc. Half bottle. Lovely balanced fizz with citrus fruit, a bit of ripe apple and some nice toastiness. Nice precision here. Fresh and expressive with clean flavours. 89

Thymiopoulos Xinomavro


This is fabulous. It’s made by Apostolos Thymiopoulos for Marks & Spencer from biodynamically managed vineyards, and it’s a wonderfully approachable, drinkable example of the lovely Xinomavro grape variety, one of Greece’s most interesting.

Think of Xinomavro as the Nebbiolo of Italy. That’s the sort of flavour profile you get, albeit with slightly less intense tannic structure. This wine, I suspect, is very similar to the Thymiopoulos young vines cuvee that The Wine Society stock. The M&S website doesn’t yet have this vintage on its pages, but it is in store.

Thymiopoulos Xinomavro 2012 Trilofos, Naoussa, Greece
13.5% alcohol. Lovely cherry and herb nose is very fine with beguiling red fruits, herbs and liqourice. The palate shows red cherries, plums, spice, leather and herbs, with sweet fruit combining with a strongly savoury dimension. Lovely wine. 91/100 (£10.50 Marks & Spencer)

Wind Gap Trousseau Gris

wind gap trousseau

This is a really interesting wine from Wind Gap, an exciting Californian winery making elegant, balanced wines.

It’s from Trousseau Gris, a rare colour mutation of the red Trousseau, which is the same as Portugal’s Bastardo. The red version makes pale-coloured, fragrant, sappy reds (in Portugal it is one of the Port varieties, and is rarely seen on its own). In California, Trousseau Gris used to be known as Gray Riesling. There’s still a bit found as part of old field blend vineyards, but apparently the only varietal block left is a 10 acre plot in the Fanucchi Wood Road Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. This is where this Wind Gap wine comes from.

Three concrete tanks of this wine were made, and it’s really compelling. Roberson stock it in the UK.
wind gap

Wind Gap Trousseau Gris 2013 Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
12.25% alcohol. A really intriguing wine. Spicy, mineral, herby, slightly smoky lemon and mandarin fruit with delicate acidity. Some rich grapey notes, too. Very fine and expressive with a bright personality. Finishes bright and a bit herby. Such a detailed wine with lovely fresh fruitiness. 93/100 (£23.95 Roberson)

Matching wine and Indian food at the fabulous Gymkhana With Sue Sethi


On Monday night I was at Gymkhana, one of London’s most happening restaurants, for an Indian food and wine matching dinner with wine buyer and co-owner Sue Sethi (pictured above).

Gymkhana has made quite a splash since it opened last September. It specialises in home cooked-style Indian food, and this year it won restaurant of the year in the National Restaurant Awards, the first ever Indian restaurant to achieve this. It’s part of the Trishna group, a growing empire of restaurants owned by the Sethi family (Sue and her two older brothers, chef Karam and money man Jothi), which includes Trishna, Gymkhana, Bubbledogs and Lyles, as well as Verandah in Copenhagen.

There’s a lot of discussion about whether it’s really possible to match Indian food with wine successfully. ‘Indian food is quite vast, so to generalize and say you can’t match wine with it is absurd,’ says Sue. ‘Here and at Trishna we keep the home style of Indian food but we use spices delicately. When you have over-spiced food, of course it is harder.’ One challenge for food and wine matching is the complexity of flavours in many dishes. ‘Indian food has so many different components,’ says Sue. ‘For example, a starter has three or four elements on the plate, so it can be quite tricky.’

‘My whole list is put together with the food in mind,’ says Sue. ‘What we are trying to do is to show wines that take people out of comfort zones.’ Sommeliers are on hand to make suggestions, but she notes that people are much more responsive to advice at Gymkhana than Trishna. ‘Trishna is more a neighbourhood menu, and people are in their comfort zone and know what they want. They are much more experimental here.’

So what sort of wines don’t work? Sue reckons that you don’t want firm tannins or too much alcohol in reds, and that you need to be careful of oak. For whites you need to be careful with acidity. ‘Balance is important,’ she says. ‘Just as the spices need to be balanced, so the wines need to be balanced.’

Sue Sethi got into wine by mistake. ‘Growing up my dad had a wine hobby,’ she says. When Karam, her brother, opened Trishna in 2008 she was working in Germany for HSBC, on track for a career in finance. ‘Very quickly I realised I didn’t want to do this,’ she recalls. So in 2010 Sue left Germany, returned to London, and began applying for jobs in management consultancy. The GM of Trishna was moving back to Austria and Karam needed some help, so she stepped in. Working closely with the then Hungarian sommelier there, she quickly realized that restaurants would be her future. ‘Within five days I realised I wanted to do this,’ says Sue. She took over the wine list and began travelling and learning more about wine.


Course 1:
Casava, lentil and potato papadum with shrimp chutney, mango chutney and mint and coriander chutney.
This was served with Hidalgo’s Manzanilla la Gitana. The combination worked well, in part because Fino/Manzanilla sherries are so versatile as food wines, with their savoury notes and broad texture.


Course 2:
Ajwani salmon tikka with tulsi chutney.
This was a delicious dish, with subtle but effective carom seed flavours and a really nice basil chutney.
Wine match:
Ivica Matošević Grimalda 2010 Istria, Croatia
A blend of 50% Chardonnay, 25% Istrian Malvasia and 25% Sauvignon Blanc, aged for 12 months in French oak. Rich, creamy and texture with a lovely citrus and herb twist. It’s a broad wine with a real spectrum of flavours from richness through spice to fresh citrus and aniseed. Lovely blend of oak and fresh fruit. 92/100

This combination worked very well, with the breadth of flavours of the white filling in all around the flavours of the main dish. A well chosen match.


Course 3:
Lansooni wild tiger prawns with red pepper chutney
The prawns are marinaded in ginger, garlic and green chile, and this dish was superb: lots of flavour, but not overspiced.
Wine match:
Domaine Gerovassiliou Viogner 2013 Epanomi, Greece
What a lovely wine: lively and bright with citrus and ripe pears. Quite exotic but precise at the same time. A really aromatic, precise wine with lots of personality. 92/100

This combination worked really well because of the exotic aromatics of the wine, which matched with the aromatic nature of the tiger prawns.


Course 4:
Kid goat methi, keema, salli, pao
This is quite cool. You can also have it with brains, if you fancy your chances with prion diseases! It’s finely chopped kid goat, delicately spiced, served with buns and onions, so you can make your own mini burgers.
Wine match:
Teusner ‘The Riebke’ Shiraz 2012 Barossa valley, Australia
Sweet, ripe, pure and lush but it still has nice definition to the sweet fruit. Nicely focused black cherry fruit with a hint of pepper. Quite elegant and pure with nice balance. Silky. 92/100

This worked well. There weren’t too many challenging spices, and the sweet, lush but nicely defined fruit worked really well. Wines do need a bit of fruit to match food like this.


Course 5
Suckling pig vindaloo
This was pretty hot. It gave me hiccups, which is my internal spicing detector. Apparently it’s not normally quite as hot as this, but it was delicious nonetheless.
Wine match:
Pulenta Estate Gran Cabernet Franc 2010 Mendoza, Argentina
Such a lovely wine, and it is an ideal red for Indian food matching generally. Lovely sleek black fruits with a fine green pepper edge, and a smooth, spicy texture. Very sleek and ripe but with great definition and some smooth, grainy tannins. 93/100

This was a challenging match, but it worked because this wine is such a versatile Indian food friendly bottle, with its concentrated, sleek ripe fruit and superb balance.

Course 6:
Mushroom Methi Mattar Pilau with black truffle
This was a sensational dish, with incredible aromatics.
Wine match:
Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’Asti ‘le Orme’ Superiore 2011 Piedmont, Italy
Fresh with raspberry and black cherry fruit as well as a bit of spice and a stern, savoury, slightly rustic side. Warm herb and leather notes on the finish. 90/100

Again, a really well chosen match. The savouriness of the wine worked well with this dish, which is mildly spiced, aromatic, and really wine friendly. I reckon a new world Pinot Noir would also have done a good job.
Conclusions? With high-end Indian food that isn’t over-spiced, and which isn’t swimming in gravy, it’s possible to execute some really smart wine matches. Where Indian spices are used subtly and creatively, there’s no reason why you can’t raid the wine list and have a lot of fun with some smart bottles, without being worried that their qualities will be wasted. And Gymkhana lives up to the hype. It’s the second time I’ve been, and both meals have been memorable.

Wine Science Extra, a new e-book

wine science extra

I have just published a new e-book, titled Wine Science Extra.

When I wrote the revised version of Wine Science (published in the USA as The Science of Wine), I was faced with a dilemma. The manuscript I submitted was 150 000 words, but the book only had room for 100 000. So lots of (what I considered, at least) good material had to be chopped.

Hence this e-book. It is not meant as a stand-alone book, in that its content lacks even coverage. It is merely a collection of chapters covering some interesting topics in wine science that I though some might find of use, as a supplement to the book.

It includes five updated chapters that had to be chopped from the new edition to make way for new material, plus a final chapter that is entirely new. This e-book would be useful to anyone who has purchased the new edition of Wine Science, but doesn’t have the first edition. The contents are:

Introduction 3
Global warming: its implications for viticulture 4
Naturalness in wine: how much manipulation is
acceptable? 19
Corks, screwcaps and alternative closures 27
Wine allergies 76
Extending lifespan by drinking wine 83
The future of wine science 93

The e-book is 26 000 words.

It is available as a downloadable pdf or via Kindle:

Downloadable PDF file (US$9):

Add to Cart

Amazon UK (Kindle):

Amazon US (Kindle):

Domaine Jones Grenache Gris 2013

domaine jones grenache gris

British ex-pat Katie Jones has been living in the Languedoc since 1993. She worked at the Mont Tauch co-operative until 2009, when she started her boutique winery, which now consists of 11 hectares of vines in Maury, Tuchan and Paziols, with her wines labelled as either Fitou or Cotes Catalanes.

The previous vintage was tragically lost in an act of vandalism. But this 2013 Grenache Gris is really lovely. It’s made from old vines (almost 80 years) planted on black schist in the Maury valley, overlooked by the 11th Century Queribus castle. 30% of the blend is fermented and matured in French oak for six months.

Domaine Jones Grenache Gris 2013 Cotes Catalanes, France
13.5% alcohol. Very fresh and fine with a bit of spicy, pithy grip. Attractive spicy notes and texture on the palate with nice weight. A characterful white that’s really pure and linear. 90/100 (£14.95 The Wine Society, 14.90 Nethergate Wines, £16.99 Inverarity One to One, or direct from

The fabulous Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2013

pascal jolivet sancerre

I love this wine. It’s from a relatively cool vintage, and it has a brilliant tension to it. Starting off with a small negociant business in the 1980s, Pascal Jolivet began buying vineyards in the early 1990s. Now he has 65 hectares (42 ha in Sancerre, 8 ha in Pouilly Fume and 15 ha in Touraine). This wine blends terroirs: 50% limeston, 30% chalky clay and 20% flint. It’s made with indigenous yeasts.

Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2013 Loire, France
12.5% alcohol. Complex aromatic nose with herbs, melon, citrus and a touch of green pepper, as well as some warm waxy notes. The palate is textured and has a savoury edge, with notes of herbs, wax, lemons and some citrus pith. It’s quite tight with lovely focus and purity. A multidimensional, youthful Sauvignon that should age. 92/100

UK agent: MMD
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Ardbeg Supernova SN2014

ardberg supernova

OK, this isn’t wine. It’s whisky. A subject I know considerably less about than wine. But I am a flavour guy, so when I encounter some really interesting flavours, I want to share them here (unless they are beers – for that, I have beeranorak).

The whisky in question is the new release of Ardbeg’s Supernova, titled Committee Release SN2014. It’s 55% alcohol, and quite remarkable. I tasted 5cl tasting mini-bottle.

Ardbeg Supernova SN2014 Islay Single Malt
Powerfully aromatic, with spice, honey, peat (bonfire), sweet crystalline fruits, citrus peel and toast. Powerful palate with amazing intensity, balancing the significant peaty bonfire and spice notes with rich, sweet toast, nut, honey and baked lemon characters. So much personality. 9/10

Craig Hawkins: Testalonga and Lammershoek

craig hawkins

Craig Hawkins (pictured above with significant other Carla Kretzel in the background) is one of South Africa’s most talented and brave winemakers. He’s the winemaker at Lammershoek, and also makes his own wines under the Testalonga label. He’s very experimental, and has worked a lot with skin contact and lees. He prefers picking earlier, making lower alcohol wines, and works pretty naturally. These are some of the more recent releases of his wines. The Lammershoek ‘Cellar Foot’ series is Lammershoek’s small batch, adventurous label.
testalonga el bandito

Testalonga El Bandito Cortez 2012 Swartland, South Africa
10.5% alcohol, pH 2.99. No skin contact. Lively, fresh, lemony and bright. Very fresh with lovely purity. A direct, linear, lighter style. 93/100 (04/14)

Testalonga El Bandito Skin Contact 2011 Swartland, South Africa
This had 6 weeks on the skins, and was 40% whole bunch. Lovely grip here: really fresh and detailed with notes of grapes, citrus and pear, as well as some spiciness. 94/100 (04/14)

Testalonga King of Grapes Grenache 2013 Swartland, South Africa
100% whole bunch, 11.5% alcohol. So fresh, lively and peppery with nice grip and brightness. Lovely pure red cherries and herbs. Drinkable and fresh, in a lighter style. 93/100

lammershoek cellar foot

Lammershoek Cellar Foot The Hárslevelű 2013 Swartland, South Africa
Soft, textured with nice apple and pear fruit. Nuts, herbs and a nice texture. 91/100

Lammershoek Cellar Foot Underwater Wine 2013 Swartland, South Africa
A blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan, aged in barrels submerged in water. Lovely purity. Sweet, fresh cherry and plum fruit with a bit of grip. Linear with lovely balance. 93/100

Lammershoek Cellar Foot Mourvedre 2012 Swartland, South Africa
Lively, fresh, sweet and spicy with attractive fruit and a bit of grip. Some ginger spice notes, as well as herbal characters. Lovely freshness. 92/100

UK agent: Les Caves de Pyrene (Testalonga); Fields Morris & Verdin (Lammershoek)
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Casa Silva's Cool Coast Wines

Casa Silva Cool Coast

Impressed by these. A Chilean Sauvignon and Pinot from Casa Silva’s Paradones estate in Coastal Colchagua, a new-ish cool climate region of Chile. It’s just six kilometres from the chilly Pacific Ocean.

Casa Silva Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Cochagua, Chile
13% alcohol. Very mineral, fresh and direct with taut grapefruit and citrus fruit, as well as some smoky notes. Lively and fresh with a hint of green pepper. So pure and linear with amazing precision. 91/100 (£15.95 Averys, Fine Wines Direct)

Casa Silva Cool Coast Pinot Noir 2012 Cochagua, Chile
14% alcohol. Bright cherry and plum fruit with hints of liqourice, mint and cinnamon. Nice weight: sweet berries and ripe cherries, but good balance and a smooth texture. 90/100 (£15.95 Stainton Wines, Barrels and Bottles, Roberts & Speight)