A superb, inexpensive Ventoux

Continuing in my theme of brilliant wines under £10, here’s a Ventoux that I was seduced by. It’s one of those wines that manages to hold the sweet fruit and savoury notes in tension. It’s almost Burgundian, in a southern Rhone sort of way.

Gonnet La Jeannette Ventoux 2011 Rhone, France
14.5% alcohol. Not too deep in colour: [...]

Old vine Garnacha from Domaines Lupier, Navarra

Two impressive, potentially ageworthy Garnacha (Grenache) wines from Navarra. They’re quite difficult to assess right now because they are just so tannic and primary, but I think they will be special with a decade in the cellar.

They’re from Domaines Lupier, which is the project of Enrique Basarte and Elisa Úcar whose mission has been to [...]

A lovely Grenache Gris from Domaine Jones

A while back I was enthusing here about Grenache Blanc, and several people told me to keep an eye out for Grenache Gris. Well, I found one – it’s from Domaine Jones, whose wines I reviewed a while back. The packaging is very stylish and so is the wine. Presumably Grenache Blanc, Gris and Noir [...]

Serious Spanish Garnacha from Artadi

Impressed by this. It’s made by high-end Rioja producer Artadi’s Artazu estate in Navarra. It’s expensive, yes, but not when compared with its qualitative peer group.

Artadi Santa Cruz de Artazu Garnacha 2007 Navarra, Spain
A single-vineyard wine made from 80 year old vines at an elevation of 750 metres. Bright red/purple colour. Lovely pure, sweet nose [...]

A brilliant, natural California Grenache

Now this is a superb wine. Before opening it, I admit I was expecting something very sweet and ripe, in the new world mould. But what I got was something thrilling, elegant and amazingly drinkable. It’s from a vineyard planted in 1910, with vines on their own roots. Birichino, pronounced biri-kino, seems a very interesting [...]

A brilliant value Garnacha from Navarra

Garnacha, aka Grenache, is a variety that can tend to soupy lushness when it’s grown in warm climates. Here, in Spain’s Navarra, from old vines, it has produced a really fresh, peppery, full flavoured example that’s just brilliant value for money. In fact, at the multibuy price of £6.99, it may be my best value [...]

A lovely Gigondas

I’ve neglected the Southern Rhone a bit of late. Here’s a good one, from father and daughter team Bernard and Celine Chauvet of Domaine Grapillon d’Or (www.domainedugrapillondor.com)

Domaine Grapillon D’Or ’1806′ Gigondas 2008 Rhone, France
14.5% alcohol. Old vine Grenache with a bit of Syrah. Richly aromatic, this has sweet, lush, almost liqueur-like dark cherry fruit on [...]

Two contrasting Rhone-style wines from California and Australia

Two rather different takes on the Rhone here, one tending towards old world elegance; the other, unashamedly ripe and new world in style. They’re both from UK supermarket (or, to be technically correct, department store) Marks & Spencer, made for them by famous winegrowers. My preference is for the Bonny Doon, but I can see [...]