Fighting jetlag with Querciabella

Now this is my style of Sangiovese. It’s savoury, but it has elegant fruit, too. Both elements are held in lovely tension. It’s helping me fight my body clock, which is rather messed up at the moment. There are all sorts of circadian cycles that go on in the body, and when they are out [...]

A big night out in Melbourne, with a good feed and lovely wines

James Suckling, David Bicknell and PJ Charteris

Sunday night in Melbourne. Just before the beginning of the Royal Melbourne Wine Show, which I am here to judge.

The evening started off in the City Wine Shop, Spring Street (http://www.citywineshop.net.au/). A brilliant place – sells wine, and is also a wine bar, with an amazing selection that’s [...]

Two very nice affordable wines, from Portugal and Italy

It’s always good to stumble across wines that over-deliver for their price point. Here are two that I tried today and was impressed by.

Tenuta Roveglia Lugana 2011 Italy
From the shores of Lake Garda, this is a really fresh white, made from the Trebbiano (aka Ugni Blanc) grape variety. Crisp, tight and steely with lovely citrus/grapefruit [...]

Great value, biodynamic, natural wines from Nuova Cappelletta in Piemonte

Tasted these three attractively priced wines from online retailer Piemonte Wines recently. They are from biodynamic estate Nuova Cappelletta, and two of them are made with no added sulfur dioxide. The prices indicated are valid to the end of the month.

Nuova Cappelletta Cortese Piemonte 2010 Italy
13% alcohol. No added sulfites. Full yellow colour. Rich, warm [...]

Two brilliant, affordable summer whites, from Sardinia and Greece

For when the sun shines again in this stop, stop, start, stop summer, let me recommend two lovely, affordable wines from The Wine Society. Wines like this are in a real sweet spot for me: they have personality and give pleasure, and they are priced so I can enjoy them whatever the occasion.

Melis Ioacalia Vermentino [...]

Serious Sangiovese, Il Molino di Grace Gratius 2006

Now this isn’t a perfect wine. But it’s a very good one, it’s interesting, it’s edgy, and it tastes like the essence of Tuscan Sangiovese.

Sangiovese is not an easy grape. It doesn’t make accessible, fruity wines. It can be difficult, and it has a tendency to err in the direction of drying tannins and away [...]

Three good Italian reds

Italy deserves more of my attention. Here are three proper wines with personality and balance, and all attractively priced.

Accademia Dei Racemi Segna Vento Tarantino Primitivo 2010 Italy
13% alcohol. What a bargain! Fresh vivid and bright with sweet berry and cherry fruit, as well as some raspberry notes. I like the fresh, spicy, grippy tannins, too. [...]

A brilliant Falanghina for very little money

It’s useful to have a stock of wines that cost relatively little, but which taste really good. This is one of those Tuesday night wines. It’s a Falanghina from the southern tip of Italy, and it delivers.

Asda Extra Special Falanghina 2010 Puglia, Italy
12% alcohol. Full yellow colour. Rich and exotic with pungent melon and pear [...]

Anarkos: a lovely wine from the south of Italy

Very impressed by this ripe yet well defined red from Puglia. I’m seeing increasingly good wines coming from the south of Italy. There’s plenty of sunshine here, so the wines are usually ripe and sweetly fruitied, but the good ones (like this) show great definition. Astute commercial winemaking. It’s not the world’s greatest ever wine, [...]

A delicious high-end Bardolino from Guerrieri Rizzardi

This was interesting. Most of the Bardolinos I try are cheap, light red wines that serve a purpose but don’t justify extensive tasting notes. This is a high-end take on Bardolino that’s quite elegant and tasty. A bit expensive? But delicious.

Guerrieri Rizzardi Tacchetto 2010 Bardolino Classico, Veneto, Italy
A blend of Corvina, Rondinello and Merlot. Pale-coloured, [...]