My picks from the Virgin press tasting

Spent the morning in Kingston Hospital with older son. Last Saturday he broke his collarbone playing rugby, down in Somerset at school. So he’s been home all week, and this morning I took him in for his fracture clinic appointment. In typical fashion we weren’t seen until an hour after our appointment time, and they couldn’t locate his X-ray, so he had to have another (above). It shows that there’s a bit of a problem: that clavicle is well and truly broken. They are going to see whether the bone knits back together; otherwise an operation may be in order.

So, after 3 hours at hospital, it was back home to walk the dog, and then off to Parsons Green for the Virgin Wines press tasting. Of the wines on show, four stood out to me.

Some Young Punks Monsters Monsters Attack Riesling 2010 Clare Valley, Australia
11% alcohol.  A Kabinett style, off-dry Riesling with lively honeyed, rounded nose with some limey fruit. The palate has some sweetness to the apple and lemon fruit, with a fresh, tangy edge. A lovely bright wine. 90/100 (£17.99 Virgin Wines)

Pra Morandina Valpolicella Superiore 2006 Veneto, Italy
14% alcohol. Beautifully packages, this is sweet, open and vivid with attractive cherry and berry fruit, as well as some plummy notes. Stylish with lovely ripe fruit and an attractive savoury twist. Lovely density of fruit here. 92/100 (£23.99 Virgin Wines)

Fernando de Castilla Classic Fino NV Spain
15% alcohol. Fresh and intense, this is a really nice vivid Fino sherry with bright, lively, nutty, salty notes. Just delicious. 90/100 (£9.99 Virgin Wines)

Fonseca Quinta do Panascal 1998 Douro, Portugal
20.5% alcohol. A really attractive single quinta vintage Port, this is drinking very well now. It’s nicely spicy, rich and sweet with plum and berry fruits. Lovely warmth and complexity, and it still has a fair bit of tannic structure. Hint of mint, too. Lovely. 93/100

4 comments to My picks from the Virgin press tasting, after taking son to hospital

  • Cam Haskell

    Sheesh. All the best to the boy – looks awfully sore. Matters happier: Australia starting to take off-dry riesling seriously again. Hurrah! Still fresh and crisp and the really dry stuff often gets too much TDN for me. Also, it’s great with SE Asian food.

  • Skippy

    Have only tried the Some Young Punks Monsters Monsters Attack Riesling ’09, which was fantastically aromatic, lively and zingy – available from FindWine for about £15. Great to see a few merchants stocking some truly interesting stuff…

  • J Mac

    Had Monsters Attack ’10 Riesling for the first time at the Sampler two weeks ago – very impressed. They do suggest a lower price at just shy of £15 but perhaps don’t have VW’s slightly misleading (in the sense it confuses the true value of the wine), large percentage discounts.

  • The Pra Valpol seems outrageously priced. ifferent vintage I know but the 2008 is available for retail at about £10 less than that ?

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