Young Fruity Reds
58 2019 Borgia Garnacha, Borja Spain £6.75
Campo de Borja is in the north central area of Spain, located on the south bank of the river Ebro and just below the border of Navarra. Borsao has an open, forward nose full of fresh red raspberries and oaky vanilla spice, with hints of black fruit and a touch of something floral — maybe violet. A soft, velvety texture in the mouth carries bright berry flavors — mostly ripe raspberry, with a nice touch of vanilla oak spice. It finishes rather quickly, with a chalky acidity. Very mild tannins make a cameo appearance at the tail end of the finish. This is a soft, pleasant, berry-filled, spicy red wine with a flavor profile that many people will find appealing. It is enjoyable by itself, and will match well with beef (stews, meatloaf, burgers) and sausage dishes
60 2018 Piemonte Barbera £6.95
Ruby-red in colour with purple hues, aromas of ripe raspberries and plums on the nose; this is a medium-bodied wine with soft tannins, an abundance of tangy red cherry and plum fruits laced with a savoury spiciness. Good with simple pasta or pizza.
62 2019 Les Oliviers Grenache, Languedoc, £7.50
Subtle spice and luscious fruit combination – a wonderfully juicy red. Soft jammy plums and raspberries along with a touch of spice. Quite light and elegant on the nose moving on to a full and intense palate. Lovely crushed raspberry fruit – summer pudding in a glass!
64 2019 Bellefontaine Merlot, Languedoc, France £7.50
Rich, vibrant and aromatic fruit showing soft plummy flavours but with full jammy fruit too then quite dry tannic bite giving it structure and length in the mouth.Soft and pliable red capable of matching with most foods. Easy choice for a devouted red drinker. Try with mushroom risotto. Also a deceptive 14.0% alcohol
65 2019 Pasquiers Grenache Noir, Languedoc £7.50
The underrated Grenache is probably the most widely panted red grape variety and it is the backbone of Chateauneuf-du-pape. This black Grenache from the deep South of France is steeped in texture, sinewy flavour and structure – talk about length, the flavours just go on and on! A wine that will stand up well to rich foods – hearty roasts and casseroles, deep flavoured pasta dishes and robust roast vegetables Smooth easy drinking
66 2019 Pedrera, Monastrell,Jumilla, Spain £7.95
From a family winery dating back to 1916, the very heart of this vineyard is Monastrell. Juan Gil is the master of making wine in this region near Alicante. Warm and spicy on the nose with aromas of plums and ripe red fruits. Medium bodied with youthful berry fruit characters leading to a dry, savoury finish. Great with grilled meats, cured cheese, pates and stews.
67 2019 Conviviale Montepulciano, Abruzzo, Italy £7.50
Initially just a little reticent on the nose, this super wine quickly opens, and offers a quite remarkable array of aromas and flavours. The slighly sulky, smoky notes at the beginning are followed in quick succession by dark and red cherry fruit, coffee, chocolate and spice. Perfect with takeaway pizza or home-made spaghetti bolognese
70 2019 Valpolicella Montresor, Veneto, Italy £10.50
Do try this. It has great fruit good body and is a delight to drink. It`s reputation ruined by previous cheap winesValpolicella can be a fruity, medium-weight red wine, but because of recent production troubles and overplanting it can often be acidic and thin. They can have a light cherry flavor, with licorice hints and alovely clean finish. Well worth trying.
72 2019 Fleurie, La Riene de L`Arenite, Beaujolias, France £11.75
Minimum use of pesticides in vineyard. No systematic use of chemicals for rot treatment. Grapes are hand-picked and whole-berry fermented for 8-10 days (traditional maceration carbonique) followed by a further 2 or 3 days on the skin to assist with aromas. No use of cultured yeasts. Pressed after 8-10 day cuvaison. First press wine returned to wine and left for 8 months before bottling. Ripe red fruit flavours with hints of strawberry and morello cherries. Perfumed, gentle, cherry fruit. Lovely, fresh cherry fruit. Quite long. Extremely versatile red wine – will go with spicy dishes, like curry or with gamey meat dishes. Even goes well with plain grilled white fish. This wine is often overlooked but it is always one of the first wines to go from your stock as it has such a broad appeal.
Full Bodied Reds
82 2018 Terra Boa Old Vine Tinto, Beiras,Portugal £7.50
Characterful wine with ripe black fruit aromas, from a blend of Tinta Roriz 60%, Touriga Nacional 30%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%. Serve with full-flavoured meaty stews, bangers and mash or barbecued meats.
81 2019 Borsao Seleccion, Borja, Spain £7.95
Rich, plum and red berry fruit with a touch of white pepper on the nose. A nicely balanced yet concentrated red fruit mix with darker spice and chocolate notes to give weight and texture to the palate. Plump ripe tannins and pepper from the Syrah add some grip to this juicy and approachable red. 2013 Vintage: “As usual, this Garnacha is friendly, but serious enough to satisfy all palates. Floral berry aromas lead off the bouquet, leading to a juicy, fresh and pure palate. Flavors of raspberry, plum and a dash of spice finish with a good texture.” Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast ‘Top 100 Best Buys 2015’
83 2019 Mas Barrau Cabernet Franc, Gard £8.50
Cabernet Franc is normally grown in the loire producing thin stalky reds here grown in Nimes it is transformed. A French red wine of real character, there is a wild ripeness of sweet scented fruit twinned with an edgy woodland perfume. The palate is incredibly long and very rich – scrumptiously juicy fleshy Rhone flavours are counterbalanced and intertwined with the savoury crunchy rooty character of Cabernet Franc. Very exciting, This is the best Cabernet Franc I have ever tasted
87 2018 Alianca Dao Reserva. Portugal £8.50
This is probably the best buy here. Great flavours for the price. A powerful, rustic red with supple bramble fruits – an excellent winter warmer.Immediately juicy with lots of bramble fruits and polished aromatics. Underlying savoury and herbal character with silky, supple black fruit. Soft tannins with hints of pine and vanilla on the elegant finish.
88 2018 Uggiano Sangiovese Syrah ‘Il Sanzio’.Piemonte £7.95
Vibrant young Sangiovese from northern Chianti is given a boost of ripe sweet spicy fruit from 15% barrique-aged Syrah from Uggiano’s Chianti Classico vineyards. Supple, structured tannins and balancing acidity give a full finish. Why not serve with Maremmana Tortelli – this local dish filled with spinach and ricotta is best served with hare or wild boar sauce!
89 2018 Vega del Rayo Seleccionada, Rioja, Spain £8.50
A blend of mainly Tempranillo with some Mazuelo The clear wine is then racked to a mixture of American and Russian oak barrels for 6 months maturation before bottling. If it was aged for another 6months it could be classed as a crianza. However it would lose some of its lovely fruit so a decision was made to withdraw it from the oak., resulting in a delicious modern Rioja with a deep colour and ripe plum and cherry fruit aromas. Richly flavoured and substantial with fruit dominant and a smoky, spicy dimension from six months in oak. Brilliant quality and exceptional value, a real crowd pleaser.Perfect with a smoky barbequed steak with patatas bravas (spicy tapas potatoes), or a chunk of Manchego cheese.
96 2018 Burlesque Zinfandel, California U.S.A. £8.95
Deep, sweet black berry fruit with an amazing ripeness on the palate and taught acidity creating a wine with poise and balance. Perfect with steak and chips or equally suitable as a picnic red and of course BBQ if we ever get a warm day? It is also superb value for a Californian wine.
98 2019 Adobe Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile £8.50 Organic
Great value blackcurranty Cabernet with mellow tannins from thebiodynamic producer Emiliana. The fruit is maturing nicely and developing a toastiness from the 6 months in oak and the tannins have mellowed. Lovely to drink now with soft bread and cheese. The winery aims to increase biodiversity in the vineyard by planting cover crops leaving corridors between vine blocks for plants and wild flowers to grow. This also has the effect of attracting the pests away from the vines. The gravity-fed winery is made from natural materials including ‘adobe’ a traditional brick made from mud and straw .
100 2019 Adobe Carmenere, Chile £8.50
An outstanding Carmenère, the product of a real commitment to organic viticulture. Intense dark red colour with purple hues with an extremely fruit driven nose, soaked with cherries, plums and spicy pepper. This expressive full bodied wine ends with flavourful tannins and a long persistent finish
108 2019 Albacea Monastrell, Jumilla Spain £9.95
These vineyards are near to Alicante, but the heat is offset by their high altitude that has a cooling effect. A beautiful Monastrell from 40 year old vineyards. Intense juicy fruit and hugely enjoyable. Palate hugely intense with fresh juicy blackberry and plum fruit, delicate vanilla spice and cedar. The palate mirrors the nose with layers of lush spicy plum and cherry fruit, more sweet spice, minerality and gentle tannins to the finish
113 2018 Les Coteaux, Rhone Villages, France £9.95
Immediately impressive this wine reveals its class from the start. Brambly fruit underpinned by subtle oaky nuances, lovely sweet spice; warm star anise with a touch of cinnamon. This classic Côtes du Rhône Villages is enriched with specially-selected parcels from the cru vineyards of Séguret, Sablet and Cairanne, using a blend of Grenache Noir 80%, Syrah 20%
115 2019 Pinna Fidelis Roble , Ribera del Duero, Spain £11.50
Roble means light oak aging, in this case 6 months. Hand picked Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) 100%, ,Aromas of fresh red fruits – strawberry, raspberry and redcurrants – balanced with notes of slightly toasty oak. On the palate there are strong, round tannins, beautifully balanced with the rich fruit character, and a persistent finish
116 2018 Barbazul, Cadiz, Spain £12.95
This is actually from Arcos de la Frontera and is a new wine producing region. The winery was set up by a millionaire and the end product is amazing.. Grapes are carried to the winery at the top of the hill and then everything is carried by gravity. A blend of the local Tintilla de Rota 50% andSyrah 30%, Merlot 20% form an intriguing, complex nose – with aromas of dried cherries, black berries, fig and aromatic herbs. In the mouth Barbazul is elegant and restrained, pure, intense and poised. The fruit is pure, with bright juicy cherry with sweet spice. Balanced acidity, an impressive structure, and a long finish.
124 2016 Il Cascinone Rive Barbera, Piemonte, Italy £14.95
The wine is pressed just before dryness and then racked to a mixture of new (2/3) and one year old (1/3) French oak barriques, where it undergoes malo-lactic fermentation and is aged for 18 months. The wine is left to develop in bottle for 6 months before being released. A deep garnet hued Barbera with vibrant aromas of black cherries and prunes with chocolate and toasty oak undertones and a touch of mint. An abundance of vibrant red currants, black cherries and a touch of spice show through on the palate, which has a rich, voluptuous texture balancing taught acidity and fine oak tannins. Mature hard cheeses, pepperoni pizza, gnocchi with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, smoked gammon with onion mash. Perfect example of when Barbera is grown well it can take on its more famous namesakes as one of Italy`s best grape varieties.
128 2017 Valpolicella Classico Ripasso, Capitel della Crosara £14.95
Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Molinara have been taken, fermented slowly with the lees from the fabulous Amarone ( grapes that have been partially dried, leaving them 40% lighter and much more concentrated) and then left to mature in French and American oak. Medium to full bodied red in a deep ruby red colour with deeply inviting aromas of rich fruit, almond and cinammon and a smooth velvety palate, rich with flavours of cherry, musk, spices and vanilla. Simply outstanding. Without doubt one of my favourite reds at the moment. A real treat
123 2017 La Côte Sauvage, Cairanne Boutinot £13.50
This is the first time that Paul Boutinot has put his own name on a wine label, so it will be very good.To make this Cairanne, Paul Boutinot used traditional vinification techniques – indigenous yeast and a long cuvasion period, followed by maturation in French oak barrels to develop great concentration, complexity and finesse in the wine. Intense morello cherry fruit and a touch of spice on the nose, ripe berry, liquorice and a hint of cinnamon spice on the palate, this wine is full flavoured, rich and smooth with supple tannins. The perfect match for red meat dishes and rich stews.
132 2018 Tres Picos Garnacha, Borja, Spain £15.50
Deep and sweet, Tres Picos Borsao is cherry red in colour with a hint of purple tones. In the nose, there is a boundless bouquet of mature red fruits with traces of flowers that are typical of the best Garnachas. In the mouth, it is rich and well-structured simultaneously conveying flavours of blackberries, strawberries and tones of leather, vanilla and plums. Perfectly combined with a sweet and pleasant tannin, Tres Picos Borsao leaves us with a long, silky and balanced finish .Deep notes of roasted herbs, sweet black cherries and raspberries, peppers and spice soar from the glass of this dark ruby/purple-tinged wine. Full-bodied, rich, ripe, silky textured, pure and long, this unbelievable value should drink well for 3-4 years. 92 points.” Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #203, 30th Oct 2012
132 2017 Colla Nebbiolo d’Alba, Piemonte, Italy £17.50
Classy Nebbiolo from this small family`s Cascine del Drago estate in Alba. An extremely elegant wine balanced by vibrant acidity and perfectly poised tannins. So much care goes into making this wine from hand picked grapes to traditional fining with egg whites. A complex and elegant expression of Nebbiolo combining vibrant acidity, perfectly poised tannins and great depth of spicy fruit. Great value for serious Nebbiolo
136 2018 Coyam Emiliana Organic, Chile £19.95
A blend of Syrah 45%, Cabernet, Carmenere, Merlot, Mourvèdre from the Colchagua valleyIntensely compelling with great sense of place.Emiliana is one of the world’s most important producers of Organic and Biodynamic wines. Exceptional. Emiliana’s iconic blend. Amongst the first Chilean blends to champion Carmenere. Rich sumptuous intense morello cherries, mulberries and more berries! Vanilla, sweet spice with herbal and savoury hints. The palate contains the same berry intensity, plus a wonderful warm dusty character, reminiscent of its location, together with hints of mint and some minerality. Palate offers well-balanced volume, soft, round tannins, and a long finish that shows both character and personality.
The husband and wife team who run this winery, lavish every care and attention that a vine needs to make brilliant wine. It does. This is a cheap magnificent wine! Harvested in October – the winery follow sustainable viticulture and are moving towards organic practice. Aged for 17 months in French oak barrels, less than 3 years old; one third of which are renewed annually. Savoury aromas alongside lifted, perfumed notes of violet and blackberry. This wine shows all the elegance of the variety – tight and concentrated with spice, fine tannins, great complexity and purity.
140 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge Vieilles Vignes, Chante Cigale £42.95
A blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre.‘Vieilles Vignes’ means simply ‘old vines’ in French. The average age of Alex Favier’s vines are between 40 and 50 years old, but some of his oldest vines are over 110 years old and were planted just after the phylloxera epidemic at the turn of the last century.The average for ‘Vieilles Vignes’ is around 20hl/ha, so very, very low indeed; the very oldest vines may only yield a miniscule 15hl/ha, most others around 22-23 hl/ha, bringing the average to around 20hl/ha. Harvesting is by hand, with selective sorting of the grapes This has a huge 14.5% alcohol and it is such a big wine that it is not unbalanced. Ageing takes place in large oak barrels (40%), with 30% respectively in new small oak barrels and concrete vats. Deep, dark and intense black spicy fruit on the nose with a lifted violet aroma. The palate follows through with leather, cloves and a mix of herbs and plums. The finish is supple and rounded with excellent integration, complexity and concentration as a result of the old vines superior fruit. Meat such as lamb, beef or venison, either grilled or with a spicy or peppery sauce, or with duck paté.