Young Fruity Reds
58 2017 Borsao 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 2016 Piemonte Barbera £7.25
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.
64 2016 Les Oliviers Grenache, Languedoc, £8.25
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!
61 2016 Vega Piedra Rioja Tinto, Spain £7.50
Great value oak-aged Rioja from Bodegas Carlos Serres in Haro Soft, approachable and aromatic with comforting and generous ripe berry fruit aromas, with hints of spice. The palate is light and plummy, with a long juicy finish
62 2017 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.
65 2016 Bellefontaine Merlot, Languedoc, France £7.35
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
66 2016 Pasquiers Grenache Noir, Languedoc £7.35
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
67 2016 Conviviale Montepulciano, Abruzzo, Italy £7.60
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 2016 Valpolicella Montresor, Veneto, Italy £10.95
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 2017 Fleurie, La Riene de L`Arenite, Beaujolias, France £11.50
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 2014 Vista, Beiras, Portugal £7.35
A blend of 85% Tinta Roriz / 15% Touriga Nacional giving a real powerhouse of rich, ripe, generous, lots of dark and chewy fruit, good structure with no hard edges and good length. TR stands for Tinto Roriz, which the Spanish term tempranillo, So this is a Portuguese Rioja? Stylistically it could be argued that it’s about ¾ Portuguese and ¼ New world with the right blend of the best bits of both. Serve at 16 to 18 degrees Centigrade with full-flavoured meaty stews, bangers and mash or barbequed meats.
84 2014 Cien tinta de Toro Roble, Spain £7.95
Brambly, chunky and warming with a lean, muscular edge, thisdisplays all the classic characteristics of the Tinta de Toro variety ( Tempranillo). A flavour-packed red with aromas of ripe cherry, plum and a concentration of spicy, plummy fruit on the palate. Sweet, ripe tannins give a velvety finish, balanced well by bramble fruit characters, black cherry jelly and a hint of liquorice
81 2015 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 2015 Mas Barrau Cabernet Franc, Gard £8.35
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
88 2013 Alianca Dao Reserva. Portugal £7.95
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.
87 2015 Chianti Colli Senesi Penezio, Tuscany Italy £8.35
The Sangiovese grapes are harvested when fully ripe and fermented using selected yeasts. A long maceration follows fermentation. The wine spends two months in barrel to add further complexity before being bottled. Lively ruby appearance. Clear notes of cherries and wild berries on the nose and good, pure fruit on the palate. A very correct, well-balanced wine. Goes with ripe cheese (especially Parmesan), roasted red meats and tomato-based pasta dishes.
89 2015 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 2015 Burlesque Zinfandel, California U.S.A. £8.35
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 2015 Adobe Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile £8.35
Great value blackcurranty Cabernet with mellow tannins from biodynamic producer he 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 2015 Adobe Carmenere, Chile £8.35
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 2015 J Gil 4 Mes Monastrell, Jumilla Spain £9.50
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
112 2015 Pinna Fidelis Roble , Ribera del Duero, Spain £9.95
Roble means light oak aging, in this cae 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.
113 2013 Les Coteaux, Rhone Villages, France £9.25
Grenache and Syrah grapes were selected from vineyards in the better-known villages of the Côtes du Rhône. Full of latent power yet sleek and finely toned Elegant berry-fruit aromas backed with a hint of cedar and spice, soft supple tannins marrying into the cherry-fruit flavours result in a wine that is rich and smooth.
114 2014 Mesoneros de Castilla Roble, Ribera del Duero,Spain £10.95
This is I think Spain`s best wine area, using Tinto del pais ( a variation of Tempranillo) with 3 months oak aging to give smooth voluptuous wine that has fine fruit and finish This family has been making wine for over 200 years so they might just have got the hang of it by now. A really impressive wine.
116 2014 Barbazul, Cadiz, Spain £10.95
This is actually from Arcos de la Frontera and is anew wine producing region. The winery was set up by amillionaire 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 2014 Poderi Alasia Rive Barbera, Piemonte, Italy £12.95
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 2014 Valpolicella Classico Ripasso, Capitel della Crosara £14.50
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 2014 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 ful flavoured, rich and smooth with supple tannins. The perfect match for red meat dishes and rich stews.
132 2015 Tres Picos Garnacha, Borja, Spain £14.50
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
130 2010 Canus Verus, Toro, Spain £14.95
The rapidly emerging Toro region is best known for premium reds from small, well-heeled estates who see neighbouring Ribera del Duero as the role model. While the abundance of high quality fruit from old, gnarled bush-trained vines is perfectly suited to this purpose, modest grape prices also make Toro a great source of distinctive, well-made wines at more accessible priceTempranillo, locally called Tinto de Toro has been aged in French and American oak barrels for 9 months. A big, bold wine. Full of dark brambly fruits and rich, leathery meatiness. Well integrated oak gives a touch of spice and chocolate notes. The complexity of the 100 year old vines shows through with good intensity and a long finish. It is claimed that the vines are pre phylloxera.
132 2014 Colla Nebbiolo d’Alba, Piemonte, Italy £14.95
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. the 2010 vintage was described as “ … is big, big, big. Sweet red cherries, flowers, mint and dried herbs explode from the glass in this decidedly large-scaled, structured Nebbiolo d’Alba. This is far from an easygoing Nebbiolo, rather it is a serious wine that overdelivers for its modest price tag. Another year or so of bottle age will only do the 2010 good. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020.” 90 points.” Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate #203, 30th June 2012. Great value for serious Nebbiolo
134 2013 Araldica I Classici Barolo ‘Flori`, Piemonte, Italy £16.50
Barolo is never cheap , but this is excellent value, just a tad lighter than most Barolos. This Revello has all the tell-tale Barolo characteristics. It is a light red coloured wine with hints of orange. It has all the typical tobacco, leather and violet notes and yes, there is tannin, but it is pleasingly supported with plump fruit and a round silky texture, giving a good lengthy finish. Perfect with wild boar sausages, venison, roast lamb or gamey stews.
136 2013 Coyam Emiliana Organic, Chile £18.95
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! This quote explains it far better than we.
2007 Vintage: “The 2007 Valenciso Reserva is pure Tempranillo from argilo-calcareous soils around Haro cropped at 38 hectoliters per hectare, fermented in cement vats with native yeasts, and aged for 16 months in French oak barrels, one third of which are new. 2007 was a cold, wet, Atlantic and difficult vintage, where the date of the harvest made a big difference. At Valenciso they started on October 14 and the wine is quite tight at the moment, with subtle and elegant notes of red and black fruit, cedar wood, nutmeg and vanilla. The characteristic that strikes me as more important here is the balance, something that Valenciso seems to be quite good at, producing classically proportioned wines with the right amount of extraction, acidity and wood. It should age very well. This wine represents the bulk of the 100,000 bottles produced by the winery. Drink 2014-2022. 93 Points” Luis Gutierrez, the Wine Advocate, Issue 210
140 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge Vieilles Vignes, Chante Cigale £37.95
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.
144 2011 Vallet Freres Beaune 1er Cru Les Epenottes, Burgundy £31.95
One of a handful of producers in the Cote d’Or who continue to use ultra-traditional winemaking techniques. Grapes are selected from vines of a minimum 15 years of age; whole bunches (which are not de-stemmed) are fermented in open top wooden vats using only natural yeasts and no temperature control; the grapes are left on their skins for 3 weeks days and the ‘cap’ is trodden down by the oldest method – by feet! All this extracts as much colour, tannins and fruit as possible but in relation to ripeness and quality of the ‘appellation’. The wine is then put into French oak barrels where it matures for a minimum of two years with racking off two or three times a year (to gently remove natural deposits). They don’t have a fancy bottling line here – usually a pipe is inserted into each barrel which is joined to four taps, and the wine flows by gravity straight from barrel into the bottles without any filtration and just a candle to check that it’s clear!
Classic Pinot fruit with supple tannins, crisp acidity and delicious red berries on the palate – drink now or keep for 5-8 years to see exactly what these wines can achieve with age. Ideal with Boeuf Bourguignon (all the better if made with Charolais beef, a breed associated with Burgundy), game dishes – at the White Hart in Lydgate they match it with roast loin of venison and a juniper dressing – or cheese.
148 2012 Vallet Frères Gevrey Chambertin Clos de la Justice, Burgundy £38.95
The grapes come into the winery with stalks, the first 10 cm of each barrel is filled with grapes which are crushed by foot, the barrel is then topped up with whole bunches and fermentation starts naturally after 2-3 days. Since yeasts are an expression of the individual vintage and vineyard no artificial yeasts are used. 3-4 times a day the pulp is trodden by foot to further extract colour and flavour. Louis is passionate in his belief that wines vinified with stalks are better; in blind tastings destalked wines start with more colour which rapidly degenerates after 2-3 years in bottle, this cannot be said for Vallet’s wines which retain colour and evolve more gradually.
The wines are left in open top fermenters until the cap sinks, this is the time to decant into 20-30% well toasted new oak (a small percentage compared to most). After 15-20 months the wine is racked, blended and lightly fined with gelatine. The decision to use gelatine is not whim, Louis always felt that commercial egg whites lack sufficient albumen to do the job and isinglass is not necessarily pure. Wines are not filtered but checked by candlelight, then bottled directly from barrel by hand on a cask by cask basis.
According to Louis “Burgundy must not be fruity – this is no good for great wine …. Short cask ageing and early bottling are the denaturing of real Burgundy … only a long period in wood, followed by a long period in bottle will produce finesse, breed and elegance”. Delicious, supple red berry fruit with elegance, integrated tannins and a long, pure Pinot finish. Ideal with poultry and game-birds or a delicate Burgundian cheese such as Montrachet.