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Spring Recommendations

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The Moleside Probus wine group always considers an  eclectic selection of offerings. Most of them in April were ones that our guide Trudy had had her eye on for some time, and it was interesting to see how the prices have been changing over the intervening period.

Our first group to taste were three very different whites. First up was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (Geisen Dillon’s Point 2021 – Waitrose) with the usual gooseberry bouquet, but it was a little bit too acid for most of us. Next was a German Riesling (Wine Society Saar Riesling 2019) which was medium dry, and rather surprisingly most of us liked it. Third was an Alsace Gewürztraminer (Wine Society 2020) which was the sweetest of the three. Between them they provided an interesting selection of grape types and flavours.

Next were three Malbec’s from around the globe, two from the Americas, north and south, and one from South Africa.

How different three wines can be from the same grape. 

The first from California under the Barefoot label (Waitrose) was pleasant, inexpensive and unexceptional. The second, also Waitrose, was a South African (Rusten Stellenbosch 2021) that had been aged in French oak barrels and had much more tannin.

Our third Malbec was from Argentina (Valle de Uco 2019) and again from Waitrose. It was much smoother than the other two, but much more expensive. We went on to try another red from Argentina which was a real mix of grape varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Nice – even interesting – but we all thought not nice enough to justify its price £16.99

Then came the fun bit – two blind tastings. The first one none of us recognised the grape type but we guessed it was probably from southern Italy, as indeed it was.

A couple of years ago it was the Terre de Faiano Organic Primitivo that won Moleside’s accolade Wine of the Year. What we were enjoying now was the same producer’s Organic Nero d’Avola in its back and gold labelling – and we’re pleased to report that it is also well up to award winning standard.  

The second of the blind tastings was frankly awful and none of us liked it. It was thin and almost like a grape juice. When we found out what it was we were not surprised

What we were tasting was a dealcoholised Muscat made by Torres. The overwhelming opinion was that on this basis why drink dealcoholised wine? Just stick with grape juice.

Last, but by no means least, a sumptuously sweet white from Samos; which is about as far east in the Greek islands as you can go before ending up in Turkey. For £8.99 from Waitrose Cellar, we thought it was superb, and we all enjoyed it – even those of us who don’t normally drink or enjoy sweet wines.

We then forgot to take a vote on which was our Wine of the Month. So a very undemocratic subgroup suggests that the April prize should be shared by the Terre de Faiano Nero d’Avola (currently £9.99 at Waitrose) and the Wine Society’s Saar Riesling (the 2019 vintage sadly is now ‘Sold Out’ but the 2021 is currently available from the Society at £11.95).

Thanks to James for his report and David for his help with the photographs.

For other recent Wine Club reports click the TAG below