They’re doing their best …….
Try as we may, our efforts to restart the popular Wine Group have twice been thwarted. Just as we had a plan in place to run a limited attendance and socially-distanced real meeting, the ‘Rule of Six’ came along. Now we have a further local constraint of household restrictions for indoor events.
……. and so are we
So we are now back to individual tasting sessions in our homes and, to help share this more isolated pleasure with you, we are writing in late October to guide you towards a few wines that have recently been highlighted by our knowledgable participants in the Wine Group.
And here’s our starter. We tend to go for bold reds but one white that caught the eye is a Languedoc Viognier available from the Coop for £8.00 as part of their Irresistible range.
Now for 3 reds we have especially appreciated. The first was a contender for our “wine of the month” back last November and it’s still available from Morrisons. It’s a mix of Grenache, Mourverde and Syrah grapes; Les Aspres Reserve, Cotes de Roussillon (14%). We considered it good value at £7.50 from Morrisons – deep fruit certainly though some members thought it spicy with hints of liquorice.
A somewhat better offering was a Chateau L’Esparrou Cote de Roussillon (13.5%) retailing at £10.00 a bottle (and still is) from the Coop. This is a rich, Syrah-based wine showing lots of black fruit character, good balance of tannins and a hint of minty overtones. The wine also won the Decanter World Wine Award Bronze Medal which may be an endorsement but we are still unsure what all these awards really represent!
What hit the spot with several of our members when we were able to taste it together a while back was a Chilean mix of Syrah and Malbec. This is Diablo Dark Red (13.5%) which was then £10 a bottle from Sainsburys but is now more widely available and selling at £8 in a number of supermarkets. This is a deep plummy red, much like some of the ‘fruit bombs’ you can get from Southern Italy. Personally, this author prefers the less ‘jammy’ wines and would opt for the more balanced Coop Cote de Roussillon – but certainly would not refuse a glass of Diablo, if offered.
Finally, I have seen a number of recent press reviews of wines from lesser known places and so I thought I would try a few out, ordering through The Wine Society. One that blew me away is a white wine, apparently made from the little-known Viorica grape by Chataeu Vartley (13.5%) in Moldova and retailing for only £6.95 per bottle. Moldova is situated between Romania and the Ukraine on the Black Sea. It has been producing wines for centuries, even surviving the 20th century Soviet purges of wine making in an attempt to reduce alcohol-related problems (shame they forgot to look at vodka consumption but that’s another story). This Moldovan wine is refreshingly dry with a great taste of citrus fruits, a hint of apricot and a lovely, slightly aromatic, lingering taste on the palate.The Wine Society is still selling it though its recent winter catalogue does not seem to have this gem listed – so go for it now whilst there are stocks left.
I hope you have learnt something in this review and you now have five recommendations from our ever-gifted Wine Group members. Cheers.
Some previous tips still to look out for
Vina Indomita Irresistible Carmanere 2018 Chile. From The Coop
Belle Roche Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 France. From Laithwaites
Queen Bee Viognier 2020 South Africa From Laithwaites