The Wine Tasting Group’s recommendations of 2020 – for Christmas (or for any time!)
After a year with only a few opportunities early on to sample together in The Steeples, The Corona Times has invited the Wine Club regulars to share the favourites that have emerged from their more recently imposed isolation. Most of us will find something in what they have discovered this year which will surely delight us.
First off – interestingly the only White suggested by our members.
Acacia Tree Chenin Blanc – fresh citrus and peach with a zippy, refreshing finish.
Available from Majestic – the supplier who features most strongly in the club’s recommendations
Passimento by Pasqua – thanks to the Apassimento technique it concentrates all the sugars in the grapes, making its texture seriously lush and velvety.
Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso, La Casetta- a Valpolicella that’s enhanced by its Ripasso concentration which transports it into another dimension of flavour. tangy red cherry. plum and dried fruit. Recommended by more than 1 member.
Rioja Reserva, Marques de Riscal – only using grapes from vines at least fifty years old makes for flavours incredibly rich and concentrated, full of summer berry, red-fruit flavours and liquorice, vanilla spice. This, it’s suggested, is a classic Rioja. Recommended by more than 1 member
Luis Filipe Edwards, Gran Reserve Merlot – coming from vineyards at a particularly high-altitude, 900 meters above sea level in the Chilean Colchagua Valley with its slightly cooler micro-climate, this merlot has incredible intensity.
Cotes du Rhone, E Guigal – the winemaker’s passion for Syrah means this has a higher than usual proportion in a Côtes blend, making it extra red fruity and warmly spicy.
1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel – ageing in small oak bourbon-whisky barrels imparts delicious slathers of charred vanilla and caramel on the hedonistic black-fruit
Copper Kingdom Barossa Shiraz -a seriously hearty wine, full of blackcurranty, blackberry flavours sublime with a meaty casserole. Majestic calls this ‘a real hug in a glass’.
Available from Waitrose – the Wine Club regulars offer fewer suggestions from The Partnership but its shelves have produced the bottle that comes out on top.
First off in the nominations Triade – a wonderful blend of southern Italian red grape varieties including Primitivo that offers spicy red fruit flavours and attractive aromas of liquorice and rich coffee.
And our winner is another of Waitrose’s offerings – a prize in Wine Club competitions in the past and now the recipient of 4 firm recommendations as well as several positive mentions from other Club members – and very clear enthusiasm from Trudy herself who includes it in her 3 recommendations below..
Created from grapes grown in Puglia this is a wine with an intense ruby-red colour, aromas of rich dark fruit, a silky texture and big bright spicy flavours of dark cherries, vanilla and chocolate. This is the first organic Primitivo to be made 100% by the Appassimento method
The Moleside Probus Wine Club’s Wine of the Year is Terre di Faiano Primitivo Organico
And to add just a taste of urgent excitement – special thanks to John Watkins who reports that at the time of writing Waitrose are offering the Club’s winner at a 25% discount.
Now honourable mentions for 2 recommendations which sadly appear currently to be sold out, but may well prove to be interesting tips for the future –
Don Solis Tempranillo – Laithwaites reports the 2019 vintage is all gone but some of us will surely be looking out for the new arrival when we read that the winemaker’s secret behind this recommendation is the combination of top cuvées from renowned Iberian sources – Toro, Valdepeñas and La Mancha. The result – power with a delicate, elegant fragrance that can also manage to be juicy and fruit filled.
Let’s hope the winemaker has been able do it again soon.
And another recommendation on which we’re going to have to be patient –
Christian Patat Primitivo – Naked Wines tells us, this is created by a consultant oenologist who travels all over Italy helping lesser mortals make their wines taste amazing. That means he knows where all the best grapes hide out, and is in the box seat to snaffle them before anyone else can get our their cheque book. A large number of wine lovers agree with this Moleside recommendation – sadly it’s currently Sold Out.
Now looking ahead – Trudy has given us some excellent value suggestions to try if we’re already thinking about how to celebrate the increased freedom we all hope we’ll be enjoying in the New Year.
Her inclusion here of the Fiano Primitivo as her recommended Red secured its position as the 2020 Winner of the Year for the club. Her view – fairly full-bodied and complex with lovely red berry/dark chocolate hints and a velvety finish – lovely with pizzas and most pasta dishes. Usually £9.99 from Waitrose – but we now know that they have been known to offer discounts.
For a White Wine she suggests considering Duo des Mers, Sauvignon-Viognier, Vin de France 2019,The Sauvignon comes from Gascony and the Viognier from the Languedoc. This wine combines the gooseberry/spice of the Sauvignon with the apricots and roundness of the Viognier. It’s currently available from The Wine Society at. £6.95.
And Trudy has a Dessert Wine to suggest we think about including – Casa Ermelinda Freitas Moscatel de Setubal. This Portuguese wine is, she reports, very complex with notes of caramel, lemon and orange, mixed with hints of honey and hazelnuts. It should be served chilled and it keeps really well in the fridge after opening. A 75cls bottle should be able to be found from The Wine Society for £9.95.
Our thanks to Trudy Welsh and to all the enthusiastic members of the Moleside Wine Club who have helped the CT team consolidate this encouraging guidance from which we all stand to benefit.
AND FINALLY – after all the excitement we can offer a short video reminder that may already have gone round the world. It’s been unearthed by John Brice and it suggests how important all this is as we face our current challenges.
Enjoy the ‘advice’ it contains but above all Stay Safe – Thanks for the chuckle John.