Hi - remember me? I'm back from our little jaunt to France, and I will tell you all about it in some upcoming posts, including driving through a snowstorm on the Massif Central, getting lost (and thoroughly worked-up about it) in central Montpellier, discovering some cracking new growers at Vinisud, visits to a couple of really interesting growers in southern Burgundy and how to avoid the hell that is Dijon. There's plenty to tell, and I should be in a rich vein of posting over the next week or two, so keep 'em peeled.
Meanwhile, after the Languedoc-Roussillon-Provence-Burgundy drink-fest, I thought I'd test a couple of special purchases, soon to appear on the website;
Cono Sur Chardonnay 2009 San Antonio Valley, Chile
If you like your Chardonnay oaky, then you'll love this. There are plenty of rich, smoky, oaky aromas, even a touch of struck match (which I always find strangely attractive) and plenty of fruit, in the way of citrus, peach and kiwi fruit. The palate is quite rich, again with plenty of oak (chips or staves perhaps?) which - for me at least - dominates just a touch too much, although it becomes more integrated after plenty of air, to reveal some attractive soft citrus and tropical fruit flavours. It won't be to everyone's taste, but it is a well-made wine, and is a good alternative to Aussie Chardonnays such as Lindemans Bin 65. £6.95 (coming soon). 13.5% abv.
Porta dos Cavaleiros 2006 Dao, Portugal
Portugal continues to deliver some really interesting (and great value) red wines, and this is a great example. A blend of indigenous varieties Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Aragones and Jaen. An initial whiff of savoury, meaty brett blows off, to reveal a vibrantly fruity and surprisingly complex wine, with some interesting woody/cedary notes and bags of crushed black pepper and spice-infused red and black fruit flavours. Some might say it is a touch earthy and rustic, but therein lies its charm - and the combination of fruit, spice, gentle tannins and juicy acidity make for a deliciously drrinkable and food-friendly wine. It went beautifully with a selection of English sausages, pasta and a tomato, garlic and herb sauce. Lovely wine, and a bargain at £6.50 (again, coming soon). 12.5% abv.
I'll tell you all about our trip to France over the next few posts.....