Here are a couple of reds that went down very nicely over the last few days. Note to self - must drink more Beaujolais and Piedmont wines!
Produttori del Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo 2011
A pleasingly light cherry red colour, with light, bright cherry fruit aromas to match. Certainly not one-dimensional, though, with oodles of wild strawberry, forest floor, fresh orange peel and creamy aromas, with subtle hints of mixed herbs and soft spices. Even at this stage, it is deliciously drinkable - not overly complex, but fresh and fruity, with creamy tannins and loads of cherry skin bite and acidity. It might not be profound, but at £12.50, it is pretty good value for a more than decent Piedmont Nebbiolo, and a credit to what is by common consensus one of Europe's top wine co-operatives.
Jean-Marc Burgaud Morgon Côte du Py 2010
I used to drink quite a bit of Cru Beaujolais, as I imported wines from a couple of growers who produced some pretty good Morgon, Fleurie, Chénas and Regnié. Then again, I had to drink quite a lot of it, since it proved to be a hard sell to my customers! Suffice to say that I gave up in the end. That said, good Beaujolais seems to be making a comeback, so perhaps I should look to start importing from the region again - especially if they are anywhere near as good as this one. It is certainly at the darker/richer end of the spectrum, with a medium/dark cherry hue and a nose more at the bramble rather than red fruit end of the spectrum, yet wonderfully earthy, spicy and high-toned, again with a lick of orange peel. On the palate, it is classic Beaujolais, with a touch of sweet redcurrant and bramble fruit, countered by juicy, tangy, sour cherry acidity and just the right level of grippy tannin. Add to that a hint of pepper, spice and damp earth and you have a wine that is a real delight. Delicious on its own, but so food-friendly too - the other night it went well with a home-made ox-cheek and kidney pie, whilst last night the remainder was an excellent accompaniment to some Cumberland sausages and pasta, with a rich, spicy, herby, garlicy, oily tomato sauce. This will set you back around 11 or 12 quid, which is again excellent value for top-notch Beaujolais.
Next up will be my report on a brilliant tasting of Rutherglen stickies.........