‘Nonni’ Malbec, Angulo, Innocenti
Angulo Innocenti epitomizes the small family producer and their story is wonderful. Two European vinegrowers, Pedro Angulo and Angel Innocenti, 19th century immigrants from the Basque country and Tuscany respectively, who moved to Argentina with thousands of other European settlers to plant their vines and carve out a living in the vast, dry plains of Mendoza. Grandchildren Mariano and Maria now run the estate and make pure and balanced wines with a bit of a European, food-friendly edge. ‘Nonni’ is their entry level Malbec and whilst rich and smooth, with loads of dark, brambly fruit, it isn’t heavy – deliciously gluggable.
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Categories: Red Wine, Wine Offers Tags: Argentina, Malbec
St. Chinian ‘La Laouzil’, Thierry Navarre
Carignan/Grenache/SyrahThierry Navarre has a dozen hectares of vines planted on dark brown schist terraces around Roquebrun. The achingly beautiful countryside is an amphitheatre of small mountains clad in a sea of green, a forest of small trees and bushes and the familiar clumps of fragrant rosemary and thyme which captures the scented spirit of the high Languedoc. The culture in the vines revolves around the respect for the soil, the cycles, the seasons. No chemical products are used, simply composting, natural preparation, plant infusions and working the soil. The harvest is manual and carried out by a small team. This wine is full of red fruits, liquorice tones and plenty of herbs and spice, yet is unforced, supple and fresh.A proper southern French wine to accompany roast lamb or great with some good sausages or a hearty stew.
Zinfandel ‘Heritage’, De Loach
De Loach was founded in 1973 by San Francisco Firefighter Cecil De Loach. The estate was later taken over by Burgundian Jean-Charles Boisset, who has converted all their vineyards to organic and bodynamic practices. This wine is unusual in that it presents great Californian wine at a sensible price, usually there is the mass-produced stuff at the bottom end of the market and then a big jump to the premium £30+ end. This is a great wine at a great price. Medium/full-bodied with loads of juicy bramble fruit and smooth, velvety tannins. A crowd-pleaser and a great pizza or BBQ wine.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape ‘Les Safres’, Le Clos du Caillou’
The much-lauded Le Clos du Caillou produces classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines that just keep getting better, year-on-year. The domaine is situated on the edge of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and is unique in that, in 1936, the owner (who was then away at a hunting retreat) refused to allow the experts who were drawing up the boundaries of the appellation to visit his domaine. Thus, it was not included in the delimited area and remains to this day an enclave within the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. The domaine practices biodynamic farming techniques and was certified "Agriculture Biologique" in 2010 and "Vin Biologique" in 2012. Their trademark style lies in full-bodied wines with rich red fruit flavours, velvety texture and fine tannins.Les Safres is 95% Grenache with the rest Mourvedre, Cinsault & Vaccarese. Not too heavy for a Chateauneuf but great intensity of pure spicy dark fruit. Really impressive.
Ata Rangi Pinot Noir
Ata Rangi, meaning ‘dawn sky, new beginning’ is owned and managed by Clive Paton, his wife Phyll and his sister Alison. In 1980 Clive planted the bare, stony, home paddock at the edge of Martinborough, becoming one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Ata Rangi’s first vineyard covered less than five hectares on deep, free-draining alluvial gravels – the original course of a local river which flows from the hills that flank the eastern side of the valley. Today they are joined by a strong team including winemaker Helen Masters, who in 2019 was awarded New Zealand Winemaker of the Year by Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine, as recognition of her 16 years’ work at Ata Rangi.Ata Rangi is renowned for its Pinot Noir and is widely regarded as New Zealand’s top Pinot Noir producer. They were awarded Five Stars in the ‘2019 Great New Zealand Pinot Noir Classification’ by Matthew Jukes and Tyson Stelzer for the consistent gold medal standard of their wines. At the 2010 International Pinot Noir Conference, Ata Rangi Pinot Noir was one of two producers granted the title of ‘Tipuranga Teitei o Aotearoa’ (which translates from Māori as ‘Great Growth of New Zealand’ or ‘Grand Cru’), in recognition of their unique site and of the family’s commitment to evolving and developing New Zealand Pinot Noir. The oldest Pinot Noir vines, which include a clone allegedly smuggled from Burgundy, were planted in 1980.This is one of my favourite Pinot Noirs from anywhere! I love the slightly savoury style of Martinborough Pinot and no-one does it better than Ata Rangi.I would drink this with anything but roast pork belly with fennel seeds springs to mind as a match made in heaven.
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV
Charles Heidsieck is one of the great names of Champagne and produces some of the finest of all champagnes. Founded in 1851 by Charles-Camille Heidsieck, the original 'Champagne Charlie', the foundation of its modern fame rests on the unrivalled quality of its wines, which receive countless awards and accolades year after year. The grapes for the Brut Réserve are sourced from 60 different ‘crus’ across the region; fermentation and ageing of the base wines takes place primarily in stainless steel to preserve freshness; it is a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Meunier, including at least 40% reserve wines, the average age of which is 10 years; and finally, the Brut Réserve is aged in bottle on its lees for at least three years prior to release.This really is one of the best NV wines coming out of Champagne! Beautiful.
‘The Barossan’ Shiraz, Peter Lehmann
Peter Lehmann was one of the great pioneers of Australian wine and this wine was created to showcase everything great Barossa Shiraz should be (without a huge price tag). It’s a big, rich wine, with huge amounts of spicy black fruit flavours; certainly a crowd-pleaser!
Nero d’Avola ‘Coralto’, Curatolo Arini
The Curatolo family are famous Marsala producers but this Nero d’Avola is also exceptional. A fine example of the grape that stands up well against wines at twice the price. The rich, dark fruit flavours combine with smooth, supple tannins to make an almost perfect steak wine!
Caprichos Old Vine Garnacha, Bodegas Esteban Martin
The region of Carinena is producing some of the best value wines around and this old vine (35 years old) Garnacha (same as Grenache) is a great case in point. Unoaked and full of juicy, lip-smacking red fruit flavours; a great party wine and a storecupboard essential - versatile enough to go with most things when you just need a good glass of red!