Summer Wines

I was asked today by a friend in Melbourne to recommend a red and white for summer time drinking when they’re back in the UK. I went one better and also recommended a fizz…

BEST SUMMER WHITE – UNDER £10

Vinalta Chardonnay (M&S)

I’ve tasted this against several Argentinian Chardonnays, and with the exception of Zuccardi (which is more than £10 and not widely available in the UK) this was my favourite.

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This wine retails at £8.50 – and is pretty good for that price. Right now it’s down to £6.50, a great wine for that price! But with the current ‘Buy any 6 wines and get 25% off’ deal it works out at £4.88 a bottle!! So I bought quite a few…

Tasting Notes:

Attractive golden colour. Citrus and tropical fruit aromas and flavours combine to create a crisp fresh fruity palate. This wine has had no time in oak at all. The Fabre vineyards in Lujan de Cuyo are at 1200m, and this counteracts the fierce heat of the desert area of Mendoza.

Region of Origin Mendoza
Wine Colour White
Price £8.50
Grape 100% Chardonnay
Current Vintage 2016
Producer Bodegas Fabre
Type of Closure Screwcap
Wine Maker Jeneve Williams
Pack Quantity 750ml
Where can I get it? M&S, widely available elsewhere
Country Argentina
Points 96

Food Pairings: Perfect on its own, with poached salmon, salads and chicken dishes.

 

BEST SUMMER RED – UNDER £10

First Class Malbec (Majestic)

Summer reds are a trickier problem – so I recommended one that would work with grilled meats at a BBQ. As they live in Australia, I went for an Aussie Malbec, rather than an Argentinian one. There’s a lot of competition in this category!

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Tasting Notes:

Good, silky mouthfeel. Nice tannins. Berry flavours.

Region of Origin Clare Valley
Wine Colour Red
Price £7.99 (£6.99 if you get 6+ bottles)
Grape 100% Malbec
Current Vintage 2015
Producer Dorrien Estates
Type of Closure Screwcap
Wine Maker
Pack Quantity 750ml
Where can I get it? Majestic, widely available elsewhere
Country Australia
Points 91

Food Pairings: Great for a summer BBQ.

BEST SUMMER FIZZ – UNDER £20 (IF YOU’RE QUICK)

Chapel Down Classic Non-Vintage Brut.

As they’re originally from the UK I thought it would be fun to suggest an English fizz – and I genuinely believe it can be excellent. Chapel Down near Tenterden produce English fizz on similar chalky terroir to that of the Champagne region, using the traditional method and the same grapes. Taittinger have bought a large plot of land in Kent. Champagne producers can add 10% of wines from outside the Champagne appellation to their blends and last year Moet & Chandon purchased their entire allowance from Chapel Down. It’s a beautiful place and we’ve tasted their entire range, twice.

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Waitrose are wonderful supporters of English wine and stock a great range. They even produce their own in Hampshire. They advertised this as 25% off the “Vintage Reserve Brut – Non Vintage.” A contradictory name… That’s what the website has. That’s what the shelf label advertises. But it’s not… It’s the Classic Non Vintage Brut”. This is actually slightly more expensive (£23) and reduced to £16.50 – more than 25%. Chapel Down is ‘The official sparkling wine of 10 Downing St”. I hope they give some to Theresa May; when I met her she seemed… a bit unhappy…

Tasting Notes:

Pale colour. Persistent, fine bubbles. Aromas of apples. Yeasty. Bone dry

 

Region of Origin Kent
Wine Colour White
Price £23
Grape Chardonnay
Current Vintage NV
Producer Chapel Down
Type of Closure Natural Cork
Wine Maker
Pack Quantity 750ml
Where can I get it? Waitrose, widely available elsewhere
Country England
Points 92

Food Pairings: Perfect on its own, with nibbles or Eton mess.

 

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