Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Sentiers de Belene

Gevrey-Chambertin is one of the most prestigious and revered names in Burgundy, often referred to as ‘the king of Burgundy’. The appellation is entirely for red wine specifically my favourite red wine grape: Pinot Noir, and boasts 9 Grand crus, the most of any Cote d’Or communes; it also has 26 Premier crus vineyards. It…

Vinedos Barrihuelo, Rioja Blanco, Sainsburys Taste the Difference

I continue to be impressed with Tesco’s revitalised ‘Finest’ range and with Sainsburys ‘Taste the Difference’ range.  The wine is from Bodegas Muriel: founded in 1926, it is now one of the largest family-owned and managed wine companies in Rioja. They create modern tasting wines and this was (I suspect) selected by Clem Yates: she…

Viña Sol, Torres

Founded in 1870, Torres have been producing this wine since the 1960s. Is it rather dated – like I found Viña Esmeralda to be? No – it’s decent wine with a timeless quality to it and fairly good value. I buy it regularly in the summer and it remains popular in Spain. Tasting notes: Pale…

Viña Esmeralda, Torres

Founded in 1870, Torres have been producing this wine since 1976. I’m a fan of Gewürztraminer, Reisling, Torrontes. I wanted to like this wine – which I have tried before – but it was sweeter than I recall and I’m sorry to say it tasted like wines I had in the 80s…   Tasting notes:…

Chapel Down Classic Non-Vintage English Rose

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 &…

Chapel Down Classic Non-Vintage Brut

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 &…

Cuvee Royale Crémant de Limoux, Waitrose

How does Waitrose Crémant de Limoux compare with other fizz at similar price points?  Sparkling wines from Limoux, nestling in the foothills of the Pyrenees are said to pre-date champagne. In 1990 the term Crémant was introduced for non-Champagne sparkling wines in France, an AOC for more “modern” or internationally-styled sparkling wines. AOC regulations dictate…

Codorniu Cuvee Barcelona 1872

Codorníu is the world’s oldest and second-largest producer of bottle-fermented sparkling wine, known as cava, made by the traditional champagne method and it was founded in Barcelona, Spain in 1551. I first visited Sant Sadurní d’Anoia 20 years ago and was in Catalunya again last month, so I picked up a bottle of this cava. The…

Kumala Reserve Chenin Blanc

This is excellent Chenin Blanc, the best I have tasted for some time – and good value at only £7.50.  I don’t understand why this wine is only 50p more than their other chenin blanc – why market two wines so closely priced? Again I must express my wish that they had ‘Fairly Traded’ credentials……

Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, like South African Chenin Blanc, has a distinct ‘New World’ taste to it. Invariably this is of tropical, exotic fruit – and is achieved by fermenting it at lower temperatures than in the ‘Old World’ (ie France). I find many Loire Valley Sauvignon Blancs to be rather ‘pinched’ – however this…

Kumala Chenin Blanc

This really was good Chenin Blanc. Chenin Blanc from South Africa tends to be more ‘tropical’ due to its relatively cool fermentation, compared to Loire Valley Chenin Blancs. For me, South African Chenin Blanc is more ‘interesting’, as there is more complexity and a longer finish (and sometimes a better, ie. less thin, texture). If…

Crozes Hermitage – Club des Sommeliers

The Cotes du Rhone appellation is one of the world’s largest wine-producing regions. The variety of grapes is amazing. Crozes-Hermitage is the largest appellation in the northern Rhône . I had a strategy of buying wines from the less highly regarded appellations neighbouring  the very expensive ones which I can rarely afford to drink –…