Flint Key 2018, The Mount Vineyard, Shoreham Kent

This wine travelled about three miles from the vineyard to my house. I’m a great fan of English wines and this comes from a beautiful spot; Shoreham near Sevenoaks – in the ‘valley of light’ once favoured by artists. The Mount tries to offer a ‘vineyard experience’, with tastings and food. Like most ‘hospitality’ businesses,…

Franciacorta, Castel Faglia, Italy

Italian fizz rose from nowhere about 12 years ago when the prosecco boom began. Demand was huge for cheap fizz, and it was less harsh than Cava. The backlash began a few years ago in response to the acidic, insipid £6 stuff on sale – and it’s image as a drink to get you drunk….

Valiosa Brut NV Spain Laithwaite’s

This Spanish fizz from La Mancha came into being when the opportunist Solis brothers heard that there was a global prosecco shortage a few years ago and decided to try growing Glera grapes in the hot, inland plains south of Madrid. It didn’t work, so they employed similar methods of production (the Charmat or ‘tank’…

Cotes du Rhône Blanc 2018, Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference.

The Cotes du Rhone appellation is one of the world’s largest wine-producing regions. The variety of grapes is amazing. Sainsbury’s updated ‘Taste The Difference’ range is doing a good job of teaming up with good producers and releasing own-label wines that are interesting and reasonably priced.  Good wine. Tasting notes: From the ‘Cotes de Rhone’ region…

‘Cune’ Rioja Blanco, Barrel Fermented 2018

The viura grapes used for Cune white rioja originate from vines owned by the winery and also other estates found in the La Rioja region. Is the £10 Barrel fermented rioja much better than their £5 entry level Viura? This wine has benefited from fermentation in new American oak casks for a few weeks at cellar temperature (between…

Cabalié 2019, Pays d’Oc

My most recent delivery from Laithwaite’s had this recent vintage of Cabalie, another wine which receives rave reviews on Laithwaites website. It’s another wine which Laithwaites have sold for years now. It’s good wine. Tasting notes: Its appearance is deep purple in colour. Dark fruit, plum notes on the nose. Medium length. Medium body. A blend of…

Château Vartely Dealu Nucului Feteasca Regala & Sauvignon Blanc 2019

My most recent delivery from Laithwaite’s had this, nicely presented in a paper wrapping. It is from Moldova… It retails at £10.49 a bottle. The winery looks modern and impressive. This wine receives rave reviews on Laithwaites website. It is a typical Laithwaites wine – slightly aromatic. Tasting notes: Its appearance is pale straw in colour….

Trivento Reserve Malbec 2019 – UPDATE

Sales of Malbec are at an all time high in the UK – and deservedly so; it’s good wine and most of the available offerings are well priced (in the UK at least). The UK market leader is Trivento – owned by the mammoth Vina Concha Y Toro company from neighbouring Chile. Founded 23 years ago, Trivento…

Petit Chablis Moillard, 2018

Petit Chablis from a respected producer based in Mersault. Good value for money – better that the ‘bargain’ Chablis often sold by supermarkets. Good value. Tasting notes: Crisp Chardonnay with aromas of citrus, white peach, lychee. Bone dry. The same on the palate with some minerality. Balanced acidity. Medium finish. Some intensity and a little complexity….

Chablis 2019 – Lidl

An alternative to the more expensive white burgundies is this good chardonnay from Lidl, which goes well with fish . Lidl have a decent range of reasonably priced wine. Chablis still insist producers don’t name the grape variety (inexplicable to my mind – would love to challenge that rationale) and that they use cork closures…

Corte Vigna Chardonnay, Italy

I’ve rated this chardonnay as ‘acceptable’; this may seem like I’m damning with faint praise, however it is perfectly good everyday drinking. It doesn’t have the ‘wow’ factor by any stretch of the imagination but at its price point it is fair value for money and is enjoyable enough. Tasting notes: Medium intensity, pale lemon colour….