Most Wanted Chardonnay 2019

Clem Yates is a Master of Wine (MW) – one of only about 300 or so, and is also a graduate chemist – so she is well qualified to be a winemaker! The MW label must allude to that qualification! She used to work for Sainsbury’s wine and Tescos before leaving to branch out. She…

Freixenet Pinot Grigio

I visited the Alto Penedés region near Barcelona to try cavas and when I pulled up at the Freixenet winery (in a brand new Mercedes) they told me, rather rudely, to go away. So I did – to Codorníu, the region’s other major producer. I was warmly welcomed, given a tour and a tasting… I…

Campo Viejo White Rioja -2019

I met with the winemaker, Elena Adell at a Decanter magazine tasting at Michelin starred Ametsa with Arzak Instruction at Como The Halkin Hotel in Belgravia a few years ago. Their white rioja was up for tasting and I really liked it. The Tempranillo grape has been used in red rioja for ever. Seventeen years…

Blanc Neuf La Bastide – Laithwaites

Blanc Neuf La Bastide 2018 is another unusual proposition – a blend similar to a white Côtes Du Rhône – but from Languedoc… A previous vintage was named ‘World’s Best White Blend’ under £11 by the Decanter World Wine Awards. It’s been compared to a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I see that; similarly this ought to be…

Côtes Du Rhône White, Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference

The Côtes du Rhone appellation is one of the world’s largest wine-producing regions. The variety of grapes is amazing. The standard can vary and price is no guarantee of quality. Produced by Gabriel Meffre, Waitrose sell a white Côtes du Rhone under the Meffre label for £9.99, often reduced to £7.50. I think it’s identical…

La Nuit Blanche Cabernet Blanc 2019

La Nuit Blanche Cabernet Blanc 2019 presented me with an unusual proposition – a grape I had never tried (or even, I must confess, heard of…). A winemaker discovered a few rows of Cabernet Blanc in the Languedoc in 2016 which belonged to a grower near Béziers who had been working with Swiss (aren’t they…

Visionario, Bianco Trevenezie 2019 – Laithwaite’s

My most recent delivery from Laithwaite’s had this more recent vintage of ‘Visionario’ with a label change. Is this any different from the 2018 vintage? No. It’s still the aromatic, rather confected (it’s dry, but not bone dry, and has notes of childhood sweets) wine which Laithwaites have sold for years now. Tasting notes: Its…

Grüner Veltliner – Adler

This is one of three Grüner Veltliner stocked by Lidl – and this is unusual as it’s Italian, albeit from the mountainous north near Austria. It’s Lidl’s most expensive Grüner Veltliner – but is it their best? Sadly not… Tasting notes: Medium intensity, pale lemon colour. Primary apple and citrus notes. No secondary or tertiary…

Loris – Giordano

Giordano wines are a mixed bunch – this one was pretty good and well priced. It’s a shame that they devote so much time to selling you wine and then so little to delivering you the wine you bought. After ordering 50+ bottles, they regularly substitute 3 bottles in a case for something else (no…

Provobis Vino Frizzante Secco – Giordano

Giordano wines are a mixed bunch; the wines are variable in quality but are at the cheaper end of the spectrum. This wine was as usual very vague about details. Giordano took just under a month to deliver my last case. Laithwaites and Virgin take 2-3 days. This wine is decent enough and as part…

Maison de Cirque – Blanc de Blancs. Mas produced…?

Forgive the bad pun. When he started out in the late 1990s, Mas set out to make wines to export: “Selling wines to the French is like trying to sell hamburgers to the Americans.” Consequently, he exports, to 58 countries, 97 per cent of the 20 million bottles he produces annually. I think the problem…