We have eight new wines on offer for October – and we’re offering 10% off any two bottles purchased or 15% off six – look out for the red tag on the shelf label.
Cerasuolo de Vittoria (£10.99) Sicily’s first and, still, only DOCG* wine. Made in Vittoria in south east Sicily, Cerasuola is a blend of indigenous Frappato and Nero d’Avola grapes and to say it works is an understatement. Frappato is light and overtly summer fruity while Nero d’Avola is full of sweet tannin, plum and autumn fruits. Like most good things, Cerasuolo doesn’t come cheap. Most are £15-20 a bottle but ours, fully organic certified from Feudo di Santa Tresa, is a mere £10.99.
*DOCG is the highest classification for Italian wine.
Piedra Negra Malbec (£10.99) Malbec seems to be on an endless roll and, predictably, so is the price. So we’ve found a new, cheaper option from renowned French winemaker Francois Lurton. He’s been in Mendoza for nearly forty years so he’s no Johnny-come-lately and his ‘Alta Coleccion’ Malbec has the classic full body, with intense black fruit character and subtle overtones of oak. All for a great price.
Domaine de la Brossette Rouge (£12.99). We haven’t stocked a Loire Red for years so I jumped when this one turned up. From a tiny (3 hectare) vineyard in Touraine, east of Tours, it’s a straight, unoaked, blend of fruity Gamay and more mineral, steely Cabernet Franc.
Nativa (£14.99) produced the first Chilean wine made with certified organic grapes. Matured in oak, the Community Blend is an elegant and complex wine with an intense, deep purple colour. It is a blend of organically grown Camernere, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot grapes from Maule, located 270 km south of Santiago. Nativa promotes sustainable practices in the vineyard, winery and offices as well improving the social conditions of their employees through various community projects.
For the whites I thought we’d have a look at the many nuances of the world’s most widely consumed white grape – the ubiquitous Sauvignon Blanc. It’s made a name for itself in virtually every major wine region in the world with the possible exception of Italy where they’re still surfing the Pinot Grigio wave. But they do vary – from the cool climate, bone dry, Loire Sauvignons to the tropical fruit laden examples from Marlborough, NZ – with a whole plethora of in-betweens.
Lurton Terra Sana Sauvignon Blanc (£10.99) As well as his interests in South America, Bordelais Francois Lurton continues to make wines in the old country. Terra Sana, from the Côtes de Gascoigne, is relatively light and discrete with more green apple and lemon than tropical fruits – with the inevitable grassy, green pepper backdrop. It has a pleasant, light, herbal undertone with a crisp dry finish.
Blank Canvas Sauvignon Blanc (£16.99) Kiwi Sauvignon has led the way for the best part of twenty years. Cloudy Bay might not be what it was and some of the entry level brands have lost their sparkle but Matt Thomson’s boutique Blank Canvas winery keeps the flag flying.
‘Starts with a gentle aroma of nettles rather than the full-blown Marlborough parade of green aromas, both fruit and herbal but it does open up to some green fig notes. It’s a subtle but definite, dry Marlborough Sauvignon with plenty of flavour but no exaggeration, and impressive length,’ Julia Harding, www.jancisrobinson.com 17/20.
Domaine Joel Delaunay Sauvignon Blanc (£10.99) Better than classic, and great value, Loire Sauvignon. From oft forgotten Touraine but ‘has the smokiness of Pouilly-Fumé and the fruit purity of Sancerre. Super stuff – smarter than your average Sauvignon, and good value,” 17/20 www.jancisrobinson.com.
And as an extra white this month – not a Sauvignon – we have a New Zealand Riesling.
The Paddler (£10.75) is a wine label dedicated to crafting unusual, cutting-edge wines launched by Matt Thomson – winemaker and top-level competitor in the sport of marathon kayaking. The fruit for this Riesling comes from the Muriati Vineyard, a single vineyard in the famous Marlborough District. This wine is a low alcohol, fruit focused style brimming with aromas of old-fashioned lemonade and flint alongside subtle honeysuckle floral notes. The luscious citrus flavours are complemented by an attractive chalky texture.