Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Brilliant Somerfield Viognier

cant get the picture to turn up the right way!!!!!!!!!!!! help

Yep im still in South America territory here with another supermarket wine.
This Argentinian Viognier is stunning and an absolute must buy at this price (4.49). Do whatever you can to procure a bottle of this liquid!!!!
Somerfield offers a value version of a premium and trendy grape variety. Cheaper than the French offerings which is better value and to be honest you just cant go wrong, buy in a few!!

2008 Familia Zuccardi Santa Julia Viognier
Mendoza Argentina.

Light peachy yellow in colour with warm fruit and a spicy nose. A creamy medium bodied wine with a touch of spice but has a lovely refreshing crisp stone fruit palate and a long pleasant after taste.
Brilliant value and its absolutely superb for the spring!
Somerfield Supermarket (4.49)

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Chilean and Argentinian Sauvignons

I lit the wood burning stove tonight and cooked our evening meal on it.
Good to be self sufficient like that! took a while to warm up but once its going, the whole of the house gets roasting hot!
Opened this as part of my Chilean adventure series.

The most famous place for Sauvignon Blanc is New Zealand. This is due to the fantastic climate they have there and a wonderful gravel valley that produces wines of such intensity and aromatic quality.
Chilean and Argentine wines are exposed to intense heat in vineyards high up in the mountains and they produce delicously ripe and intense white wines mainly with Sauvignon Blanc but with their own personality.

2007 Montes Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Valle de Casablanca, Chile

light greeny yellow in colour, perfectly clear.
This unoaked and refreshing sauvignon comes from the well known Montes estate in the chilean casablanca valley.
An area that is very warm but also fairly near the sea so is influenced by some fresh air!
On the nose is a little restrained with some citrus fruit, slight tropical hint and a fresh aroma.
The palate is dominated with a great granny smith apple crunch and citrus fruit bite with a clean finish.
available from Morrisons.

2007 Las Moras Sauvignon Blanc
San Juan, Argentina

Light yellow in colour with refreshing citrus fruit on the nose and a fruity fresh palate and clean finish.
also from Morrisons

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Sa chardonnay

2006 Warwick estate Chardonnay
Delicious chardonnay! Drank a lot of chardonnay in Hawkes bay and this bottle reminds me of the new world style of well produced chardonnay.
The warmth of Stellenbosch produces lovely ripe fruit and new oak barrels are used by the winemakers.

Fresh sherbetty lemon nose with hints of pineapple. On the palate this is refreshing with nicely balanced fruit that leads onto a smooth bodied creamy texture and long buttery nut finish. This is excellent, and would I think get better in the cellar although its perfect now!
Available from Penistone Court Wine Cellars, Penistone, Sheffield

Thursday, 5 March 2009


The great cork experiment

Well here are the results! I am not going to attempt to discuss each cork but more interestingly here is a bit of chit chat about corks!
Top quality cork from Portugal has been the prime choice for the finest wines over the centuries, before that was discovered wine makers used oily rags! nice!

The very best corks are made from 100% cork bark. This takes 10 years to grow and has to be carefully harvested and looked after so that there is no disease present on it. The cheapest alternatives are synthetic rubber corks that are designed to emulate the real thing.
A different thing altogether is screw tops or STELVINS which have really come into fashion now.

An important thing to remember about any kind of cork is that they let air through into the wine. This oxidises the wine, helps to relax it and makes the wine more drinkable, this is a calculated part of the process!

Make sure that you store your bottles on your side! Natural cork can dry out and shrink which will eventually let air in and oxidise the wine too quickly (this is bad) therefore spoiling it!

Here is the cork from a nice old bottle of Chianti, notice how long it is. this is an indication that the wine was intended to be aged. Bordeaux wines which are destined for lying dormant in cellars often have really long high quality corks. the chianti has stained the cork dark purple here, thats the tannins in the wine.

This stelvin cap

came from a cheap bottle of pink sparkling wine! The bit to note is the lining inside the screwcap. This is the bit that keeps the air out and is where all the technology lies. The actual screwcap is just there to hold it on.


Chilean wine makes me thinkg of Roberto! Although living in Barcelona , he is so fond of his beautiful country and often recounts his adventures there, skiing in the morning and at the beach in the afternoon.

Ive always been a fan of grabbing a bottle of casillero del diablo, I guess it was my first introduction to Chilean wine and I still really like it.
I have had the tip off on Chilean wines from at least two wine merchants now. John Mitchell from mitchells wine admitted to me that he looks to chilean for his easy everyday wines and then Chris from Penistone wine cellars admitted that Chile is his biggest seller!!
This has spurred me into a bit of an investigation and for a little while, i will be drinking Chile and reporting back!!!

2007 Cono Sur Maiden Flight Riesling Reserva

A clear and light peach yellow colour with a sweet aromatic nose of floral notes, mandarin, sour ornage honey suckle and spicy nut.
On the palate there is a touch of sweetness to the tropical fruit along with a nicely balanced spritz of acidity with an oaked body and a chalky texture
7.99 Penistone Court Wine Cellars

2007 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva
A pretty ruby red colour with thick legs in the glass at 14.5%
heaps of lovely ripe sweet blackcurrant fruit on the nose with a sweet marzipan chocalate and coffee.
on the palate there is a graceful savoury edge to the generous fruit with a satisfying smooth but chunky texture. A careful aging in oak has really finished this wine!
8.99 Morrisons Supermarket
excellent 86/100!

Sunday, 1 March 2009

The Feast of Saint Monty Python

Hi everyone,

This is a really curt recap of last week's Feat of Saint Monty Python, the theme of which was a competition to see who could find the best wine (and tapa) for less than five clams.

A multicultural panel of semi-vino-literate judges gathered chez moi to do battle, rating each wine out of five in a secret ballot as the evening went by. The winner was the wine with the most votes.

Sorry but I simply don't have time to go through all the contenders, but let me reveal to you, dear reader, that the winner was not brought by myself, rather, by my girlfriend and occasional birthday DJ partner, Natalia, whose Mesta 2007 tempranillo from D.O. Tierra de la Castilla was the clear favourite amongst los invitados.

Pruney brown in colour, it foreheld a piercing alcoholic whiff, yet was easy going, light and fruity going down, with a slightly tannic, peppered finish. Great for this time of year, with body to warm the cockles as we bid adieu to the winter, yet boasting forest fruit notes to lead one on a spring walk through a decanted garden.


Mark Philip Dix I