My latest wine finds from around the world for springtime drinking:
Mosel, Germany: COSMONAT PET NAT Jan Philipp Bleek
£21 Made From Grapes, Glasgow
Funky labelled vividly crisp creamy textured 100% Pinot Noir fizz. Made using biodynamic and organic methods on Mosel’s slatey soils by a natural wine advocate. Bleek uses the ‘ancestral method’ to capture the sparkle, bottling the fizz part way through its first ferment.
Sussex, England: ROEBUCK ESTATES ROSE DE NOIRS 2017
£42 Roebuck Estates.co.uk
In an extensive English fizz tasting, this stood out for its red berry aromatics and rich intensity. The addition of Pinot Meunier with a dash of Pinot Precoce alongside Pinot Noir gives floral notes and soft texture. Roebuck are currently one of the best rose fizz producers in the UK.
Peloponnese, Greece: THE SOCIETY’S GREEK WHITE 2022 Semeli
£8.95 The Wine Society
Fabulous introduction to dry Greek whites. This blend of Moschofilero and Roditis is made by the ‘master of Moschofilero’ Leonidas Nassiakos from vines grown at 650m where cool nights retain fresh acidity. Floral notes, touch of citrus, limepeel, grapefruit, zippy, zesty and dry.
Ribeiro, Spain: THE FLOWER & THE BEE WHITE 2021 Coto de Gomariz
£17 Woodwinters; The Sourcing Table
Native Galician grape Treixadura can be superb in the right hands. Coto de Gomariz are expert at coaxing depth and flavour from the grape in little known Ribeiro region in north west Spain just inland from the Atlantic coast. Full rich flavours with herby undertones and vivid natural acidity.
Tuscany, Italy: SUAVIS VERNACCIA DI SAN GIMIGNANO 2021 Mormoraia
£14.50 Lea & Sandeman
Perfect summery white from organically grown Vernaccia grape. Orange, apricot and acacia flower notes, quite minerally, medium bodied and elegant for the price. Made by the Passonis, a leading family producer in touristy San Gimignano; they have a good restaurant too.
Tenerife, Canary Islands: BENJE BLANCO 2021 Envinate ***STAR WHITE BUY***
£29 The Sourcing Table
Outstandingly good volcanic white made by a group of four friends who met at university in Alicante and now make wine across Spain. This is tantalisingly good with mouthwatering acidity and a salty savoury edge – it cries out for a platter of squid or monkfish. It might seem pricey, but it is worth the money.
Ribera del Duero, Spain: EL LEBRERO ALBILLO MAYOR 2020 Felix Callejo
£25 The Wine Society
In a region best known for its full bodied red wines, this fine chiselled soft textured Albillo Mayor was an unexpected find from a little known producer. Loved its rich creaminess and beautiful balance with subtle oak undertones. It is quite intense for a white with chunky chewy fruits, but has a vibrancy and brightness that you often get from high altitude vineyards.
Marche, Italy: IL BACCO VERDICCHIO DEI CASTELLI DI JESI CLASSICO SUPERIORE 2021 Coroncino
In a sea of mediocre wines, the family owned Fattoria Coroncino shine out like a beacon in Ancona. Cool breezes retain acidity, creating a vibrant minerally white with weighty pineapple and lychee fruits and gentle nutty herby undertones; made using very low sulphur which is unusual in that area.
Provence, France: WHISPERING ANGEL 2022 Chateau d’Esclans
£19 Waitrose; Majestic; Sainsburys
A new vintage for the famous Whispering Angel, this fine pale rose is both intensely fruity with its red berry aromas, but with hints of grapefruit and lime to freshen the palate. Juicy, spicy finesse made by talented Sacha Lichine using old-vine Grenache from high altitude vineyards and Vermentino to add lime and spice.
Piedmont, Italy: NEBBIOLO D’ALBA 2020 Marengo ***STAR RED BUY***
£21 Justerini & Brooks
Beautifully soft silky characterful Nebbiolo with such a fresh juicy sapid mouthwatering flavour, this very expressive example which was a clear favourite in a line up of ‘affordable’ Piedmontese reds. Anyone who wants Barolo on a budget, try this beauty from a small grower who owns a small steep parcel of Nebbiolo in the sandy soils of Valmaggiore.
Languedoc, France: WISE WOLF CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2022
£9 Asda; £10 Morrisons; £11 Sainsburys
Remember Banrock Station from Australia? Apparently they now make wine across the world favouring Pays d’Oc for this Cabernet Sauvignon to reduce the airmiles. Made from what they call ‘post-consumer recycled glass’ in an unappealing shaped squat bottle, but the red is soft plummy and easy drinking.
Tuscany, Italy: CHIANTI RISERVA CORTE ALLE MURA 2019 ***GREAT VALUE***
Clear winner in our recent Lidl scoop, a great price for such a mature well made Chianti. Sweet vanilla notes, rich raisiny undertones, hints of green tea and herbs – ideal match with aubergine risotto or lightly spiced barbeque ribs.
Tokaj, Hungary: LATE HARVEST 2018 Royal Tokaji ***GREAT VALUE***
£10.99/£12.99 for 50cl bt Majestic Wine
Gentle introduction to the sensational sweet wines of Tokaj, this late harvest from a ripe vintage in famous Betsek vineyard in the eastern Mad basin in Tokaj is seriously good value. Gentle sweetness (108 g/l sugar) achieved from extended hang time – light soft rounded honey notes with light caramel, spicy white pepper notes. The same wine is also sold under the Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference label at the same price.
By Rose Murray Brown MW. Published in The Scotsman 22 April 2023
Join Rose’s Fine Wine Dinner in Prestonfield House Hotel on 18 May www.rosemurraybrown.com