LATEST FINDS FOR SUMMER DRINKING

My latest finds from a wide variety of grapes and styles sourced from around the world to enjoy as thrilling aperitifs or with summer barbeques:

SPARKLING

Champagne, France: CHAMPAGNE FORGET BRIMONT PREMIER CRU NV (12%)

£28 Justerini & Brooks

Well priced Premier Cru three grape cuvee from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay made by Michel Forget, 6th generation winemaker in Craon de Ludes in Champagne’s Montagne de Reims.  Crisp red fruits, crunchy, citric, vibrant with good depth for the price.

Champagne, France: CHAMPAGNE PALMER BLANC DE NOIRS BRUT NV (12%)

£52 Champagne Co; Finest Bubble; Whisky Exchange; Urban Grapes

From the impressive Palmer co-operative, from equal parts Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier with 30% reserve wines enriched with solera of Pinot Noir from Mailly and Verzenay villages: deliciously toasty nose, intense apricot and peach fruits, vivid freshness.

WHITES

Limari, Chile: SANTA INES SINGLE PARCEL CHARDONNAY 2020 De Martino (13.5%) ***STAR BUY***

£15.99 Laithwaites

Chile’s best Chardonnays come from Limari, far north of Santiago, where mineral rich soils give intense flavours and sea breezes cool vineyards to create incredibly zesty fruit-driven elegant styles.  Made by De Martino winery who add gentle oak notes from short maturation in 15 year old French oak barriques.

 

Santorini, Greece: THE SOCIETY’S EXHIBITION SANTORINI ASSYRTIKO 2021 Artemis Karamolegos (13%)

£17.50 The Wine Society

From low grown koulouri-trained 50 year old vines on Santorini island where volcanic soils give such mineral tension to wines – local Assyrtiko grape here has crushed seashell and lemon aromas, hints of honeysuckle and lime, quite nervy, crisp, salty edged with classically pure taut finish.

 

Jerez, Spain: EL MUELLE DE OLASO 2021 Bodegas Luis Perez (13.5%)

£16 The Sourcing Table

Brilliant introduction to unfortified Palomino from ‘terroir guru’ Willy Perez who has gone back to the history books to study Jerez’s best vineyard.  From Barajuela albariza soil, 80% tank fermented with remainder from 20% sundried grapes fermented in seasoned American oak: slightly nutty, rich citric fruits, salty edge with savoury finish.

Alto Adige, N Italy: GRUNER VELTLINER 2021 Tenuta Pacher Hof (13.5%) ***STAR BUY***

£24 Justerini & Brooks

The flagship white grape of Austria seems to grow remarkably well at over 600 metres altitude on sandy loam soils in Valle Isarco in north east Italy.  Winemaker Andreas Huber shows the sleek herbal side of this grape: deliciously simple vibrantly crisp aperitif or serve with summer salads and grilled seafood.

ROSE

Mendoza, Argentina: ARTESANO DE ARGENTO ORGANIC FAIRTRADE MALBEC ROSE 2022 (12.5%)

£10 Sainsbury’s

Malbec is not just about heavyweight reds, it can produce surprisingly refreshing styles of rose too.  Here with 20% Syrah in the blend from Bodega Argento’s organic vineyards in Alto Agrelo, a fruit-driven style with light strawberry notes and crisp lean finish.

 

Provence, France: COTES DE PROVENCE ROSE 2021 Domaine de I’lle Porquerolles (12%)

£20 Justerini & Brooks

Provencal roses are the height of fashion – this one made by the couture house of Chanel.  A mishmash of Syrah, Grenache, Rolle, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Tibouren – it is a very classy stylish example with crisp bright strawberry scented aromas, bright citric flavours and hints of garrigue.

REDS

Bordeaux, France: PIERRE JAURANT BORDEAUX ROUGE 2020 (13%) ***GOOD VALUE***

£4.79 Aldi

Anyone looking for a bargain red, this little Bordeaux really ticks the box.  It might not be so characteristic and typical of more serious claret, but this Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon blend is so easy to drink; soft plummy fruits with velvet smooth tannins – an ideal cheap barbeque quaffer.

 

Naoussa, Greece: THE SOCIETY’S EXHIBITION NAOUSSA XINOMAVRO 2020 Apostolos Thymiopoulos (13%)

£14.95 The Wine Society

From the king of Xinomavro, Thymiopoulos has such a gentle touch when it comes to the edgy savoury Xinomavro grape – a great affordable introduction to northern Greek reds.  Higher altitude Fytia vineyards here give such elegance and vibrant acidity; palate has morello cherry and spice with velvet smooth tannins.

Etna, Sicily: ARMAGIA ETNA ROSSO 2018 Filipe Mangione (13.5%)

£16.99 Laithwaites

In a line-up of wines at Laithwaites’ recent tasting, this Nerello Mascalese-based red shone out with its elegance and mouthwatering flavours.  Made from 50-80 year old bush vines, matured in large chestnut botti casks; it has cherry leather aromas with more succulent cherry fruits on palate and well-integrated tannins.

Washington State, US: LEMBERGER 2019 Kiona (13.5%)

£15 Ally Wines

From a grape usually known as Blaufrankish or Kekfrankos, this example of Lemberger from Red Mountain district of Washington State shows how well it has settled in the shadow of the Cascade mountains.  A touch of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere and Syrah in the blend – to add lift and structure to this juicy fruited dark red fruits – it has smooth soft tannins and a herby saline savoury edge.

DESSERT WINE

Jerez, Spain: PX DELICADO COSECHA 2022 Bodegas Ximenez Spinola (13%) ***STAR BUY***

£24.99 for 50cl bt Thorne Wines; Fine Wine Portobello; Alliance Wine

The family firm of Ximenez Spinola focus only on the unfashionable Pedro Ximenez grape in Jerez, making an astounding range of superb wines. This is from grapes sundried between the vines and fermented in French oak – loved its rich tropical fruit, mango, orange and apricot flavoured palate and lingering length.

By Rose Murray Brown MW    Published in The Scotsman 17 June 2023

Join Rose’s Washington State Wines tasting on 14 September www.rosemurraybrown.com

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