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Spirits - Other
Cuvée Jean-Paul Red 2011 (Southern France)
This is a Vaucluse red - the Pays de Vaucluse being the local wines of the southern Rhone valley. Typically they combine the fullness of very ripe fruit with smooth tannins to make a wine with sufficient body to be enjoyed on their own as well as being stamped with sufficient character to partner food. This is demonstrated by this glugable blend of soft Grenache sprinkled with some spicy Syrah; textured plum and strawberry fruit rounds off the palate, making this a delicious, uncomplicated medium-bodied, soft, fruity and very drinkable red.
Bellefontaine Merlot 2011 (Vin de Pays D'Oc, Southern France)
Very much a drink today wine and enjoy the roundness of the palate.
Rich, vibrant and aromatic with soft plummy fruit flavours complemented by soft silky tannins.
The Bellefontaine range is made from Vins de Pays sourced from the Languedoc in the south. Every year Paul Boutinot selects only quality parcels of wine from different estates and producers, each contributing key component parts to the finished blend - e.g. aromas, core fruit, fresh acidity, good length and varietal character. He has created a range of wines of consistent quality that are delicious to drink on their own but also complement food well.
A soft and smooth red capable of matching with most foods.
El Tesoro Monastrell/Shiraz 2011 (Jumilla, Spain)
Sometimes you have to go off the beaten track for great value wine and with this wine we have certainly done that: Bodegas Juan Gil, with a century of wine-growing history in the harsh climate of the Jumilla region, use some of their Monastrell and Syrah fruit from 30 year old vineyards on the slopes of the Penarubia mountain to produce this dark and brooding wine.
A ripe, open nose of black fruit - ripe plums and blackberries. Warm and spicy on the palate, with mouth filling red fruit and a chocolate and liquorice edge.
Vega Piedra Rioja 2010 (Spain)
Great value oak-aged Rioja from Bodegas Carlos Serres in Haro.
Soft and approachable with ripe berry fruit aromas, a hint of oak from three months in wood, a rich and plummy palate with supple tannins, and a long juicy finish.
Ponte Pietra Merlot/Corvina 2011 (Italy)
Full of ripe berry fruit aromas and flavours. A blend of 55% Merlot which lends the wine a soft blackberry voluptuousness and 45% Corvina which adds the characteristic cherry blossom perfume and ripe cherry pie fruit character to the palate and finish. It is clean, fresh and well-balanced through to the finish.
Red Boar Bobal 2011 (Spain)
A cracking little wine produced from the little-known but increasingly respected grape variety of Bobal. This is a typically smooth wine with a relatively modest 12% alcohol, aromas of red cherry, a hint of sweet spice and a lovely fresh finish.
Domaine Bresquieres "les Contreforts" Ventoux 2008 (Ventoux, Rhone)
Rich and fine, subtle and enticing, juicy Grenache noted streaked with some Syrah spice. A beautiful red that shows elegance and balance, this is another of those wines that cannot be rushed, a wine that has determined its own destiny.
Rio Alto Merlot 2011 (Chile)
This winery is based on the banks of the Aconcagua river and also grows avocados, nectarines and olives.
The sunny days and night breezes produce perfectly ripe Merlot. This smooth bodied wine expresses the red fruit and spicy aromas that characterise its variety.
Navajas Tinto Rioja 2011 (Rioja, Spain)
This is Rioja in its 'Tinto' guise - young and vibrant with intense raspberry and black cherry fruit overlayed with a touch of vanilla. It is beautifully balanced with medium weight and velvety, fine grain tannins.
Grant Burge Benchmark Shiraz 2011 (South Australia)
The Benchmark Shiraz is deep red with purple hues. On the nose there are aromas of raspberry, vanilla, plums and dark chocolate. On the palate the wine is rich and smooth with flavours of raspberry, vanilla and spice. The tannins are soft and well integrated balancing the sweeter ripe fruit aspects of the wine.
2011 was a cool vintage resulting in wines with lifted aromatics and freshness.
A delicious Shiraz which is ideal for everyday drinking and is an excellent companion to grilled & roasted red meats, lamb curry or hearty Italian pizza / pasta dishes.
"Grant Burge is a prolific producer best known for the dense, almost inky-red wines he makes in the Barossa Valley. His more affordable Benchmark series of wines casts the net a bit further, bringing in grapes from vineyards around South Australia for, in this case, a plump, plummy, winter-warmer that would be very happy with spicy Moroccan lamb."
David Williams, Guardian.co.uk, 25th November 2012
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