Brancott Estate Sauvignon Gris 2013

Brancott Sauv Gris(450 x 600)New Zealand 13.5%

Always enjoyed Brancott Estate wines and I have been lucky enough to meet their chief winemaker Patrick Materman a couple of times, actually sitting down next to him for a meal all be it with a group of other wine lovers. I found his wine knowledge was second to none and he always remains friendly and approachable.

Sorry, I digress, it’s always nice when you get sent a wine free to review (this time as part of a taste panel for Tesco), the wine in question is the new Brancott Estate Sauvignon Gris 2013.

So here we go, If you like Sauvignon Blanc but want to try a wine with a more restrained and less aggressive acidity and doesn’t feel like being slapped in the face with a grapefruit, this offering from the ever reliable Brancott Estate may well be the answer. It still has elements of Sauvignon Blanc, especially on the nose with citrus fruits, wet grass and asparagus and the taste has altogether riper, slightly smokey undertones with a creamier mouth feel and very dry finish.

Drank this very chilled , a bright straw like colour in the glass with aromas of peach, nectarines, grapefruit, damp grass, asparagus and herbs. Taste wise, it’s very dry and as I mentioned earlier it had less aggressive acidity than SB. The citrus and stone fruits flavours were still dominant but this Gris just blunts the edginess bringing through the herbal side.

All in all a pretty decent wine and one I would buy again, very food friendly and at £6.99 a bottle pocket friendly as well, even if I did receive this one free.

8corksMy Rating 8/10 Corks

Various around £6.99


BrancottsGris2014(450 x 600)Update for the 2014

Where I initially thought the 2013 had some elements of Sauvignon Blanc the 2014 definitely had more aromatics similar to that of Blanc, much more of that grassiness, asparagus and grapefruit, looked beautifully fresh and bright in the glass.
Taste – Zesty, off dry, slightly spicy, Stone fruits, wet grass, grapefruit, fresh pineapple with a hint of creaminess about it, lovely mouth feel and lengthy finish.

Something about the 2014 that hit the spot more for me, initially thinking the 2013 was good, having tried the 2014 a few weeks apart for me it ‘s a step up, looked brighter, fresher tasting and much more Blancy (made up word!) although a little heftier (whopping 14.5%) alcohol, it didn’t feel like it

Always a good sign , my wife who is not a big wine drinker (although she does like Sauvignon Blanc) thought this was nice, trust me, nice from her is very good.



My Rating 8.5/10 Corks



Darting Estate Dürkheimer Michelsberg Riesling 2012

darting estate(450 x 600)Germany 12.5%

I’m really becoming a big fan of German wines from especially from M&S including their fabulous Palataia Pinot Noir and now this lively, spritzy and crisp  ‘Darting Estate Dürkheimer Michelsberg Riesling’. So it’s time to slip on the Lederhosen and Alpine hat for a quick taste of Germany in the shape of this pretty decent dry white wine.

Aromatically this has a brilliant nose of peaches, honeydew melon, orange peel and pineapple but still has that oily rubbery petrol smell (which actually smells a lot better than it sounds).

First taste this was dry, crisp, tangy and had a spritzy finish almost like having a mouthful of ‘Space Dust’ which at first was a little unusual. Ripe Honeydew melon, peaches and pineapple were all there with perhaps a touch of honey. Although this was fairly dry there was a hint of sweetness on the finish.

So for me, another great German find, one I would recommend with or without food even with the spritzy finish this is a very good ( Sehr Gut ) Riesling.

8.5corksMy Rating 8.5/10 Corks

Marks & Spencer £9.49

Fronteira Douro 2011

Fronteira duoro(450 x 600)Portugal 14.5%

Took a bit of a chance on this and as Yoda would say ‘Paid off, it did’  the Fronteira Douro 2011 a blend of Touriga Nacional (always remind s me of a wildlife park, don’t ask me why?) Toriga Franca and Tinta Roriz.

Bought this from the Wine Rack chain , first time for me and what a splendid looking wine shop it was too, a virtual Aladdin’s cave but was it a splendid wine? the answer most definitely, a resounding yes.

In the glass it looked like someone accidentally tipped a bottle of ink into it, very dark in colour with aromas of cherries, raspberries, a little mocha and some kind of herby thing going on.

Taking a sip, this was very mouth-wateringly juicy with rich cherries dominating then liquorice and coffee take over, a little oaky with chewy tannins and ending in a long finish. Be warned though this is 14.5% but to me it didn’t feel heavy or overly alcoholic.

Big thumbs up for this particular bottle and Douro in general, always enjoy every time I drink it.

8corksMy Rating 8/10 Corks

The Wine Rack £8.49

Castillo del Baron Monastrell 2012

Castillo del baron(450 x 600)Having enjoyed Monastrell (aka Mourvedre) wines a lot recently, especially during our recent trip to Murcia visiting our daughter who was studying Spanish and on her year abroad , I was looking forward to this bargain cheapy I picked up from the Wine Society.

This particular bottle is from Yecla in the province of Murcia. Most of the Monastrell in Murcia, the ones I drank anyway, were all slightly chilled, so I decided to stick this bottle in the fridge for a short while before drinking.

In the glass it was a bright ruby red with a definite Mediterranean nose of cherries, plums and earthy spices. On first sip it was bright fresh and full of juicy red fruits, slightly baked and mildly spiced although it was a little sour on the finish. It had a kind of jammy sweetness to it as well but the tartness was a little too much for me especially as the glass warmed up.

With food it fared much better and for the £5.50 I paid there’s really not much to complain about although I would say for a couple of pounds more there are far better Monastrells out there.

What it did do though is to remind me of the fantastic time we had sitting in bars under the shadow of Murcia Cathedral sipping numerous glasses of this local grape variety and I urge you all to try a bottle, maybe not this one but if you find a good one it is a fabulous drink.

6corksMy Rating 6/10 Corks

The Wine Society £5.50

Cono Sur Reserva Especial Pinot Noir 2013

conosurespecialPN(450 x 600)Chile 14%

Cono Sur do everyday wines very well, spend an extra eight or nine pounds and that gets you into their premier 20 Barrels range but you only have to spend an extra two or three pounds to be in their middling Reserva Especial range and it’s where I found myself with this excellent ‘Cono Sur Especial Reserva Pinot Noir 2013’.

Nice looking bottle and I must say when poured it looked very inviting in the glass, fairly dark purple colour with quite an intense nose of earthy strawberry, cherries, green peppers and cloves, smelt a little candy like. On first sip there I thought it was on the sweet side maybe even jammy, the veg side then kicked in with green peppers and mushrooms then finishing with spiciness and a little heat from the 14% although still tasting velvety, smooth and very moreish.

Forget what I paid for this, sells now for around £9, probably didn’t pay that, there’s probably a good chance I got it on special offer but I do think it’s worth full price and I would recommend it.

8corksMy Rating 8/10 Corks

Various around £9

Another Ripper from Tim Adams

Timadams riesling 2011(450 x 600)Australia 11%

A chilled bottle of Tim Adams Riesling has been sitting in my fridge now for a while, just my luck when I finally decided to have it with lunch the weather changes, the temperature drops and the heavens open but from the minute I twisted the cap and poured the first glass full I could have been transported to the other side of the world, sitting having lunch in a Clare Valley vineyard in brilliant sunshine.

In the glass, very, I mean very pale colour with a lively and very inviting aroma of predominantly lemon and apples but still with a hint of petrol.

Taste wise, Very dry, zingy, crisp and steely, with refined acidity. As well as lemons there was a bit more tropical fruit flavour noticeable and at 11% it was very easy, perhaps a little too easy to drink.

This really was a pretty decent Aussie wine from the ever reliable Tim Adams, to be honest I’ve not really tasted a bad wine from Tim and having met the man himself at various wine tastings it’s evident how passionate and proud he is about his wines and rightly so.

Good on ya Tim !

8corksMy Rating 8/10 Corks

Various around £9