Godello – A wine everybody should try

GabaGodello(337 x 599)

Spain 13%

I was surprised the other day, maybe even shocked when my daughter Laura who is generally a Sauvignon Blanc drinker asked me if I had any Godello.

Now, Godello is a white wine I love, it’s probably one of my favourites but most people I mention it too have never heard of it hence my surprise when Laura asked if I had any, luckily I just happened to have a bottle which I stuck in the fridge for the next days planned barbecue.

For those who don’t know Godello (pronounced Go-dah-yo) it’s a Spanish grape varietal from the north-west Valdeorras region of Galicia and is slowly finding its way to this UK and onto a lot more supermarket shelves. This particular bottle is from the Wine Society The Gaba do Xil 2013 (Gaba Gaba Do, i hear you cry, sorry !).

Styles of Godello vary from unoaked minerally, zippy, tropical and citrus flavours to oaked which tend to be much more intense and vanillary but still retaining that tropical fruit flavour. The unoaked tend to be more readily available although I’m partial to the oakier ones.

So what’s it like, it’s certainly different, lots of things going on when you get your nose in the glass, initially it smells very floral with pears, melon, bananas, limes and maybe a hint of over ripe peaches in fact all the aromas of fruit seem to be overripe.

Taste wise It’s richly textured with a nice creamy, if not particularly long finish. Pears dominate but there are some tropical flavours of peaches and apricots. Although slightly creamy it does have a crispness about it and a stoney mineralty although with mild acidity.

I really enjoyed this, as did the family and if you haven’t tried Godello yet you should you may be pleasantly surprised.



My Rating 8/10 Corks

Wine Society around £8

Cheverny, Domaine du Salvard 2014

Cheverny 2014

France 12%

I can honestly say that the Wine Society has come up trumps with this Loire Cheverny which is predominantly Sauvignon Blanc with a splash of Chardonnay. As a certain character from Star Wars would say ‘Impressed, I am’  this is one of the nicest white wines I’ve tasted for a while and for around £8 it’s an impressive QPR (quality to price ratio) bottle.

After a long tiring day helping my son and his girlfriend sort out and start decorating their recently acquired first house this bottle was just what the doctor ordered to ease my aching limbs, along with a lovely fish dinner.

Nicely chilled in the glass it was a very light straw like colour with subtle Sauvignon Blanc aromas of nettles, grass and herbs which although restrained there was still enough there to make the nose linger over the glass for a while.

Tasting this was a pure delight, balanced fresh and fragrant, although unmistakably Sauvignon Blanc the addition of the Chardonnay softened the racey edges gave it a little more body and depth adding a little creaminess . This was bone dry with nettles, asparagus and limes leading to an extremely long enjoyable finish.

Another bottle I would recommend without reservation, it’s just simply, a joy to drink.



My Rating 8.5/10 Corks

Wine Society £7.95



Momo Vendimia Seleccionada, Ribera del Duero 2009

Momo RdD(337 x 599)Spain 13.5%

Back to the Wine Society for my next wine, from Ribera Del Duero the other big wine region in Spain and from the second wine of Bodegas Bohorquez comes this pretty decent Tempranillo or Tinta del País as it is also know in this part of Spain.

Although a relatively plain and understated label on the bottle which looks a lot like a do it yourself printing job , the wine is anything but plain.

Firstly let me say that I think this needs a little air before drinking and suggest leaving it for a least an hour or so to really open up. When poured the wine was a rich garnet colour and had quite intense aromas of dark plums, cherries, mocha and cinnamon. On first sip this had really bright mouth-watering acidity, full of rich ripe cherries and plums followed by a sweetish prune like flavour. Oak was there but not a noticeable as other more powerful Ribera’s and the tannins were milder.

This is a lighter style Ribera in every way, very acidic, slightly tart, slightly sweet but packed full of freshness and extremely fruity in style. A pleasant drink and I enjoyed it  a lot, considering wines from this part of Spain tend to be pretty pricey, this then comes in at around £10 and I would say pretty good value.

8corksMy Rating 8/10 Corks

Wine Society £9.95

Corbieres the ‘Unsung Hero’

winesocietycorbieres(450 x 600)France 14%

Rummaging around in my rack, pulling bottles out putting them back searching for a everyday red to accompany my dinner I eventually settled for the  Wine Society’s own brand Corbieres , ingeniously labelled ‘The Society’s Corbieres’.

Now I know Corbieres usually gets a raw deal, having been known in the past for cheap rough, rustic wine but having tasted a few now I’ve come to the conclusion that I like Corbieres a lot, especially that wild, rural flavour, so you may well ask, what does that say about  me ?

A blend of mainly Carignan with Grenache and a touch of Syrah, this was an impressively dark ruby red in colour and had a lovely sweet blackcurrant almost Kirsch like smell as well as a touch of smokiness mixed with a handful of earth.

Swishing around my mouth, there was initially some heat (maybe a little too much) and Spice, very juicy with blackcurrants, fleshy plums and Strawberries giving it a punchiness and bite. There was also a meaty, gamey and sweetness about it that enjoyed. Don’t like using an over used phrase ‘this was very drinkable’ but this  certainly was with or without food (not the U2 song) and I urge everyone if you’ve not tried it, to give Corbieres a go, you may well be surprised.

I still find myself continually being impressed with a lot of the Wine Society’s offerings , especially at the sub £10 range and this Corbieres from the Languedoc-Rousillon region is a very nice drink that won’t break the bank .

8.5corksMy Rating 8.5/10 Corks especially for the price

Wine Society £7.50

Lascar Carmenere 2013

lascarcarmenereChile 13.5%

Carmenere, the forgotten wine of Bordeaux, not to everyone’s taste but if you’re having a carnivores barbecue with lots of red meat and spicy fare, this cheap offering from Chiles Central valley and brought to us via the Wine Society will fit the bill perfectly .

Having only paid £5.75 for this particular bottle , the Lascar 2013, I didn’t know what to expect but I found it to be a reasonably nice, if slightly sweet drink and everyone who tried it agreed .

Sticking my nose in the glass there was a pronounced earthy aroma, it was very vegetal with leather and tobacco, reminiscent of Merlot but with attitude.

On first sip it was on the sweet side but not overly so, medium bodied, juicy ripe blackberries with some cherry like flavours. The earthiness comes though along with smoke and tobacco and a little spice. Someone commented that the taste didn’t last long, I kind of disagreed and thought it had a reasonable length.

I seen a lot of positive reviews for this wine saying that it tastes far more expensive than it is and on the whole I think it does. As I said earlier, great barbecue wine, inexpensive and no one disliked it including non wine drinkers even if they only had a sip.

8corksMy Rating 8/10 Corks

Wine Society £5.75

The Society’s Saar Riesling 2012

If someone asked me to describe this wine, the first thoughts that come into my head would be refreshingly vibrant, slightly sweet , floral and pretty, (bit girly , I know) but that just about sums this wine up.

saar riesling(450 x 600)

Germany 9.5%

The bottle in question is the Wine Society’s entry level Saar Riesling 2012. Described as Medium /off dry which I would disagree with, for me it was more like medium sweet although the sweetness wasn’t cloying or syrupy but surprisingly fresh and cleansed the palate beautifully.

Initially not too much aroma wise but the bottle was very cold, as the wine warmed up in the glass there was a hint of honey, pears and something flowery (don’t ask me to pin down the flower).

Taste – as I said earlier this was quite sweet with a medium finish. There was a little bit of toffee apple about it, honey lockets but with tingly acidity.

Paired it with Roast Pork and it complemented the dinner perfectly.
Alcohol level of 9.5% meant the bottle could be finished without reaching for the parecetamol.

Entry level it may be but overall it was very enjoyable.

7.5corksMy Rating 7.5/10 Corks

Wine Society £9.50

Beaujolais – Villages 2013

societybeaujolais(450 x 600)France 12.5%

There are not many grape varieties I don’t like but saying that the one that causes me to react negatively more often than any other is Gamay. Never been a fan of it, never been a fan of Beaujolais and this offering from the Wine Society hasn’t changed my mind. Not to say that it’s a bad wine far from it, just not for me.

This particular Beaujolais from the Wine Society is a ‘Villages’ classification and is generally given good reviews by experts and Society members. Nothing actually wrong with the wine it’s well made , nice purple colour and fresh looking In the glass with aromas of cherries and bubblegum (Bazooka Joes spring to mind).

Taste – Light in body, very fruity, again dark cherries, perhaps a little spice, very acidic, liquorice and slightly chalky. Can see how it would appeal to a lot of people but put simply I just don’t like the taste. It did improve after around 20 minutes or so in the glass and with food it was drinkable.

Will I continue with my quest for a Beaujolais I might like, only if somebody puts a glass of something spectacular in my hand, a Cru ( Julienas, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, to name a few) then it would be rude not to taste it.

7corksAs a well made wine my Rating would be 7/10 Corks 

Wine Society £7.50

Rating for my own personal taste would be 5.5/10 Corks


The Society’s Southern Spanish Red 2012

society Jumilla(450 x 600)Jumilla, Spain, home to the richly flavoured Monastrell (aka Mourvedre) and the primary grape in this bottle of Southern Spanish Red Monastrell 2012 from the Wine Society.

The tasting notes that accompany the bottle (nice touch from the Wine Society) tell us that it’s from a relatively new family run Juan Gil Bodega who released their first vintage in 2003. The bottle in question is a entry level Spanish Monastrell and at £5.50, pretty cheap.


The first thing I would say after the initial taste is that this is nothing like a £5 bottle you might find on the supermarket shelf, this is very impressive and I must say a bit of a bargain.

When poured this is lighter than I expected with a rusty brownish tinge, aromas of sweet fleshy plums jump out of the glass along with bonfire ash (nicer smell than it sounds). I’ve drunk a lot of Monastrell lately especially on a recent visit to Murcia, Spain and on first tasting this is on a par with most of the wines there.

Taste – Sweet ripe plums, earthy and a little rustic, not particularly complex but it has good balance and a rough elegance about it but overall it’s very very drinkable.
This was my first bottle from a recent mixed ( 6 bottle) case order from the Wine Society, although mixed with four other Spanish reds, a German Riesling and a Corbieres.

It’s a pretty good start and a good first impression of the Wine Society itself which I only joined a few weeks ago, let’s hope it continues.

7.5corksMy rating 7.5/10 Corks

Wine Society £5.50 a bottle

Oenophiles at Oxford

Wolfson LogoHome of the oldest University in the English speaking world, a town ethnically diverse, bustling with tourists, home to the TV detectives Morse and Lewis and a town where a group of us spent a brilliant weekend at Wolfson, the largest graduate college in Oxford.

Why were we there? Was it for some seminar on humanities, social or natural sciences or something more close to our hearts? Yes, you guessed it, wine !

wolfson collegeMy wife Agnes and I, along with some of our wine buddies who are members of the Tesco Wine Community Ed (PV), Clive (CliveC ) & Julie, Steve (Saunderss) & Steph were kindly invited to a weekend of wine tasting organised by Clare (Aimetu) a fellow blogger and Community member along with her husband Nick- http://aimetus.blogspot.co.uk/ and finally our host and co-organiser Jackie (jackieang), another Community member who is involved with the college Wine Society.

We arrived Saturday morning. Although some of us have met before, it was great to finally meet the others that we’ve only talked to virtually online. We were all put up in comfortable guest rooms on campus overlooking the river Cherwell.

oxford images (600 x 496)Once settled we were taken to the conference/meeting rooms reserved for us which was to be our tasting headquarters, where glasses, decanters etc were all laid out. As well as wine, all of us brought a selection of food which included Pates, meats, biscuits etc and this was all set up ready for the afternoon. Before the wine started to flow our host Jackie escorted us into town for a quick mini tour and lunch.

After a whistle stop tour and a bite to eat we all assembled back at the tasting room.

Once back and to get proceedings underway a magnum of ‘Lanson White Label NV Champagne’ -35% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir, 15% Pinot Meunier, courtesy of Helen McGinn aka Knackered Mother who kindly donated the bottle to the cause and brought along by Steve & Steph to toast our get together. This was a great start, the Champagne was a pale straw like colour, fruity nose with a stream of fine bubbles, slightly on the sweet side tasting of fresh pears and a noticeable minerality.

Before we had finished our glasses of bubbly a special guest arrived, again arranged by Clare, Ben Smith, the head of Communications for Concha Y Toro Uk (CyT UK) brought along 6 bottles from South American and California to talk about and more importantly taste. The wines were….

trivento tasting1Casillero del Diablo – 2012 Devil’s Collection white 13%, Sauv Blanc, Chardonnay, Gerwurz. £8.99
Cono Sur – 2013 20 Barrels Sauv Blanc 12.8% £13.99
Bonterra Chardonnay Organic 13.5% £11.50
Cono Sur Bicicleta 2013 Pinot Noir 13.8% £6.99
Trivento Reserve Malbec 2012 14% £8.99
Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec 14.5% £15.99

Around the table all of us seem to enjoy most if not all these, especially the Cono Sur 20 Barrels but by far the most impressive was the Trivento Golden Reserve which brought a collective approval.

After a very good and informative talk and tasting by the amiable Ben, who very kindly left the bottles behind for us to finish, we proceeded to the next part of the tasting, which involved us tasting a white and red selected from our own collections that we brought along.

Oxfordgroup1 (600 x 450)We all presented our wines individually including a little information on each bottle. Whilst we sat around sipping and discussing, the noise level and atmosphere in the room increased as everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves.

oxfordtable (600 x 450)oxfordbottles1 (600 x 450)oxfordbottles2(450 x 600)

moselrisling (450 x 600)We tasted a fantastic and varied selection of very good wines including French Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay, German Mosel Riesling, Spanish Godello, Australian Semillon, New Zealand Pinot, French Margaux, French Cabernet Franc, Italian Barbaresco, Australian Yalumba Shiraz and a Spanish blend including the lesser known Mando grape.


As the early evening approached we decided it was time for dinner and we all went to a local Chinese and had a fantastic meal booked and recommended by our host Jackie.
After we returned to the tasting room full and weary we sat around chatting again and drinking some more wine, many of which had improved after been left opened for a while. As bed time approached we tidied the room, grabbed some leftover bottles and retired to our guest rooms to finish them off.

Next Morning after a brilliant day and evening we headed off to do different things, some of the guys went to an nearby brewery for a tour, some went home, Agnes and I stayed in Oxford for lunch and a stroll around the centre.

Would we do it again? a resounding yes from all of us echoed around the spires of Oxford

NB : As an extra surprise Tesco supplied us with a Finest mixed party case including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Malbec and Shiraz, this was a very kind gesture by the guys behind the Tesco Wine Community and was much appreciated, big thanks to Charlotte Stebbings (Digital Marketing Executive.)