With a fitting zoom back drop of a barrel cellar, a little rummaging around in the back of the wine cellar produced a delicious mature Chateauneuf du Pape 2006 from Caves st Pierre made for Tesco. With no idea how it came to be in the cellar, or indeed for how long it had been there, it has certainly benefitted from the aging. It still showed a rich core of dark fruit, primarily blackberries, a lovely smoky tertiary note coming through and a really great finish. It just goes to show you that losing your wine in the back of the cellar for a few years can be quite beneficial! Tonight it was a wine of celebration, with both girls receiving their A-Level results and getting into their first choice university. Tesco Finest range, approx. £24
Staying local our next drinkers were drinking Dorset in Dorset with the Furleigh Estate Bacchus Dry 2018, Dorset. Perhaps better known for their sparkling wine, this still wine is really delicious and incredibly drinkable. A riper, fruiter style than some thanks to the very warm 2018 vintage, it still retains its classic citrus and elderflower characteristics. This is definitely one to recommend. Cellar door £14.95 #roadtrip
Having just returned from a stunning holiday to Santorini, and now a fully fledged, flag waving member of Assyrtiko fan club, this drinker had a slightly different Greek white to show us. The Moexto dry white which is a Moscato. Not usually a fan of this variety as ‘back home’ in Australia it is usually incredibly sweet (Rutherglen Muscat for instance) however this is a super dry and very fruity wine with very ripe peach and pineapple on the mid palate leading to very dry finish. Picked up locally for 8 euro.
Looking for something a little different, this was a random trial bottle snuck into a bigger order. The Allende Rioja Blanco 2016 is a really beautiful blend of Viura (95%) and Malvasia (5%) with a complex and alluring palate of saffron, apricot, white peach, hazelnut and elegantly integrated oak, all the while retaining a beautiful freshness. This is definitely in the modern camp of white Rioja, rather than the more traditional oxidative style of wine. Decantelo 20 euro delivered.
Next up is the Bodegas Tandem Ars Nova 2014 from Navarra in Spain. This beautiful, cutting edge winery is on the pilgrimage route (and worthy of a pilgrimage in its own right) and the wine is a blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The high altitude lends the wine freshness and elegance, and it is pure class from the first sip to the last. 2014 is the current release and is drinking beautifully. Sometimes you come across wines that are such a reflection of the people who own them and make them that you can't doubt the hand of man in the term 'terroir', and this is one of those wines. Elegant, charming, polished, welcoming and genuine, a description of the wine, and of Jose Maria Fraile and Alicia Eyaralar, founders and winemakers at Bodegas Tandem. Corking Wines £13.59
I was going to drink red, but it was too hot and muggy so in need of refreshment, but also with a desire to spoil myself I opted for the Domaines Faiveley Mercury Blanc Clos Rochette 2017, Burgundy. Coming from the Cote Chalonnaise rather than the Cote D’Or, Mercury tends to offer good value, and in the hands of the 7th generation of the Faiveley family it is a seriously classy wine. Elegant, fresh and mineral driven with a core of intense fruit and a lovely light touch of oak. It really hit the spot and boy do I love Burgundy. Handford Wines £25.99
Drinkers top tips: if you are a gin buff try Four Pillars, a small batch gin from the Yarra Valley. Drink it with a slice of grapefruit and a spring of rosemary.