THIS week some recommendations from a local wine merchant, Reserve in West Didsbury, and also from Australia’s big producer McGuigan whose Shortlist wines are available at Tesco online.
First the Reserve wines, which are all sourced through distributor Liberty Wines.
One of Liberty’s key areas of expertise is Italy but, as is reflected in this list, the wine buyers there have a nose for killer wines from down under.
Alpha Zeta ‘C’ Chardonnay 2013, Italy (£8.49 Reserve)
A bright, modern, fruit-driven Italian Chardonnay from the north east – ripe, concentrated and textured. There’s light oak with a little creaminess to balance the waxy, lemony palate. Alpha Zeta ‘V’ Valpolicella 2013, Veneto, Italy (£9.99 Reserve)
From the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley, this youthful, black cherry-scented Valpolicella has concentrated fruit and supple tannins.
Willunga 100 Shiraz Viognier 2011, McLaren Vale, Australia (£11.99 Reserve)
Matches McLaren Vale’s blockbusting Shiraz with silky Viognier to make a wine in the style of Cote-Rotie, one of northern Rhone’s greatest. Savoury yet floral aromas abound and there’s great depth. Tinpot Hut Pinot Gris 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand (£ 13.99 Reserve)
A silky, juicy stunner from wine-maker Fiona Turner’s own Home Block Vineyard and the McKee family vineyard, this wine displays the flavours of ripe pear and peach. The hint of nutmeg and spice are apparently often found in Pinot Gris grown in Marlborough’s Blind River sub-region. Tinpot Hut Pinot Noir 2011, Marlborough, New Zealand (£14.99 Reserve) My received wisdom was that the best Kiwi Pinot Noir was to be sourced in Central Otago and that Sauvignon Blanc was the true star of Marlborough.
But recent experiences have turned this on its head. This wine is from from lowyielding vineyards in the Upper Wairau and Blind River. Although this is most definitely a New Zealand Pinot there’s the same alluring blend of ripe cherry and savoury mushroomy notes found in many an expensive Burgundy.
The palate is silky with a long finish and great acidity. Chill it down slightly for your best ingredients such as seared tuna steak. IN many ways the McGuigan Shortlist range is a very adequate representation of various classics of Australian wine-making.
The International Wines and Spirit Competition’s leading wine-maker for 2012, Neil McGuigan, has crafted a series of wines in some the country’s greatest regions with their famed varietals. McGuigan The Shortlist Chardonnay Adelaide Hills 2011 (£15 Tesco)
Classic Aussie Chardonnay from the cool climate of Schubert’s Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills.
French oak barrel fermentation gives it complexity on the nose with scents of vanilla and buttery fruit shot through with lemon and lime. McGuigan The Shortlist Riesling Eden Valley 2012 (£15 Tesco online)
Australia has two renowned areas for Riesling: Clare and Eden Valleys. Just like great German Riesling good examples from Eden will age gracefully and this is most definitely a good example. Smoky on the nose with intense lime and apple on the palate and zippy acidity. McGuigan The Shortlist Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra 2010 (£15 Tesco online)
Just as Eden is famous for Riesling, Coonawarra has long been admired for its Cabernet Sauvignon.
This is tending towards the greatness that Coonawarra can achieve although I’d suggest it needs a little longer in bottle to let its alcohol heat subside a little. A little firmish but very generous. McGuigan The Shortlist Shiraz 2010, RRP £15, Tesco (online only)
Very typical of great Barossa Valley Shiraz. Leather and liquorice on the nose and the weighty fruit remains elegant with nice acidity.