Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE - ANDY CRON­SHAW

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.

UN­DER £10

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.

OVER £10

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.

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