TIME FOR NEW WINES
Carol Brown unearths some deliciously drinkable new wines
and good fruit – think lemon and peach and a balancing acidity finishing with a grapefruit tang. £13.99 from Fountainhall Wines, Aberdeen/Stonehaven.
Left Field Albarino 2015 comes from the north island region of Gisbourne, in New Zealand. Intensely fruity with peach and tangy grapefruit, there are floral notes and a lifting mineral element too. £12.99, currently on offer at £10.99 from Fountainhall Wines.
Semeli Feast 2015. From the Greek region of Nemea, the aromatic Moschofilero grape is behind the label. Perfumed and Muscat-like, there are grapefruit and spice scents and tangy lingering melon and grapefruit flavours. I have a sudden craving for one of those little feta and spinach filo pastries … Oddbins, £8.75.
Italy is always a good place to go for less well-known grapes. Saladini Pilastri Falerio DOC 2015 is made from an organically grown trio of grapes. Trebbiano is widespread across Italy and works well here combined with Passerina and Pecorino. On the sniff, it’s all about the orchard and stone fruit scents. It’s fresh, crisp and dry with tangy mid-weight peach and apricot and a long mineral finish. Oddbins, £9.50.
Pittnauer “Pitti” 2015, Burgenland, Austria. I really like this un-oaked red blend of two of Austria’s key red grapes, Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch. Upfront and juicy with black cherry and red berry coulis aromas and flavours, there are bramble notes and tannins are soft. Drink alongside chicken chasseur. £11.50, Oddbins.
When I’m at a consumer tasting, the second question that I’m often asked (after why are you writing so many notes?) is what is your favourite wine here?
Always difficult to pinpoint one but one that really jumped out at the pre-Christmas Wine Raks tasting in Aberdeen was Noster Inicial Priorat 2009 from Spain. Priorat is one of only two wine regions in Spain to carry the DOCa classification, the other is Rioja. Mainly Garnacha (Grenache) which shines in the region, with Samso (Carignan) and a little Cabernet Sauvignon, it is fabulously intense with blackcurrant, dark berry and raspberry aromas. Tannins provide a structured back- drop surrounded by lovely, juicy red berry salad flavours. £29.95.
The Cotes Du Rhone appellation is often associated with red wines but the area also boasts some characterful white grapes too. They blend well together or are seen as standalone varietals. Leon Perdigal Cotes Du Rhone Blanc 2015 is a cracking example of a white Rhone blend taking in Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Roussanne and Viognier sourced from several vineyards across the Southern Rhone.
It’s a blast of fragrant jasmine, almond and peach aromas with a lovely balance of lively acidity, intense peach and a complex, long lasting finish. £7.49, Majestic Wine. Enjoy your exploration! Carol has two wine courses and a workshop in Aberdeen over the next few weeks. The Aberdeen page of www.wine-education -service.co.uk has more information. The Press and Journal | Saturday, January 14, 2017 11