Papa Luna – Divine wine

Papa Luna

Spain 14.5%

Named after the last pope to reign under a dual papacy in the 14th and 15th Century in Avignon, Pedro Martinez de Luna who was born in Calatayud and was a local and historical icon. This wine is made as a homage to him.

I first tasted this at my local Majestic store a couple of years ago, I bought a couple of bottles stored them away and then forgot about them until now. What a pleasant surprise it was when I opened it and took that first sip, as the title says it was divine.

Inky black in the glass, after a quick swirl (the glass not me) and a deep sniff there were powerful aromas of dark ripe fruits mainly cherries and plums, with my nose still in the glass more aromas of cigar boxes, chocolate and a whiff of lavender emanated.

Drank this straight out of the bottle after opening (poured into a glass first) but I think it would benefit from a little more air although it still tasted pretty good as it was.

Smooth is mentioned a lot when people first taste wine but this is exactly what this was, almost velvety and elegant, intense taste of dark cherries that have been dipped in chocolate burst in your mouth along with liquorice. Bordering on jammy it also had a spicy savoury kick to it, mild tannins and an extremely long finish.

This was really very good and much better than you would expect from a wine this price, I will be back in store to get more

8.5corks

My Rating 8.5/10 Corks

Majestic currently  £7.86 on Multi Buy

Feteasca Neagra the Black Maiden

Romania 4Recently I won a Twitter competition courtesy of premium wine estate Cramele Recas winning four bottles of Romanian wine. Now, If you’ve never tasted Romanian wine here’s an ideal opportunity to try some at a very affordable price.

The first bottle I opened was the Feteasca Neagra (Black Maiden) which is an old native variety originating in Moldova now grown in several areas in Romania.  I’ve since found out Asda are selling as part of their Wine Atlas Range at a reasonable £5.97.

Looking at the bottle, the label (as do all the Wine Atlas range) looks like an old travel poster and I couldn’t see any vintage marked anywhere.

When poured, what surprised me was how light the wine looked, as you can see in the picture, almost see though. Heady aromas of smoke, strawberries and dark plums with a vegetal thing going on in the background.

Feteasca NeagraOn first sip, very bright with mouth wateringly juiciness, quite light but with bags of flavour. The smokiness is still there along with the strawberries and plums. Slightly herby and savoury. Mild chalky tannins and when left in the glass for a while the fruitiness gets more intense, almost Grenache like.

I would have liked the finish to bit a bit longer and it does give an almost spritzy sour end. Overall though this was an affordable (even though I got mine free) introduction to Romanian wine and I must say an enjoyable one.

Three more to drink and if they are as good as this I’ll be happy. Big thanks to Cramele Recas for the prize and introducing me to Romanian wines, I will be investigating further. So I urge you all to take a trip to Asda look for their Wine Atlas range and stick this bottle in your basket, even if you’re not a big red wine drinker

7corksMy Rating 8/10 Corks

Asda £5.97

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.

8corks

 

My Rating 8/10 Corks

Wine Society around £8

StoneLeigh Sauvignon Blanc 2013

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New Zealand 12.5%

With the temperatures soaring here in the UK what better way to relax and cool down than sitting in the shade of a Gazebo, eating barbecue food and drinking a chilled glass or two of this very nice New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

I Love Marlborough wines especially anything from Brancott Estate and this bottle which is produced by them is up there amongst my favourite Sauvignon Blancs. I was first introduced to Stoneleigh by Brancott Estates chief winemaker Patrick Materman himself at a tasting a while ago and whilst sampling his own range he asked me to try the Stoneleigh and after that initial sip I was totally won over by it.

When poured it’s a lovely straw like colour with a slight green tinge. On the nose it’s typically New world and typically New Zealand, rich tropical fruits mixed with sharp citrus aromas along with damp grass and herbs.

The taste is where this wine really shines, bright fresh and tangy with flavours of peaches, Lychees and melon but with a bracing backdrop of lemons and limes giving it a mouth-watering acidity along with lots of minerality.

Fantastic summer drink, great to drink on its own or with chicken, seafood, it would even go well with Asian food.

If you enjoy a bright, fresh, acidic, minerally wine with bags of flavour you won’t go far wrong with this, becoming a favourite in our household especially with my daughter (who is a bit fussy with her wine, don’t tell her I said that though !)

Highly recommended.

8.5corks

My Rating 8.5/10 Corks

Variuos outlets around £9

A week in Cornwall and a little wine

BeachboysA week in Cornwall sounded lovely, so Surf board under my arm, Beach Boys Cd playing and flowery shirts and shorts packed we headed off on the long drive. Well, maybe not, more like a car packed full of more clothes than we would probably need, more food than we would eat and of course an umbrella although I did manage to cram in a few bottles of wine which I consider essentials.

We stayed in the beach resort of Porthtowan in a three bedroom cottage along with my son and daughter and their partners.

After a very long 6 hour drive we arrived at Porthtowan early evening which was grey and shrouded in mist.

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Bourbon Cyder
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Oak matured Cyder

Next morning with the weather brighter we headed off to St Agnes, a pleasant little surfing town followed by a very enjoyable trip to Healeys Cyder farm (yes, spelt with a y)  where we sampled some interesting blends.

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Cyder tasting

Healeys is Cornwalls largest Cyder maker with award-winning Cyders, spirits, juices and jams.Lovely place and friendly staff made this a great afternoon visit. Especially liked the oak matured (6 months) and the Bourbon and whiskey infused bottles.

Up next was the Eden Project with its distinctive Rain Forest and Mediteranean  Biomes.

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The Eden Project
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Mediteranean Biome Portuguese Malvasia Vineyard

Rainforest Biome was authentically hot and humid with fantastic array of tropical plants. Med Biome a little cooler but just as interesting, even had a Portuguese Malvasia vineyard which was great to see.

Lands end
Lands End

We also walked across the cliff tops to Lands end to have the obligatory photo call at the sign.

Another fantastic experience was the Manick Theatre near Penzance which is is the most famous cliff side open-air theatre in Britain, possibly in the world; from above it looks as though some wandering Greeks, two thousand years ago, had carved a theatre into the granite cliffs of Porthcurno, Cornwall.

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Bay of Porthcurno setting for the Manick Theatre

We saw the Victorian comedy ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ sitting in the sunshine in the most beautiful of settings.

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Manick Theatre

Anybody visiting Cornwall has got to do this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Manick theatre seating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh yes, not forgetting, while we were there we managed to drink some pretty decent wines that we brought with us as well including Champagne, Sancerre, Pouilly Fume, Vouvray, Sauvignon Blanc, Amarone, Merlot, Pinot Noir.

Great Holiday, great part of the country and of course great wine….cornwall wines