A very fine Fiano

co-op-fianoBack to the Co Op again and another offering from their excellent range of wines, a Fiano 2014 from southern Italy.

As regular readers know I am a big fan of Co Op and their wines and have been really impressed by most of their ‘Truly Irresistible’ range and this is no exception. I was initially alerted to this wine by a recommendation by wine journalist Brian Elliot from the website MidWeek Wines, so when popping into my local store for a loaf of bread and some milk a bottle kind of found its way into my basket.

Pretty good-looking label on what turned out to be a pretty decent wine with a lovely deep golden colour and although fairly muted their were aromas of Peach, honey, nectarines and cloves.

First mouthful revealed an oily texture, juicy nectarines and ripe peaches along with an underlying and very nice smokey honey flavour, there was also a nice background nuttiness to the wine which was very appealing.

For me this is one of the better Fiano’s I’ve tasted recently especially around this price mark (around £7). So if you have never tasted Fiano get yourself down to your local Co Op and try this, you may well be surprised, Excellent

8.5corks

My rating 8.5/10 Corks

Co Op £6.99

 

Classico dei Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio 2015

gina-lollobrigida-2
1950’s Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida

Sometimes referred to as the Gina Lollobrigida, this unusual shaped bottle of Verdicchio caught my eye whilst browsing the supermarket shelves and it quickly found its way into my basket.

Verdicchio is an Italian wine from the central eastern Marches region and gets its name from the word ‘Verde’ meaning green relating to the yellowish-green like colour of the grapes giving the wine a slight green like hue.

This particular Classico dei Castelli di Jesi 2015 I picked up at Sainburys, it’s part of their ‘Taste the Difference’ range for £6 which in my opinion is very good value for what turned out to be a very nice wine.

It’s different and perhaps not to everyone’s taste and certainly a food wine. It had mixed opinions around the dinner table where I loved it but my wife and daughter thought it was a little weighty for their palates.

In the glass it showed a straw like yellow with a tinge of green, aromas of peaches (think peach schnapps) jumped out along with grapefruit.  Taste wise, yes it did have a weighty texture which was full of peaches with a creaminess, herby (not the car) and a finish of almonds giving it an almost bitter finish which was not unpleasant.

For £6 I thought it was worth every penny and paired brilliantly with our pasta dinner.

7corks

My rating 7/10 Corks

Sainsburys around £6 when on offer

 

Farmers of Wine – Italian Red Blend

Farmers of WineLooking like a bottle found under a park bench this unusually packaged wine is certainly quirky and definitely stands out on the supermarket shelf but is it any good?

As some of my regular readers may know I belong to a small wine circle called Cuvée Reserve where once a month one of our members select a wine of the month which is easily accessible and under £10 for us all to review. This particular bottle is our March selection and is currently priced at £5.50 from Asda.

Farmers of wine is from the Puglia Region of Italy, a blend of Negroamaro, Zinfandel, locally known as Primitivo, Merlot and Nero d’Avola.

Ok, going back to my first question, is it any good?, for me for the price it’s a resounding yes!

This comes with a cork and has a very intense dark garnet like colour when poured. The nose is fairly muted although there is a hint of ripe dark plums and cherries. The first mouthful has those plums and cherries bursting with juiciness followed by a little dark chocolate. Slightly on the jammy side but not over the top, subtle tannins  and a hit of pepper comes through on the finish. Left in the glass for a while everything softens ending up with a very drinkable Italian for not a lot of money.

I was a little bit sceptical when I saw the gimmicky bottle but rest assured there is nothing gimmicky about the wine, this is a very quaffable mid week drink with Pizza 🍕 or pasta 🍝  I enjoyed it and would probably buy again.

8corks

 

My Rating 8/10 Corks

Asda £5.50

Maretti Langhe Rosso 2013

Maretti(337 x 599)

Italy 13.5%

I first came across this wine at a recent Majestic Summer tasting event and it was for me, one of the stars of the night. It was the wine I kept going back to for a top up and I must say the generous and amiable staff were more than  happy to oblige. I did end up buying a few bottles along with one or two others I enjoyed over the course of the evening.

So whats it like, well, it’s made in the North west Italian region of Langhe within Piemonte which is famous for Nebbiolo and it is a blend of Barbera 70% and Nebbiolo 30%.

Fairly deep garnet colour with a very slight brownish tinge but still impressively dark, looking very inviting but it’s when you get your nose in the glass this is where the wine comes alive bright cherries and blackberries with a more intense backbone of dried herbs, leather, tar and liquorice all very heady.

Medium to full-bodied –  first taste this was very tannic although it still had a bright fruity acidity which made the wine taste fresh. Dark ripe fruits along with bitter liquorice, herbs and an edge of aniseed were all lurking in the glass. There was also a meaty savoury thing going on as well which was appealing. Left in the glass for a while the chalky tannins did soften a bit leaving a sweeter taste but still retaining that bright acidity.

As a stand alone wine I would quite happily drink it on its own but its with food that this really shone. On the tasting night it met with mixed opinions although no one disliked it, some weren’t sure initially but it grew on them. I think this needs time to breathe to really get the best out of it but I liked it a lot.

My wife who is not a big red wine drinker enjoyed it with food and didn’t pull that face when she instantly dislikes a powerful red, so all round big thumbs up.

8corks

 

My Rating 8/10 Corks

Majestic Multibuy £8.99

 

My holiday takeaway

Trioamaronepetit&corbieresWent away for the weekend with family and friends, ended up with around 20 of us going to Elveden Forest Centre Parcs in Suffolk staying in 4 different self catering chalets/villas.

Now I’m not a particularly sporty person and being an activity type holiday it maybe wasn’t the ideal choice but while the others were swimming, playing football, riding bikes and all manner of sporting things I went armed with a good book and wine. Although it sounds like I was missing out, I assure you I wasn’t, the Parc itself is really nice set in woodland and surrounded by a lake with all manner of wildlife roaming around which added up to a relaxing holiday if you wanted it to be.

The wines I brought were a Single variety Petit Verdot from the Stobi winery in Macedonia, An Italian Amarone Valpolicelli, a French Corbieres and a Medoc Bordeaux 2000 also brought along a couple of bottles of Chilean Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. Ended up drinking mostly in the chalet as I wouldn’t pay nearly £6 for a glass of wine in the bars that you could get in the local supermarket for £6 a bottle.

What were they like? well, starting with…..

Stobi Petit Verdot 2011 (8.5/10 Corks)

From Macedonia this was a big rich brute of a wine featuring the single variety Petit Verdot, dark purple in colour with bags of dark berry fruits and dense mouth drying tannins. Lovely smooth texture, slightly on the sweet side, 14% alcohol and I loved it but not for the fainthearted.

Amarone Della Valpolicelli 2010 (7.5/10 Corks)

Deep garnet colour with typically dark Raisiny flavours, rich dark cherries with dark chocolate and a slight smokiness. This will keep and mature for a few years. Alcohol 14.5 % but didn’t taste like it. lovely to drink on its own or with rich pasta meals.

Les Hauts Castelmaure Corbieres 2009 (8/10 Corks)

Very herby and rustic blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah. Heady nose of country wild flowers and dried herbs. tastes a little creamy with sweetish dark berries, caramel and spice. Another winner !

Grand Vin De Bordeaux Medoc 2000Medoc 2000          (8/10 Corks)

Lightish Purple colour with a rusty tinge around the rim, aromas of wood and prunes along with cinnamon. Taste wise, lost its fruit flavour although there is a little blackcurrant/Cassis with liquorice and cloves. Surprisingly this was enjoyed by all who tasted it.

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (8.5/10 Corks)

Lovely pale straw colour with intense tropical fruit aromas not exactly leaping out of the glass like New Zealand SB’s but the smell is kind of thick, not a proper wine tasting term I know but that is my first reaction when sticking my nose in the glass, there was also a little whiff of herbs and lime.

Complex flavours, mild acidity, lush & rich mouth feel but not cloying, slightly sweet, tropical fruits again, passion fruit, lychees, limes, even sweet peppers. This was a beauty, also my daughters favourite.

Out of all the wines I still thought the Stobi Petit Verdot was the stand out drink over the weekend and at price of around £12.99 at the Wine Rack chain, not particularly cheap but worth it.

Great time, great company and lovely wines,  Salud !

Primitivo Di Manduria – Paololeo 2012

PrimitivoWaitroseItaly 14.5%

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced Primitivo (Aka Zinfandel) and you enjoy the big hitting Zins from California look no further than this beauty from the very heel of boot in South east Italy’s Puglia region.

When I picked this up I was amazed at how heavy this bottle was and it just said quality to me and as you will read I wasn’t wrong. An impressive inky purple colour in the glass, with pronounced aromas of blackcurrants, ripe plums, sweet fruitcake, raisins and earthy spices.

After the first mouthful you begin to realise how impressive this wine is, sweet dark fruits, blackcurrants again this time with cherries. There was an earthiness about it and a fairly big hit of oak (6 months in French oak barriques), liquorice is also noticeable along with sweet candied fruit and a shot of expresso coffee.

For the price this is a fabulous Italian Stallion of a wine and although there was lots going on it still tasted smooth and easy to drink despite its hefty 14.5% which I didn’t really notice. I got this on offer for around £7.99 (great value) but I would be quite happy to pay the full price of £10.99

8.5corksMy Rating 8.5/10 Corks

Waitrose £10.99

Sangiovese Vino Lascito 2013

Sangiovese tesco(450 x 600)Italy 12%

I was recently sent another bottle to review by Tesco as part of a Tesco taste panel, this is a 10 man/woman panel who are selected to review the same wine and leave comments on their wine by the case website.

The wine in question is a Sangiovese Vino Lascito 2013.

Firstly I must say that whenever I open a bottle of Italian wine I can’t help imagining a table full of wise guys sitting in a restaurant, spaghetti stained napkins tucked into their shirt collars eating pasta made with mama’s special sauce.

Back to the wine, the bottle shape was a bit strange and I’m not a big fan of it, being a bit short and stumpy it just looks a little awkward and doesn’t fit it the wine rack very well, actually reminded me of a bottle of port.

When poured although dark purple-ish in colour it still was a little translucent, with aromas of sour cherries, plums, raspberries and a slight whiff of herbs.
First sip prior to food, a little on the thin side, the tartness, slightly bitter taste (although I expected some ) was a little too noticeable, although it did lead to a mouth watering explosion of sour cherries, raspberries and a spicy finish. Tannins were soft though and the fruit did stand out but where this wine sort of impressed was after a mouthful of food (Spaghetti Bolognese in this case), with the tartness less intrusive and the spice and herbs making a subtle entrance.

I must admit I liked this wine much better with food as most Italian wines it just seems to complement food brilliantly, easy drinking , nothing complicated, a pleasant enough drink especially with a plate of pasta but nothing to get me too excited.

My fellow taste panelists seem to disagree with me looking at their reviews but hey ho everyone to their own it’s just wasn’t for me.

6corksMy Rating 6/10 Corks

Tesco £7.99