A small selection of good affordable wines reviewed in 2016

ivorfan-logo-2016Another great year in this wonderful world of wine, lots of wines sampled, some fantastic, some good and some not so good but always fun trying them.felizanonuevo

Been lucky enough to attend some fabulous events  and tastings meeting some interesting and amiable people along the way and after three seasons in the doldrums Fulham are starting to look like a team again, so everything is looking good for a brilliant 2017 with hopefully more of the same.

🍾🍾HAPPY NEW YEAR to all 🍷🍷🥂🥂

So here are just a small selection some easily available wines I’ve enjoyed over the last year, as they say, in no particular order ( click on More link to see full review)…….

Gran Reboreda 2015

reboreda1The bottle caught my eye as it featured one of my favourite white grapes Godello although with this one it’s a small part of a blend with Treixadura which is the predominant grape around 80% (used mainly in the making of Portuguese Vinho Verde) also featuring is another lesser known grape Loureira. More ..

 

 

Rustenberg John X Merriman 2012

Rustenburg John X Merrriman 2012South Africa takes on Bordeaux with this powerful beast of a wine from the Stellenbosch region, named in honour of John Xavier Merriman who revitalised the Rustenberg farm in 1892 after it suffered badly due to the Phylloxera crisis and went on to establish Rustenberg wines.

A blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec. More..

 

Truly Irresistable Fiano 2015

co-op-fianoAs 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. More..

 

Brancott Estate Letter B series sweet dessert wine

late harvest BEHands up all those people who will break out a bottle of dessert wine at the end of a meal to accompany pudding, I guess if I look around there would probably not be many arms in the air but if you haven’t tried it then you are missing out on a real treat. More..

 

 

Hambledon Classic Cuvée

Hambledon sparklingSome may say who needs Champagne when we have Sparking wine in this country as good as this. I have sampled a few English wines mostly a tastings and events, notably Nyetimber and Chapel Down and both are very good but it’s not until I tasted this particular bottle that I sat up and realised that the Brits do make some pretty decent sparkling wines. More..

 

Wakefield Clare Valley Shiraz 2014

Wakefield Shiraz 2014 (337 x 599)I first discovered this gem of a wine  at a Majestic ‘Winter tasting ‘ event back in November 2015.

Although not one of the wines on show, It happened to be sitting on their tasting counter along with one or two other pretty decent bottles, not sure how long it had been opened for but their was still half a bottle and over the course of the evening I must admit to revisiting this Aussie beauty a few times. There was slightly less than half a bottle by the end of the evening (Shhh, empty it was !! ) but I didn’t drink it all, honestly and I did end up buying a few bottles. More..

Xarel-lo 2014

Xarel-loCan’t pronounce it and never heard of it I hear you cry but if you look on most bottles of Spanish Cava you will find Xarel-lo is one of the three main grapes used to make their fabulous sparkling wines.

This bottle is a 100% Xarel-lo (pronounced Shre-lo) made in the Penedes region of north-east Spain and not a bubble in sight. It’s a still wine that is wonderfully fresh and vibrant and has a Cava/Champagne flavour without the fizz although there is a slight zingy after-taste. More..

Lindeman’s Bin 1355 Semillon

lindemans-semillonBought  a case of this very good Lindeman’s Hunter Valley Semillon 2013  from Majestic on their WIGIG (When its gone its gone) promotion for the bargain price of £4.99 a bottle, which in my opinion, turned out to be a bit of a steal. More..

 

 

 

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Lidl beauty – Gran Reboreda 2015

reboreda1Popped into Lidl supermarket recently and picked up this unusual blend  from the Ribiero (Galicia) region which is situated in north west Spain.

The bottle caught my eye as it featured one of my favourite white grapes Godello although with this one it’s a small part of a blend with Treixadura which is the predominant grape around 80% (used mainly in the making of Portuguese Vinho Verde) also featuring is another lesser known grape Loureira.

This is a very tall elongated bottle which might be a problem if storing in the fridge upright, when poured it’s a very pale straw like colour with fairly muted aromas even after hovering with my nose stuck in the glass for a while it was hard to pick out anything apart from citrus fruits, mainly lemons, there was also a faint whiff of herbs and flowers.

reboreda

The taste is where this wine shines, it’s very dry with a bright tangy lemon flavour, followed by what tasted like dried mixed herbs. Very fleshy weighty texture and a long satisfying finish.

As part of the new Lidl range this retails at £8.99 and on first tasting, in my opinion, worth every penny, I absolutely loved it, thoroughly recommend it  and even though I haven’t got a Lidl  local to me I will be making a trip to the nearest store to buy some more.

Unfortunately Lidl seem to change their wines pretty rapidly so I don’t know how long they will have this on the shelf but if you want to try something different I urge you to go out quickly and get some, hopefully you won’t be disappointed, top stuff !!

8.5corksMy rating 8.5/10 Corks

Lidl £8.99

Chateau de Panigon Cru Bourgeois Medoc 2011

Chateau Panigon

Back to Lidl’s for my next wine, I bought this a few months ago along with a selection of other relatively cheap Bordeaux’s including the excellent Chateau Marjosse which I reviewed here.

The only trouble with Lidl’s wine is they are constantly changing their stock so when you find a nice bottle it may be worthwhile going back and buying more, sooner than later. I’ve recently been back and they had none of the Bordeaux’s I bought in the summer, shame really because the Panigon is pretty good.

I visit the store infrequently as the nearest one is around 8 miles away, what I do find though, when returning, is that the quality of their wines is always excellent and I never have trouble filling my trolley as I did a couple of weeks ago.

Right, back to this particular bottle the Chateau de Panigon 2011 which I paid £8.99 for and it happened to be money well spent ( Damn ! should have bought more I cry out). It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with a touch of Petit Verdot thrown in. First thing to say is that this needs decanting for a couple of hours as it was tight and tannic initially,  but after a short time exposed to air it softened beautifully.

Sticking my nose in the glass it had heady aromas of ripe dark fruits, wood shavings, menthol and smoke. Taste wise what you got was a mouthful of juicy dark ripe cherries and plums, slightly sweet and a lovely spicy, smokey long finish.

If you can find it, snap it up, for under a tenner its a pretty decent buy and credit to the buyers at Lidl’s and I for one will continue to make the trek to my nearest store as I have not been disappointed yet with any of my purchases.

8corks

 

My rating 8/10 corks

Lidl £8.99

A very drinkable Chateau Marjosse

Marjosse

Look in most supermarkets and you will find a lot of cheap Bordeaux’s, usually they are cheap for a reason and most of them that I’ve tried have promptly ended up down the sink.

But ( sorry to start a sentence with a conjunction) there is a shinning light from an unexpected source in the shape of Lidl supermarket where I have bought some pretty decent wines for well under a tenner and this Chateau Marjosse 2012 was just £8.99 and as it turns out, a real genuine bargain.

From a well-regarded Chateau and made by winemaker Pierre Lurton this is a blend of Predominantly Merlot with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.

When poured this was very deeply coloured with aromas of ripe dark fruits, plums, cherries, it smelt earthy and vegetal with distinct raw green pepper notes.

On first taste it was a bit of a beast, a little harsh and I decided to leave it to the air for a couple of hours and what a difference it made, it transformed into a slightly sweeter softer taste, lots of mouth-watering acidity with the juicy fruit more prominent, still vegetal and stalky but with well-balanced tannins and a generous hit of oak.

As you can gather this didn’t end up down the sink and for £8.99  well worth buying but don’t drink it straight off give it a little time to evolve and you will be rewarded with a nice cheap Bordeaux.

8corks

 

My Rating 8/10 Corks

Lidl £8.99

Cepa Lebrel Rioja Reserva 2010

cepa Lebrel

Spain 13.5%

There is a lot of Rioja out there and finding a half decent cheap bottle is pretty hard although this Cepa Lebrel 2010 may well be the answer. It’s from Lidl’s who, in my opinion and from what I have tasted so far have a pretty good selection of cheap wines this one, which is also a Reserva, is around £5, very good value I’d say.

Not overly complicated but this looks, smells and tastes like a Rioja twice the price. Lovely garnet like colour with a rusty like tinge to the edge, smells aged, plenty of ripe mushy strawberries, slightly smokey and for me a Rioja must have a candle wax like aroma and this did, like sitting in an old church.

This is oaky perhaps a little too much for some but it did show some juicy fruit and acidity, full of strawberries, cherries with fairly mild tannins. My wife who tends to like white wines, not so much reds, is my monitor and usually tells it as it, pulling that face if she doesn’t like it but she did finish the glass which she doesn’t always do with red wine.

Don’t get me wrong there are far better Riojas out there but perhaps not many better at this price, it’s a fiver after all and it actually tastes like a good old-fashioned, old world Rioja.

7corks

 

My Rating 7/10 Corks

 

 

Serabel Vacqueyras Lidl Beauty

Serabel Vacueyras France 13.5%

After hearing a lot of good things about wines being sold at Lidl’s, I decided to try a few out even though I had to travel around seven  miles for my nearest store. This is the first of six bottles I bought from their premium range which included mostly French bottles and I must say what a great start.

This is a Southern Rhone blend of Grenache around 60%, Syrah 20% and Mourevedre 20%  made in the shadow of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas. The bottle was impressive and very heavy with its embossed crossed keys and Vacqueyras, very stylish. When poured, it was a dark ruby colour with a tinge of rustiness around the edges.

Beautiful nose of blackberries, dark cherries, smokey bonfire and forest earth. There was a dark fruit sweetness in the mouth which turned into a slightly bitter finish. Although rustic it still had a kind of elegance and smoothness but with a hefty kick of spices, smokey and noticeable tannins.

This was a delight which improved with time in the glass and for around £8 well worth the money. Found it hard but kept a little back for tomorrow to see how it holds up, my expectations are high.

I just hope the other bottles I bought live up to this but as I said earlier this was a fabulous start to my Lidl adventure and this Vacqueyras comes highly recommended.

 

8corksMy Rating 8/10 Corks

Lidl stores around £8.99