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.
My Rating 8/10 Corks
Wine Society around £8
I can honestly say that the Wine Society has come up trumps with this Loire Cheverny which is predominantly Sauvignon Blanc with a splash of Chardonnay. As a certain character from Star Wars would say ‘Impressed, I am’ this is one of the nicest white wines I’ve tasted for a while and for around £8 it’s an impressive QPR (quality to price ratio) bottle.
After a long tiring day helping my son and his girlfriend sort out and start decorating their recently acquired first house this bottle was just what the doctor ordered to ease my aching limbs, along with a lovely fish dinner.
Nicely chilled in the glass it was a very light straw like colour with subtle Sauvignon Blanc aromas of nettles, grass and herbs which although restrained there was still enough there to make the nose linger over the glass for a while.
Tasting this was a pure delight, balanced fresh and fragrant, although unmistakably Sauvignon Blanc the addition of the Chardonnay softened the racey edges gave it a little more body and depth adding a little creaminess . This was bone dry with nettles, asparagus and limes leading to an extremely long enjoyable finish.
Another bottle I would recommend without reservation, it’s just simply, a joy to drink.
My Rating 8.5/10 Corks
Wine Society £7.95
Back to the Wine Society for my next wine, from Ribera Del Duero the other big wine region in Spain and from the second wine of Bodegas Bohorquez comes this pretty decent Tempranillo or Tinta del País as it is also know in this part of Spain.
Although a relatively plain and understated label on the bottle which looks a lot like a do it yourself printing job , the wine is anything but plain.
Firstly let me say that I think this needs a little air before drinking and suggest leaving it for a least an hour or so to really open up. When poured the wine was a rich garnet colour and had quite intense aromas of dark plums, cherries, mocha and cinnamon. On first sip this had really bright mouth-watering acidity, full of rich ripe cherries and plums followed by a sweetish prune like flavour. Oak was there but not a noticeable as other more powerful Ribera’s and the tannins were milder.
This is a lighter style Ribera in every way, very acidic, slightly tart, slightly sweet but packed full of freshness and extremely fruity in style. A pleasant drink and I enjoyed it a lot, considering wines from this part of Spain tend to be pretty pricey, this then comes in at around £10 and I would say pretty good value.
My Rating 8/10 Corks
Wine Society £9.95
Rummaging around in my rack, pulling bottles out putting them back searching for a everyday red to accompany my dinner I eventually settled for the Wine Society’s own brand Corbieres , ingeniously labelled ‘The Society’s Corbieres’.
Now I know Corbieres usually gets a raw deal, having been known in the past for cheap rough, rustic wine but having tasted a few now I’ve come to the conclusion that I like Corbieres a lot, especially that wild, rural flavour, so you may well ask, what does that say about me ?
A blend of mainly Carignan with Grenache and a touch of Syrah, this was an impressively dark ruby red in colour and had a lovely sweet blackcurrant almost Kirsch like smell as well as a touch of smokiness mixed with a handful of earth.
Swishing around my mouth, there was initially some heat (maybe a little too much) and Spice, very juicy with blackcurrants, fleshy plums and Strawberries giving it a punchiness and bite. There was also a meaty, gamey and sweetness about it that enjoyed. Don’t like using an over used phrase ‘this was very drinkable’ but this certainly was with or without food (not the U2 song) and I urge everyone if you’ve not tried it, to give Corbieres a go, you may well be surprised.
I still find myself continually being impressed with a lot of the Wine Society’s offerings , especially at the sub £10 range and this Corbieres from the Languedoc-Rousillon region is a very nice drink that won’t break the bank .
My Rating 8.5/10 Corks especially for the price
Wine Society £7.50
Carmenere, the forgotten wine of Bordeaux, not to everyone’s taste but if you’re having a carnivores barbecue with lots of red meat and spicy fare, this cheap offering from Chiles Central valley and brought to us via the Wine Society will fit the bill perfectly .
Having only paid £5.75 for this particular bottle , the Lascar 2013, I didn’t know what to expect but I found it to be a reasonably nice, if slightly sweet drink and everyone who tried it agreed .
Sticking my nose in the glass there was a pronounced earthy aroma, it was very vegetal with leather and tobacco, reminiscent of Merlot but with attitude.
On first sip it was on the sweet side but not overly so, medium bodied, juicy ripe blackberries with some cherry like flavours. The earthiness comes though along with smoke and tobacco and a little spice. Someone commented that the taste didn’t last long, I kind of disagreed and thought it had a reasonable length.
I seen a lot of positive reviews for this wine saying that it tastes far more expensive than it is and on the whole I think it does. As I said earlier, great barbecue wine, inexpensive and no one disliked it including non wine drinkers even if they only had a sip.
My Rating 8/10 Corks
Wine Society £5.75
If someone asked me to describe this wine, the first thoughts that come into my head would be refreshingly vibrant, slightly sweet , floral and pretty, (bit girly , I know) but that just about sums this wine up.
The bottle in question is the Wine Society’s entry level Saar Riesling 2012. Described as Medium /off dry which I would disagree with, for me it was more like medium sweet although the sweetness wasn’t cloying or syrupy but surprisingly fresh and cleansed the palate beautifully.
Initially not too much aroma wise but the bottle was very cold, as the wine warmed up in the glass there was a hint of honey, pears and something flowery (don’t ask me to pin down the flower).
Taste – as I said earlier this was quite sweet with a medium finish. There was a little bit of toffee apple about it, honey lockets but with tingly acidity.
Paired it with Roast Pork and it complemented the dinner perfectly.
Alcohol level of 9.5% meant the bottle could be finished without reaching for the parecetamol.
Entry level it may be but overall it was very enjoyable.
My Rating 7.5/10 Corks
Wine Society £9.50
There are not many grape varieties I don’t like but saying that the one that causes me to react negatively more often than any other is Gamay. Never been a fan of it, never been a fan of Beaujolais and this offering from the Wine Society hasn’t changed my mind. Not to say that it’s a bad wine far from it, just not for me.
This particular Beaujolais from the Wine Society is a ‘Villages’ classification and is generally given good reviews by experts and Society members. Nothing actually wrong with the wine it’s well made , nice purple colour and fresh looking In the glass with aromas of cherries and bubblegum (Bazooka Joes spring to mind).
Taste – Light in body, very fruity, again dark cherries, perhaps a little spice, very acidic, liquorice and slightly chalky. Can see how it would appeal to a lot of people but put simply I just don’t like the taste. It did improve after around 20 minutes or so in the glass and with food it was drinkable.
Will I continue with my quest for a Beaujolais I might like, only if somebody puts a glass of something spectacular in my hand, a Cru ( Julienas, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, to name a few) then it would be rude not to taste it.
As a well made wine my Rating would be 7/10 Corks
Wine Society £7.50
Rating for my own personal taste would be 5.5/10 Corks