Saturday, November 11, 2017

PAZO DOS CELTAS 2016 ALBARINO

This is a perfect dry white to branch out and try something new. It's a lovely example of the variety without being earth shattering. 

A/V: 13% 
PRICE: 5.99 euro 
FROM: Aldi, Spain
RATING: 4/5 from me

ANOTHER DAZZLING BUDGET DRY WHITE


ANTINA 2016 SAUVIGNON BLANC 
This is a delicious dry white with restrained varietal fruit. Crisp, dry and lean it's a remarkable wine at the price.

GRAPE VARIETIES: Sauvignon Blanc
A/V: 12% 
PRICE: 1.99 euro 
FROM: Aldi, Spain
RATING: 5/5 from me 

OUTSTANDING WINE TASTING NUMBER THREE

This tasting was comprised of the previous three posts:
Epulum 2009 Grand Reserva 7.95euro
Rivallana 2013 Reserva 5.99 euro
Rivallana 2014 Crianza  4.49 euro

All Rioja. All purchased from the same Aldi store in Cambrils just south west of Barcelona. And hopefully enough vintage and price range to reveal some differences. Three wines tasted over three consecutive days.

It WAS an outstanding wine tasting with all the wines evolving in a satisfying discernible way. That's described in the individual wine posts. Many thanks to Frances and Alan for their very valuable input. They embraced the concept.



RIVALLANA 2014 CRIANZA RIOJA


Our third wine of Outstanding Wine Tasting Number Three was the youngest and the lowest on the pecking order of Rioja. It held its own on the first day and continued to evolve into a beautifully balanced, medium bodied red. On the third day it was at its best which suggests a far greater cellaring life than was originally intended.

GRAPE VARIETIES: 
REGION: 
A/V: 13% 
PRICE: 4.49 euro 
FROM: Aldi, Spain
RATING: 4.5/5 from me 

RIVALLANA 2013 RESERVA RIOJA


This was the second wine opened each day of Outstanding Wine Tasting Number Three. It was undoubtedly the majority winner on day one and then faded into a distant third place by the end of the tasting. So perfect to open and drink now without too much excitement.

GRAPE VARIETIES: Tempranillo 90% The balance comprising of Carignan [Mazuelo] Grenache and Graciano
REGION: Rioja
A/V: 13.5% 
PRICE: 5.99 euro 
FROM: Aldi, Spain
RATING: 3.5/5 rating from me 

EPULUM GRAN RESERVA 2009 RIOJA

This starred in Outstanding Wine Tasting Number Three. It bullied its way through the first day with huge flavours all over the place. It softened slightly on day two and by day three had us all seduced. At eight years old and a mere eight euro this is a cellaring bargain that I would love to taste in 10 years time. The fact that it's still on retail shelves at this price is extraordinary

GRAPE VARIETIES: Tempranillo 85% Carignan [Mazuelo] 5% Graciano 10%
REGION: Rioja
A/V: 14% 
PRICE: 7.95 euro 
FROM: Aldi, Spain
RATING: 5/5 from me 

Monday, November 6, 2017

HOW LOW CAN I GO?

VEGA DEL CEGA 2016 BLANCO 
This is crazy. A crisp, dry white with a  perfectly balanced palate and lifted melon/pear fruit. For under a euro. That's $1.50 in Australia currency and under a quid for UK travellers.
It's made from two of Spain's most widely planted white varieties and it is a faultless little quaffer.
 

GRAPE VARIETIES: Viura and Airen
REGION: Valdepenas
A/V: 12% 
PRICE: .99 euro 
FROM: Lidl, Spain 
RATING: 5/5 from me 

OUTSTANDING WINE TASTING NUMBER TWO

On the basis of the OUTSTANDING 2011 vintage Chateau de Fieuzal is our favourite Bordeaux producer. So how could we resist when we found these two wines on the shelves at E.Leclerc St Vincent Tyrosse.

CHATEAU DE FIEUZAL 2014 GRAND GRU CLASSE DE GRAVES PESSAC -LEOGNAN 
A/V: 13.5% 
PRICE: 23.90 euro 
FROM: E.Leclerc
RATING: 5/5 from me 


L'ABEILLE DE FIEUZAL 2015 PESSAC -LEOGNAN 
A/V: 13.5% 
PRICE: 18.20 euro 
FROM: E.Leclerc
RATING: 2/5 from me 

We tasted these over three days and the difference between the two was closest at the beginning. Even then the difference in quality was far greater than 6 euro. Then the gap just widened. Presumably the L'Abeille is a secondary label and I don't know why you'd bother. The 2014 is a class act that drinks beautifully on opening and just keeps improving. Definitely one for long term cellaring. The L'Abeille goes nowhere.

NOT ONE OF OUR FAVOURITES

LES CARACTERES SAUMUR BRUT METHODE TRADITIONELLE 

If you love your sparkling wines with a bit of aged character you'll rate this far higher than we did. Colour is quite golden and there's a pronounced honey character on the developed, quite heavy palate. 
It's perfectly sound but I suspect would surprise and disappoint most as there's no way of knowing that it's this style.


A/V: 12%
PRICE: 4.9 euro
FROM: E.Leclerc
RATING: 2.5/5 from me 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

TIME FOR ANOTHER ROSE CHALLENGE?


Both these are from an extensive range we found at the stunning E.Leclerc St Vincent Tyrosse. Both are dry, both have a 4.5/5 recommendation and interestingly both are blends of three different red varieties. Their biggest difference is probably geographic coming from opposite southern corners of France. 

LARCISSE 2016 ST MONT ROSE
Never have I knowingly encountered a rose made from Tannat before. I associate that variety with huge thunderous reds - from Mclaren Vale in South Australia. For what it's worth Pinenc is also known as Fer.
GRAPE VARIETIES: Tannat, Pinenc, Cabernet Sauvignon
REGION: Saint Mont, Gascgone
A/V: 12% 
PRICE: 3.95 euro 
FROM: E.Leclerc
RATING: 4.5/5 from me



CHATEAU SAINT HIPPOLYTE 2016 ROSE
From the renowned Provence in the south east comes this beauty. Very pale salmon colour and searingly dry. Won't be to everyone's taste but we loved it
GRAPE VARIETIES: Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault
REGION: Provence
A/V: 13.5% 
FROM: E.Leclerc
RATING: 4.5/5 from me

AL DES NUDO 2016 VIURA SAUVIGNON BLANC



This is a perfectly pleasant little quaffer and for the price well worth a try. It's a blend of viura, the white variety of Rioja and nearly everyone's favourite, sauvignon blanc. Don't expect any sauvignon blanc flavours though because there aren't any. It has a surprisingly hefty palate weight which may appeal more to you than it does me.

And for what it's worth Viura is also known as Macabeo in other parts of the world. Which one is corrects? Growers of each would undoubtedly believe they are.

GRAPE VARIETIES: Viura 70% Sauvignon Blanc 30%
REGION: Valencia, Spain
A/V: 11.5% 
PRICE: 1.49 euro 
FROM: Lidl, Spain
RATING: 3/5 from me

Thursday, November 2, 2017

OUTSTANDING WINE TASTING NUMBER ONE

Chateau Bellevue Medoc : Vintages 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
October 8, 9 and 10 - 2017




The starting point for understanding wine is drinking the stuff. We in the wine biz used to say "we had a look at that wine" or "have you seen it?".It meant have you tasted it? And that's just like drinking although you may spit. 

I can't see the point of spitting if you've only got four wines and you're planning to taste them over three days. This tasting was inspired by the opportunity to buy four sequential vintages of the same label. We wanted to see the extent of vintage variation and how the wines evolved once the cork was pulled.

The vintage variation was HUGE!
2012 was the strongest performer on Day 1. A little bit all over the place but a big opulent wine offered plenty of optimism for Day 2. Sadly it had fallen over by then and never got back up. If you have some, drink now

2013 was by far the lightest bodied and the biggest surprise. It evolved each day in a positive subtle way. Medium cellaring should be fine.

2014 was oak dominated and didn't show anything but oak for the life of the tasting.

2015 not surprisingly opened as a young wine and evolved really well each day into the best of the line up. Enjoy it over the next three years.

The wines were all around the 9.5 euro mark. I wouldn't jump up and down about any of them but for under 40 euro this was a priceless tasting experience.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

ALBERT SCHOECH 2016 VIN d'ALSACE RIESLING

There's a lot to like about this starting with the gloriously busy, bright retro label. It's classic Alsace riesling, dry appealing, though slightly, subdued fruit. A crowd pleaser. 


A/V: 12.5% 
PRICE: 4.75euro 
FROM: E.Leclerc
RATING: 4.5/5 from me 



EXTREME BARGAINS AT LIDL ROCHEFORT VOLUME 2


TERRES d'EXCEPTION 2016 BORDEAUX  

If you've got room in the trailer it's worth stocking up on this as well. It's a dry, savoury little number that I reckon would benefit from a few years in the cellar. So much better than the price suggests

A/V: 12.5% 
PRICE: 1.89 euro per bottle by the 6 pack
FROM: Lidl, Rochefort France
RATING: 4.5/5 from me 

EXTREME BARGAINS AT LIDL ROCHEFORT VOLUME 1

OUSTALET 2016 COTES  DU GASCOGNE

I walked into their store at Rochefort, France and as much as I admire Lidl, this was something else again. It was huge, had a beautiful layout with a booze section to salivate over. Think Dan Murphy with food and any Australian will immediately understand.

I could have spent all day there. But time was short and we just needed some quaffers so I grabbed a box of this. I should have bought a few more. This is a classic dry white style - crisp clean and dry with a refreshing acid zing. I haven't seen it at any other Lidl since but it is such an outstanding bargain it's worth the drive.       
Wherever you are.




A/V: 11.5% 
PRICE: 1.26 euro a bottle by the 6 pack
FROM: Lidl, Rochefort France 
RATING: 5/5 from me