Now all our en primeur wines have been released I thought I should get back to recommending a few of my current favourites, drinking now and providing both quality and value in the less rarefied air away from Bordeaux. So, if you’re mixing a case do try the following. I’ve deliberately chosen ‘interesting’ wines which struggle to be spotted among the rafts of Cabernets and Sauvignon Blancs which pay our salaries.
I doubt (probably hope, in fact) that not every one of these wines will be loved by every taster – and that’s simply because they all have bags of character which by definition will divide the audience. The common factor in each though is that I love them all.
Quinta de Azevedo Vinho Verde 2007. Vinho Verde is almost terminally untrendy because of its naff 1970s associations. Carefully chosen however it can offer real pleasure and a point of difference from most white wines around now. Firstly it’s low in alcohol (only 11.5% in this case) with a spritz and crisp acidity which keep it fresh and briliantly complement the sort of light summer food the long summer (!) will demand.
Albariño Martin Codax 2006 Rias Baixas. Before I started flying a desk and spent much of the year in the field sourcing wines, I brought this wine into Majestic for the first time. It’s testament to the quality of the product that it remains a favourite. With some of the same qualities of the wine above (particularly a tingling acidity which doesn’t please on a wet winter evening but is just the job drunk cold on a hot summers day) it shows a real pebbly mineral character coupled to greengage fruit that’s just delicious.
Finally, a more expensive treat for all Pinotphiles, Saintsbury Pinot Noir 2005 Carneros. When tasting here at head office we often say of new world Pinot that, if they were Burgundy, they would fetch many times the price we currently sell them for, and this is a prime example. Fantastic quality, strawberry-scented fruit, just a touch of new oak, and real class. Not cheap but a genuine bargain at the current offer price.
Do you like the sound of any of these wines? If so look for some more recent suggestions here.