Re: Winter 2013/14 - Page 47

Winning this winter Reviewed by Wes Game Spain Finca De La Villa, Rioja Spain Sendero Des Santos, Albarino £9 Laithwaites/Sunday Times Wine Club £8 Laithwaites Rioja is a region in the North East of Spain situated on the River Ebro. A wide variety of wines are produced due to different altitudes, soils, grape types and wine making processes. This Rioja uses the key grape type Tempranillo and is medium bodied due to spending 12 months in oak barrels. The oak barrels inject vanilla and oak flavours. You will also notice several red fruit flavours (cherry, redcurrant and strawberries) as well as a slightly spicy aroma. It looks heavier than it tastes. Great with cheese or a roast dinner. Will keep for up to 5 years if you can resist drinking it! Ideal for winter. Albarino is a lesser known grape variety that is fast becoming more fashionable. Tucked away in the hills of North West Spain, the Rias Baixas region is cooled by the Atlantic Ocean. This results in a lighter, pale lemon wine with delicate apricot aromas and subtle citrus flavours. A crisp refreshing elegant wine with a cool mineral finish. Ideal for those who prefer less powerful flavours. So drinkable! Impress your friends with this trendy wine. Lebanon Chateau Musar New Zealand Split Rock, Sauvignon Blanc £20 from Waitrose, Majestic or Cooden Cellars £9 from Laithwaites And now for something special. I’m glad a friend introduced me to this fantastic wine a few years ago and it’s now one of my favourites. Every year Serge Hochar has to fight different weather conditions (and dodge human conflicts) to produce this iconic wine that now has a cult following. Made in a Bordeaux style, every year this remarkable wine can vary in taste due to the widely differing levels of rain, humidity and sunshine. Made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault, there are complex flavours of plum and blackberry that linger as well as a hint of chocolate. With aromas of spice and cinnamon, each glass gives you plenty to think about. If you like to share a bottle between 4 over Christmas, this is the one for you. From the oldest family-run winery in the Nelson region, this is a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Located just north west of the famous Marlborough region, it actually has a cooler and wetter climate. Why is that relevant? Well, this results in a slightly less intense and acidic flavour. Make no mistake, it still has powerful citrus and vibrant gooseberry flavours as you would expect. Crisp and refreshing. A little more refined than cheaper Sauvignon Blancs. Who cares about food matching with this one!! 45