Good, Honest Wine

Good, straightforward, honest wine. Sometimes that’s all you want. No great complexity, but goes well with food. The sort of wine you can imagine buying on holiday to go with a supper made from food bought at the local market.

And that’s exactly what you get with the Cuvee des Galets 2009 from Les Vignerons d’Estézargues, a co-operative in the Southern Rhône.

Wine Review: Natural wine from the Cotes de Rhone, Cuvee des Galets 2009Made from a blend of grapes, including Syrah and Grenache,  this is all bramble fruit and black pepper, and quite mineral as well. It tasted fresh on day one – it went well with pasta and ragu (not very French I admit).

It was enticingly soft the next day. It’s also unfiltered, unfined, made with yeasts found on the grapes – not added. So it’s pretty much a natural wine.

I was sent this by Virgin Wine and I asked them to surprise me. With this wine, they did.


A Modern Rioja

Wine Review: Zinio Garnacha Rioja 2009 from Bodegas PatrocinioI also liked the Zinio Garnacha Rioja 2009 from Bodegas Patrocino. Chock full of soft raspberries, it’s a modern-style Rioja not weighed down by tons of oak.

We drank it with a pork and prune stew which demanded a fruity, medium-weight wine. Perfect. You’d never know it has 14.5% alcohol by volume. I just loved the label design as well. Clean and stylish on the front, though the teeny writing on the back is barely legible.

Of the other wines I was sent, the Fontvel Cotes du Tarn Gamay 2009 did what it said on the tin. Light, fruity and quite quaffable when chilled (better than a lot of rosés).

Sadly, the Madonnina Gavi 2010 fizzled out from its lemony, verdant start to being rather bland after 15 minutes. I have a rosé yet to try**. And the Hennie’s Pure Pinot Grigio 2010? Well, you’ll have to wait ’til my post on Pinot Grigio comes out. Please note: I asked specifically for one but the others were Virgin’s suggestions.

** Have now drunk the Finca Beltran Seleccion Syrah Rose 2010 from Argentina. I am not the world’s biggest fan of still rosé, finding many acidic and unbalanced. This isn’t – packed with juicy strawberry flavours but still tasting clean. Great wine for east summer drinking, it’s also crying out for Thai food (UK style!)

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