Reviews of wines I have tried

  • Sainsbury’s Valpolicella Ripasso

    Sainsbury’s Valpolicella Ripasso

    The 2020 vintage, made from a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, Corvinone and Croatina grapes. This wine is described on the bottle as “juicy ripe cherries, rich and complex,” due to the Ripasso technique. However, my experience with this particular bottle was somewhat unexpected. While the wine is ok, Instead of the anticipated concentrated fruit notes,…

  • Gran Montana Malbec

    Gran Montana Malbec

    The Gran Montana Malbec 2021 is an Argentinian wine from the Familia Zuccardi Winery located in the Uco Valley, created by winemaker Ruben Rufo. This 2021 vintage has had a mixed reception on Vivino with a rating of 3.8, a dip from the winery’s historically higher 4.0 scores. This Malbec reveals bramble fruit aromas, which…

  • Duca di Sasseta Primitivo IGT

    Duca di Sasseta Primitivo IGT

    This 2022 vintage wine was part of the Lidl Italian and Iberian Wine Tours tasting when it was one of my favourites. I have since purchased it and it’s as good as I remembered and I now know it also works great with (Italian) food. It has also gained a respectable 4.0 score on Vivino….

  • Faustino V Reserva

    Faustino V Reserva

    Faustino V Reserva 2018 Rioja is aged for a minimum of 24 months in American oak barrels. The previous vintage was highly regarded by James Suckling, receiving a commendable score of 93, and the wine itself has been adorned with multiple accolades, including a Silver Medal from Mundus Vini, the Bacchus Award, a Gold Medal…

  • Bodacious Red

    Bodacious Red

    This a red blend from the Tejo wine region of Portugal formerly known as Ribatejo until its rebranding in 2009, now named after the Tejo River. It’s produced by Falua Sociedade de Vinos. The blend includes Castelão, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Syrah. The wine gained a Bronze Medal at the 2023 IWSC and the…

  • Cimarosa Sauvignon Blanc 2022

    Cimarosa Sauvignon Blanc 2022

    The Cimarosa Sauvignon Blanc 2022 from Marlborough, New Zealand, stands out in the crowded field of affordable wines, not just for its price point but also for its quality and accolades. Awarded at the Berliner Wine Trophy 2023 and scoring an impressive 90 points from the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), alongside a commendable…

  • Varzea do Marão Vinho Verde Rose

    Varzea do Marão Vinho Verde Rose

    The Varzea do Marão Vinho Verde Rosé 2023 is from Quinta da Calçada, a winery in the heart of the Vinho Verde region in Amarante, Portugal. Owned by the da Mota family since 1917, Quinta da Calçada stands as one of the oldest producers in the region, with a heritage of crafting high-quality still and…

  • Albacore Longfin Shiraz 2021

    Albacore Longfin Shiraz 2021

    The Albacore Longfin Shiraz 2021 is blend crafted by the Fuse Winemaking Team from grapes from McLaren Vale, Australia. Marketed as the ‘top drawer Aussie Shiraz’ that promises to surpass expectations for enthusiasts of the Albacore Shiraz, this wine certainly set a high bar for itself. It enjoys a high 4.1 rating on Vivino, indicating…

  • Valdo Prosecco DOC Extra Dry

    Valdo Prosecco DOC Extra Dry

    Despite not holding the more prestigious DOCG designation, this wine makes a subtle statement by mentioning Valdobbiadene, it’s origin, on its label — usually only done for Prosecco of the DOCG category. Contrary to what one might expect, ‘Extra Dry’ in this context always refers to a subtly sweet flavour profile. Valdo Prosecco DOC Extra…

  • Amava Vines Coastal Reserve White Blend

    Amava Vines Coastal Reserve White Blend

    This wine has been created by Nadia Engelbrecht of the Perdeberg Group in South Africa. The Amava Vines Cape white 2020, a blend from the dry-farmed Coastal vineyards of Swartland and Paarl encapsulates the rich heritage in the word ‘Amava’ – a reference to roots tradition, and staying connected to one’s origins. This wine presents…

  • Extra Special Uco Valley Malbec

    Extra Special Uco Valley Malbec

    This Argentinian Malbec from the Uco Valley in Mendoza, a 2020 vintage produced by Bodega Norton, Argentina, was awarded a Bronze at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2023. The wine has aromatic scents of violets and liquorice on the nose and displays a typical Malbec purple hue. Its French oak ageing and 14.5% alcohol…

  • Greasy Fingers Luscious Red

    Greasy Fingers Luscious Red

    The 2022 vintage of the new Greasy Fingers range from Pernod Ricard UK is a new addition to a portfolio that includes familiar names such as Campo Viejo, Brancott Estate and Stoneleigh. This wine is shy about its origins and the offering is more about branding – the country, Australia, is written very small on…

  • Canyon Springs Old Vine Zinfandel

    Canyon Springs Old Vine Zinfandel

    The Canyon Springs Old Vine Zinfandel 2020 is bottled and cellared by the rather elusive Eagle Rock Vineyards, as I couldn’t find much about them online. However, with a commendable 3.9 score on Vivino, it’s clear this wine is popular among tasters. At first, the wine greets you with an inviting bouquet of red berries….

  • La Toile Vierge

    La Toile Vierge

    La Toile Vierge, a French wine, comes in both red and white varieties. Despite being classified under the seemingly modest Vin de France appellation, these wines transcend their classification, proving that sometimes, greater freedom for the winemaker can yield better results. The red variant is based on Grenache and is medium bodied. It is highly…

  • Le Zeitgeist Trident

    Le Zeitgeist Trident

    Le Zeitgeist Trident 2022, created by winemaker Eric Lanxade, is a representation of the terroir found in the French Pyrenees. Rated 3.7 on Vivino, this wine benefits from the alluvial river plains that contribute to its minerally rich soils. These conditions, coupled with the cooling influence of the Pyrenees, create an ideal environment for the…

  • Sparkling Wines From Three Continents

    Sparkling Wines From Three Continents

    The 2023 holiday season gave me the opportunity to try a few affordable Champagne and sparkling wines from three different continents: Les Pionniers Non Vintage Champagne Les Pionniers Non Vintage Champagne is a great example of how quality and affordability can come together. Despite the Co-op’s discretion about its origins, it’s an open secret that…

  • Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc

    Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc

    Having been slightly disappointed with Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Private Bin in recent years, I approached this new 2023 vintage with hope. Upon tasting, the first thing you notice is its robust passion fruit aroma, a hallmark of classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which remains pronounced even at refrigeration temperature. The palate is greeted with…

  • Skipper’s Cove Sauvignon Blanc

    Skipper’s Cove Sauvignon Blanc

    Skipper’s Cove Sauvignon Blanc, a 2022 vintage created winemaker Andrea Maxwell, is an example of her expertise gained from a Viticulture & Oenology degree at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. The decision to harvest this particular parcel earlier than usual has paid dividends, imbuing the wine with vibrant, fresh herbaceous notes, complemented by a…

  • Virgin Wines 2023 Advent Calendar

    Virgin Wines 2023 Advent Calendar

    You might have noticed that I’ve been focusing quite a bit on Virgin Wines reviews lately. This is because I’ve been exploring the wines in the Virgin Wines’ Mixed 2023 Advent calendar. Those that are worth mentioning, include: While the 2023 Advent calendar itself is no longer on sale, many of the wines I’ve reviewed…

  • Borrowdale Shiraz Cabernet

    Borrowdale Shiraz Cabernet

    The Borrowdale Shiraz Cabernet 2021, from Australia and crafted by winemaker David King, presents a interesting blend that marries the distinct characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. This wine, a part of the 2023 Virgin Wines advent calendar and also featured in the mini bottle red case, offers a unique experience that sits comfortably between…