Pamper Your Pinot Gris
Little Beauty Pinot Gris 2010 (Marlborough NZ), 14%, €21.99 to 22.99), Wine Alliance stockists
This Pinot Gris comes from less than two hectares of vines. “Pinot Gris loves the stones, the water, and the sun", said Little Beauty's Fleur McCree during one of last year’s Wine Geese events.
It just takes off in these conditions and that can, in the wrong hands, lead to quantity over quality. So it has to be reined in. Bunches are removed. Must be done by hand as machines can’t decide which bunches to discard. “Concentration in Pinot Gris means quality” and it is “the most pampered variety in the vineyard”.
Worth the effort though. Here you have lip smacking flavour, oily, yet drier than their Riesling. Don’t over-chill it and use with nuts, pork, crab and so on. Very Highly Recommended.
Chateau de Petit Thouars, Cuvee Amiral 2009 Touraine (France), 12.5%, €15.00 at the chateau.
“Many great men of our family served in the French Navy” and so the top wine at the Chateau, near where the Vienne and the Loire meet, is called Amiral. It is a press wine made from the Cabernet France grape. All the refreshing characteristics of this variety are present here, even if the wine has spent some two years in previously used oak.
As you’d expect, it is a medium dark red with red fruits prominent in the bouquet. On the palate, it is fresh and light and rather smooth, terrific concentration and with a slight spiciness plus a pronounced dry lengthy finish. This is tailored for a long keep but only if you have proper storage available.
Highly Recommended, possibly Very Highly Recommended in a few years!
Pegões Stella Rosso 2009 (Setubal, Portugal), 13.5%, €10.99, Wine Alliance stockists
This was one of the first red wines that the then newly formed Wine Alliance brought in from Portugal. It was a winner then and is a winner now.
Made from the local Castelão (50%) and the international Syrah (50%) grapes, this rich easy drinking red is good on its own and even better with red meats. It is full, fruity and spicy, with a soft supple texture, carries flavours of black cherries and plums and is very well balanced.
Six months in American oak barrels followed by four in bottle before release. An excellent Highly Recommended wine.