Two Excellent Reds. Well priced also! And two from the Loire.

Quarisa Enchanted Tree Pinot Noir (South East Australia) 2012, 13.5%, €13.99 Curious Wines

Wine is the colour of this excellent Pinot Noir. Didn’t know there was a colour with that name but apparently it has been in use since the early 18th century!
The wine itself is juicy and fruity, a silky medium bodied feel, well balanced with no alcohol burn, and tannins that shake hands without too much of a grip, and good length also.

Liked it (and the colourful label) at their pre-Christmas tasting and liked it even more when I brought a bottle home. Very Highly Recommended.

Beso de Vino, Seleccion 2011, CariƱena (Spain), 13.5%, €11.99, Wine Alliance stockists.
This was not supposed to be the Valentine’s Night star. That role went to a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and the Adriatic ace didn't disappoint.
But then the Beso, the supporting player, took to the stage. Took its chance. Grabbed the taste buds’ attention with the initial friendly approach, strong and spicy and all things nice-y. This pleasantly potent blend of Syrah and Garnacha, soft and dry and with a fine finish, proved itself a class act and comes with a price tag that won’t worry the bank manager. Very Highly Recommended.
Vincent Gregoire Domain des Geslets, L'Expression 2009, Bourgueil (France), 13%, €8.80 Syndicat des Vins Bourgueil.
This dark red Cabernet Franc has aromas of dark fruits with some spice. It is smooth, fruity and refreshing and an excellent example of what they do with the grape in this area.
All the grapes used have been raised under the “Sustainable Agriculture” method and come from old (65 to 80 years) vines. It is matured in 400l casks for nearly 12 months, “gaining black cherry, vanilla and spicy aromas”. If you do get your hands on a bottle, be sure and decant! Very Highly Recommended.


Domaine du Clos d’Epinay, Vouvray Brut, Methode Traditionnelle, 12%, €9.00 at the estate.
Well, unlike Dom Perignon, you won’t be tasting “the stars” when you open a bottle of this Clos d’Epinay. But there are lots of bubbles, maybe not the smallest, and the wine itself has many of the elements associated with champagne. Indeed, it is quite a lovely substitute for the real thing and at a fraction of the price. Recommended.
It is a small vineyard and when I called there in the late summer of 2013, they reported that up to ninety per cent of the crop had been damaged by hail stones earlier in the year. “That’s nature.” Let us hope they’ll have a better summer this time. The grapes used are 100 per cent Chinon Blanc.



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