Two Winners from Wines Direct Mystery Case!
Treated myself to a 12-bottle Mystery Case from Wines Direct a couple of months back and it worked out very well indeed. The two below are each highly recommended. No big surprise I suppose that the Carmenere went down well but delighted that the German Pinot Blanc exceeded expectations.
Korta Gran Reserva Carmenere Lontue Valley Chile 2017, 14%, Wines Direct
Colour’s a deep ruby. Big fruity nose. Soft and easy-drinking, good balance of fruit and acidity, hints of the oak, still a little tannic grip, but an excellent mouthful and soft and persistent finish as well. Highly Recommended. Pair with Pork and Poultry, Hearty Roots, Game, Beef and Lamb.
Winemaker is Irene Paiva: “When I started making wine, there were very few women working in the business.” Nowadays, some 35% of the oenologists and enology students in Chile are women. Today Irene is often listed as one of the most influential business leaders in Chile. And she is also a founding member of MOVI (an association of independent winemakers, usually artisans and working on a small scale).
Carmenere? Is that a Chilean grape? You may well ask. The answer is yes, now. But it did start in Bordeaux and was more or less lost in the tangled vines of history, even mistaken for Merlot for one long period and, indeed, it was as late as 1994 that this “Merlot” was properly re-identified as Carmenere. It is very much at home in Chile, enjoying the high levels of sunshine and the warm summer, as you can see and taste with this bottle..
You don’t hear of the Lontue Valley that often. It is a region of the Curico Valley, about 200km south of Santiago and, according to Santa Rita, “some of Chile’s best white grapes are grown here”. Some good red ones too, it appears!
Bender Weissburgunder Mosel 2018, 13%, €18.25 Wines Direct
Light gold colour, lots of little bubbles clinging to the glass. Pleasantly aromatic (not assertively so), blossom and white fruit. Silky smooth on the palate, beautiful high acidity to match the assertive fruit as it washes across the surprised taste buds. Very engaging indeed and Highly Recommended.
This Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) is produced from 30-year-old vines harvested on steep slopes with slate soils. It is partly barrique aged. Importers Wines Direct recommend pairing with: Spicy Food, Pork and Poultry, Light Fish and Shellfish, Fresh Greens. Serve at 9-10 degrees.
Have you ever tried an English Pinot Blanc? Me neither but there are apparently good examples in Kent and Sussex. While the grape is well connected (Pinot Noir among its close relatives), it is “one of the wine world’s genuine Cinderellas”, according to Grapes & Wines. But they do appreciate it in the Alsace and Germany. And it is, with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, one of the constituent grapes of Italy’s Franciacorta, an excellent sparkling wine from Lombardy.
“With my wines, I want to appeal not only to connoisseurs, but above all to young and urban audiences.” Reckon with wines of this quality, he’ll draw some of the older drinkers as well!