Five delicious wines to try in 2016
Our food and drink editor Natasha Heard picks out five delicious wines to enjoy this year.
Chemins de Gascogne 2014, Côtes de Gascogne – Plaimont Producteurs, Tesco £5
The Côtes de Gascogne appellation covers the fantastically-exposed hillsides between the Pyrenees and the Atlantic. With warm days and chilly nights, the appellation boasts a particular climate ideal for the development of the grapes’ optimal aromatic expression. The climatic influence of the ocean to the west conjugated with the mountains to the south, guarantees sunshine without drought. The Côtes de Gascogne is one of the great places for growing Colombard and Sauvignon Blanc grapes (the varietals of this wine). Rolling hills allow for long hours of sunlight exposure, resulting in near perfect grape ripening year in year out. This wine is packed full of lemon, pear and citrus aromas finishing with a refreshing array of grapefruit and melon flavours. Perfect with most cheese, white fish dishes, turkey, chicken and light pasta sauces. Also excellent on its own or as an aperitif.
Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Sainsbury’s, £12
Concha y Toro has a long and illustrious history dating back to 1883, when the winery was established by its founder Don Melchor. Marques de Casa Concha is a range of single-vineyard wines made by Marcelo Papa. He has selected growing regions for each varietal to highlight the most desirable characteristics that the terroir provides. The Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Puente Alto vineyard in the Maipo Valley, the same vineyard from which the renowned Don Melchor and Almaviva are made. The wine has an unctuous cherry, cassis, cedar, blackberrry, black tar and smoke-led presence. Tight and focused with a deep concentration of flavours framed by firm tannins. A smooth, almost silky texture with a long finish. The perfect wine for the game meats of the season and a great red to accompany cheese.
Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaïc NV, £29.99 Tesco / £30 Sainsbury’s
Champagne Brut Mosaïque provides freshness, elegance and balance in mouth thanks to its mosaic of aromas and flavours that arise from the blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It showcases the elegance of the Jacquart style. Floriane Eznack, the winemaker of the House, combines the different aspects of these grape varieties from a broad range of champagne terroirs. This unique combination enables her to create the perfect alchemy to deliver a cuvée with an airy, straight and refined style. Brut Mosaïque is the perfect cuvée to celebrate those special occassions throughout the year. A light, golden yellow colour with fine, long-lasting bubbles. The bouquet is lovely and fresh with fruity grape and pear hints mingling with intense notes of bread crust. Fresh and rather powerful with a lovely, long-lasting finish; spice bread and fruit flavours. Perfect with seafood dishes, chicken in a cream sauce, cheese soufflé or a ripe goat’s cheese or Brie.
De Bortoli Old Boys 21, Oddbins, £22
Fruit stays on the vine until very sweet and an intense concentration of flavours has developed. After crushing and partial fermentation to retain some sweetness, the wine is pressed and then fortified with a neutral spirit prior to maturation in small and large format oak casks. The Old Boys 21 spends an average of 21 years ageing in barrel. An array of aromas are on display with dark raisined fruits, mocha, hints of vanillin oak and nutty aged barrel characters. On the palate, it is nitially luscious with richly concentrated fruit and nut flavours. Nuances of mocha and coffee have integrated over time with vanillin oak to develop complex, barrel aged flavours in harmony resulting in a smooth, lingering drying finish. Tawnys are a traditional after dinner wine that can be savoured with a platter of cheeses or a rich fruit or chocolate dessert.
The Ned Noble 2014 Waitrose, £12.99, Majestic, £12.99
Botrytised grapes have been specially selected from amongst the vines of the Waihopai River vineyard to make this wine. The fermentation process takes a lengthy 6 months and extracts huge flavours from the shrivelled berries. Cool fermentation in stainless steel tanks with specific German yeast strains has ensured the wine with freshness and the most vibrant of personalities. A soft gold colour, this wine has aromas of apricot and honeysuckle supported by refreshing citrus undertones. On the palate, it shows luscious, exotic fruits combined with layers of caramel and floral honey. The palate is rich and viscous with razor sharp acids that negate any sense of cloying sweetness whilst ensuring a long, refreshingly clean finish. Perfectly matched with most desserts such as bread and butter pudding or gorgonzola and rich pates.
Main image credit: FreeImages.com/Roger Kirby