Sunday, 17 October 2010

Virgin Wines - Final Part

Welcome to the final part of the Virgin Wines case, handpicked mixed-12 according to my rules. The last three bottles (remember one was for cellaring) were a white and two reds...

Miudino, Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain, 2009

This Albarino comes from Rias Baixas in the North-West corner of Spain, bordering Portugal. Albarino, for me, typically has smells and tastes of Peach Schnapps. Think Archers and lemonade but dry and less sweetness. Let's see...12%

The Look: A pale lemonny yellow. Again!

The Smell: The typical smell for me of peach schnapps and maybe toffee or toffee apples?

The Taste: Tastes much the same - ripe peaches, peach schnapps but with a lovely citrus edge. Fresh acidity. Good, long, crisp finish.

The Score: Very well balanced, well-integrated fruit, alcohol and acidity. 7/10. Recommended, on the basis that if you haven't had Albarino before then you should try it!

VFM: Normal price of £9.49 yields a VFM of 0.74 but at the case average price (including discount) it gives VFM = 0.92. Good value.


The Seventh Row, Petit Verdot, Western Cape, 2010

Petit Verdot is most common in Bordeaux blends but more recently it's becomming popular as a single varietal wine, especially from the New World, often Australia, or as we have here; South Africa's Cape region. I must admit, it's my first one...14%

The Look: A dark plum-purple, fading to a violet at the rim.

The Smell: Intense smell of violets with some caramel-like sweetness. Think "Parma Violets" kids' sweets and you're close. Some blackcurrant leaf smells too. Very nice.

The Taste: Intense violet taste, sweetness, nice fresh acidity, some good tannin. "Substantial" is the word I'm looking for. Feels like there's really something in your glass. We had a glass and popped the screw-cap back on 'til the following day - it was even better then, more aroma, more fruit taste - which leads me to beleive that this needs to be opened an hour or two before drinking to get the best out of it! 


Word of warning too: This is a real tongue, teeth and lip-stainer! Be careful having this with polite company. Luckily we don't know anyone like that so polished the lot and laughed at our black mouths! I've just realised that this is possibly the longest tasting note I've ever written so I need to shut up and and score it...

The Score: Very good. It does actually make sense as a single-varietal wine. 7.5/10 And again, Recommended, on the basis that if you haven't had Petit Verdot on its own before then you should try it!

VFM: This is good value here. Regular price £7.99 giving it VFM = 0.94 or 1.0 at the case-average price.


Fabre Montmayou, Barrel Selection Malbec, Patagonia, 2007

A real gutter. We were really looking forward to this, having really enjoyed (and recommended) this producer's Gran Reserva Malbec, but - It was faulty. Volatile acidity - was very hot and vinegary in the mouth, burning the gums. A damn shame. It was refunded though, so I may get another bottle sometime.


So to sum-up the Virgin Wines case: 4 recommendations. 1 highly recommended. One absolute horror. One faulty. The rest were reasonable. Not too bad. I will probably buy from here again, but will keep an eye out for discounts rather than pay in full.

My hand-picked Oddbins choices next time closely followed by reviews. We're getting through some wine lately!

Speak to you soon.



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