The famous blend of Cote-Rotie, Shiraz Viognier. McLaren Vale in South Australia produces some superb Shiraz. The Viognier is meant to give it a "lift". This is £16.49 normally. I can't help but be excited opening this... 14.5%
The Look: A deep, dense, dark purple almost to the rim.
The Smell: Spicy, plummy, blackberry, blueberry.
The Taste: Much the same - peppery black fruit with some blueberry. Not much complexity. Can't detect any "lift" from the Viognier. Sadly, no real identity apart from fruity Aussie Shiraz - and you can get that in abundance (and even better than this) for £7.99 almost anywhere.
The Score: Don't get me wrong - it's good, but for the price its very disappointing. Seriously, £7.99 in most wine selling establishment could beat this. Would have been great for a Fiver but £16.49...!? Nah. 6.5/10
VFM: At full price this would get a paltry VFM = 0.39. As it is, this was £7.57 (based on the average bottle price of the case after discount) giving pretty good VFM = 0.86. If you can get a good discount try it, otherwise avoid: check out McPherson Wines; Andrew's Shiraz 2009, or The Full Fifteen 2008 instead. Much better. Much cheaper.
Leyda Valley is a cool-climate sub region of the San Antonio Valley. Just 10 miles in off the Pacific coast and 55 miles west of the capital; Santiago. 12.5%
The Look: Not quite golden, but a lemonny mid-yellow.
The Smell: Citrus, grapefruits and a herby/minerally characteristic too. Lovely.
The Taste: This is great. Really fresh with a zingy acidity. I could pick out pink grapefruit, lime and exotic fruits or pomegranate on the finish. It has that herby/minerally edge to it as well which brings a bit of complexity. Stonking stuff.
The Score: This confirms that Chile really is up there in terms of value for money. Superb. 8.5/10 Highly Recommended.
VFM: This goes for £9.99 normally (well worth it) giving a good value for money score of VFM = 0.85, but even better at the case average price (after discount) of £7.57, giving VFM = 1.12. I am going to try to seek out more of this producer's wines. They do a Syrah, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Ones to watch.
From the Languedoc region of southern France. The sun should give this more ripe fruitiness and less minerality than a Chablis or white Burgundy. Let's have a try... 12%
The Look: A real golden yellow this one. Makes a change after all the pale whites recently. Robust-looking.
The Smell: Smells of honeyed fruit, apple, citrus, spice and oak.
The Taste: Smooth, buttery, slight citrus tang with something like fruitcake or cinammon on the finish. Very nice. Oak is not overdone, neither is the acidity. Well balanced.
The Score: A good, tasty white with plenty of fruit and some complexity. You can't really ask for more for £6.99. 7/10. Recommended.
VFM: Great value here at its normal price, VFM = 1.0.
There is a LOT of Chenin Blanc coming out of the Cape region of South Africa, the two are almost synonymous. Can it distinguish itself...? 11.5%
The Look: Pale lemonny yellow.
The Smell: Very restrained. Not giving away a lot initially. Apple, bit of citrus and maybe some honey.
The Taste: Green apples, tangy citrus and slight honey and spice. Very drinkable and food friendly (we had it with a creamy pasta sauce). Not amazing by any stretch, but not bad either.
The Score: A decent drop. 6.5/10
VFM: At the case-average price of £7.57 it gets a pretty good VFM = 0.86 but it's ever-so-slightly more expensive normally at £7.99 giving VFM = 0.81.
So, there's the second four! Not bad, two recommendations on the whites (one great wine), one decent drop with good value but a poor value Shiraz. Only 3 wines to go now before the case is finished (I forgot that one has to be cellared so can't be reviewed!). I'm looking forward already...
Speak to you soon.