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PilsnerPilgrim

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Dry

Concha Y Toro – Firemark Tempranillo Bonarda, 2012

Hello wine lovers,

Today I bring you another from a recent red wine spree. This is an Argentinian offer utilising the Spanish native Tempranillo grape (blended with other red grapes not listed). This can be bought for around £6 at Tesco.

Wine: Firemark Tempranillo Bonarda, 2012

Vineyard: Concha Y Toro, Argentina

Grape: Tempranillo / Red Grape Blend

Very smooth dry wine light tannin on the tongue bitter grape un appetising nose easy drinking 6 () 10
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Impressions: This was a fairly smooth red wine. Dry, with a puckering light tannin on the tongue. Bitter grapes within and an unappetising finish. The nose of this wine is very alcoholic.

ABV: 12%

Score: 6.25 / 10 (Low Average to Average)

Verdict: Long story short, I was not a great fan of this one. The bitterness of the grape, dryness of the tannin, and sharpness of the nose left this as a squarely pedestrian wine. Still fairly easy drinking in its lighter body. Better options on offer for less.
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Primitivo Salento, Amanti del Vino, 2008

Today I bring you a fine wine from the Puglia (Apulia) wine region in Italy. This wine was from our local steakhouse here in Lichfield, http://www.netherstowehouse.com/restaurant.html. Not only was the service impeccable, the decor was interesting, and the food was excellent. This bottle of wine was priced up at £25.50, being described as:

“Grown in rich black soil this wine has superb deep fruit concentration.”

I haven’t been able to find a comparable bottle on the internet to price up in comparison, however, the 2011 vintage seems to retail at £6.99 per bottle. I’ll assume the 2008 year is more expensive (as restaurants usually triple the retail bottle price).

Wine: Primitivo Salento, 2008

Grape: Primitivo

Vineyard: Amanti del Vino, Puglia, Italy

IMG_20130411_183548


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Impressions: This was a tangy, yet smooth deep red wine. Oddly effervescent on the tongue, dry with little tannin. Slightly smoky, with a sharp, almost spicy finish.

ABV: 13%

Score: 8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: This was an interesting wine. It’s easy drinking, with a light dryness. The ‘effervescence’ makes this a lively wine, with an overall tangy flavour. The mark is both helped and hindered by this. Unique to me, but perhaps a trait of these wines known to those in the know. Anyway, worth a try, as it complemented my rib eye steak beautifully.

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LIVE UPDATE: Casillero Del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2011

Hey all, today I bring you another reduced price Tesco offer (£5, down from £8), Casillero Del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2011. A vineyard I’ve been familiar with for many years which (from my experience) produce excellent wines. “The beautiful vineyards of Casillero del Diablo are home to some of the finest wines in the world. But few outsiders know the dark secret that lies beneath them. For the locals say that in the depths of the cellar lives the Devil himself. A tale so infamous, they named the wine Casillero del Diablo, the Devil’s Cellar.”

Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2011

Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vineyard: Casillero Del Diablo, Concha Y Toro, Chile

B - Castillera del diablo cab sauv 2011 reserva very smooth dry tannin puckering sharp at front with a buttery smooth finish med body 13o5 abv 8o5 () 10
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Impressions: This was a very smooth dry, red wine. The first thing that hits your mouth is a light-to-medium tannin, drying your tongue, followed by smooth, dark fruits (grape). A buttery smooth finish to the medium bodied wine.

ABV: 13.5%

Score: 8.5 / 10 (Very Excellent)

Verdict: Another easy drinking red wine. Quite a bit more tannin than other reds I’ve reviewed, but well within the acceptable limits of ‘easy drinking’. Medium bodied with the usual ‘dark fruits’ (ie. grape), but with minimal bitterness or strong after taste that often follows dry wines. At only £5, definitely good value and worth a try.

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WINE: Saam Mountain Paarl Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Today I bring you a bottle of red from South Africa, the Saam Cabernet Sauvignon 2011. Again, I do not profess to be a connoisseur of wines, but I know what I like and what I don’t! This was at a work conference dinner (ie. free), but a quick google search shows this wine from around £7 – £10.

Their description: “Saam is Afrikaans for ‘together’. The name captures the true essence of the team and their attitude towards viticulture at Eensaamheid Farm.  Located at the foot of Perdeberg Mountain range, Saam Mountain Vineyards is a new South African venture that unites winemaking and farming. The area is known locally as the Mountain of Horses after the wild mountain zebra, the Quagga, used to roam there.  Saam Mountain Vineyards forms under a group of 40 South African wine growers, spanning the premium growing areas from Paarl to the Durbanville Hills. The vineyards produce, on average, less than 7 tonnes per hectare – around half the average yields of other wineries of this scale, ensuring that quality of fruit and intensity of flavour is naturally at the heart of Saam Mountain’s wines.  This is a deep purple Cabernet, with a black berry and plummy nose.  The intensity of the fruit is carried onto the palate where it fills one’s mouth with juicy tannins, ripe, dark, fruit and hints of vanilla.  The aftertaste is long and fruity.”

Wine: Saam Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011

Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vineyard: Saam Mountain Paarl, South Africa

SAAM
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Impressions: This is a very smooth deep red wine. Dry, but not overly tanniny. Little in the way of puckering/mouth dryness. Very soft and medium to light body, with notes of grape and black current.

ABV: 14%

Score: 8.25 / 10 (Excellent to Very Excellent)

Verdict: I thoroughly enjoyed this wine. One, because it was free. But 2), it was very smooth. Again, I say I normally like wines with a bit more depth and body, but this really was an easy drinking wine. With a price ranging from £7 – £10, this seems like good value as well. At 14%, it has a good amount of body, kick, flavour, and drinkability to make most happy. Try it.
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LIVE UPDATE – El Pinsapo Gran Seleccion Rioja 2010

RIGHT NOW I am enjoying a bottle of El Pinsapo Gran Seleccion Rioja from 2010, served at a perfect 17*C. Currently available at Tesco for £4.99 (Half Price, they say).

Wine: El Pinsapo Gran Seleccion, Rioja, 2010

Vineyard: Garcia Carrion, Spain

IMG_20130322_204721

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Impressions:  This is a velvety smooth wine, with and equally soft flavour. Very dry but with little tannin puckering mouthfeel. Very light notes of grape are followed by a light alcohol after taste. Update: After having the bottle open for 1 hour+, the smoothness of the wine has decreased. A much more potent alcohol feel is prevalent, with a sharper, drier, more pungent taste. Not as nice.

ABV: 13.5%

Score: 7.25 / 10 (Good  to Very Good8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: Addendum: As per the tasting notes above, this wine has seemingly lost some of it’s smooth qualities after being opened for around 2 hours (uncorked/lidded) and thus, the score has suffered. Still an enjoyable wine however. This wine is definitely an easy drinking wine. It’s so soft that it could definitely be marked down on its subtle fruit notes, but the value for money here at this (half) price point more than make up for that. For someone who isn’t a connoisseur, I’m sure this will be highly enjoyable.

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LIVE UPDATE: LIDL Chianti D.O.C.G. 2011

Today I bring you a Chianti from LIDL’s own wine range. We were using it to cook a Vegetarian Chilli for Mother’s Day and thankfully we live by the well accepted old adage ‘You must drink the wine you cook with, or the food will taste spoilt’. I’m sure Confucius or someone said that… It’s a well accepted concept. From the picture below, you can see this was consumed at the recommended 18*C. Purchased for ~£5 (can’t recall exact price).

This Chianti D.O.C.G. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantitafrom 2011 won a Bronze award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) and is made of Sangiovese grapes.

Wine: Chianti D.O.C.G. 2011

Vineyard: Unknown (LIDL), Italy

Chianti
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Impressions: This is a very smooth dark red wine. Very dry (not as dry as the Baturrica Gran Reserva) with a sharp, pungent, tannin body, that does leave your tongue dry. Medium to low body on this wine, with little in the way of berry or fruit notes. An alcohol ‘wisp’ after taste sometimes resides on the tongue.

ABV: 13%

Score: 7.25 / 10 (Good to Very Good)

Verdict: This was a nice, easy drinking wine. Little in the way of memorable notes, or stand-out features, but as a cheap easy drinking wine I can’t complain. Not as nice as the Baturrica Gran Reserva, which I will probably buy again, but I wouldn’t shy away from this wine. Worth a punt at this price.
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