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03 June 2021

'Apples of the moment': Aspall Cyder and Boulard Calvados

 Aspall is an almost 300 year-old cider house (hence ye olde spelling of cyder on the label), as the website tells us: "In 1728, Clement Chevallier planted the first large-scale cyder orchards in Suffolk (England)." Their modestly named Premier Cru Cyder (with serious 6.8% abv) is described as "the first cyder produced by Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild when they joined the business - seven years in creation - and still their favourite drink." I wouldn't argue with that, cider-wise at least.

20 May 2021

Miscellaneous wines of the moment

An enticing mixed half-a-dozen of whites, red and rosés sourced from big supermarkets and one-store independents priced at £7 to £10 in the UK.

Vara Rosé 2020 Cramele Recas Estate, Romania (12% abv) - Good-value dry and zingy rosé made from 65% Merlot and 35% Feteasca Neagra, which develops creamy straw-raspberry flavours followed by crisper cranberry type crunchiness. £7 Marks & Spencer (image copied from their site). Versatile with food.

16 May 2021

South of France: Pays d'Oc IGP part two.


The second instalment of a mini-feature on Pays d'Oc IGP wines from the Languedoc (see Part 1 for more about terminology, rationale etc.) focuses on half-a-dozen varietal wines, this time including well-known grape varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon blanc) and relatively new arrivals to the region or discoveries (Albariño, Marselan). Last time, my notes were mainly centred on a few different styles of Syrah, Carignan, Grenache (and combinations) and Viognier.

24 April 2021

South of France: IGP and Vin de France


Many wine producers in southern France make wines labelled as Indication Géographique Protégée or IGP, which replaced Vin de Pays over ten years ago as part of a Europe-wide rationalisation of wine laws and 'trademarking' of specified wine areas. Hence in Italy, it's Indicazione Geografica Protetta or Indicación Geográfica Protegida in Spain, although confusingly they still also use the term Vino de la Tierra ('country wine') whereas the French have dropped Vin de Pays.

07 April 2021

Varietal wines of the moment (except Sauvignon blanc)

Finest Valle de Leyda Chardonnay 2020, Chile - Luis Felipe Edwards (13.5% abv): As soon as this delicious fruity Chardy was discovered among Tesco's large 'Finest' range, it went out of stock; hopefully just temporarily. Ripe peach and melon fruit with creamy tones then zestier citrus on its weighty but balanced finished. Oak is suggested in the blurb but you can't taste it thankfully, perhaps adding to its rounded texture and cashew flavours. £8 Tesco.

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