Case of the Month: May
Hawkes Bay, 2019, 13%, £15.95
Traditionally found on the Iberian peninsula, producing zesty, mineral driven wines with a lick of salinity, Albari–o has been put to good work on New Zealand's north island. A touch more citrus and stone fruit than its old world cousins, this is a great alternative for Sav Blanc fiends.
DO Valdeorras, 2018, 13.5%, £15.75
It is no wonder that Godello from Northern Spain is a grape is making a name for itself. This example, from steep, high-altitude vineyards near the Galician coast line, is refreshing, crisp and deliciously fruity with a characteristic Galician zing. All filled out with lush stone fruit.
IGP Loire Valley, 2018, 12.5%, £14.50
This wine has Loire DNA at its core. Elegant and floral on the nose, with hints of lemon and grapefruit. The palate shows good aromatics and balance. Great quality, refined yet approachable Sauvignon from the grape's spiritual home.
WO Stellenbosch, 2015, 14.5%, £17.95
This opulent Shiraz from the world-famous Stellenbosch region has richly fruity, spicy aromas and a smooth palate. Subtle oak, peppery spice and a long, clean smoky finish.
IGT Veneto, 2019, 14%, £14.95
This has been a Cirencester favourite from long before the days of Phoenix Wines. Made in the appassimento style, where the grapes are dried prior to pressing, producing a richly intense wine - a mini-Amarone of sorts! Always a crowd-pleaser, the Gran Passione is full of ripe damson and cherry, with Christmas spice and vanilla notes. Juicy, velvety and luscious. I challenge anyone to find a better wine at this price!
IGT Toscana, 2018, 13%, £19.75
The grapes are hand-picked in their high-altitude vineyards before being transported to Montalcino for vinification. The wine is fermented in stainless steel after which it is matured in French barriques for six months before bottling (30% new oak and 70% second use). After bottling, the wine spends a further six months in bottle before release. This process produces a wine which is striking ruby red in colour with excellent balance and finesse. This full-bodied, well-rounded wine releases intense notes of fruit and spice, yet retaining freshness due to the vineyard altitude. This makes it a very versatile food wine - but it loves ragu sauces or rich mushroom dishes. (92pts James Suckling)
Usual price with case discount: £93.91
Case of the Month Price: £84.00
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