Wednesday Wines – Episode 29

Episode 29 – 14th October 2020

I have two stunners this week and I have stuck to my pricing rules, too!  Please hurry to secure stock of this white and red because they are genuinely amazing and both represent extraordinary value for money.

2018 Cap Royal, Bordeaux Supérieur, France (£10.00, Tesco).

I am going to make rather a large fuss about this wine in my Daily Mail columns this Christmas and I imagine that Tesco has bought a massive pile of this stuff, and so there is little danger of it selling out too soon, but I thought I would flag this wine up to you immediately, as my faithful readers, because this is a stunningly balanced wine with a terrific pedigree and it is a tenner.  While this is ‘only’ a Bordeaux Supérieur it is made under the supervision of Jean-René Matignon, whose day job is Technical Director of Château Pichon Baron, 2ème Cru Pauillac.  This Château is one of the genuine greats on the Left Bank of Bordeaux and it operates under the expert management and guidance of Christian Seely.  Christian and Jean-René have raised Pichon’s game incrementally over the last decade or so such that they now are among the very greatest makers of Cabernet Sauvignon on earth!  So, back to Cap Royal – apparently it is named after the oldest lighthouse in Europe, but the flavour is more important than random historical facts and I can tell you that this is a thrillingly balanced and juicy wine which benefits from some sensitive oak handling, too.  It is rare to find a wine at a tenner which has this level of breeding and complexity.  Decant it, pretend it is a £20 wine and no one will blink an eyelid. I loved the first release of Cap Royal last year, but this 2018 release builds on the glory of the 2016!  Everyone who has ever loved claret should run fast to secure stock of this wine.

2019 Fitapreta Branco, Ancestral, Alentejo, Portugal (£14.95, www.swig.co.uk).

This is another estate that I have encountered once before – like the Cap Royal above.  And like Cap Royal, I liked my first sight of its wines (the 2016 Via Nua Touriga) but I love this new white release even more.  Made from ‘extinct grapes’ this is a mind-blowingly complex wine which has almost the same silhouette as a Chablis and yet its flavour is phenomenal and intriguing in equal measure.  The grapes come from two vineyards, Vinha da Nora and Vinha de Vale do Cepo.  Vinha da Nora, which makes up 60% of the blend, is 35-37 years old, organically farmed since 2015 and the varieties from this site are Roupeiro (50%), Rabo de Ovelha (20%), Arinto (10%), Tamarez (10%) and Alicante Branco (10%).  Vinha de Vale do Cepo, makes up 40% of the blend and this vineyard is 47 years old, certified under integrated production and the varieties in the blend are Roupeiro (20%) Alicante Branco aka Boal de Alicante (10%) Tamarez aka Trincadeira das Pratas (10%).  So you can see that this is about as eclectic as it gets and it will also require a world of Googling to find out more about these grapes if you are interested.  But forget the internet, because if you dive into a glass of this beauty this is where you will do the real learning and I can guarantee that this wine will blow you away.  If you like any of these following wines styles – top-flight Chablis, Albariño, Soave, Verdicchio, Jurançon Sec, Fiano di Avellino, Sardinian Vermentino, to name but a few, then you will absolutely love this wine.