Episode 110 – A tremendous six-pack from Virgin Wines
25th May 2022
2021 Three Gables, Reserve Chenin / Marsanne / Grenache Blanc, Swartland, South Africa £9.99
The Three Gables wines are usually single varietals, and this clever creation takes three beautiful white grapes and blends them with precision. The result is a subtle cocktail of stone fruit and citrus tones balanced with bracing acidity and a long finish. But the star of the show is the perfume that enchants the senses and keeps your olfactory senses buzzing with excitement.
2021 El Nubarrón, Semillon, Valle Central, Chile £10.99
It is amazing how the Semillon grape gathers subtle elements from its surroundings and combines them into its flavour performance. El Nubarrón layers herbal freshness over cool citrus notes, and these intertwine with the pear skin and green apple themes. The result is a superbly classy wine which has more attitude than oceans of Sauvignon Blancs but none of the richness of a full-bodied Chardonnay!
2020 Modernist, Pinot Noir, Rheinhessen, Germany £11.99
At a mere 12.5% alcohol, this is one of the freshest and lightest styles of red wine on earth. But even though it is fresh, bright and featherweight, this is a stunning Pinot Noir, and I have found out why it is just so compelling. Louis Guntrum’s name appears in tiny letters on the back label, and this estate is a superstar. The crimson hue, incredibly accurate cherry stone and plum nose and silky-smooth palate make this a hedonistic Pinot Noir, and the name Modernist seems exceptionally apt. If I could urge you to roast a chicken and then prepare whatever accompaniments you desire, this wine will transform the experience to eight heaven – one more than the seventh!
2021 Cascading Cloud, Shiraz / Malbec, Coastal Region, South Africa £10.99
With Table Mountain on the label, you are in no doubt where this wine comes from, and it is the coastal influence on the red grapes that gives this wine its freshness and lift on the fragrance and palate. Shiraz and Malbec can both be heavy and ponderous in hotter climes, but this lip-smacking red has cherry and raspberry notes, mulberry details, and tremendous brightness on the finish. This is a modern red wine that you can drink with or without food, such is its freshness.
2020 Curious Parallel, Feteascã Neagrã, Romania £9.99
Curious Parallel uses an indigenous grape, Fetească Neagră, and this is one of the most expressive versions I have tasted. Bursting with plummy fruit, a hint of cinnamon spice, some fragrant cola tones and the merest nuance of liquorice, this is a roller-coaster red, and I know it chills well, too, for spicier dishes, so I venture you will have a lot of fun here.
2020 Rippassimento, Shiraz, Victoria, Australia £10.99
This lusty red combines a slang Aussie term with a formal Italian winemaking technique to create a hilarious wine name and a seductive take on a classic blackberry and spice flavoured Shiraz. Appassimento is a process of partially drying grapes before fermentation, and this concentrates the sugars in the grapes resulting in luxurious, palate-coating, profoundly dark and spicy wines. So, open your arms and palates to this Ripper of an Appassimento!