Here's a bunch of wines perfect for drinking just now. Some for everyday, some if you fancy treating yourself or your friends.
Bodegas Bernabe Navarro, Peligres Tinto, Alicante, Spain -
Rafa Bernabe grows an amazing range of wines from two main sites in Alicante in southern Spain. One vineyard, right on the coast, literally almost on the beach, is dedicated to aromatic white grape varieties which Rafa mainly makes with extended skin contact in a very ancient, traditional style. Not everyone’s cup of tea. Frankly occasionally they are rather more like tea than wine. Inland, up in the hills however Rafa grows Garnacha and while the grapes are also grown organically and the wines made with minimal intervention - little or no sulphites etc - they are very drinkable. This has lovely spice and dark fruits and very easy tannins. Delicious with some rare breed pork or something slow cooked with plenty of paprika or peppers.
Rallo, Il Principe, Sicilia, Italy -
The Vesco family owns Cantine Rallo, famous for producing very high quality, dry, aged Marsala and for the imposing winery on the harbour road in the city of Marsala, Western Sicily, built to withhold raiders arriving by sea. Allegedly. As well as vineyards near the city and the coast, Rallo has vineyards high up in the hills above Alcamo in the North West. Up here cool nights, mountain breezes and sun filled, hot days produce wines with rich, ripe fruit and balancing acidity and freshness. Il Principe is mainly local grape Nero d’Avola with a little Syrah. Perfect with great pasta with a meat or spicy veg sauce or a proper pizza.
Alvaro Castro, Dao Vinho Tinto, Portugal -
The Dão region is inland northern Portugal and is one of, if not the best place in Portugal for producing fresh, fragrant wines from a plethora of local grape varieties. This wine is made from Alfrocheiro, Touriga Nacional and Tinto-Roriz, the latter two often being used for Port production. While Port and Duoro wines are very often about dried fruit, figgy, and generally powerful flavours this has some of that but also a lightness of touch. Aged for 12 months in neutral oak for tannin complexity and texture rather than flavour. Drink within a couple of years with a plate of cured meats or savoury petiscos. Alvaro Castro is a producer who knows how to make wines in a modern way and knows how to do it traditionally and treads a perfect path informed by both methods.
Express Winemakers,Tempranillo, Mount Barker, Western Australia -
The great grape of Rioja given an Australian twist but with a European accent. Express Winemakers is a couple of friends who worked for wine growers around Europe before returning to Western Australia to make wine with a distinctly lighter touch. They produce a range of wines from cooler areas of Western Australia. This has dark, red fruit profile, spice, rich, with fine, chalky tannin. Good to keep for a few years but also just fine to enjoy now with a slow cooked piece of beef or full flavoured veggie chilli.
Moulin de Gassac, Classic Rouge, Pays d’Hérault, France -
Mas de Daumas Gassac helped put the Languedoc back on the map as a region to go to for quality, individualistic wine. Building on the estate’s fame they now produce what you could call a diffusion range of wines that are not necessarily from their own vines but are made along the same lines, having a focus on quality, individuality and authenticity. The Classic Rouge is a blend of Merlot, Grenache, Syrah and Carignan - Mas de Daumas Gassac has always used more international varieties such as Cabernet and Merlot which while perhaps not being particularly true to the region helped build credibility for the producer. Here Merlot is blended with typical varieties for the region to produce an easy drinking, fruity and spicy red that’s perfect for everyday and that will please almost all of the people almost all of the time. Not a wine to keep in the cellar, drink young and fresh.
Sorelle Bronca, Modí Prosecco, Veneto, Italy -
Like most things in life not all Prosecco is created equal though market pressure does make Prosecco more and more homogenised and means the Italians risk killing the golden goose in the same way that the market for Cava has crashed through the floor and now many good Cava producers are calling their wines anything but Cava. Happily there are still some producers making the real thing with care and attention. The Bronca sisters, Antonella and Ersiliana, started in the mid 1980’s with a vineyard they inherited. Since then they have purchased further vineyards in different locations and produce a few different Prosecco from each. Modi Prosecco Treviso is fine, dry and elegant, the perfect aperitif. Try serving this blind to friends or family for whom the shine has gone off Prosecco and get them to guess what it is.
This case contains one bottle of each of these wines. If any is out of stock or becomes unavailable it will be replaced by one of equal or greater value and deliciousness.