I just wanted to say that I was amazed to be asked to review the July wines. I felt rather daunted at the task as these wines have a fantastic pedigree and my experience hardly matches up to the task. Having said that I have really enjoyed doing this. I have tried to bring out the essence of each bottle that will help others to get a feel for each wine. All these wines are very strong on fruitiness and, for someone who is not so keen on dry wines, they seem to have got it just right and I loved them. Thank you for this marvellous opportunity. Here are my reviews.
This was an interesting wine to start with as the bottle stated that the bouquet was snow peas, nettles, guava and flint. I wondered what this might be as it was a strange combination for any wine. What a pleasure to find it had a strong bouquet of guava, my favourite fruit. On the palate it was citrus and grapefruit with that underlying guava again. It was tangy and almost an effervescence. From the bouquet I was expecting a slight sweetness with this wine but it was dry, but not overly so. It has a delightful long and fruity finish. A really pleasant wine with a heady 13% alcohol content. We had this with a Chinese meal and it complimented it very well.
What a beautiful wine. A dry wine that is unusually fruity. Aromatic on the nose with peach and melon scents. It combines citrus and melon on the palate and has a slightly acidic finish. A smooth and palatable wine that is light but powerful with that high (13%) alcohol content. I would highly recommend this wine and it is now added to my list of those I will buy.
I enlisted the help of troops to assist in the enjoyment of the next three bottles over dinner.
This is a lively, sparkler with a fruity bouquet of mango and passion fruit with hints of pink grapefruit. On the palate it is crisp and dry. It has a long, soft finish with the grapefruit flavour lingering in the mouth. This is an ideal wine for summer drinking but once again not as innocent as it seems at 13% alcohol content. This is a superb sparkling wine that will be added to my list when I am choosing a good, light fizz to accompany canapés, buffets or al fresco dining. This was served with canapés of Parma ham and melon, stuffed olives and smoked salmon pate.
VILLA MARIA CELLAR SELECTION -2010
This wine was a bit of a surprise. When it was opened it once again had the strong, fruity bouquet so typical of the wines from this region. However it was not as dry a wine as the others and would suit those who prefer to drink demi sec wines. On the palate it is full of passion fruit, gooseberry and lime. A pleasant, quaffable and easy to drink wine but potent at 13.5% alcohol content. This was served with smoked salmon and prawn roulade.
I am pleased that this was one of the wines that I left till last to try otherwise the others would have had a lot to live up to. This is a wine experience in a bottle and what an amazing one at that. This tops my list of favourite whites and I will certainly buy more of this when I can. My regret is that I did not try this before the co-buy went live and thus missed the recent opportunity. The wine has that strong fruity bouquet once again but has a more complex fruitiness. It is a crisp, dry wine with a refreshing palate of kiwi and passion fruit coming to the fore with hints of lemongrass on the finish. It is a wine that can best be described as gentle, delicate, beautifully smooth and sophisticated but has a potent 13.5% alcohol content. This wine is a dream to drink and leaves you wanting more. I would recommend this wine very highly indeed. Served with chicken, leek and Roquefort puffs, bubble and squeak, French beans and carrots.It complimented the meal very well.
Alas I have come to the last of the wines.
YEALANDS ESTATE RESERVE-2009
This wine is just full of fruit. The bouquet fills your senses with a sweet, complex fruitiness with floral notes. I am afraid that after looking at the bottle label and the definition of the aroma, dried thyme, honey and sweet peas it still had a gooseberry aroma and my dried thyme didn’t come into the picture at all. It is one of those wines that dispense a variety of different aromas that make it difficult to differentiate between them. However, it has the distinct characteristics that hallmark all these Marlborough wines, yet each one having an individuality of its own. When you drink this wine you want to chew it as it fills the mouth with juicy fruit flavours that linger into a long, sensuous finish. Once again a dry wine as the others and although given a 2 rating we thought that it was drier than Villa Maria with a 1 rating. We enjoyed this cold on one of the hottest days served with chicken satay with mango and salad.
Unfortunately the wine box has been emptied but we had a fantastic time evaluating these beautiful wines. Cloudy Bay stood head and shoulders above the others and will remain top of my wine list. This was closely followed by the Jackson Estate Stich. Both of these wines are elegant and perfectly balanced wines.
Finally I want to express my appreciation to the Tesco team for giving me this delightful assignment. I had a most marvellous selection of wines to try and they were an absolute joy to drink.
I would also like to take this opportunity to explain my strange nickname. It came about when I had a senile moment and my husband tried to express his displeasure but muddled his words and called me a clodhorse. I have since adopted this name and used this to my advantage. When I do something badly I just say ‘What can you expect from a clodhorse?’ When I do something well I say ‘ That’s not bad for a clodhorse!’. So it works both ways. However the thought of being front of house with the name CLODHORSE blazoned across my chest made me want to go and hide.