Franken   profile photo

Keith Sullivan
– Member of the Month

7 Jun 13


Wine made simple

June Member of the Month: Franken

TescoWine MOTM June A 1

I joined the Wine Community to learn more about wine and to share what knowledge I had with others, but if I’m honest (probably like many other members) I didn’t know what to expect from the Wine Community.

Having started a few ‘discussion’ subjects and having responded to a few ‘discussions’ started by others, I concluded the Wine Community was a useful place to exchange views about wine but I expected nothing further.

When I received an email telling me I had been nominated Wine Member of the Month for June, I was more than just a bit surprised, I was totally astounded. I then received 6 different wines to taste and asked to provide my comments on each, which I did with the help of my wife Diana who was quite keen to help me with my homework.

Before I review the wines, I’d like to share a little about my interest in wine with Wine Community members; to be clear, I don’t see myself as a wine expert, however I’ve built up a level of knowledge over many years by having made a point of tasting the wines (and foods) of many countries I’ve visited. 

Over time, I actually developed an interest in German wine (my Wine Community name, Franken, comes from a lovely steely dry German wine typified by its unusual flagon shape bottle, known as a bochsbeutel in Germany) and was asked and, in a slightly crazy moment, agreed to share my knowledge of German wine with members of a UK German town twinning association (Crawley-Dorsten). 

I was invited back to do a repeat and since then I have presented to small groups of 50 or so people. I’ve now delivered a presentation on Spanish wines and more recently on the Wines of Northern Italy – the presentations are based on knowledge sharing, non profit making and with a charitable fund raising element. 

On my motivation to present, this was actually kick started by having attended several Tesco Wine Fairs and by having listened to presentations given by various wine experts and where I felt ‘I can do that’ too. Enough about me, now to the wines:- 

Wines for summer drinking (whether we get a summer or not – stay with me on this)

Cordoniu 1551 (12%) - grape variety – Garnacha/Monastrell 

A stunningly impressive rose (rosado) sparkling wine; Without doubt a superb cava, dry and fruity with a lovely refreshing bouquet of strawberries with slight citrus overtone, a superb Spanish cava and a cut above many cava I’ve tasted – a wonderfully refreshing quality summer ‘sparkler’ and a tremendous start. My wife and I are fans of cava and this one bowled us over.

Las Cometas (12.5%) – Chilean - grape variety - Sauvignon Blanc

A very pale straw colour with a light citrus bouquet; very pleasant fruity wine with peachy grapefruit undertones with a long pleasing finish. A good choice as an aperitif however of the two dry white wines I tasted, this was a touch disappointing. My preference was for the next wine, the Sauvignon Blanc Semillion.

Rosewater Park (12%) – South Eastern Australia – grape varieties – Sauvignon Blanc Semillion  

A refreshingly crisp dry fruity wine with pleasing light citrus flavour that lingers. A pleasant after taste with a long finish. I detected a slight spritz with this wine which contributed to its freshness and that added to its overall interest. I would certainly add this to my ‘wish list’ of wines for my next summer garden party!

Colpasso (14.5%) – Italian/Sicilian IGT - grape variety Nero d’Avola

Lovely ruby coloured Sicilian red. I struggled to detect much in the way of bouquet with this one (not helped by a dreadful cold which might explain). Certainly smooth and dry and with light tannin evidenced on the tip of the tongue; I detected welcome blackcurrant fruit notes. If I’m honest, I was a touch disappointed with this wine since I had read much about Nero d’Avola on the Wine Community website. That said, I have a second bottle to taste and perhaps my opinion will change second time around and when I’m not harbouring such a dreadful cold.

Higgovale Heights 2011 (14.5%) – South African – grape varieties – Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viognier  

Deep red colour with a multi-layered/facetted vanilla, oaky and fragrant bouquet; the emerging depth of taste was a focussed complexity of spice, forest fruits and a hint of toast with rich plummy tannin. A powerful red with creamy complexity which helped make this wine stand out; a pleasant finish and a wine certainly worth adding to my future ‘wish list’. A quality red without doubt; I favour vanilla smooth reds and this wine didn’t disappoint.

Lagunilla 2007 Reserva (13.5%) – Spanish Rioja – grape varieties – Tempranillo 80%, Garnacha 20%

A lovely smooth well rounded Rioja demonstrating great balance of oak and vanilla; fruit flavours of ripe cherries for sure. Light tannins that didn’t overwhelm making for a delicate dry Rioja with a pleasing long finish. This wine well justifies its IWSC bronze quality award.  

In conclusion, I’d like to thank Tesco Wine Community advisers/experts for selecting me as the Wine Community Member of the month for June. 

As I mentioned in my introduction, I was truly astounded to be selected as member of the month and have enjoyed tasting the wines that were sent to me to taste – my wife enjoyed them too.

I would urge other Wine Community members to share their comments and views on the community website on what is for sure a magical subject – the world of wine.

Keith J. Sullivan2nd June 2013

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