Innovation in winemaking pushes frontiers nicely and helps keep things exciting, but just sometimes you can yearn for the orthodox and conventional – especially when it is done well.
If that resonates with you, then today’s post definitely has you in mind.
Proceedings open with a Rhone red from a long-standing and widely respected producer that does everything you expect from the region’s everyday wines.
We couple that with well-made chardonnay that treads a careful middle path between the excessively oaked versions of yesteryear and examples that eschew the use of oak altogether.
Not only are both enjoyable examples but they have current price reductions that make them outstanding value.
As usual, pictures and hyperlinks are provided where appropriate to help ensure that you buy the right wine.
Power and smoothness
Traditionally, summer and powerful red wines do not mix well but this Rhone superstar is a great value choice for all seasons.
Rich and especially velvety, 2019 La Grange St Martin Cotes du Rhone (£7 – instead of £8 until 26 July – at the Co-op and 14.5% abv) is centred on bramble and black cherry flavours.
However, those components are neatly coupled with modest tannin, gentle acidity, suggestions of chocolate, cinnamon and an underlying sweetness.
Restrained chardonnay from Western Australia
Chardonnay was a bit of a late comer to Western Australia but its production there has tended towards the subtle and restrained, even when rich, forceful versions were top of the popularity charts.
Here, then, is a good but inexpensive illustration of exactly that understated style.
Flavours of cooked apple, barely ripe mango and melon mingle agreeably in 2020 Best Western Australia Chardonnay (£6.50 – instead of £8.25 until 19 July – at Morrisons and 13.5%)and are supplemented by orchard fruit acidity and a long, lingering finish.
Particularly noticeable, too, is the controlled use of oak which smooths things nicely and adds complex butter, fudge and sourdough elements yet never becomes intrusive
Drop by again for Thursday’s regular post that includes a Talent Scout report as well as my Friday Night Specials and Sunday Best selections.
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