Published 7th January 2022

Discovering New Grapes, Regions and Styles

Make a New Year’s resolution you can keep! Move outside of your wine comfort zone and explore a myriad of wonderful new wines , regions, and lesser-known grape varieties – there are so many gems to be found. We will be showcasing some of our favourite exclusive imports in our wine bars throughout the year, start this January with six wines which are all well worth your attention.

WHITE WINE

Chenin Blanc Cape Leopard White 2021, Paarl, South Africa (vegan)
Chenin Blanc with a touch of Viognier and Chardonnay for added fragrance and body. Chenin sits well outside the UK’s top 10 most popular grape varieties, meaning so many people are missing out on a variety which can produce spectacular wines. While the Loire is Chenin’s home, it also does very well in South Africa, as this brilliant wine from Cape Leopard shows. Fresh, lifted and long.

Viognier Ochoa Uvadoble 2019, Navarra, Spain (vegan)
Viognier is most associated with premium Northern Rhône whites but produces fantastic results from the lesser known region of Navarra, northern Spain. Fresh and delicate with aromas of citrus, apricot and stone fruits. Food friendly, soft and round with a slightly creamy texture.

Pinot Noir Te Kano Blanc de Noir 2020, Central Otago, New Zealand (vegan)
Yes, this is white Pinot Noir. A rare find but one which must be tried. Full bodied, mineral, and fresh with subtle aromas of nashi pear, peach and citrus blossom. A rich fruit entry on the palate with concentrated flavours of peach and pear leading to a long dry finish.

RED WINE

Mourvèdre/Grenache Rikus Neethling Cape Red Blend 2019, Western Cape, South Africa (vegan)
Mourvèdre is commonly used in southern Rhône blends but it’s rarer to find it as the main grape. Notoriously difficult to grow, winemaker Rikus has produced an excellent Mourvèdre, blended with Grenache to give additional body, spice and warmth. Medium to full-bodied with concentrated blackberry fruits, rounded tannins and earthy minerality. Great value.

Cabernet Franc Chinon Ampoule 2020, Loire, France (organic)
Cabernet Franc is a thinner-skinned grape making less tannic styles than its more illustrious namesake, Cabernet Sauvignon. Ampoule, meaning light bulb, is sourced from sandy soils (atypical for the region) which produces a lifted and lighter style of Chinon – expressive candied red and black fruit with fragrant notes of capsicum and liquorice. Well balanced with round tannins. Certified organic.

Touriga Nacional/Touriga Franca Quinta da Silveira Reserva 2015, Douro, Portugal (vegan)
Portugal has an incredible 250 indigenous grape varieties. None of them are particularly well known in the UK, but don’t let that stop you exploring the wines. Portugal is “on the up” and this wine shows why. Sourced from old vines and produced using traditional methods including grapes crushed by feet and fermentation in open tanks (lagares), it has intense aromas of violets, red cherry, mocha and cedar and an unctuous palate with soft tannins and a floral finish.

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