It is no great revelation that our tastes in wine frequently change with time.
I suspect some people reading this fell in love with the rich creamy chardonnays of Australia in the 1990s and have probably not touched them since we moved into the new millennium.
The fact that Australia changed its chardonnays around this time to lighter unoaked or more oak-integrated styles has been ignored.
Oak is often seen as an enemy but if used carefully it is almost always chardonnay’s friend and I recommend three examples below which all have a touch of oak that enhances rather than overwhelms.
Remember that the great chardonnay based white wines of Burgundy all contain oak and the best sell for €100 to €500 per bottle – the St-Romain recommended below is a fine example of the style at a budget price (this is a distinctly relative term when it comes to Burgundy).
My taste in red wine has also changed as I’ve aged and I no longer relish dark blackcurrant and minty flavoured Bordeaux as I did when I was in my 30s, but look instead to fragrant red-fruit scented wines from places like Burgundy, Germany and Piedmont.
The interesting thing about the red Burgundy recommended below is that the producer produces two wines from the same village of Chorey-les-Beaune and they taste significantly different – a taste comparison is recommended.
Aldi has a Summer Wine Festival starting tomorrow (Sunday) and includes 26 new wines all separate to the regular range. The wines are from 14 countries so there is no particular theme other than value.
This is one of their best sales in a couple of years with an interesting mix.
I recommend two below but also watch for the Domane Wachau Grüner Veltliner for €8.99 (a fine producer I featured here at the beginning of the month).
It is a bit of a coup for Aldi to secure a batch of wine from this co-op and there are some other names to watch for including a Fritz Keller Baden pinot noir, Australia’s De Bortoli (see below) and Callia from Argentina which has a richly scented Torrontes.
BEST VALUE UNDER €15
La Baume Vin de Pays d’Oc Viognier, Languedoc 2015, France - €15.99
Viognier was an obscure and somewhat forgotten grape until a revival in the 1990s, particularly in the Languedoc.
Most Pays d’Oc Viognier are lightweights but this packs a fine peachy punch and has good weight and acidity. Try with spicy foods or with creamy pasta dishes.
De Bortoli GS Pinot Noir 2015, Yarra Valley, Australia - €10.99
It is rare to find such a well known name in one of the discounter supermarkets, especially from a classic region such as the Yarra, Australia’s best known Pinot Noir region.
Classic earthy red fruit aromas, solid and ripe with lingering cherries and raspberries.
Nugan Dreamer’s Chardonnay, Riverina, Australia - €10
I haven’t recommended an Australian Chardonnay in a while. Lees contact gives this a rich pear and tropical fruit mouthfeel but crucially this has a refreshing finish and some fine bruised apple complexity. There are four wines in this range at €10 until the end of August.
BEST VALUE OVER €15
Louis Jadot Bourgogne Couvent des Jacobins 2013, France - €19.95
Stockists: Galvins, Vintry Rathgar, Martins Fairview, Independents.
This was the National Off-Licence Association white wine of the year a couple of years ago and is well worth its price. Ripe white peach aromas with a mellow focused palate with touches of grapefruit and vanilla.
Yes this has oak but it is fully integrated and adds body rather than sweetness.
Henri & Giles Buisson Saint-Romain Blanc 2012, Burgundy - €37.65
Stockists: www.lecaveau.ie Green Man Terenure, Bradleys
From a ‘lieu-dit’ (named vineyard) called Sous la Velle, south of the village of St-Romain to the west of Auxey-Duresses. A source of good value mineral whites.
This has a ripe intense nose, floral and stone fruit aromas, spice and vanilla, but also fine acidity and freshness and a long life ahead.
Marchard de Gramont Chorey-les-Beaune ‘Tue Boeuf’ 2011, Burgundy, France - €24.99
Stockists: Karwigs Carrigaline, www.karwigwines.ie
I’ve previously praised this producer’s quality and value. The ‘Tue Boeufs’ is a little tighter but has a more intense red-fruit perfume with a layered elegance underneath that will soften with decanting or more time in the bottle.
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