Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes


2013 Filipa Pato FP Branco, Beiras

£11.75, 12.5%, Oddbins

Filipa Pato is one of the most dynamic winemakers in Portugal right now, crafting wines that are every bit as good as those of her father, Luis, albeit in a different, more modern style. This blend of Arinto and Bical, this is tangy, sappy and refreshing, showing the Atlantic influence that colours the wines of Portugal's coastline and flavours of fresh herbs and citrus fruit. Just the thing to drink with a seafood platter, especially if you're in Portugal. 







2013 Tesco Beaujolais Villages

£6.49, 12.5%, Tesco

The older I get, the more I want to drink refreshing wines that don't tire my palate, which may explain why I'm drinking more and more Beaujolais. This is Gamay and its gluggable, lip-smacking best, with juicy red berry and bramble fruit, bright acidity and supple tannins. Chill it before serving and see how versatile it is with food. 





2011 Cape Chamonix Pinotage, Franschhoek

£16, 14, Oddbins

If you'd rather drink Piat d'Or than most Pinotage, this off-beat example from the Franschhoek Valley might change your mind about this controversial South Africa grape. Gottfried Mocke's red is made in an unusual (unique for the Cape?) style that uses the ripasso technique of refrementing the wine on its skins and it's brilliant, with flavours of plum, spice and mulberry, subtle oak and just the right amount of tannin for backbone. 





2013 The Ned Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough

£9.99, 12.5%, Majestic, Waitrose

Brent Marris' well-distributed Sauvignon tends to be on a deal more often than not, but even at its full retail price it delivers in the glass, unfurling flavours of passion fruit, gooseberry and melon. Flavoursome stuff at a fair price. 





2011 The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Domaine de La Noblaie Chinon, Loire

£8.95, 13.5%, The Co-operative

Unoaked Loire Cabernet Franc is one of my favourite styles wine: light, fresh and grassy, with subtle lead pencil aromas and a bright, cool climate finish. That's exactly what you get here, with acidity that works really well with cheese and red meats.





NV Henriot Blanc de Blancs, Champagne

£44.00, 12%, Oddbins

Sourced mostly from the Côte des Blancs and including 30% of reserve wines, Henriot's Blanc de Blancs is a non vintage wine that tastes like a vintage release. It's rich, toasty and just off dry with notes of brioche and toast and a subtle, tapering finish. One of the best Blanc de Blancs on the market. 




2012 Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay, Nelson

£37.80, 13.5%, Christopher Keiller

Tim and Judy Finn's Chardonnay is established as one of the three best Chardonnays in New Zealand and this vintage more than lives up to its reputation. It's a leesy, creamy, deftly oaked wine with attractive stone fruit flavours, hints of cashew, oatmeal and toast and a focused, minerally finish. Superb stuff. 




2008 LaFou De Batea, Terra Alta

£26.17, 14.5%, contact winery

The top red wine from LaFou is an impressive blend of mostly Grenache with lesser amounts of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, again showing judicious oak handling, refreshing minerality and ripe, but not over-ripe flavours of plum, chocolate and red fruits, with hints of tapenade and a brisk, refreshing finish. This is winemaking of a high order.





2007 Hugel Gewurztraminer Vendage Tardive, Alsace

£33.00, 13%, The Wine Society

There's no mistaking the grape variety of this late picked Alsace dessert wine. It's a classic lychee and rose petal style Gewürz, with sweet apricot, pineapple and peach flavours and a hint of exotic spice. Very decadent. 





2012 LaFou Els Amelers, Terra Alta

£12.82, 13.5%, contact winery

Made entirely from Garnacha Blanca, this delicately oaked white is creamy and herbal, with lovely texture, pear and honeysucke fruit. a touch of aniseed and a taut, minerally finish.