Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes

89

2015 Domaine des Garennes Le Brossay, Saumur, Loire Valley

€4.80, 12.5, From the domaine

A youthful, easy-drinking, well-priced Cabernet Franc grown on clay and limestone soils on the Champ de Liveau plateau, this is grassy and refreshing with supple tannins, plenty of the perfume that's typical of the variety and a twist of graphite. Very attractive at the price. 

LambGame

 

 
 

90

2014 Domaine des Garennes Empreinte Blanc, Saumur, Loire Valley

€10, 13, From the domaine

Youthful, pithy and still quite tight, this barrel-fermented Chenin needs more time in bottle to show what it's really capable of. Apple, citrus and pear flavours are complemented by stony minerality, some vanilla spice and a tangy, focused finish. 

PorkChickenFish

 

 
 

92

NV Les Pionniers, Champagne

£16.99, 12, The Co-operative

With the way the pound is behaving at the moment, it's impressive that the Co-op can keep the price of this stunning frizz from Piper Heidsieck under £17. It's a classy, toasty, mouth-filling bubbly with creamy bubbles, based on the red grapes, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, but with 20% Chardonnay providing a citrus-edged tang of acidity. The best value Champagne in the country. 

 

 
 

91

2014 Domaine Jones Grenache Gris, IGP Côtes Catalanes, Languedoc-Roussillon

£13.50, 13.5%, The Wine Society

Englishwoman Katie Jones' old vine releases from the Maury area are improving with every vintage and are now some of the best in the Roussillon. This Grenache Gris shows the variety's focus, minerality and herbal edge, complemented by notes of pear and beeswax and the faintest kiss of oak. 

PorkChickenFish

 

 
 

90

2013 Famille Perrin Les Cornuds, Vinsobres, Rhône Valley

£8.99, 13.5%, The Co-operative

Made by the Perrin family, who also make the world-famous Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this is one serious southern Rhône blend for less than £9. Inky, brambly and well structured with notes of liquorice and thyme, it's a classic, unoaked Syrah/Grenache blend. 

BeefLambBarbecue

 

 
 

94

2013 Domaine Gallety Cuvée Spéciale, Côtes du Vivarais, Rhône Valley

£25, 14%, Scarlet Wines

Who would imagine that the unfancied Côtes du Vivarais could produce a 50/50 Syrah/Grenache blend that tastes as good as anything at this price in the Rhône Valley. Spice and fresh tobacco notes, with some stemmy, whole bunch flavours, focused, mineral-edged red fruits, fine tannins and delicious perfume and balance. One of my discoveries of the summer.  

LambSpicy

 

 
 

93

2014 Domaine Brunet Les Chabriles Vieilles Vignes, Cairanne, Rhône Valley

£10-£15, 13.5%, Vinconnexion

A concentrated, yet lighly oaked, unfiltered, old vine blend of Grenache and Syrah from one of the best domaines in the village of Cairanne, this is my kind of southern Rhône red. Spicy, mineral and focused with youthful red and dark berry fruit, hints of pepper and clove and firm but beautifully integrated tannins. Great value, too. 

BeefLambBarbecue

 

 
 

92

2013 Domaine Jones, Les Perles de Jones Carignan Vieilles Vignes, Vin de France, Languedoc Roussillon

£18.50, 14.5%, www.domainejones.com

Carignan is one of those under-rated grapes that can make fantastic wines if the vines are old and grown in a propitious terroir. This is on the ripe side, but it's not top heavy in the slightest. Damson and blueberry fruit flavours are complemented by minerality and acidity and a wild herb-like note. Surprisingly refreshing for a wine of this ripeness. 

BeefLambBarbecue

 

 
 

91

2015 Domaine Brunet Les Travers, Cairanne, Rhône Valley

£10-£15, 13%, Vinconnexion

Cairanne whites are something of a rarity - even more so than in nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape - but when they are as impressive as this blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier and Roussanne, you wonder why. Textured, complex and oatmealy, this shows deftly interwoven oak, subtle pear and apricot fruit and a mineral flourish. 

PastaPorkChickenFish

 

 
 

91

2015 Château Gassier, Le Pas du Moine, Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire, Provence

£13.95, 13%, Great Western Wines

By the standards of some celebrity-endorsed or consumed Provençal rosés, this is positively great value. It's a crisp, refreshing, bone dry pink with notes of red cherry and rosehip, tangy acidity and a long, palate-cleansing finish. Just the thing to quaff on the beach or in the garden this summer. 

FishBarbecueVegetables