Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes

88

2015 Poggio Civetta, Tuscany

£6.99, 12.5%, Majestic

If you're looking for an easy drinking pink to quaff over the next few weeks, this pale rosé made from "typical Tuscan varieties"  is a snip at under £7 (as long as you buy five other bottles at Majestic). There's a spicy, wild herb-like note to the raspberry fruit that's backed up by a nip of tannin. 

FishVegetables

 

 
 

91

2013 Trinity Hill The Gimblett, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay

£17, 13.5%,

An impressive, four-way blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, assisted by Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a dash of Petit Verdot, that nods towards the Médoc as much as its native New World. Floral, refined and well balanced with stylish, savoury oak, a solid backbone of tannin and a tangy, refreshing finish. A wien that slides over the tongue. 

PastaBeefLamb

 

 
 

90

2010 Marquis de Castéra, Medoc, Bordeaux

£15, 13.5%, Borough Wines

The second wine of Château Castéra, this is a stylish, Merlot-based claret with restrained oak, plenty of perfume and polished tannins. It's good to see a 2010 wine of this quality that's ready to drink on retail shelves, showing the balance that's the hallmark of the vintage. 

PastaBeefLamb

 

 
 

90

2013 Newton Forrest Estate Cornerstone, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay

N/A, 13.5%,

Inky, youthful and richly oaked, this is an impressive Gimblett Gravels blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec that needs a year or two to marry in bottle. Spicy, vanilla-scented notes are complemented by flavours of graphite, dark plums and cassis with bright, underlying freshness. 

BeefLambGame

 

 
 

92

2008 Domaine Bessa Valley, Enira Reserva, Bessa Valley

£17.95, 14.5%, The Fine Wine Company, Salusbury Wine Shop

It's a real pleasure to see such impressive wines emerging from Bulgaria, a country that has lost its way over the last 20 years, but is now back on the right path. This wine is the flag bearer of the new wave. It's a blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, made by a group of owners that includes Stephan von Neipperg of Château Canon La Gaffelière, and it has a smooth, international feel to it. Minty, fruit sweet and stylishly oaked, it combines flavours of cassis, fruitcake and red berries with a sheen of vanilla oak. Good now, but will age for another five years with ease. 

Cheese

 

 
 

90

2012 Alemany i Corrio, Pas Curtei, Penedès

£14.99, 14%, Virgin Wines

A Catalan blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cariñena made in small quantities by an impressive garagiste operation. It's quite Bordeaux-like in style with a warm, Mediterranean twist. It's a tangy, savoury, youthful red with vibrant cassis and red berry fruit, tangy acidity and fine-grained tannins. 

 

 
 

88

2013 Oller del Mas, Petit Bernat, Pla de Bages

£9, 14%,

A great value blend of Picapoll Negre, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot made in an easy drinking style, with a touch of oak for added structure and complexity. Supple, attractive, raspberry and red cherry fruit with smooth tannins and balancing acidity. A really good quaffing red. 

LambGameBarbecueVegetables

 

 
 

88

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.

PastaBeefLambGameCheese

 

 
 

90

2010 Château Clément-Pichon, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux

£12.50, 14%, Fine + Rare

A cru bourgeois that punches well above its weight, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot typifies the best feautures of the 2010 vintage: freshness and concentration of flavour. It's ripe, yet well balanced with flavours of cassis and plum, a hint of damson and fine, structured tannins. Needs time. 

BeefCheese

 

 
 

90

2009 Château Sénéjac , Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux

£13.99, 13.5%, The Co-operative

On a deal for the next week, before it reverts to £16.99 after Christmas, this is a well-balanced, aromatic claret that is more focused and refined than many 2009s, but is still pretty forward and full of flavour: with subtle oak, riple plum and blueberry fruit and medium weight tannins. Very drinkable. 

BeefLambGameCheese