Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes


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. 





2013 La Bodega de los Altos Andes Malbec, Mendoza

£4.99, 13.5%, Morrisons

Excellent value at less than a fiver, this is a savoury, peppery Mendoza Malbec with good acidity, no obvious oak and attractive plum and bramble fruit. Ligther fresher and - crucially - drier than many commercial Argentinean reds. 





2012 Simply Garnacha Rosé, Campo de Borja

£4.59 down to £3.44, 13.5%, Tesco

You don't get much for less than £3.50 these days, but this Garnacha pink from Bodegas Borsao is very drinkable stuff: dry and pleasantly fruity with flavours of rosehip, cherry and strawberry and vibrant acidity, especially noteworthy from such a warm Spanish region. A chance of celebrate the end of a memorable summer in the UK. 





NV Taittinger, Prélude, Champagne

£47, 12%, Majestic, Wine Rack, Hailsham Cellars, Partridges of Sloane Stt, F&M, Harrods

If you can't afford Comtes de Champagne (the 2000 is delicious), this is a more than acceptable substitute at under £50. It's got lovely toasty, autolytic complexity, notes of grilled hazelnuts and citrus fruit and a very long, satifying finish. A delicious fizz.




2011 Simply Garnacha, Campo de Borja

£4.59, 13.5%, Tesco

It's not easy to find really good glugging reds under £5 any more, but the Campo de Borja region in northern Spain would be my first port of call. This unoaked example from Bodegas Borsao is juicy, brambly and full of raspberry and redcurrant fruit. Soft and supple: pure, uncomplicated pleasure.





2009 Jean-Jacques Confuron, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare

To me, this was one of the wines of the tasting: a pale, scented, delicately crafted Clos de Vougeot that deserves a slot in any Burgundy lover's cellar. Aromatic and fine, with well integrated oak, wild berry fruit, sappy acidity and superb texture and balance. Who says the 2009s aren't well balanced? 





2009 Bertrand Ambroise, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare

Bertrand Ambroise makes some of the best value Burgundies on the market, from his basic wines right up to his Grands Crus. They are characterised by restrained use of oak, subtle, understated fruit flavours and considerable finesse. This is light, perfumed and refreshing, but with complex wild starwberry and forest floor notes, tangy acidity, great poise and a fine, tapering finish. 





2009 Jacky Confuron-Cotetidot, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare

Yves Confuron's wines are very distinctive, partly because of his use of stems but also because of his way of expressing his vineyards. Mid garnet/pink, with a stemmy, but highly aromatic nose. Quite traditional in style, with a firm tanninc backbone giving structure to the sweetness of the fruit. Fresh acidity, finely poised. 





2009 Daniel Rion, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare

Mid ruby/pink. Very youthful, with just a hint of (acceptable) reduction. Scented, sexy, plush fruit on the palate with fine-grained tannins and minerally, lip-smacking acidity. Perfumed, complex and mouthwatering, with a long, tapering finish. An impressive wine that will improve further in bottle. 





2009 Domaine de la Vougeraie, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare

The quality of this Boisset-owned domaine within a négociant is consistently outstanding, thanks to very good vineyards and the talent of winemaker Pierre Vincent. This is very pale and elegant on the nose and palate, almost ethereal in fact. It may not age for a long time, but it's delicious now, with notes of redcurrant and sweet raspberries.