Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes

90

2017 Tapada de Villar , Vinho Verde

£9, 10.5%, Marks & Spencer

Vinho Verde is one of those styles that's often dismissed by wine experts for frivolity, but I'm a huge fan of the style when it's properly made. This Atlantic-influenced cuvée of Loureiro with 40% Arinto and 10% Trajadura is just off dry, with lots of spritz and zing, notes of white pepper, lime and boiled sweets and alluring frehsness. 

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90

2016 Nord Est Vermentino, Sardinia

£8.99, 12.5%, Co-op; Majestic; Wine Rack; Berry Bros; Wine Rack; Wimbledon Wine Cellars; Cambridge Wine Merchant;

Vermentino is one of the great Mediterranean white grapes, retaining acidity when other varieties have gone as soft as a tired mattress. This lovely unoaked example has notes of lemon peel and aromatic herbs with good weight and texture and classic Vermentino crunch. 

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94

2015 Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Section 94, Marlborough

£17-22, 13.5%,

A wine that's consistently a match for all but the very best (and much more expensive) wines of Pessac-Léognan, this deftly oaked Marlborough Sauvignon ages brilliantly too. Leesy, rich yet beautifully balanced, it combines flavours of vanilla spice, gooseberry fool, lanolin and vivid acidity. One of the region's very best expressions of the grape. 

PorkChickenFishCheese

 

 
 

91

2017 Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough

£14.50, 12.5%,

Classic modern, dry Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from two of the masters of the region, James Healy and Ivan Sutherland, showing notes of lemon grass, passion fruit and fresh sweat (more appealing than it sounds, honest). Nettley, zingy acidity, plenty of focus and a long, refreshing finish. My kind of Kiwi white. 

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90

2016 Nunzio Ghiraldi Il Gruccione, Lugana, Veneto

£15, 13.5%, WineTraders UK

This delicious Italian white comes from the shores of Lake Garda and shows the pepper spice and perfume that are typical of the Lugana style. Savoury and tangy, with a touch of spritz, bracing, almost salty acidity and a long finish. 

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92

2016 Dog Point Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough

£13.50, 13%, The Wine Society

There's always something of a rush to list and sell the new vintage of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, so it's good to see a winery (and a retailer in the shape of the Wine Society) that takes a more relaxed approach to vintages, selling wines with a bit of bottle age. Tangy, savoury and dry, this is a complex, flinty, well balanced white with no oak, allowing the quince, greengage and gooseberry fruit to shine. 

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93

2010 Santa Carolina, Herencia Carmenère , Los Lingues & Peumo, Colchagua & Cachapoal Valley

£63.67, 14.8%, Desoutter & James

Some may baulk at the hefty, body-builder bottle, but there's no denying the balance, freshness and sheer class of this polished Carmenère from Chile. It's ripe, textured and not remotely vegetal, with fine tannins, subtle use of oak and notes of mint, cassis and damson. The sort of wine that makes you see Carmenère in a new light. 

BeefLambFish

 

 
 

90

2016 Rezabal Txakoli, Getariako Txakolina

£12.99, 10.5%, Winetraders UK

Frothy, zesty and refreshing, this is everything you'd expect from a white from so-called green Spain, with notes of lime and citrus peel, bracing acidity and a salty, mineral-edged finish. A wine that you just have to dirnk by the bottle. 

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92

2015 Neudorf Twenty Five Rows Chardonnay, Moutere, Nelson

£21, 13.5%, Available from the winery

Neudorf makes some of the most characterful Chardonnays in New Zealand. This is their unoaked, Kiwi-meets-Chablis style that sess no oak, but seven months on lees to pick up some extra texture and weight. Supple and fruity, with notes of white peach and pear, taut acidity and a long, satisfying finish. 

PorkChickenFish

 

 
 

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. 

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