South of France and South Africa are the two features of this release.
As usual, there are some rose wines (7), but with the exception of one from Rioja, offer little excitement.
The South African offerings in both white and red taste fine, but fail to adequately represent this country’s better wines.
The south of France are from Pays d’Òc , Fitou, Faugeres, Minervois, and Cotes Catalanes, reflecting a fraction of this vast region’s diversity.
Only two spirits (one brandy from Spain and one Scotch) are included.
No fortified wine is included in this relatively large release (more than 120 wines).
The two sparkling wines failed to make the mark for inclusion.
Here are my recommendations.
15 – Year Old-Single-Malt , Lismore, Speyside, Scotland
This amber coloured, smooth Scotch smells of apricots and roasted nuts. In the mouth it appears to be medium-bodied with spicy flavours and toast. An excellent after dinner Scotch, or for cocktails, but enjoying this Scotch on its own with a little pure water and neat would be a better idea.
The King`s Ginger Liqueur, Berry Bros, and Rudd, London England
Produced under licence in the Netherlands
This stimulating liqueur was originally created as medicine to revitalize older people. It is well balanced with a macerated ginger root base, alcohol and sugar, plus secret ingredients. Enjoy with a cup of Colombian supreme quality coffee after a rich and long dinner.
Wismer Vineyard Fox Croft Block Riesling, 2016, 2027 Cellars, Niagara peninsula, Ontario
Aromas of citrus, apricot and peach dominate the nose. In the mouth the wine unfolds its underlying acidity, depth, craft of the winemaker and balance. Cellar for two to three years. A fine wine to enjoy with refined food.
Ammonites Sancerre, 2014, Roblin, Loire valley, France
Brilliant yellow with green tinges. Crisp, mineral with apples and gooseberry flavours, this wine has racy acidity. Enjoy with seafood.
Tete de Cuvee Montagny, 2015, Bethenet, Burgundy, France
Savoie Blanc, 2015, Philippe Viallet, Savoie, France
Albarino, 2016, Paco e Lola, Rias Baixas, Spain
Pierre Aiguille Gigondas, 2015, Paul Jaboulet Aine, Rhone Valley, France
Many wine lovers classify Gigondas as worthy competitor to much more expensive Chateauneuf-Du-Pape only a few kilometres away. This syrah and mourvedre blend proves the point by emanating raspberry, and cassis aromas. Full bodied and well balanced with a depth of flavours. This wine has 10 years of aging potential.
Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, 2012, Domaine du Grand Tinel, Rhone Valley, France
A blend of Grenache (80 per cent), syrah (17), and mourvedre (3), this outstanding wine offers aromas of brown spices, cocoa, kirsch, and garrigue. Full-bodied, well balanced with good structure and long aftertaste. Cellar for 6 – 8 years.
Lecco Ribera del Duero Crianza, 2012, Bodegas Resalte de Penafiel, Spain
Vibrant brick red. A vibrant, youthful tempranillo that smells of ripe red berries. Well balanced, and structured. An excellent value, and is ready to enjoy.
Barrancas Toso, 2014, Pascual Toso, Argentina
The Villain Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, Hugh Hamilton, Mc Laren Valley, South Australia
Pinotage, 2015, Southern Right, Hemel-en-Aarde Valey, Walker Bay, South Africa
Barolo Bussia Le Rose, 2011, Poderi Colla, Piedmont, Italy
Chianti Classico, 2013, Castello di Albola, Tuscany, Italy
Rosado, 2016, Hacienda Lopez de Heredia, Rioja, Spain
Cote de Provence Rose, 2016, hecht et bannier, Provence, France