Red wines: Three to try, a rioja, carmenere and barbera

red wines review

I write about wine and other drinkies in a handful of regional UK newspapers; I share my thoughts here on One Foot in the Grapes. Here’s a selection of red wines reviewed in recent weeks.

Three red wines should the fancy take you

Ramón Bilbao Single Vineyard Rioja red wine review
Ramón Bilbao Single Vineyard Rioja

♦ Red wines are probably a safe bet to warm your toes if sunny days don’t live up to expectations. Ramón Bilbao Single Vineyard Rioja (13.5% abv, £9.49 at Majestic or £7.99 if in a case of six) is a blend of tempranillo and grenache.

The wine has spent eight months in American oak which lends flavours of vanilla and a grind of spice.

It is generous with its fruit, gifting a hug of cherry and blackberry aromas and flavours of warming ripe red fruit. It’s as cosy and comforting as your favourite slippers.

This wine would be great with a lamb casserole; or if you peek outside and the barbecue is calling, then burnt-edged sausages could be just the trick.
(Price correct at time of print publication: May 2016)

Rive Barbera d'Asti red wine review
Rive Barbera d’Asti

♦  Despite the  miserable summer weather,  I managed to sneak in a barbecue and poured a red wine with burgers.  

Rive Barbera d’Asti (14% abv RRP £10 from independents including thesecretcellar.co.uk/,  henningswine.co.uk ampsfinewines.co.uk)

The wine has been aged in a mix of new and old oak barrels  for 18 months to create a complex, comforting wine.

Black cherries and plum aromas huddled at the top of the glass together with a flicker of mint; then oodles of rich cherries mingled with spice in the mouth to transform and uplift our ordinary burgers.

(Price correct at time of print publication: July 2016)

Root 1 Carmenere 2014 red wine review
Root 1 Carmenere 2014

♦ By all means get your kicks on Route 66, but if you want a decent drop of Chilean Carmenere for under a tenner, my advice is to take Root 1.

Root 1 Carmenere 2014, (£8, 13.5% abv, Morrisons) is a mix of 85% carmenere and 15% syrah grapes, all grown on ungrafted roots (hence the name).

This is a delicious drop, with rich berry flavours, a hint of spice and slight vanilla on the finish, and a gloriously silky texture that feels like … well, silk on the tongue.

Although it’s a full-bodied wine, there’s a delicacy to the structure that goes perfectly with a nice bit of steak or a roast beef dinner, although you certainly wouldn’t complain if you had it with a spicy tomato pasta dish.

(Price correct at time of print publication: July 2016)

Reviews first published in Raise a Glass, Trinity Mirror regionals  

Liverpool Echo – South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales – Huddersfield Examiner – The Chronicle, Newcastle – Teesside Evening Gazette – Birmingham  Mail – Coventry Telegraph – Paisley Daily Express

 

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Bretta & Co wine tasting: My picks of the reds and whites

bretta & co wine website

You’ve got to admire someone who follows their dream.  A few years ago Gary Adlen was on a business trip and found himself in a  New York bar which not only served food, but also had its own deli.

He dreamed of doing the same in his home town of Liverpool – and now he has,  together with his sister, Bretta. Now we can all enjoy the results of their shared enthusiasm at Bretta & Co (we can see what they did there).

Their latest step is selling wine online, and I was pleased to  be invited for a tipple taste test. It was a challenge, I know.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Some whites from the Bretta tasting
  • We kicked off with a zippy white, a  verdejo from Bodegas Viore, with grapes from the  Toro region (which was definitely new to me).  A perfect zingy start to an evening, tropical, fresh, and mouth-watering.  (Find it in the Six Spanish Wines choice, £95)
  • The quality continued with the mineral, crisp, Klein Pinot Gris (£14.95) Now I’m always a pushover for a German grauburgunder (yes, it’s the same  – a pinot gris) and this had beautiful aromas of lychee and lemons with flavours that lasted and lasted.
  • Rene Mire Gewurtztraminer (£13.45) Wow, I’m pushed over again. Two of my favourite wines in one tasting.  There were clouds of rose petals rising from the glass, but with a little spicy spike of ginger in the background in this wine from Alsace. It wasn’t too sweet and had nice clean acidity.

bretta & co red wines liverpool

A couple of reds from the Bretta tasting
  • Old School Chateau-Maris Minervois (£13.95) is a blend of syrah (90 per cent) and grenache – both grown biodynamically. Neither grapes are known for being shy; they’re full on flavoursome and proud. Here they combine to create a peppery, fresh juicy nose with a “what IS that in the background” question from me. I decided it was sage. This wine is fruit, fruit, fruit all the way.

  •  Camino Terra Remota (£14.99) is Spanish and flamencos with flavours. It’s no surprise, as its a blend of four bold grapes; garnacha, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and tempranillo, each bringing their own character and personality.  There’s vanilla-edged cherry aromas – there’s white pepper too – and wet leaves. It tasted (I thought) of an earthy hot pot of  red fruits, with the mix of flavours reminding me of a red from the Rhone Valley.
Bretta & Co is on Heathfield Street, just off Bold Street, in Liverpool. It has an extensive deli and range of wines in store, as well as on line, and regularly holds tastings.  Click here to check out their events