Popular Posts

Saturday, 19 February 2022

Easter Wines from Virgin - The New World

Five New World Wines from Virgin Wines for Easter

In (overly) simple terms, the New World means plenty of ripe fruit, while the Old World is food-friendly savouriness.

Over time, of course, the New World has started seeking out cooler sites and making fresher wines with a gentler hand.

And some parts of Old World Europe are warm enough and sunny enough to make crowd-pleasing "sunshine in a glass" wines with plenty of easy-drinking ripeness.

These five wines are all New World in the loose sense of being warmer-climate, non-classic regions, mostly outside Europe.

As well as more of a focus on fruit, it also means more reliability and generally better value for money compared to Big Name established appellations.

These are all well-made and easy-drinking with increasing complexity as you move the up the scale; ripe enough just to sip, the fruit and freshness will also match with sharing foods such as picnics, mezze, anti-pasti, pizza and almost any mixed starters.

The whites

Ripper Reserve Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2021 (£11.99)

Australian Chardonnay has yo-yoed between sunshine-in-a-glass, oaky monoliths then lean and skeletal. These days, you are increasingly likely to find a European freshness and balance, especially from the cool-climate Adelaide Hills.

Classy and refreshingly crisp Chardonnay from the cool altitude of Adelaide Hills, leaves flavours of apricot, yuzu and peach, retaining a refreshing streak of acidity.

ABV: 13% Region: Adelaide Hills, Australia Grape Type: Chardonnay 

citrussy and floral; white stone fruits and orchard fruit with lemongrass, sherbet, lime marmalade and green herbs; sleek, elegant and poised.


Match with meaty white fish or roasted white meat.

Three Gables Reserve Swartland Chenin Marsanne Grenache Blanc 2021 (£9.99) 

Despite its New World location, South Africa has been making wine for almost four centuries; after more than its fair share of issues, it is now emerging as an undervalued region to watch.

An equal split blend between Chenin Blanc, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc creates an impeccable wine! The result is a tangy lemon freshness on the nose which follows through to the palate, accompanied by notes of baked apple and barley.

ABV: 12.5% Region: Swartland, South Africa Grape Type: Chenin Blanc, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc 

lifted, floral and aromatic with fresh, minty herbs; ripe yellow stone fruits and tropical citrus, honeysuckle, sherbet, lemongrass and sweet spices; fresh, saline-mineral and long.


Match with grilled tuna, roast pork or spiced seafood such as calamari or prawns.

Rupenera Grillo Sicilia DOC Appassimento 2020 (£13.99)

Historically, volcanic Sicily is not so much Italian as Greek, Levantine and North African. Oenologically, it is a source of plentiful well-made ripe, fruit-forward wines.

Rupenera Grillo Sicilia DOC Appassimento | Virgin Wines

Made from Grillo grapes that are left on the vines to partially dry before being brought into the winery, Rupenera is flush with citrus, stone fruit, floral hints and lashings of honey without being sweet.

ABV: 13% Region: Sicily, Italy Grape Type: Grillo

floral and aromatic with roasted butter peaches and savoury-spicy beeswax; rich and ripe with dried yellow stone fruits, musky melonskin, dried pineapple pieces, melon and lime marmalade; complex and fresh with good underpinnings.


Drinks nicely on first opening; can be cellared.

Match with roasted pork belly, blue cheese or seared scallops.

The reds

Itata Old Vine Cinsault 2020 (£14.99)

With no natural pests, complex terroir and cooling breezes plus altitude, Chile is almost the perfect place to make wine.

Despite this, for too long, it churned out bigger-is-better jammy wines; these days, however, elegance is back on the agenda, thanks in large part to the efforts of De Martino, who make this wine.

Made from ungrafted vines that are farmed using sustainable agriculture, including dry farming and ploughing with horses, to create a wine with delightful ripe red fruits mingled with hints of violet and stony salinity.

ABV: 13.5% Region: Itata Valley, Chile Grape Type: Cinsault

complex oaky spices, sweet vanilla, old leather and woodsy undergrowth; dark bramble fruits, red and black cherries, red berries and spice; firm with a dense, muscular core and very fine, slightly grippy tannins; fresh, savoury and adept.

Drinks nicely on opening; can be cellared.

Very Good.

Match with darker game, such as venison ragout.

16 Little Black Pigs Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 (£9.99) 

Cab is one of the most widely planted grapes on the planet, but is rarely made into a varietal wine, needing something else in the blend to achieve balance and harmony.

South Australia is one of the few places where Cab does well as a varietal wine; this one is made in a fresh and juicy style this is more quaffable Beaujolais or Loire than serious Bordeaux.

That's a good thing.

In true South Australian style, this red is fruit-forward, ripe and full bodied. Masses of blackcurrant and bramble with minty, herbaceous notes 

ABV: 14% Region: South Eastern Australia Grape Type: Cabernet Sauvignon

bramble fruits, eucalyptus and spice; fruit-forward with ripe, juicy dark-berry fruits, plums, red and black cherries, liquorice and mint; fresh and supple with good underpinnings. Well-made and easy-drinking.

Thoroughly enjoyable.

Fresh enough to drink on its own; will also match well with anti-pasti, salami or almost any mixed starters

No comments:

Post a Comment