"For many years, I tended to give Corbières a miss because I wasn’t attracted to their heavy, dark flavours and high alcoholic levels but things have changed for the better in recent times. This is a delicious uncomplicated red reminiscent of a high quality Côtes du Rhône for a more attractive price. Lots of dark berry fruit with a hint of chocolate and plums, with no sense of clumsiness or harshness. In fact, perfect to drink now with robust stews or a succulent grilled steak."
"The Mazzei family have been stalwarts of Tuscan wine-making for centuries, not to mention their political and cultural connections too. Originally from the Carmignano region in the eleventh century, they moved into Chianti in 1435 and now make a number of expensive Super Tuscan blends and Brunellos as well as this Chianti Classico from the heart of Castellina in Chianti. They now cultivate nearly 300 acres at Castello di Fonterutoli, all tended by hand and predominantly under the Sangiovese grape. The 2016 vintage has a lovely brightness with that mouth cleansing sensation from the Sangiovese grape which makes it a perfect food wine, especially with roast lamb or any number of pasta dishes."
"We usually associate the Gamay grape with Beaujolais but it is also grown in the Loire Valley, west of Lyon and south west of the Beaujolais region. The Côte Roannaise is one of the Loire Valley’s southernmost vineyards, with granite-based soils. Although it has the usual purple colours of a young Gamay, it still needs to be opened for at least half an hour before drinking, when it takes on far more depth and complexity. The joy of the Gamay grape is that it goes equally well with fish as with any number of lighter meats but can also be drunk alone."