Recent tastings

Unusual Grapes

Derek - Thu, January 16, 2014

Unusual Grape Varieties

Selected by Rupert Barnes

Carlton Club 16th January 2014

Sparkling Rosé

Raboso Rosado Corte Alta NV 90

Veneto Italy

The Italian Veneto region is well known for sparkling wine with Prosecco leading the field at the less expensive end of the market. As well as making sparkling wine from white grapes wineries are using the red Raboso to make wines with a difference. The Raboso looks good in the glass with the pink hues bringing redcurrant and raspberry to mind and the nose confirms. The start of the palate has an elegant freshness but it fills out in the middle with more of a white peach character this richer feel beautifully balanced by freshness at the back. Be different and start the evening with a glass or two.

White Wines

Koshu Kayagatake 2011 91 2012-14

Grace Winery Yamaneshi Japan

The nose has lots of fresh limes which bring out the floral fragrances. There is sweetness on the mid palate hints of tropical fruits but towards the back the lime and mineral freshness gives a lovely racy feel on the finish.

Monsoon Valley Premium Colombard 2011 89 2014-16

Monsoon Valley Winery Thailand

The ripe fruit gives a fleshy richness on the nose and depth of flavour on the palate. Greengage is refreshed by a citrus mix but there is sweeter fruit at the back giving some depth on the finish.

Picpoul de Pinet Prestige 2012 91 2014-17

Domaine Guillaume Cabrol France

Salty citrusy the nose is fresh and the palate crisp (no wonder the grape is called “Lip Stinger”). There is a little more depth in the middle still fresh with grapefruit rather than lime and the finish is racy crisp with a sea salt tang.

As Caixas Godello 2012 91 2014-17


Martin Codax Spain

Ripe and sweet fruited the nose has depth of flavour and the fruit on the start of the palate is rich. The citrus that comes through on the mid palate refreshes but greengage and pear richness are there at the back giving depth on the finish.

Rosé Wines

Rosato 2012 88 2014-15


Villa Calcinaia Greve

Dei della Toscana Centrale Italy

The fruit on both nose and palate feels ripe with fleshy wild strawberry. There is mid freshness but the back palate is quite fat and the finish although red fruited quite sweet.

Red Wines

Pétalos Bierzo 2011 95 2014-22

Mencia 100%

Descendientes de J Palacios Spain

Brooding, black fruited the nose has depth and the palate richness. Black cherry and liquorice pack the mid palate with the layers of flavour giving lots of complexity. There is an underlying freshness still black fruited bramble and bilberry and the finish has clove and nutmeg excitement.

Heinrich Blaufränkisch 2011 92 2014-20


Fleshy and rich fruited the nose has depth of flavour and the palate layers of bramble and black cherry. Although lighter in the middle the freshness gives way to sweet ripe fruit that fleshes out the back palate.

“Jema” Primitivo 2010 91 2014-18

L’Astore Masseria Puglia Italy

The nose is rich the palate fleshy with black fruits and chocolate. The sweetness on the mid palate is balanced by some fresher fruit still very black fruit in character blackberry and blackcurrant. The finish has the chocolate richness of the nose.

Vereto Salice Salentino 2010 90 2014-18


Agricole Vallone Italy

The red fruited nose has red cherry freshness and the start of the palate is bright and quite light. There is more depth in the middle richer sweeter fruits a touch of coffee under the fruit. The freshness at the back highlights the balsamic notes.

Plavac Mali 2008 90 2013-18

Frano Milõs Peljesac Peninsular South Dalmatia

Spicy cherry is backed by hints of hazel nuts lots of complex flavours on the nose. Red cherry is very much in evidence on the palate the freshness underpinned by slightly richer mulberry and bramble. The finish is long spicy with lots of white pepper.

Sweet Red Wines

Alcyone Dessert Wine 93



For many who love chocolate the problem posed is what to drink with it what will compliment not clash. Problem solved by surprise surprise a wine from a red grape the Tannat. In Madiran the grape can often be tough tannic lacking in charm but Uruguay has tamed it their straightforward Tannats supple and enjoyable. The Alcyone vineyard has gone one step further Tannat picked ripe aged in French barrels for many years spiced up with different roots and herbs a wine with depth lovely and lush complex with lots of mint, vanilla beans and white chocolate. Try it you will get hooked – well done Rupert Barnes.

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