Langhe Nebbiolo 2012, Cigliuti, Piemonte, Italy
MASQUERADING AS BARBARESCO
Who regularly spaffs £30-£50 on Barolo or Barbaresco? As much as I'd like to, not me, but what do we have here? Under £18, and doing all the glorious, perfumed, rose and floral scented magic of good Nebbiolo. Dense, chewy, grippy, this is built for the longer haul while being wonderfully drinkable on popping the cork. Proper Nebbiolo without the price tag. How come? Fruit is from Barbaresco vineyard 'Erte' with less barrel ageing and bottle age, essentially declassified Barbaresco.
Pinot Grigio 2014, La Prendina Estate, Lombardy, Italy
MASQUERADING AS GOOD PINOT GRIGIO
It happens. Decent Pinot Grigio doesn't drop from the heavens in abundance, and the best examples are reminiscent of something else entirely, not the much maligned (rightly so) neutral pap that is hoovered up in bad pubs. When a supermarket takes the trouble to list a decent one, that's another rare event. A single estate near Lake Garda makes this one, and it has verve, bright acidity, and even a mineral streak, while trailing flashes of white peach, apple, lime zest — PG Strikes Back.
Pinot Noir 'Poppy' 2013, Monterey County, California, USA
MASQUERADING AS AFFORDABLE PINOT NOIR
We love Californian Pinot Noir, but fuck me the good ones are pricey. It's not a habit you want to fall headlong into without deep pockets, and there are only so many 'samples' that a friendly wine supplier will send you to feed your 'A' Listers addiction. So, what a pleasant surprise when some value is uncovered in The Golden State, a discovery at the recent Californian tasting held at Rex and Mariano, courtesy of The Vineyard Cellars, Roberson and The Wine Treasury. Fruit is sourced from cool climate micro-appellations in Monterey County, a blend of Dijon and Jackson clones. Sumptuous, velvety, charged with juicy bright cherry and strawberry — juice to sling down your neck after service, slightly chilled for your pleasure. Boo-ya.