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Two wines for the week

I went shopping on the end of the wine aisle this week, partly brought about by my waiting in the queue at Tesco for a lady who was ‘sure she had a £1 coin in her purse’. I was near the wine section (how convenient) and decided to add something to my basket. Turns out I was glad I did so. I picked up two bottles of red, and in keeping with my goal since arriving in London, I had not tried them before. This also meant that I was not really sure about the value that I was getting for my money, as I generally don’t trust supermarket deals. But such is life!

First wine was a Rioja by the name of Castillo San Lorenzo. After attending Tapas Fantasticas in June I have been trying more Rioja, but finances have meant my aim is more at the affordable end! This was a 2005 vintage that had been recently bottled (judging by the cork) under a Diam stopper. Diam is a brand name for a cork that is made up of loads of tiny pieces that have been treated to ‘eradicate’ the bacteria that causes cork taint, and then stuck back together and moulded into a cork shape. Diam’s are generally regarded as the natural stopper with the lowest levels of cork taint. Although how natural it is is up to you. But that is not the point…

This Tempranillo based wine was really enjoyable. There were still good, soft fruit flavours on the nose and on the palate which balanced well with a bit of earthiness and tannin grip. The bottle didn’t last too long, which is a good sign. On promo at £4.99 it was a good buy and would suggest it as a friendly wine, with enough character to enjoy with food too.

My second wine for the week was from the Madiran region near the Pyrenees. The wine was labelled as Reserve Des Tuguets and was a 2008 vintage. Wines from the Madiran are based around Tannat, and this bottle also includes Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. These are usually three pretty serious varieties when it comes to the tannin stakes, but I was pleasantly surprised by the balance that that the wine showed.

We drank it with some slow cooked lamb loin steaks, wild mushrooms and baby spinach. Lots of dark berry fruit fruit and blackcurrant flavours which I would assume to be courtesy of the Cabs. What I particularly liked was the acidity that the wine showed. It was not all about tannin, but had a clean edge on the finish, which is really important when pairing with food. £5.99 on promo at Tesco.

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