Wines for the BBC’s Sarah Walker
If you’re tuned in for this month’s wine selection for Sarah Walker at BBC Radio Berkshire, then here are the details for what we’re sampling on air.
Cava is massively underrated. Made by the ‘Traditional Method’, the same technique as Champagne albeit with different grape varieties, it tends to be considered in the same breath as Prosecco, which is madness, as it’s so much better. The DO – the body that oversees Cava’s four appellations – has just announced new rules to better highlight the quality of Cava, including a requirement for the top tier to be organic by 2025. The one we’re sampling today is already made organically from the classic trio of Cava grape varieties, Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada, and it’s delicious fresh, with a gorgeous gentle tastiness. Alta Alella Mirgin Gran Reserva 2017 is £14.15 at Vinissimus.co.uk
Our white wine comes from a Greek variety that’s increasingly fashionable, Assyrtiko. This excellent example comes from the Diamantakis winery on the island of Crete, not far from Heraklion. Diamantakis, Petali, Assyrtiko has bright citrus and yellow apple, layers of complexity and a sea breeze salinity and it’s yours for £14 at The Tasting House in Reading.
And we’re staying in Greece, still on the island of Crete, for our next choice. Where we might ordinarily feature a rosé,we’re going for an unusual, chillable light red, that’s actually a dark fuchsia pink in colour. Kompsos Liatiko, Karavitakis 2020 is £9.95 at The Wine Society. Kompsos means ‘elegant’ in Greek and Liatiko is Crete’s finest red grape. It’s bursting with perfumed red cherries and berries, herbs and souk spices.
Finally, Lidl has a new stash of ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’, limited edition ‘Wine Tour’ wines and here’s my pick of the crop, worth buying for the autumn. Puech Morny 2019 Gigondas is £14.99 at Lidl and it’s actually a bargain at that price, for one of the best Southern Rhône village names. Rich, red fruited, sensual and spicy, this would outclass quite a few more expensive Châteauneuf du Pape rivals.