Although I love the wines of my adoptive country, Spain, I’m certainly not averse to tasting wines from other countries! Indeed, whilst the variety of Spanish wines is vast with lots to please all palates, it’s good to try wines from elsewhere – given the chance!
And that’s the point – it’s not easy to find wines from other European countries, let alone examples from the Southern Hemisphere. So, as you can imagine, I was delighted to be asked to present one wine from Chile and two from South Africa recently for an informal tasting in Albir’s famous Supermercado Mendoza.
GIRABEBE, is a large distributor of New World wines throughout Spain supplying Hypermarkets like Carrefour as well as smaller independant supermarkets along the costas and islands. If you’ve bought a wine here but made in Australia, New Zealand, California, Chile and/or RSA it’s likely to have been supplied by GIRABEBE.
And, of course it was their Commercial Director, Juan Carlos, who asked me to be involved with the Mendoza tasting (incidentally, the Mondoza valley is a major wine producing area of Chile – but there’s no connection!).
A crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, from the Gran Tierra winery, which is nestled in the hills beneath the Andes, displays some of the varietal characteristics of this enduringly popular variety. Light (so is the bottle, made deliberately lighter in weight to help the environment), easy and most pleasant drinking!
The Western Cape of South Africa is home to several large producers, Kumala being one of the more famous. Their Rosé wine, made from Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz and the indigenous Pinotage has just a touch of residual sugar making is very slightly sweeter than bone dry. Lovely with Paella!
My favourite of the three was the Kumala 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz 2011. Remarkably approachable so young in it’s life, this fruit driven red will also be super chilled down a little for top Summer drinking!
There may well be further tastings of New World wines – please watch this space!