# Taster Pack 3 (Tier 1) 12 bottles

Taster Pack 3 (Tier 1)

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Price: ¥1,100

Your search is over. Archetypal, everyday drinking wines that are actually pleasant to drink.

These are the wines we drink at home on a regular basis.old world new world corks Couple of award winners too…

Numbers Game? TP3 features 12 wines from 7 countries, on 5 continents; 3 from the Old World and 9 from the New.

TP3 builds on the foundations of the also tier 1, Taster Pack 2; maintaining the ‘easily accessible, easy drinking, easy on the pocket‘ theme while flipping the New & Old World ratio. If you bump into Mrs. wine Man, ask her which are her favourites here.

Please click on the wines listed below to extend/retract descriptions. 

1x Callia Alta Shiraz/Malbec Argentina, San Juan

Tasting Intense violet wine with ruby tints. It is a wine of great aromatic intensity. Its prevailing penetrating and vigorous notes are ripe blackberries, plums and figs, which, together with their sweet tannins and balanced acidity, render a full-bodied wine with a long finish.

We sell a lot of this wine. I don’t think it is possible to find a trustier everyday glugging wine that can be enjoyed by lovers of both Old and New World styles. Since its introduction late spring 2011, it has quickly has become our 2nd top selling red wine. (March 2013: no. 1 top selling red wine).

Food Matching: Perfect with pasta in rich sauce.

Note: Won 2nd place in a Shanghai tasting competition for sub RMB100 wines. Callia is a winery to watch.

1x Bodegas Alina Emblema Cabernet Sauvignon Chile, Central Valley

Having tasted this for the first time in December ’11, it got onto our website without hesitation. It is staggeringly good for very little cost.

Vivid ruby colour. Exquisite aroma of forest berries and spices on a rich background of leather and liquorice. Palate characterised by sweet healthy tannins from the fruit and the vegetal nuances typical of this variety.

It’s even better after being open a while; unusually so, for a wine of such a low price point. My every day red wine of choice at the moment (January 2012).

UPDATE: Now our top selling red, I spotted Emblema Cab on a Chinese website (March 2012) for ¥98 a bottle, brilliantly on ‘offer’, down from ¥135, and in a shop for ¥110 (November 2012). Criminal.

1x De Bortoli Sacred Hill Sparkling Brut Australia, Riverina

Pale straw in colour. Attractive nose of strawberries and cream with citrus notes in the background. A very refreshing, easy drinking sparkling wine, with fresh fruit flavours. Delicate and creamy mouth-feel, finishing with crisp acidity.

This is our (way out ahead) top selling sparkler. So Yummy, that our friends regularly argue this is just like champagne. It is not like Champagne at all. It is far less complex. It is ten times cheaper too. There is no hype here. Just a sturdy, refreshing, dry, crispy bubbly. You can afford to drink it all the time.

We drank it all summer long and wondered why other folks dream about over-dry, over-biscuity, champagnes that cost the earth and are often plain rubbish. De Bortoli is solid from top to bottom. We love this company!

1x De Bortoli Sacred Hill Cabernet Merlot Australia, Riverina Bronze '13 & Commended '14

Vibrant purple, deep crimson. Sweet fragrant aromas of blackberries with underlying mint and hints of milk chocolate oak. A generous wine that shows sweet and vibrant fruit on the fleshy palate with soft mouth coating tannins.

Food Matching: This wine is excellent with beef or lamb dishes.

Currently, a Silver and Bronze multi-award winning wine from our ‘silver bullet’ Australian winery.

1x Heritage de Baroncourt White France, Languedoc

All you really need to know is that this is a low cost off dry ‘glugger’ that’s best served cold.

Clear straw yellow colour with a ripe fruit aroma. It’s fresh clean acidity and complex aromas of exotic fruits (such as mango & lichee) makes this tantalizing white a perfect appetizer, cocktail treat ora  match to a variety of lighter savoury dishes. Well balanced and a lingering finish of mango.

Serve pretty cold at: 8℃-10℃

1x Mannenberg Pinotage South Africa, Pederberg

A full-bodied red wine. It has the typical combination of banana and red-berry fruit aromas. Generous and full on the palate with bright red-berry fruit flavours and soft tannins. Serve at a cool room temperature.

I like everything from Mannenberg: A company which fully understands about getting entry level wines right too. and this is a great introduction to Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, which has to me fewer of the Pinot Noir characteristics and more of the Cinsault, while at the same time being nothing like either. Enigmatic. Almost a Mona Lisa smile.

Looking for similarities between either grape is like looking at a conundrum, inside a paradox that might not be there.

1x Bodegas Alina Emblema Sauvignon Blanc Chile, Central Valley

A floral wine with an intriguing mix of exotic fruits (passion fruit, grapefruit). The full body is silken palate exquisitely intense, with a supportive acidic structure and a prolonged, strong finish. for some it is too strong and lacking balancing acidity.

I just sank a bottle on my own sweet own, well chilled. An instant silent smile from this taster as we uncover yet another quality wine at the entry level from the value-laden continent that is South America. Very savoury.

This is one wine that takes the taster into unusual and interesting territory. Keeps me guessing about whether it has insufficient acid balance or is just an interesting accident. What I most like about it is the opportunities it presents for blending those fine strong flavours with other more delicate, minerally acid rich wines.

1x Mannenberg Chenin Blanc South Africa, Pederberg

A medium-bodied white wine. It has bold aromas of guava and other tropical fruits. The palate is rich with grapefruit and citrus fruits flavours. A touch of sweetness is balanced by a refreshing acidity. Serve well-chilled.

There are certain restaurants where this wine is served in SH. When I frequent them I drink this white wine without reservation.

1x Callia Osaado Chardonnay Argentina, San Juan

Callia is one of the wineries of the season as far as we are concerned and one we fully intend to watch develop into master crafts-folk, despite their relatively large operation.

This is a fresh and fruity wine, lush with intense aromas of citrus and tropical fruits. Its delicate, satisfying mouth-feel is enhanced by a lingering finish.

This might well be the best low price Chardonnay we have. It’s good enough to drink on its own.

March 2012: More than anything else, when I look at a wine in this price bracket, it’s usually about what I don’t want to see in the wine. So far, after 3 or 4 bottles, I can report that those negative elements are happily absent.

May 2012: with a little bottle age, some settling down after journeying here from Argentina and warmer weather this wine is coming into it’s own. It is refreshing, flavoursome and aromatic.

September 2013: the new 2012 vintage shows, as the grapes age, just how much an extra 2 years of maturity, has brought on the flavour development nicely.

1x Chiaro Primitivo IGT 2011 Veneto, Italy

A very welcome surprise, this wine. This wine has been on our shelves and portfolio for almost 4 years. The ghastly label does nothing to entice me in. Yet the prosecco from these guys is perfectly drinkable, some would say; a revelation (revolution?) in dryness. In terms of awareness on our own internal radar here at LWwines, Chiaro’s Primitivo fits squarely into the ‘we should have tried it earlier‘, but equally we are reminded of the ‘there’s only so many hours in the day’ adage. Plus, the label design is off-putting, isn’t it (just a little?).

Anyhow, once we took the plunge inside and under the screw cap (which is not that common in Italy, we found lots and lots of fruit and a nice touch of spice. A food wine with no requirement of such, and perfectly able to stand on it’s own.

Primitivo is, of course, a largely unknown grape, in the hierarchy of things vinous, which rather excitingly (to us anyway) also masquerades as, the mysterious, ‘clone?’ or exact DNA replica, depending on your view, of California’s flagship variety, Zinfandel. We drank it over 3 days and while we must stress it was still fine as time wore on, it was best on day 1 when it’s freshness was just so, err, attractive. 16.5pts

September update: Married this with a lovely Roast pork and vegetables dinner just last night and was very impressed again. The fruit/spice elements just right for the richly black and white peppered and apple/pear sweetened sauce.

1x Branciforti Nero D’Avola Rosso IGT 2011 Sicily, Italy

Two reports in a row now we have featured wines that we have sold for ages which we feel embarrassed about previously deciding were not worthy of their own web page. Mne. Time to amend that. This is a lovely, warm red with great presence (to match my meat pasta sauce and taglietelle the other evening) made from the Nero D’Avola Grape, the grape of the hot island of Sicily.

Against the norm, the whole bottle was emptied (by yours truly) in one evening…and it was a Monday. We must have really liked it. 16.5pts

NB: June 2014 update: Another month, another revisit…with another pasta meal. What was most striking was that between myself and Mrs. Wine Man, we again emptied the whole bottle in one go. I am going to have to upgrade the wine to a 17pts for being so utterly irresistible at such a nice price point.

NB: September 2014 update: and another curious return reveals yet again a great everyday wine. Just can’t keep away from this one. Nero D’vola just might be becoming a favourite new grape to explore.

1x Zonin Nero D'Avola Siciliane IGT Italy

Rich and intense ruby-red colour. Intense and fruity bouquet with hints of plum and dried cherry. Velvety texture with an elegant yet luscious and persistent flavor. It displays good persistence and fullness. To be served at 18°C (64°F).

Food Combinations: A modern-styled blend variety that makes this wine a perfect complement to savoury first-course dishes dressed with meat sauces, roasts and aged cheeses.

— quoted from zonin.co.uk

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