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wines of the month 09/2009

Santa Rita

These might be wines that have been reviewed during the month on wine-pages, or have appeared in my magazine column or TV show, or they may be wines from a recent tasting that hasn't yet been written-up in a full-length report.

under six pounds
Cannonberg, Fairtrade Chenin Blanc 2009, South Africa
A Fairtrade wine, this bottle from South Africa comes from a winery where workers are given a fair wage and are supported in thier development. It is a pristine, clean apple and lemon-fruited Chenin that just hints at a more tropical character. On the palate that crisp, taut nature of the fruit and acidity also betrays little luscious glimpses of pineapple and mango, but the freshness and clarity of the acidity is what wins through in a delicious and food-friendly, dry and crisp white. £5.25, L'Art du Vin (www.aduv.co.uk).

under a tenner
Domaine Gadais, La Grande Réserve du Moulin Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine sur lie 2008, France
I've just recently made another 2008 Muscadet my wine of the week, so either I'm in a Muscadet 'zone' at the moment, or there are some lovely examples of this underappreciated appellation about. Here, in a screwcapped bottle is a 100% Melon de Bourgogne wine with a lovely, fresh, leesy, breezy nose with lots of Cox's Pippin nutty apple fruit. The palate has nice weight and creaminess, with wonderfully focused acidity. £8.49, Laithwaites.

under twenty
Coume del Mas, Collioure 'Les Schistes' 2007, France
Grenache from vineyards never more than 100 metres from the sea. Unoaked. Very tight, focused, peppery, spicy black fruit with touches of liquorice and a lovely background of schisty, mineral character. The palate is similarly tight, the glossy, pure black fruit has laser-guided focus and the spicy, tight tannins are supple but chewily dense. Lovely balanced acidity too and really very fine energy. Around £17.00, Noel Young and see all stockists on wine-searcher.

sky's the limit
Bodegas Baigorri, Rioja Reserva 2004, Spain
A new name on the Rioja scene, delivering a terrific wine in the modern Rioja idiom. Cedar and spice, and lots of quality French oak dominate the nose, aligned to savoury black fruit. The palate has clarity and crispness, with racy, fine tannins, a tight focus to the fruit and the cherry acidity ringing out. Around £25.00, Philglas & Swiggot, Planet of the Grapes,Wine Library. See stockists on wine-searcher.