by Tom Cannavan, 09/12
Doug and Cara Wood cannot have had time to catch breath with the runaway success of their business since opening a few years ago. Now with two retail branches in Scotland, in Bridge of Allan and Edinburgh,
and a thriving wholesale business supplying local restaurants and other trade customers, the quality of the portfolio and friendly, efficient service is what has set them apart.
This tasting includes a few quirky wines amongst a solid, global line-up. Online at woodwinters.com
, delivery is £8.95 but free if spending £150 or more.
white and sparkling wines
Montresor, Rosé Royal Spumante Brut NV, Italy
This sparkling rosé from Verona in the northwest of Italy is made from 100% Pinot Noir and is all about freshness and crispness with the emphasis on fruity and floral character.
It has a delightful Provençal-style pale colour and the nose is extremely delicate with rose hip and light raspberry. The palate is keen and racy, with a running water clarity to the acidity that makes this
quite classy stuff, I guess made in the local Prosecco style - and deliciously so. 88/100. £9.75, WoodWinters. See all stockists on
Domaine Uby, Domus Colombard Sauvignon 2011, France
An IGP Côtes de Gascogne white from the Southwest, this is a white in the pungently aromatic, elderflower and gooseberry style that will please fans of Marlborough SB. On the palate it is
refreshingly zesty, the lemon peel and lime blast of the acidity cutting through the tropical fruit to leave this clean and deliciously moreish. 87/100. £8.00, WoodWinters.
The Crusher, Wilson Vineyard Viognier 2010, California
The Crusher is a brand started by Don Sebastiani after his Sebastiani vineyard and winery was sold to Constellation Brands in 2001. This and the Petite Sirah featured below come from Clarksburg, and inland area
east of Napa and close to the state capital, Sacramento. Like the Petite Sirah, this is an explosively aromatic expression of the variety, the signature peach, blossom and pear of Viognier signing from the glass -
the volume set at 11. On the palate there is loads of fruit: peach and nectarine, hints of lychee, but also a big, lemon peel richness and core of acidity. It does show its 14.5% alcohol a little, but I find
it balanced and drinkable. 89/100. £10, WoodWinters. See all stockists on
Coto de Gomariz, The Flower and the Bee Treixadura 2011, Spain
A white from the north-western corner of Spain and the region of Ribeiro in Galicia. Ribeiro may not be as famous as Rías Baixas next door, but there are some cracking wines emanating from there. The local
Treixadura (also found over the border in Vinho Verde) is here made in a honeyed and mealy style, with creamy richness over apples and minerals. On the palate it has that tang of sour lemon that is
so evocative, a very grown up bite of endive, but the ripe core of fruit and full body also carries a little spice into the finish. Delightful stuff. 90/100. £10.50, WoodWinters. See all stockists on
red and rosé wines
Pietas, Carignan Vieilles Vignes 2010, France
In case you hadn't noticed, the old vines Carignan movement is gaining some real traction, with a good number of examples from the South of France, north of Spain and Chile now being released as varietal wines
that celebrate this chorus-line grape's quality when harvested from mature vines, in this case 40-year-old vines in the Pays d'Hérault region of the Languedoc. Fruit, fruit, fruit is the message, with
just touches of spice and tobacco amongst the abundant red berries. On the palate it is both sweet and silky, the slippery texture and very ripe fruit also bolstered by a little earth and briar note that adds a
layer of interest. A sipping wine with that creamy-sweet fruit persisting, food-friendly too. 86/100. £7.50, WoodWinters. See all stockists on
The Crusher, Petite Sirah 2010, California
Not all wines have to be serious and complex, and this big, straightforward, fruit-bomb beauty from California is a case in point. It's made from a specialist variety of California called Petite Sirah. Unrelated to the
Syrah grape, Petite Sirah is the same grape known as Durif in Australia. It just bursts from the glass with pepper and spice and a deep well of enveloping crushed blackberry and blueberry fruit. On the palate it is like a thick
smear of blackcurrant jam on freshly baked bread, with more spice and a little vanilla, but that mouth-filling, juicy black berry fruit totally in charge. Not complex, not intellectual, but 100% delicious.
Watch the video for more information and for food-matching suggestions for this wine. 89/100. £10.00, WoodWinters. See all stockists see wine-searcher
Coto de Gomariz, The Flower and the Bee Sousón 2011, Spain
Sousón is another grape shared with Portugal, where it is finding new fashion in the Douro under the name Sousão. Its striking purple/black colour suggests intensity and that's the truth: inky on the
nose, with kirsch and Morello cherry, some graphite and liquorice giving this lots of fruity, but concentrated style. On the palate there is an intensity to the blue/black fruit too, a biting freshness and sweetness,
then very dry tannins and quite high acidity kick in, perhaps something in the style of a serious southern Italian red. Delicious and savoury stuff and interesting too. 89/100. £10.50, WoodWinters. See all stockists on
Tom Cannavan and wine-pages has no commercial affiliation with WoodWinters.