Wines in the Press

Because we have so many fantastic wines, many are written about in the local and national press. Find these write ups here.

  • Olly Smith’s Smashing Royal Wines

    Wines In The Press

    Olly Smith press review

    Olly Smith’s column this weekend featured three wines that are available through Great Western Wine – a fizz, a rosé and a red – what a hat trick!

    Olly was on board P&O Cruises’ new ship Britannia with the Queen, who was busy smashing bottles of fizz against the ship for its launch. Also in attendance were some of his fellow P&O Cruises’ ‘Food Heroes’, including James Martin, Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar and Eric Lanlard. His weekend wine recommendations are some of the most popular lines available on board...

    Peller Ice Cuvée Sparkling (Vidal Dosage) NV

    “This Canadian fizz had been plumped out with a jot of luscious ice wine, which gives a beautiful fruity buzz to this outstanding bubbly.”

    Château Sainte Marguerite, Grande Réserve, Organic Rosé, Cru Classé 2014

    “Elegant, understated and delicate in colour, this southern French pink is packed with summery flavours.”

    Quinta Do Crasto, Douro Red 2013

    “An outstanding blend of local Portuguese reds. This is both scented and spicy and the ultimate red wine for a barbecue.”

    By Chris Penwarden

  • In the Press: Italy...with a difference

    Wines In The Press

    Italia! magazine have been generous to Great Western Wine over the last couple of months, giving brilliant reviews to whites, reds and fizz from all over Italy. The wines here show that Italy is evolving, with surprises to be had at some very modest prices.  Here we have a Sardinian Vermentino, a Tuscan Sangiovese (that’s not a Chianti) and two top Proseccos which take this style to another level.



    Santadi, Vermentino, Cala SilenteSantadi Cala Silente Vermentino 2013

    This was Italia!’s “Discovery of the Month” from their February 2015 issue:

    “I’ve said it before, but I forced my family on an eight-hour round trip to the Santadi cooperative outlet in Sardinia to buy three bottles of its flagship Terre Brune red wine. They’ve never forgiven me. This, one of the fabulous whites, continues to surprise. It’s yet another example of a wine that’s fresh and fragrant, comprising lemon notes on the nose with tastes of grass and sage, bursting with flavour and demanding to be resampled. One of the best the island has to offer.” Issue 123 (Feb 2015)


    Tenuta di Belguardo, Bronzone Morellino di Scansano

    Tenuta di Belguardo, Bronzone Morellino di Scansano 2010

    “This elegant wine is made using just the local Tuscan Sangiovese grape variety. Richer that a Chianti, it has pronounced cherry and dark plum aromas with a touch of wood smoke and tar. Dark red in colour, it is both richly textured and very full of body, with a good tannic structure and plenty to draw you back on the finish. A fine expression of Sangiovese and perfect with winter stews and hearty soups.” Issue 122 (Jan 2015)



    Ruggeri, Prosecco Brut Quartese DOCGRuggeri Prosecco Brut Quartese DOCG NV

    “The Ruggeri prosecco wines – part of the Bisol company in Valdobbiadene – are complex creatures, each distinct, all delicious. The Brut Quartese is a rounded concentration of apple and sherbet aromas and crisp fruit laced with flavours of mandarin and subtle spice. With intense, dense bubbles and a classic intensity typical of the wines of the region, this is top quality prosecco. No, it’s not cheap, but in this case it’s worth every penny.” Issue 121 (Dec 2014)

    Prosecco, Ruggeri, Riserva Giustino Bisol DOCG

    Ruggeri Prosecco Riserva Giustino Bisol DOCG 2013

    “Well, we’re jumping in with the big guns! Together with the Brut Quartese we have two wines from renowned Bisol-run brand Ruggeri. And this one, a vintage wine from 2013, is quite simply the best the company has to offer. Zesty aromas of soft, juicy apples and crisp pear are complemented by a wide though balanced collection of flavours including spiced breads and citrus. Simply one of the best proseccos going.” Issue 121 (Dec 2014).

    By Chris Penwarden

  • Hot off the press: Decanter April 2015

    Wines In The Press

    Decanter April 2015

    Here are some great reviews from the current edition of Decanter magazine – some to drink now and some to save for later in the year.

    Domaine Brusset, Côtes du Rhône


    Domaine Brusset, Côtes du Rhône 2013

    “Punches above its weight. Long, sinewy and vibrant rather than broad and full. Elegant berry fruit and spice notes. Finely honed tannins.” 17/20 - 90 points – James Lawther, Vintage Report Rhone 2013.


    Quinta Do Crasto, Douro Reserva, Old Vines


    Quinta Do Crasto, Douro Reserva, Old Vines 2012

    “Always great bang for your buck: sweet oak, floral lift, lashings of blackcurrant, juicy plum and crushed berry fruit. Long fine tannins and rolling acidity.” 17.5/20 - 91 points – Sarah Ahmed, Douro New Releases.


    Quinta Do Crasto, Tinta Roriz


    Quinta Do Crasto, Tinta Roriz 2012 (currently 2011 in stock – 2012 coming soon)

    “Lovely purity, saturation and length of cinnamon-kissed succulent damson and blackberry fruit. Very firm but fine mineral tannins bode well for ageing.” 18.5/20 - 95 points – Sarah Ahmed, Douro New Releases.


    Howard Park Abercrombie Cabernet Sauvignon


    Howard Park Abercrombie Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

    “Mainly from the 1979-planted Dennis vineyard in Mount Barker. Great cedar, blueberry and cassis lift and concentration with savoury balsamic notes. Sinewy tannins and firm acidity give poise.”  Sarah Ahmed, Ahmed’s top 10 to try from Great Southern.



    In an interview with Ahmed, Howard Park’s Jeff Burch said that the 2010 vintage saw a dominance of Great Southern Cabernet in their Abercrombie flagship wine: “our Cabernets have more lifted perfume, finer and more savoury fruit than the comparatively sweet fruit of Margaret river and lithe, sometimes sinewy, tannins.”

    By Chris Penwarden

  • Rioja Rocks - Wines in the Press: Decanter

    Wines In The Press

    What we think of as ‘Rioja’ has changed. According to Sarah Jane Evans MW, in her Decanter article The many faces of Rioja, there may be a plethora of styles to choose from, but what today’s Riojas have in common is a modern approach that is producing wines that are more complex and terroir-driven than ever.

    2007 Finca Torrea, Marques de RiscalTo illustrate Rioja’s winemaking ‘new wave’, Evans has produced a list of her ‘Top 25 Riojas’, including Great Western Wine’s Marqués de Riscal Finca Torrea 2007:

    Finca Torrea is a wine made from Tempranillo and Graciano grapes sourced from the old vineyards surrounding the Torrea estate, adjacent to the Marqués de Riscal winery. The soil here is the classic clay limestone, typical of Rioja Alavesa, an area that has historically produced the finest Rioja wines. Riscal use French Allier oak casks to age the wine for 18 months, resulting in a more modern, fruity style, with less balsamic notes.

    In Evans’ words, this is a “modern approach from a bodega that well combines tradition with innovation. Shorter ageing (18 months in French oak) gives a fruitier, more approachable wine. 17/20

    Marqués de Riscal’s Finca Torrea is brilliant example of a new wave of Rioja winemaking, made by one of the region’s most established and well respected names. It is a wine which perfectly illustrates the fast pace of change that Rioja has seen over the past 30 years:

    The many faces of Rioja, Sarah Jane Evans MW, Decanter online, Monday 26 January 2015.

    Marqués de Riscal’s Finca Torrea 2007 is available here...


    By Chris Penwarden

  • Hot Off The Press: Matthew Jukes Wine of the Week

    Wines In The Press

    Matthew JukesMatthew Jukes recently posted this amazing review of Santadi’s Terre Brune 2010 for MoneyWeek.

    To summarise: “This is the finest red I have ever tasted from Sardinia and it is also my favourite Carignan in the world.” Praise indeed!

    See below for Matthew's full review, or check out the original post for MoneyWeek on his website righthere.

    2010 Terre Brune, Santadi, Sardinia, Italy 

    2010 Terre Brune, Santadi

    There is a brilliant Italian restaurant in Lower Sloane Street, London SW1 called Caraffini.  Always packed with locals, this is not a trendy Italian newcomer but an elegant institution with superb, classic dishes, the finest service in London and also a lovely, short wine list.  Every single time I have been there (over two decades!) I have ordered Rocca Rubia – a spectacular and eminently affordable Carignan from Sardinia.

    “The other day I tasted Rocca Rubia’s ‘tre bicchieri’ (the highest award in the Italian wine guide, Gambero Rosso) big brother, Terre Brune. This is old vine Carignano with a dash of a local grape called Bovaleddu. This is the finest red I have ever tasted from Sardinia and it is also my favourite Carignan in the world.  The level of bravado, flair and flamboyance on show in this inky red wine is staggering and it is already drinking beautifully.”

    Jukes goes on to highlight some other personal favourites from the Tre Bicchieri-awarded wines in Great Western Wine’s portfolio, adding “they are all epic.”

    2013 Fiano di Avellino Bechar

    2013 Vecchie Viti Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, Ruggeri

    2010 Barolo Cannubi, E. Pira

  • Olly Smith's Pick Of The Bunch

    Wines In The Press

    ‘Top Red’ for Planeta

    Olly Smith, Mail Online, 31 January 2015:

    Planeta Santa CeciliaLast week Olly selected Planeta Santa Cecilia 2010 as his ‘Top Red’ in the Mail’s ‘Pick of the Bunch’ round up: “A red bursting with black cherry and pomegranate fruit with a discreet aniseed awesomeness.”

    Santa Cecilia is Planeta’s benchmark red made from local grape Nero d’Avola. The grapes are sourced from the white soils and ancient vines of Noto in the southernmost corner of Sicily. This is the birthplace of the variety, and now the epicentre for its production.

    Another of Planeta’s wines – this time a white - was recommended as a top pick to ‘drink with da fishes’:

    “Fiano is a grape that creates plumper whites; try if Chardonnay is your usual tipple. Planeta is a quality winery worth looking out for. Its Cometa Fiano 2013 (13.5 per cent) is thrillingly poised between peach and pineapple and great with seafood.”

    Planeta has been instrumental in changing the way wine is produced in Sicily: Previously Sicily’s wine producers concentrated on quantity rather than quality, but it was the vision of Diego Planeta that changed all that.

    Planeta, Cometa

    He began to plant experimental plots of vines in the mid-1980s – some international grapes like Chardonnay and Merlot, and a selection of local grapes that had fallen out of fashion.

    After extensive research, Diego established the specific terroirs for indigenous grapes like Nero d’Avola, Carricante and Fiano. With the help of his daughter, Francesca, and Nephew, Alessio, he has now created six wineries in different parts of Sicily that serve to highlight these varied terroirs.

    As Olly says, “be quick – over the next decade, prices will rise like the sun”: Right now these Sicilian wines offer quality and value “you can't refuse”...

    By Chris Penwarden

  • Hot off the press – Italian Special

    Great Western Wine - Wines in the press

    Decanter magazine’s Italy Supplement this month features five producers from Great Western Wine. This is a lovely affirmation of the high quality, diverse range of Italian wines that we have waiting for you in store and online.

    A sparkling result

    In his opening gambit, “Why Italian wine has never been better”, Ian D'Agata writes about the diversity, modernity, reinvention and future of winemaking in today’s Italy. D'Agata’s recent book Native Wine Grapes of Italy was 13 years in the making, so you could say he knows a thing or two about Italian wine.

    D'Agata particularly focuses on the subject of sparkling wines, highlighting the wines of Trento:

    Ferrari Perlé Blanc Brut

    “Trento DOC wines made in Trentino are blessed with higher natural acidity and a tighter, more austere mouthfeel. Therefore, they appeal more to those consumers looking for a fresher, livelier sparkler.”

    He goes on to pick Ferrari’s Perlé 2007 as one of his favourites: “Bright and light in style, with floral and peachy aromas and flavours that just go on and on. 90/100

    A few pages later, Richard Baudains article on Prosecco Superiore, explains that the DOCG version of Prosecco, from the historic production area in the hills between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene (as opposed to the larger area of DOC), now “offers a genuine step up and is worth seeking out.”

    Prosecco, Ruggeri, Vecchie Viti DOCG

    Baudains takes Ruggeri’s Vecchie Viti Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG 2013 as an example: “Biscuit crust and mineral nose, delicate herby nuances and a slightly spicy, aromatic note.  Very fine, elegant perlage.  The palate has rapier intensity, length, depth and purity. Uncompromising and bone dry. 93/100

    Crus Control

    Monty Waldin urges Brunello fans to seek out “single-vineyard expressions” in his article ‘The many crus of Montalcino’; there’s more than just one style of Brunello, he writes.

    Il Poggione, Brunello di Montalcino RiservaIl Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2007 is sourced from a 15 hectare single vineyard in Sant’Angelo, Colle, with vines grown on rocky clay at an altitude of 250m. Waldin likes its “effortlessly drinkable” style and its “sour cherry fruit nicely arranged around tannins with a savoury balsam feel.”

    Smoldering good looks

    In his regional profile on Etna, Sicily, Simon Woolf says that “the vinous potential of Etna’s unique volcanic terroir is finally being fully realised.”

    Planeta Eruzione 1614 Carricante

    According to Woolf, local grape Carricante has a “Riesling-like ability to age, mutating from nervy saltiness to honeyed, smoky maturity, without any assistance from oak.”            

    Eruzione Bianco 1614 Carricante Planeta 2013    “The addition of a small amount of Riesling seems to lift the aromatics in this superbly focused, pin-sharp Carricante from a large but quality-focused producer.  The fruit is generous, the finish long and mineral.”

    Unique and Iconic

    Ian D’Agata concludes the supplement with a piece called ‘The white icons of our times’ which includes the “unique” Jermann Vintage Tunina 2012:

    Jermann, Vintage Tunina IGT“A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay with a small percentage of Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana and Picolit (Pinot Blanco was originally planned but a nursery error led to Chardonnay being planted instead).  The grapes are slightly late-harvested together from a 16ha site at Ronco del Fortino, and the wine sees no oak.   It takes its name from that of Antonia (Tunina, in dialect),  past owner of the vineyards from which the wine is made , and is dedicated to another Antonia, one of Casanova’s favourite lovers.  Although best drunk within 5 years, it can improve for up to 15.”

  • Hot Off The Press

    Great Western Wine - Wines in the press

    Victoria Moore followed up last week’s Telegraph article on Lebanon’s booming wine trade with a hand-picked selection of her favourite wines, including mentions of two from Great Western Wine’s Ixsir.

    Ixsir Altitudes WhiteIxsir Altitudes Blanc 2014, Lebanon

    “Ixsir also makes a good red syrah-cabernet blend, more international in style than the Tourelles – the 2010 Reserve is in GWW’s sale – but I really liked this white. A blend of muscat (40 per cent), viognier, sauvignon and semillon, it’s floral but not OTT. Char-grilled swordfish and salty fried fish are its friend.” Victoria Moore, The Telegraph, 19th January 2015

    While we wait for the 2014, the 2013 is reduced to £12.95, so it’s a great time to buy some of this delicious white.  Victoria also mentioned the magnificent Ixsir Grande Reserve Red 2010 – reduced by over a fiver to £17.50 - a red to savour with next Sunday’s roast.

    The Observer’s David Williams recommended this bright, fun, red Italian fizz  - ideal with a wintery stew or bolognaise

    Cantina Cleto Chiarli, Pruno NeroCantina Cleto Chiarli, Pruno Nero NV, Italy

    “How to approach wine post Christmas excess? Some of us give up for a month, but there are better times for abstinence than the dark days of January. I prefer the frisson of transgressive pleasure that that comes with drinking styles that feel slightly inappropriate amid the austerity. Sparkling wines, for example, whether a decent, budget-friendly white fizz … or, to go with the season’s meaty stews, Chiarli’s vivid, ripe black cherry-filled sparkling Italian red, with its soft mousse and gentle tannic grip.”  David Williams, The Observer, 4th January 2015

    Lastly, Decanter magazine featured this fresh and fruity white from the one of the country’s best producers  – a nice change to Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, and a lovely match for spicy Thai dishes.

    Yealands Estate Pinot GrisYealands Estate Pinot Gris 2013, New Zealand

    “Made by winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington who has previously worked in Australia, Italy and California, this is a pungent style of Pinot Gris with notes of apricot and quince on the nose. The palate is elegant and fresh, with flavours of watermelon and a pinch of ginger spice.” 89/100, Decanter Weekday Wines, February edition 2015.

  • In The News

    New Year’s Cheer for Yealands

    The Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown has just reviewed 2013 Yealands Estate Sauvignon Blanc, giving the wine an impressive 90 points. Top scores usually go to heavy reds meant for ageing, so it’s good news that Robert Parker’s publication is recognising the crisp, freshness of Yealand’s top notch white.

    “Made with fruit that comes 100% from the Seaview Vineyard, the 2013 Yealands Estate Sauvignon Blanc shows off lovely grapefruit peel and peach skin notes, crushed stones and dill seed.” Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, January 2015.


    The Beckett list

    Fiona Beckett blogged about her ‘12 Best Drink Pairings of 2014’, including Henschke’s Mount Edelstone Shiraz.  For her most memorable food and wine match from May 2014, she chose a pairing created for a Great Western Wine fine wine dinner at Allium in Bath - 40 day aged fillet of black angus beef with the 2010 vintage of the Shiraz. As Fiona pointed out: “No, not rocket science but sometimes you can’t beat the classics - and a welcome reminder...just what a good buy the Mount Edelstone Shiraz is."



    A Cut above

    For Wine Searcher, respected wine writer Wink Lorch posted an article highlighting the best value reds and whites listed on the website, compiled from their comprehensive database.  The website’s top red, as rated by at least three critics, was the 2010 Heartland Directors' Cut Shiraz, Langhorne Creek, Australia. Wink noted that although specific vintages were chosen, all the wines selected “show consistent good quality/price ratio through the vintages”.

  • Wines In The Press: Jancis Robinson's Top 20


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