Popular Posts

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Two More Eastern Mediterranean Wines from Marks & Spencer

Earlier this year, Marks & Spencer launched a new Eastern Mediterranean range of wines - priced at around £10, these sometimes hard-to-pronounce wines from oenologically obscure countries would have to be good to tempt buyers away from more familiar bottles.

I've been reviewing them in pairs and these two whites from the Adriatic are definitely worth seeking out.

Quercus Pinot Bianco, 2011 Goriska Brda, Slovenia

Of all the former Yugoslav-nations, tiny Slovenia sees itself as the least Slavic, preferring the moniker of "Little Austria".

In the north of the country, it shares the same terroir as Austria's Styria, but this wine is from the Adriatic coastal region, not far from Italy (hence the Italianate grape name) with the vineyards cooled by sea breezes.

On the nose, it is citrussy and toasty with slightly floral notes and a touch of spice.

On the palate, there is ripe orchard fruit with rounded acidity; it feels mouthfilling with apples, pears, quince and medlar fruit - a touch of thick-skinned yeastiness and some spice.

Long on the palate and mouthwatering with a persistent rounded finish, it is well-made and balanced.

A versatile food wine, match with roast chicken or pork, hard yellow cheese or creamy mushroom pasta

It's actually rather lovely and proves a favourite not only with the rest of the CWB family, but also of M&S Wine Specialist Trading Support, Elizabeth Kelly

Golden Valley Graševina, Slavonija, Croatia

My memories of working in Croatia in the late '90s are of Italian levels of corruption and inefficiency; the country seemed to be on its knees with little hope of going anywhere any time soon.

With a stagnant, barter-based economy, making good wine seemed a low priority and I decided not to expect much from this beautiful but troubled country.

Fast forward just over a decade and I tasted a Gold Medal-winning Graševina at the IWC Taste of Gold event last year and, what do you know, here's another good one, too.

Herbaceous and aromatic on the nose, there are some ripe tropical notes.

The palate is mouthwatering and rounded with vibrant zesty acidity and tropical fruit; it is long with good savoury depth and a persistent finish.

Again, it feels balanced, well made and very pleasantly drinkable.

Match the aromatic notes with green herbs, such as mozzarella with pesto, white fish with a herby broth or roasted pork or chicken with a rosemary and sage rub.

Recommended wine

Both wines are very pleasant indeed and worth seeking out - for me, the Slovenian Quercus has the slight edge, but don't let that stop you from trying the Graševina as well.


Marks and Spencer - website, twitter

Other related articles

Croatian Graševina tasted at IWC Taste of Gold
More on Slovenian wines generally

No comments:

Post a Comment