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squaremeal.co.uk ‚ 89

WINE

Alfrocheiro (akin to Carignan) in support.

Great value, these work well with fatty

meat dishes like suckling pig or goose.

Ribeiro Santo Tinto Dão 2012

(£7.25, The Wine Society)

A boisterous and juicy youngster packed

with flavours of red berries with smoky,

herby overtones, and something of the

cool freshness that granite soils seem to

bring to a wine. All the better for an

hour's decanting before serving.

Niepoort Rótulo Dão 2013

(£13.99, Bottle Apostle)

Another wine with that cool granite

confidence, here the flavours are darker

- black cherry and blackcurrant - with

notes of spice and roasted meat, plus

a svelte finish guaranteed to keep you

coming back for more.

SOUTH AFRICAN

SAUVIGNON BLANC

Unlike in New Zealand, where wellknown

Marlborough dominates the scene,

there's no one region in South Africa

that has grabbed Sauvignon Blanc by the

scruff of the neck and made it its own.

Nor has there been a Cloudy Bay-like

standout winery to which others can

aspire. �e result is a fascinating array of

styles. �ankfully, the OTT green pepperscented

concoctions that were in vogue

a decade ago seem to be disappearing,

replaced by more grown-up wines that

have much to offer those looking to

expand their Sauvignon horizons.

Finest Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc

2015 (£5.50, Tesco)

Made by the renowned André van

Rensburg of Vergelegen, this combines

crisp lemon flavours with a rounder

gooseberry richness to good effect. Made

for seafood, and at a very keen price too.

Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc 2014,

Constantia (£13.99, Majestic)

A dollop of Semillon, a little lees ageing

and some extra bottle age has resulted in

quite a fleshy style of wine that will go

down well with Chardonnay fans. �e

greengage, lemon and quince flavours and

lightly honeyed edge make this a good

partner for a goats' cheese salad.

AUSTRALIAN PINOT NOIR

Twenty-five years ago, a friend proposed

starting a society called "Australian Pinot

Noir: why do they bother?" Because apart

from a few successes in the Yarra Valley,

there was little to get excited about then.

Today the picture is quite different. �e

search for vineyards where Pinot can

excel rather than just exist has borne fruit,

and this, combined with more sensitive

winemaking, has resulted in wines that

can challenge - and often outclass - what

is being achieved across the Tasman in

New Zealand.

Crittenden Estate Pinot Noir 2014,

Mornington Peninsula

(£18.40, The Wine Tasting Shop)

Young, juicy style, combining quite

plush red cherry and smoky berry flesh

with a crispness that will keep the wine

in condition for a few years to come.

But when it's so alluring now, why wait,

especially if there's some duck breast to

be had alongside?

Mac Forbes Pinot Noir 2014, Yarra Valley

(£27.50, Philglas & Swiggot)

A wilder style than the Crittenden, with

red berries and damsons to the fore, and

hints of violets and forest floor in the

background. Supple and tasty, with a

savoury note to the finish that would be

a good foil for rabbit. NB Mac Forbes is

also responsible for �e Wine Society's

excellent Blind Spot range, including a

tasty Pinot Noir (£9.50).

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