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Oz Clarke's 250 Best Wines, 2011 edition

Four in this year! Oz clearly has good taste (especially bearing in mind the majority of the 250 is reserved for wines available from supermarkets and multiples). Two in the top 100 and two in the specialist sections.

At Number 9 in Oz's Top 100 is Miguel Angel Muro's 2004 Rioja 'Amenital'. He writes "2004 is a classic vintage for Rioja: dark, ripe, rather closed in, promising long life. Well, this is dark but it isn't brooding and introspective. The fruit's darkness is the darkness of real ripeness, so ripe that a heady plum blossom scent shimmers on the surface of the wine. It does have some tannic toughness but not nearly enough to interfere with the pleasure and it's the fruit acidity that provides the backbone to the wine. You don't usually get that tingling acidity in modern Rioja but here they've used 20% of the Graciano grape in the blend (along with the traditional Tempranillo) to provide vivacity and verve. The acidity keeps the wine fresh while the waxy texture and mellow vanilla warmth wrap around the fruit and ooze over your palate".

Domaine des Anges' 2007 Côtes du Ventoux Rouge is at Number 90 on the list, "ripe and full but seductively scented with cool orchard air and the dark red fruit of cherries and strawberries flows effortlessly through the local landscape of rocks and herbs". At £7.65 it is listed as one of the very cheapest wines in the Top 100 but in fact we have been able to drop the price to £7.35 thanks to the improved exchange rate.

Jonathan Maltus' 2008 Bordeaux Blanc 'Pezat' also makes an appearance in the Keeping It Light section.

Finally, the superb 2007 Gaillac Doux 'Renaissance' from Domaine Rotier is "rich and fat, not hysterically sweet but waxy and dripping with quince, fresh figs and honey, with a funky mix of melon, pineapple chunks and marrow jam unexpectedly appearing on your tongue just before the wine drifts off into a delightful aftertaste of strawberry and honey". 

Comments

  1. Opened a bottle of the 2004 Amenital - absolutely glorious. Just what I look for in a Rioja these days. My palate has tired of the over-oaking of many Spanish wines so the more modern style is a good fit. The fruit really shines through the more subtle veneer of French and American oak and this is a big red with good grip and acidity.

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