Joelle Thomson's Amazing Value Picks: The experimental mix
by Abby Jones
It’s easy to forget how many different wines there are in the world when you’re spoilt for choice in a country like New Zealand, which excels at high quality wines but produces them from a small number of grapes. Which leads us to this week’s top six wines, a bunch of beauties from the warm Mediterranean shores and two exotic different countries in South America.
There’s variety to burn in this week’s top drops. I hope you enjoy them.
Big, dark, soft and juicy. Primitivo is all these things and more because it delivers great value for money, thanks to being from one of Italy’s warmest, most reliable wine regions when it comes to quality – Puglia in the deep south. This wine over delivers on flavour with big, dark, juicy ripe fruit, a full body and a lingering finish.
Tempranillo, Grenache, Carignan and Merlot combine in this full bodied, dry, seven year old Spanish red, which shows that old and new can come together successfully in a new wave partnership. Tempranillo is the most planted red grape in Spain and is at ease in the company of these other three juicy red grapes. Big, dark and powerful – a red that over delivers.
We all need our comfort slippers some days and this wine is one of mine; a modern Chardonnay which is dry, full bodied and crisp as well as being refreshing.
Argentina may be best known for big bold reds made from the Malbec grape but it’s also home to high quality Chardonnay, such as this incredibly tasty, fresh and zesty, full bodied, dry white. Powerful citrusy flavours of ripe lemon, grapefruit and notes of white peach are all present and counted in this beautifully balanced white. Sealed with a screwcap.
This gold medal winning wine is pale pink, dry and made from the Bobal grape, a native to Utiel-Requena in Valencia, Spain. This wine drinks beautifully now when chilled, thanks to its refreshing light body and long finish. Sealed with a screwcap.
Montepulciano is one of my favourite Italian red grapes and comes from central Italy, where the warm Mediterranean climate provides good ripening conditions for this grape’s hallmark style - soft, smooth and fruity. It’s dry, medium bodied and drinks well now.
Carmenere is a deeply coloured, impressively richly flavoured red that originally comes from southern France but is now more at home in Chile, that string bean of a country that flanks the west coast of South America. It makes dark spicy reds with the X factor, like this one.
Joelle Thomson is a wine writer, journalist and author. She’s an avid lover of wine and currently writes for Capital magazine, Good magazine, NZ Winegrower, Drinksbiz, and her own site,www.joellethomson.com.
She also teaches, works in radio, and more, so we've enlisted her help to sniff out our amazing value wines!