Just to keep things ticking over here, I thought I’d mention a couple of – very different – wines I’ve tried recently.

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Froggy assesses Rothley Wine’s King Richard

As this is a Leicestershire blog, I was very keen to try a bottle of King Richard – a dry white wine made here in Leicestershire by Rothley Wine. The grapes are new ones to me – allegedly 77 per cent Solaris and 33 per cent Siegerrede (I know, someone’s maths or proofreading needs improving). English wines are improving at breakneck pace – the wines made by Chapel Down for example, on the chalk downs of Kent and Sussex are superb and their operation in Tenterden is highly professional. Leicestershire is 150 miles further north and notwithstanding global warming this is marginal territory.  But Rothley have done a fine job of building their operation with the support of local people.

So, King Richard 2015. First off – it’s really pretty good. The makers say it’s in the style of a gewurztraminer and suggest flavours of melon, grapefruit and ginger – and I get all of that. But as well as those brighter, zingy flavours there was also a whiff of the farmyard that I found off-putting. Some may like some funk in their wines but while I was more than happy to finish off the bottle, it was enough for me to think at £11.50 a bottle it was an interesting experiment rather than “get a case in”. Unfair maybe to compare to similar wines of established areas such as Alsace or the Loire, and you can certainly be disappointed with wines from those regions, but we’re not there yet.  Definitely worth supporting though because English wines can, and I am sure will, continue to improve in years to come.

My second bottle I’m only recommending because I’ve bought all the bottles I can find already.   Lidl’s Wine Tour selections are available for a couple of months on a “when it’s one, it’s gone” basis and often feature wines from just outside top appelations which come in between around £5 and £9. They are always worth a try, but rarely prove anything other than you get what you pay for. However I do think their Selone Negroamaro from Puglia is truly spectacular value at £5.69.  Coming in at a hefty 14.5 per cent it has gentle but firm tannins and a depth of fruit, spice and vanilla that is rare at this price point. It can be drunk on it’s own but is super with red meat or cheese.

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Froggy assesses Lidl’s Selone Negroamaro

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Fine wines on Granby St

April 14, 2016

I’ve written before about how the St Martin’s area in Leicester is booming with high quality independent food and drink outlets.  I’ve never been tempted to say the same about Granby Street. Maybe, just maybe though, there’s something stirring.

Kayal is of course a fairly long-standing star, and there’s one or two other little food outlets of interest now.  What I didn’t expect to see there is a fine wine shop.WP_20160411_13_10_33_Pro

But here it is.  Handily placed opposite The Last Plantagenet.

Wine and Whiskey is not smartest outlet but nonetheless has a pretty good selection of fine wines – especially Burgundies and Clarets, and a very good selection of  beers from Leicestershire’s growing number of small breweries. The spirit selection is impressive too.  I’m not sure what explains the location  – maybe it’s as simple as rents dropping – but its an unexpected pleasure.  I didn’t have time to do much in the way of price comparisons but if you’re in the market for good stuff, it’s worth a look.

One more wine tip while I’m here – Lidl on Loughborough Road currently has Vidal Canadian Ice Wine by Pillitteri on offer.  This was described by the Guardian last Christmas as “intensely luscious” and as cheap at £14.99, and is now on sale at that store at just £7.99 (half-bottle).  Don’t know if the deal is also on at other stores or whether the manager is just having a clear out  – but desert wine lovers will want to make a trip there. No guarantee how long the offer will last though.

 

 

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