What we’ve been drinking (14 January)

At Decanter we all love our wine, and every week members of the Decanter team - from editorial assistant to publishing director - tell us what they've been enjoying at home and when they go out... What we've been drinking index

Lucy Shaw

Editorial assistant, Decanter

   Estapor Venir Mezcla Tinto, Guadalupe Valley, 2007

Last Wednesday evening I braved the snow and pigeon-stepped my way to Wahaca in Westfield. Bibendum were hosting a food and wine dinner to showcase the wines of Hugo D’Acosta, the Mexican Mondavi. D’Acosta, who trained in Bordeaux, owns four wineries in the Guadalupe Valley and consults for a number of others in the region. Widely considered the best winemaker in the country, his influence is almost Kurtz-like. Unfortunately, this is the only wine of his currently available in the UK (£10.99; Bibendum). It’s an adventurous blend of 40% Petite Syrah, 20 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Barbera and 20% Zinfandel. Grown on limestone and sandy soils and aged for eight months in French-American oak, the wine is a fascinating mix of sweet and savoury. On first sniff I got lovely savoury vegetal notes, but behind them were rich red and black fruits – black cherry jam, strawberries, raspberries and red berries. Elegant, spicy, refined and smooth on the palate, it had a lovely long liquorice finish. I was seriously impressed – Mexico thoroughly deserves its place on the wine map.

Tina Gellie

Chief Sub Editor, Decanter

   Seppelt, Salinger Traditional Method Sparkling, Australia 2002

In Australia for a whirlwind cross-country holiday over Christmas and New Year, I was anxious to drink local. But you probably don’t want to hear about the Coopers Pale Ale, so I’ll make mention of a surprisingly nice fizz enjoyed to ring in the new year. Now, this isn’t a wine to match the sparkling display of fireworks at Sydney Harbour (try Tasmania’s Arras for that) but the 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir blend of fruit sourced from the cool-climate regions of Tumbarumba, Adelaide Hills and the Yarra Valley was a far more serious a drop than its price tag suggested (about $25, or £13). With 5% of reserve wines giving the wine added complexity, this eight-year-old had a vibrant mousse, lively aromas of citrus and digestive biscuit, and an elegant but brisk palate of crunchy green apple, tropical tones, Brazil nut creaminess and a long finish, all enlivened by zingy acidity and great balance. Let’s raise a glass to more such exciting wine finds in 2010.

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