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Most exciting wine finds?


#1

Hi all,

Just a quick question, what is your most exciting wine find? When I was going through my WSET levels 2 and 3 I was lucky enough to stumble upon various odd grape types, the one I have found to be rather underrated but delicious is Tannat after trying to Madiran.

I particularly enjoyed the below wine from Madiran but have tried other Tannat from Uruguay:

Other wine finds for me are the fantastic quality of wines coming from Austria, with Blaufrankisch and Gruner Veltliner being top recommendations.


#2

Thanks @M1tch - if you drink as many bottles as I do each year, that’s a hard question to answer.

The wine that comes to mind when I read that question was actually something I bought in a bin-end sale about 18 months or two years ago, and I have DESPERATELY tried not to finish all the bottles in that time.

The wine was the 2010 vintage of this wine - a Mavrotragano from Greece. This is truly heavenly but also wild and moreish (but not cheap … but then it is fairly unusual):


#3

At least the wine has a fairly long drink window! It is good to see that some of the less well known wine growing areas are now starting to get recognised for the quality wine they produce - example being the Bulgarian Soli Pinot Noir:


#4

Oh this is such a good question! I love trying bottles that have really left their mark on someone. That Greek red is going straight onto my next order!

One of mine was wines from Lebanon, such as Hochar:

It was so exciting to find a level of complexity and concentrated intensity that was really unlike anything else I’d tried. A whole new country to explore!

Also this sweet wine from Orvieto:

It holds a special place in my heart as it was the first bottle that really got me excited about wine, way back in my first few weeks in the industry. It was sweet but also so light and fresh, and I drank it on its own, with puddings and with cheese, which wasn’t something I’d ever thought a wine could do.


#5

I had the Hochar two weeks ago and it was exciting! Packed with all the signature Musar notes that can never be described by words but for only half the price :slight_smile:


#6

One of my most exciting wine finds was the Vinkara Kalecik Karasi. Only about £10 and it really felt like a good cru beaujolais, in fact there was almost a burgundian feel to it. As a result of trying it, I bought a few Turkish wines when I went on holiday there and enjoyed those too. It was a new grape to me at the time and helped me to discover a few more as a result! https://www.instagram.com/p/BKJf3XWgIjQ/


#7

I’m totally with you on that. Fantastic wine! It reminded me of the local wines I was drinking on Zante a couple of summers ago. Fresh, light and fruity.


#8

I agree with @Bargainbob it was a lovely wine - it was also described to me as ‘Turkey’s Pinot Noir’ when I was over there, though I feel it had more really dark fruit than that. However, I then also tried the other Turkish red wine on the list and almost loved that more. Have you tried this one?


#9

Yes! Quite a while ago though. I remember it being much deeper and darker than the Kalecik Karasi, which was probably more to my taste. Still a good wine, and one I should try again. Thanks for the reminder!


#10

A couple of #discovery wines for me would be from Chateau Vartely in Moldova. The Feteasca Regala is a really good house white. Fresh and aromatic, and I always thought there was a hint of straw to the nose, which was far nicer than perhaps it sounds!
Their Cabernet Sauvignon is also good, but for me it’s worth spending a bit more and going for the Individo Feteasca. Full, fruity and velvety smooth. Very nice indeed.


#11

I was debating whether or not to disclose this because i’m scared this wine will sell out. This Nebbiolo from Fara in NW Italy is stunning. Let it breathe for a couple of hours and enjoy. We were blown away…


#12

I like this topic. I find the Society is brilliant at stimulating exploration in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re making an effort. In the past two years, I’ve loved discovering wines from Crete and Greece more widely, such as the Vidiano Klima Karavitakis 2014 (no longer in stock! argh!) or the MavroKalavrita Tetramythos 2013 (nearest equivalent now: https://www.thewinesociety.com/shop/ProductDetail.aspx?pd=GR1151) And I’ve also really liked getting into the Grüner Veltliners. The Exhibition GV from Willi Bründlmayer is outstanding, but I also recommend the Bernhard Ott (https://www.thewinesociety.com/shop/ProductDetail.aspx?pd=AA1971) and the Rainer Wess (https://www.thewinesociety.com/shop/ProductDetail.aspx?pd=AA1951). Utterly delicious, especially at this time of year.


#13

I agree with you on that, would make a nice house white, I enjoy finding odd regions that now make very good wine, great wines coming from Bulgaria as well.


#14

I try to always have a bottle of the Ode d’Aydie in stock for the rare occasions we actually get round to making a cassoulet. Most exciting recent discovery - Assyrtiko. The Hatzidakis, while not cheap, is an outstanding food wine. I’ve had another (forget the producer) which I could have mistaken for a decent burgundy, although I’m not sure what this says about my palate!


#15

Ooh not yet but I will. Had a terrific Öküzgözü from Pendore wines which I brought back from Turkey so will definitely give this a go. Thanks!


#16

Picked up a few bottles from this list and tried the Kalavryta Tetramythos this weekend. Fantastic! Not normally my taste but there was such an elegant complexity for a sub-£10 bottle. Thanks for the rec @ricard.


#17

Sounds fabulous - I’ve added it to my wishlist for my next order. Thanks for the recommendation!


#18

It’s great that you liked it, @Justin. I’m especially encouraged that it sounds like you liked the 2016 as much as the 2013 I tasted. Amazing value for a sub-£10. It’s also interesting that a Mediterranean red can be so exciting while being so young - I mean 2016 was just last year… I’m putting a couple into my next order!


#19

Huge fan of Greek reds and so good to see both the Mavrotragano and Black Kalavryta being recommended and enjoyed. Thymiopoulos’ reds are also stunning and firm favourites at home. If you like Beaujolais, Pinot Noir and/or Nebbiolo, I can’t recommend the Jeunes Vignes enough. I confess I was a bit confused by the '15 vintage when it first turned up at HQ, but I think it was quite fresh off the boat when I first tried it. As I discovered last week, it seems to have settled down in bottle and is delicious (but no hurry…):


#20

Both the Tymiopoulos reds are great! The Earth and Sky is a lot denser and richer, but the Jeunes Vignes is a great summer red. The style of the producer is more international than others, many Naoussa wines are tannic monsters which like Nebbiolo based wines need quite a lot of cellaring, although they when mature are lovely and unique.

I’m sure i’ll retry the Kalavrytra as well. Greece is packed with interesting grape varieties!