New Grape Varieties - Discoveries

Scheurebe is one of the best of the German crossings. Its also used in Austria for desert wines (called Samling or Samling 88 there), nice at all sweetness levels.

I have had exquisite examples from the island of Tinos, close enough to Santorini


Nice! Would love to hear some names if you have any to hand - am a huge fan of the Hatzidakis one we list :slight_smile:

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All from T-oinos — Mavro, Mavro Rose and Clos Stegasta red, also tasted Clos Stegasta Rare

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@woodap Ooh, scheurebe sounds well worth trying. That chenin blanc blend sounds incredible - blackcurrant, honey and grapefruit?! :heart_eyes: A real wine geek’s wine.

One of my grape discoveries that I’ve been trying to find more examples of is bobal, a red grape from Spain. We currently do one but I confess I haven’t tried it:

The most recent one I’ve tried is this from Majestic:

Bobal seems to make really big, powerful-flavoured wines and I just love how loud and proud it is. Knocks your socks off!


Yes, Bobal is very very good (a bit on the rustic side, but with definite personality and intensity) and of course Mencía, but that’s no longer that new or rare, in fact it’s gone from cult to trendy I would say. The Society currently does two Mencía, both from Ribeira Sacra, but most Mencía is from Bierzo.

The ones from the Canary Islands are worth checking out - Listán Negro, Listán Blanco, Marmajuelo, Negramoll and Tintilla. Unusual and rare. My guess is that the special characteristics of Canary wines is not so much due to these odd varieties, but to the volcanic soils.

But my prize would go to Callet, from the Balearic island of Mallorca. Callet makes world class wines, notably the incredible Àn (previously known as Ànima Negra, and its more affordable sister wine AN/2 Ànima Negra) and 4 Kilos (and its sister wine 12 Volts Callet is often combined with two other indigenous Mallorcan varieties, Mantonegro and Fogoneu. Believe me, these wines are superb, and reflect both terroir and variety.

Sadly the Society doesn’t currently stock any wines from Mallorca. Hint hint @PierreM


Maybe not really a discovery but this was the first wine made from the Mencia grape, that I can recall. Superb.


Might I say dry Furmint, Juhfark and Harslevelu as Hungarian white varieties to look out for.

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Tried a South African Harslevelu last week but wasn’t much impressed.

Ooh yes, and can I add cserszegi to that list? We don’t do one any more I think, but we used to sell this Hungarian white wine from Hilltop Estate, and it was SO fresh, fragrant and very, very drinkable indeed. I loved it - hoping it’ll come back soon!

Oh, and I loved it enough to learn how it was pronounced, so if anyone’s interested it’s (apparently!) “chair-zeggy”! :grinning:

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That is pretty impressive, I would say it is closer to chair-seggy. Too pedantic, I know.

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Oh nooo! I was so close to getting it right… :see_no_evil:

Quick, someone introduce us all to an amazing new grape so we can gloss over this fail… !


Fer Servadou #helping


Even the French can come up with some rare and interesting grapes I had never heard of!

We really enjoyed this one.


There are also some interesting swiss grapes, however quite expensive due to limited vineyard area plus most of them are rather hilly!

And the fact that the Swiss drink almost all of the wine they make, plus they import a lot. And the fact that the Swiss franc is very strong…

I can’t say much about this wine but certainly bobal is a fantastic grape to try. According to the description this is a blend with tempranillo and syrah. It’s worth seeking a %100 bobal wine. La Malkerida from Bruno Murciano is gorgeous example. Very ethereal and elegant, with bright red fruit and lenght.


For me my greatest discovery of the last few years must be Nerello Mascalese. I love its capacity to convey the terroirs of Mount Etna. Or maybe it is the soils and the place that I like so much? Either way, the etna examples of Nerello Mascalese, also in conjunction with Nerello Cappuccio are some of the most exciting wines I have had of recently. Full of elegance, minerality and a sense of restraint power. In a way only places like Burgundy or the Northern Rhone can do. Frank Cornelissen and Pietradolce and some absolute favourites although different in style. Can we have more Etna wines in the Society please?? :wink:


Love the semillon/colombard blend of Ch. de la Grave Fins Grains. Unusual but well-made wine of big flavours from Bordeaux area. Good keeper as the semillon will soften.


Maratheftiko: A red grape from Cyprus. I’d never heard of this grape, nor had I ever seen Cypriot wine on sale in the UK. All I can say is that it seems a very well balanced wine for the £9 asking price. (It’s not from the Wine Society list, but this is the first time in ages that I’ve been disloyal to the Society. Honest.)