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What to buy or avoid – December 2015: Christmas wine deals

Festive spirit is upon us and I cannot resist from sharing some exceptional organic wines with you (and maybe some to avoid and leave on the shops’ shelves or when shopping for wine online).

Best Christmas wine deals

First of all, let’s explore where exactly we can get the most value for money before Christmas: wine deals and wine offers.

Noster Nobilis Priorat ASDAOne of the most obvious choices here is Waitrose Cellar – they are currently offering £15 off your £120 shop with them, also up to 1/3 on selected Champagne and sparkling wines (Cava, Prosecco) and 20% on hampers (prezzies anyone?).
Another fantastic example of a wine deal is Perfect Cellar offering – you get 25% off Champagne and £12 off your wine shop of £50 or more (again, 25 off wine).
33% off Champagne is on offer at Majestic Wine. Hurry up, the offer is valid till 2pm on the 14th December!
If you are after checking some wines in-store, we just got a note that you can buy Noster Nobilis Priorat non-organic from ASDA for under £10. It is an amazing value for Priorat. The wine is good, but not offering something special (hence the price). If you have never tried Priorat though, it can excite you with its depth and you may want to explore what else Priorat has to offer.

What about a festive visit to your local indie wine shop?

Tombe du ciel Bergerac Natural Borough winesTurning to specialist independent wine stores next. Borough Wines has a few shops that are somewhat unique in the way they actually prompt you to take away a bottle of their keg wines. You can try some organic and natural wines which are just sitting in barrel and ready for you to get them poured into your own bottle. Sounds quite exciting. How about something a bit more expensive (the keg wines are around £8 mark, which is an excellent value for money)?
I have purchased a bottle of Tombe du Ciel wine from Bergerac, which is natural and organic for £12.5.

I was pleasantly surpised that the wine doesn’t have a characteristic natural aromas (a bit of an off smell for the most of young natural and sulphite-free wines).

Flavour wise it is very straightforward with red berries as it is made from Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The alcohol is on the low side, which is good, at 12% abv. Overall, the wine is light, juicy and fresh, lacks depth but really nice fruit.
I haven’t found any flavour dimensions rather than red berries so it is 25/35 but all natural and organic so should be 26 I guess.

Specialist online wine retailers from outside of the UK

Finally, let’s try a new online wine merchant that is located outside of the UK – Vinissumus. They do specialise in Spanish wines and even though they do have a wide range of wines, I find it a bit expensive to pay around £25 for a 12-bottle case of wine. Yet if you want to wine a Spanish wine that is hard to find in the UK, they could be the answer! The following four organic wines were sourced from them.

Las Hermanas Monastrell 2014 organic JumillaLas Hermanas 2014, made from organic Monastrell in Jumilla.

A very creative label with a girlfriend on a bottle, would be so easy to pick up at the bar.
Can you see this obvious target audience – female drinkers?

Indeed it meets your expectations as it is fruity, unpretentious, with a slight ting of acidity and overall roundness.

It is not overly ripe either, so it is not jammy at all, red berry fruits quickly give way to blueberries and blackberries, but overall this wine is fresh and a bit playful. Cheeky!

Would like some something more than the chit chat and get more depth and concentration yet for the youthful age (2014) this wine it is good!
26/35

Planella Montsant 2012 organic biodynamicPlanella 2012 Montsant is organic and biodynamic wine from a neighbouring to Priorat region which is rapidly gaining reputation of a quality red wine made of similar blends – Garnacha and Carignan.

The wine is very smooth and mellow yet fruity – blueberry-rich and further blackberry/blackcurrant notes with some very tender vanilla.

A very good balance – you do not really pick at first that the wine is strong at 14.5% abv! Yet bear it in mind though!

The wine is not overly rich or concentrated, but very juicy and mellow (so not really like a Priorat afterall!)

It is good at 26/35.

DeStrankIs organic PrioratDeStrankIs 2012 organic Priorat, made from Garnacha and Samso grape varieties.

The wine is very nice with deep blackberry and blackcurrant flavours, warmth and vanilla/ herbal notes (Rosemary).
It has a sweet touch but has a refreshing aspect as well which makes this wine a really pleasant one. It’s well aged but still fresh exciting and playful.

It’s round and vivacious, but just could a but more elegant to be completely superb.

28/35

I have received some comments that my reviews are ‘non-classical’ (as per Wine and Spirits Education Trust ‘Systematic Approach to Tasting’). Yes they are rather frivolous in terms of things I focus on, but there is no professional jargon either.
Let’s make a quick example of a wine that is being described using a more standartised approach. Please let me know what do you think!

Planetes de Nin Priorat biodynamic and organicPlanets de Nin 2013 Prorate organic and biodynamic wine made by Familia de Nin-Ortiz using 70% Grenache, 30% Carignan grapes. It is not very cheap at £20.8.

Appearance

clear and deep ruby in colour

Nose

clear with pronounced intensity of primary aromas of dark fruit (blackberries), ripe stone fruit (plums), herbal (rosemary) and pungent spice (liquorice), secondary of oak origin (cloves, vanilla) and tertiary of fruit development (cooked strawberries) and savoury of bottle age. The wine is developing.
Palate

dry with medium acidity, medium+ alcohol, medium+ tannins, medium+ body, medium+ tannins pronounced intensity of primary flavour of dark fruit (blackberries and blueberries), ripe stone fruit (plums), herbal (rosemary) and pungent spice (liquorice), secondary of oak origin (cloves, vanilla) and tertiary of fruit development (cooked strawberries) and savoury of bottle age. Its finish is medium+.

Wowch that was almost scientific don’t you think? I will rate this wine (outside of the above method, but just using my own Organic Grading System) as 28/35 as this wine is very good, with some potential to age further yet already displaying a very interesting and complex array of flavours. I particularly like how Carignan grape adds minerality to the finished wine. Absolutely marvellous.

Organic wine verdict: what to buy or avoid?

The wines from Vinissimus offered interesting flavours and should be tried – it is a very good online wine retailer (service is good, the delivery as well) yet with the pricey delivery charge as they ship it from Spain. You should be prepared to wait for a bit longer than usual as they take time to prepare the order and then a few days to ship it. It won;t be your next day delivery for sure!
Even though a shop assistant at Borough Wines referred to Tombe du Ciel as a very exciting wine, I personally think that you can leave it where it is – on the shelf!
Wine deals and offers are truly great this season – I hope you will use any of the mentioned above and get the most out of wine shopping with us.
Cheers!

About The Author

Dimitri

Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.

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