A monthly review of an easily obtainable wine that’s had a recommendation somewhere in a National newspaper. Always posted just before the usual monthly theme, this may be the latest post for only a few days…

Bellingham “The Bernard Series” Whole Bunch Roussanne 2010 (or 2012) – 14½% – Sainsbury’s £11

A warm, satisfying, complex, long-lived and refreshing 2014 to all!

A warm, satisfying, complex, long-lived, sensuous and refreshing 2014 to all!

The wine, which originates in Paarl, is a rather pale straw colour. The nose has oily, nutty notes – then floral hints, citrus peel and lime. Later as the wine warms, pears and kiwi fruit emerge…

Strong warm lemon acidity and a slightly spirity alcohol hit on the palate, buttery elements with an oaked-wine structure (though not big new oak vanilla). Oily, fleshy texture – pears again and a mineral finish. The overall flavour profile is rather reminiscent of Chardonnay.

After a while, as the wine warms, these Chardonnay-ish qualities (oak structure, butter, citrus, mineral…) become more dominant and – to be blunt – tiring. Cooling the wine helps and returns the fresher characteristics…

With food (Thai Green Curry) the oily and buttery elements work rather well, coating the mouth and offsetting the spices and aromatics in the food (in a similar way that Gewurztraminer works, although most Gewurz have a sweeter balance). While the foods masks out the subtler notes in the wine this means that the citrus peel quality becomes more prominent.

Later still many of the wine’s components integrate more, making it much more satisfying and stable. I was drinking the 2010 and would guess another year would help that wine – for the 2012 – 3 years?

Overall, rather a volatile wine – very sensitive to temperature. But a big wine that slots into the New World Chardonnay  £10-£15 bracket. From that point of view it is very good value. It needs the right occasdion or food but then can show off complexity and interest well beyond most £15 New World Chardonnays.

Ratings:    Quality:  15/20            Value:  16/20