Every paper and most magazines these days have a wine column. The critics (misnamed because they never actually criticise, unlike, say film critics) recommend a range of wines, usually on some feeble premise. I saw ‘wines for autumn’ the other day. It’s rare that I find these columns of any use. Firstly the wines recommended are not ones I want to buy and, more importantly they aren’t easy to get hold of. It could be a recommendation for a supermarket you don’t shop at or an independent wine merchant who wants a £100 minimum spend and charges for delivery.
One exception is Janice Robinson and her staff who I’ve always found worth reading. They recently reviewed a lot of wines from Vin Cognito. We’ve tasted wines from this supplier before and the wines are invariably interesting. So I took a punt on a few of which this is the first: Cortezada Fedellos do Couto, Ribeira Sacra, 2015, £20.
This was a lovely wine, smokey and peppery, well integrated tannin, lots of fruit, very fresh, very long. 100% pure Mencia – not a grape we’ve ever mentioned before, nor have we ever tasted a wine from Ribeira Sacra, a small region in Galicia. A real find and I wish I’d bought more.