three wine bottles

Nemea Aivalis Red, Nemea, Greece 2012 (£15.60, Southern Wine Roads) The British wine trade is rather like bookselling in many ways. Both have struggled to come to terms with the harsher realities of 21st-century capitalism, the gentlemanly networks of the past disrupted by the rise of ruthless big business. Fortunately, both too have their little-guy revenge stories, with the recent success of small-press literary publishers very much echoed in wine’s increasingly varied crop of small specialist importers. Set up by Maria Moutsou as a sideline to her profession as a doctor, Southern Wine Roads is typical of the breed, offering a personal collection of producers from Moutsou’s native Greece, of which this velvety red plum and bergamot-scented red is a highlight.

Michelini Brothers Via Revolucionaria Torrontés Brutal, Argentina 2013 (£14.99,Selfridges) Argentinian wines are much better represented in the UK than those of Greece, but most of what we get to see is the work (good and bad) of larger firms. When it was founded a decade ago, Las Bodegas was the first British company to specialise in the smaller producers, and it continues to make the case for the more experimental Argentinian fringe. The three winemaking Michelini brothers, who work together and on their own projects high up in the Andes in the Uco Valley region of Mendoza, are very much in this camp. Their Demente Blend 2012 (£22.99) is a deep and fragrant red; Matias Michelini’s solo torrontés is a herbal, floral, slightly chewy, original white treat.

Movia Gredič Brda Primorska Slovenia 2012 (£11, Meadowdale Wines) Based on the Isle of Wight, Swede Jan Lindfeldt is interested in winemaking philosophy: organic, biodynamic and low-additive natural wines. His search for vignerons leads him to regions both classic (the cherry-tangy, light, limpid Santa 10 Rosso, Tuscany 2009, £13) and lesser known (the vibrant, grippy, luminous Jakeli Wines Khashmi Saperavi 2010, £17, from Kakheti in Georgia). But the standout for me is Slovenian Aleš Kristančič, whose Movia estate in Brda straddles the border with Italy, and produces such delights as the honeyed orchard fruit of Gredic white, or the mellow Movia Merlot 2008 (£18).


By Adam