Jonathan Rogers of VIN Wine Merchants looks at 'new' wine producing countries
Every year, a gathering of the best wines from those countries we don't hear so much about or see so much on the supermarket shelves is held in London. In terms of wine producing countries, they are divided into two main groups. 'New World' which as the name suggests represents countries who have not been producing wine for that long. These include countries like Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and the US. 'Old World' is the opposite. These are countries who we understand have been producing wine for many, many years. These include France, Italy, Spain and Germany, among others,
But now we have a third category, 'Emerging Regions'. This category includes countries who are now making an impact on the world of wine, concentrating on quality and value for money. In practice many of these countries have been producing wines for centuries, but have. not necessarily been selling them over here. These include countries like FYR Macedonia who have a whole load of local grape varieties not found anywhere else. Croatia and Slovenia are both countries producing undiscovered but quality wine. India is a country on the up as is Georgia and England (yes, I believe we fall into this category). Uruguay is also now producing an abundance of quality wines, different in style to other South American countries, the wine are more robust, drier and fuller bodied. The secret in terms of quality lies in its climate and soils, both of which contribute to the style of wine produced, which are very different from its neighbours in Chile and Argentina. In general Uruguay produces a more European style of wine with less jammy fruit, less alcohol, more acidity and structured tannins.
These new wines are now being taken seriously. Its very easy to dismiss wines without trying them and the main reason for this is that we don't recognise the grape variety or the country it comes from. As an English wine producer myself the hardest thing I found was to get people to try the wines in the first place, with many people simply believing that England can't produce quality wine. Its up to us journalists and restaurants and wine merchants to believe in these wines giving the consumer confidence to purchase them. There is a whole world of wine out there. It needs to be experienced.
De Lucca Reserve Marsanne Uruguay £11.99 White
A small amount of oak, it has a tropical fruit character including quince and pear.
Juanico Marselan Select Uruguay £12.49 Red
A cross between Grenache and Cabernet, balanced tannin, dry and very versatile.
Gaspar Malvazia Slovenia £12.49 White
Full of fruit with an elegant light dry finish.
Langhams Estate NV England £24.99
This relatively new and amazing English producer based in Dorset creates a range of sparkling wines. This has a delicate mousse with a soft creamy texture. Amazing value too.