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And Now For Something A Little Different…..

his month the Graped Crusader has been exploring the slightly more unusual and overlooked wines in the Selfridges wine selection to recommend something a little different to you.

I’ve always been a fan of the underdog wine. A grape that is perhaps overlooked, or conversely that has become a victim of its own success and has suffered a decline in fortunes. I’ve tried to recommend something a little different this time, so I’d love to hear what you think of my selections below….

Drink Me Niepoort 2007 – Portugal (£12.99)

Drink Me is intended to be an easy drinking red and it absolutely is. Coming from the Douro region in Portugal, this wine has full red berry flavours a hint of spice and a very good structure. If you’ve not tried a Portuguese wine before this really shows what they can do. The label is also one of the best I’ve seen in a long time, designed by the famous Canadian cartoonist Steven Appleby who has previously illustrated for the Guardian and Sunday Telegraph.

Chateau Monteils Sauternes 2005 – France (£12.99)

I’ve been a fan of desert wines for some time now, and if you’re interested in trying one this is a great place to start. Made from Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grapes that have been allowed to rot on the vines (known as “Noble Rot”). Sauternes is probably the most highly thought of desert wine, certainly fetching the highest prices. The process of Noble Rot causes very concentrated flavours. This is a very fine example with sweet fruit flavours and hints of honey. Paired with cheesecake this is a real winner!

Kurt Angerer “Kies” Gruner Veltliner 2008 – Austria (£14.99)

Gruner Veltliner is Austria’s flagship white grape, which many of Austria’s winemakers believe is capable of making world class white wines. Planted in more than 30% of Austria’s vineyards it is capable of superb flavours which are present in abundance in this wine. With flavours of apple and pineapple this was a tremendously enjoyable wine from a very dynamic winemaker. I’d thoroughly recommend this for an introduction to this fantastic grape.

Chateau Musar 2002 – Lebanon (£23.99)

This is Lebanon’s flagship red made by the iconic Chateau Musar in the Bekaa Valley. This wine is deep red in colour with plum and berry notes and hints of spice. This wine really is an experience but I would recommend decanting at least 30 minutes before serving, ideally up to 2 hours if possible to allow the wine to open out. It is also unfiltered to preserve the wines flavour so be careful about the sediment when you decant! If you’re looking to experience a wine from an underdog country in the wine world then this is a good place to start.

Miolo Chardonnay 2009 – Brazil (£13.50)

This was my first ever Brazilian, and I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more! With an intense greenish yellow colour with full fruit and apple and honey scents this was a very impressive wine. It’s more in keeping with the new world Chardonnay style than the steel and mineral qualities of classic French chardonnays. I’d really recommend trying this, particularly if you’re already a fan of South American wines!

As ever I’d love to know what you think, so please let me know if you have any queries or comments on any of the above wines!

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