For the weekend: Wines under £20

For the weekend: Wines under £20Decanter international tastings director Christelle Guibert hunts the tastings to find exciting, fantastic value wines, all for below £20. See the latest here.Christelle Guibert and Decanter’s tasting team search the key tastings to hunt down the best value wines the supermakerts, high street and wine merchants can offer, all for below £20.
Branch out from your usual wine choices with something new, without breaking the bank.
This week includes a sparkling rosé wine from the Bio Bio Valley in Chile, a Burgenland Pinot Gris, Californian Chardonnay, New Zealand Pinot Noir from Nelson and an exciting Côtes Catalanes. Read more

Minimal winery damage in Chilean earthquake, say first reports

Minimal winery damage in Chilean earthquake, say first reportsChile’s winemakers appear to have got away with only a few cracked vats following the powerful earthquake that struck near to Coquimbo and has killed 10 people. Coquimbo Chile, September 17th. The aftermath of this weeks earthquake. Trade body Wines of Chile said that early reports suggest the industry has not been terribly affected by the earthquake, which also saw 1m people forced to leave their homes.
Wines of Chile has been contacting the wineries in the area near La Serena – close to the earthquake’s epicentre – where they said hurt is minimal.
Anita Jackson, UK Director of Wines of Chile said, ‘Amazingly apart from some buckled stainless steel tank legs, some cracks in additional tanks, there has been a minimum loss of wine.’
Wineries south of the epicentre have reported the same.
But, Wines of Chile is subdue continuing to gather in rank on the situation, with the help of the wineries in the association.
The vineyards and wineries have been able to continue to work in habitual conditions since the earthquake, which is due to the high standard of construction and equipment Chilean wineries have, Wines of Chile said.
Chile is one of the most earthquake-level countries in the world.
Jackson said, ‘Today (September 18th) is Chile’s Independence Day (Dieciocho Day), it’s a public holiday so the nation will subdue try and celebrate despite the earthquake. We should raise a class to them, for their staunch attitude, they amaze me with their shaken but not broken attitude.’
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Gallo buys California Central Coast winery

Gallo buys California Central Coast wineryCalifornia wine giant E&J Gallo has taken another step in an apparent quest to revamp its business after agreeing to buy estate wine specialist Talbott Vineyards. Rob Talbott, of Talbott VineyardsTalbott is based in California’s Central Coast, in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, is one of the US sunshine state’s largest producers of estate grown wine, said Gallo. It did not release a fee for the deal.
The go is the latest in a series of vineyard buys by Gallo and suggests the companionship is seeking to re-orient its business towards the more premium end of the wine market.
Some rivals, such as Mondavi owner Constellation Brands, have been doing the same, believing there is a larger sales opportunity there.
Talbott was founded in 1982 by Rob Talbott and it specialises in the classic Burgundian varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Read more

X Winery X3 Cabernet Sauvignon

X Winery X3 Cabernet SauvignonTonight it’s a double-header review with two different vintages of the X3 Cabernet Sauvignon from X Winery.  One of the things I find as a bargain hunter is that vintage is an vital thing to note when you find a gem.  And when I do find a producer that consistently produces quality from one vintage to the next, that producer gains my trust.  Given all of that, I was glad to try two vintages of the same wine from X Winery.
The X3 gets its name from the fact that grapes are sourced from three different counties in California: Lake County, Sonoma County and Napa County.  The breakdown of percentage from each county differs slightly from one vintage to the next.
I’m glad to find that the quality is consistent with these two vintages.  There are some differences in characteristics, but qualitatively I call them equals.
2006 X3 Cabernet Sauvignon Read more