Wednesday 12 August 2009

Between Croydon and Purley Oaks

There are now two vineyards in allotments between Croydon and Purley Oaks. Look out on the left hand side when travelling by train towards Gatwick Airport. Can anyone provide any details of these? Slotovino would welcome any information.

Monday 10 August 2009

A bottle of wine for less than €1?

British wine writers have long dismissed the possibility of wine under say £2 and drinkable wine under £3, so a drinkable wine under €1 even taking into consideration the huge divergances in tax, costs and duty? It seems possible in Spain at least and so with reasonable probability in certain other parts of the EU and wider world.

In one supermarket alone we found 5 wines costing 95 - 99 cents each, not on a promotion of anykind: 2 whites, 2 reds and even a sparkling rose. Only three were drinkable at all. One of the whites as truly repellant and the rose bore no resemblance to wine whatsoever. The drinkable white was so neutral as to give no positive pleasure at all and the less good red had ¨plonk¨ written all over it.

The other red however was a pleasant surprise: ¨really rather good¨ (especially chilled) bearing in mind that its makers could not have thought a great deal of it to have priced it at 99 cents. It comes from La Mancha - perhaps not surprising since this DO is the largest wine-growing area in the world, It lies between Madrid and Andalucia and comprises the largest plateau in Spain. It produces 52% of all Spanish wine and is one of Spain´s oldest DOs.

The name of this beauty is ¨Vega Cristina". The Cosecha, 2008. The label informs us "Embottellado por J. Garcia Carrion, La Mancha, S.A. Daimiel (Ciudad Real). 13%. On the back label there is no mention of what grape varieties were used although that on the Crianza version at €1.29 states 100% Tempranillo.

J. Garcia Carrion appears to be part of the Don Simon foods group and Vega Cristina maye be made at a co-operative (Garcia Carrion?) from various growers. La Mancha red varieties include Cencibel (the local term for Tempranillo), Garnacha and others including something called Moravia. Moravia seems to come in two versions or else has two names for the same thing: Moravia Agria and Moravia Dulce and has a string of synonyms including Crijadera, Brijadera and Trijadera. It is considered to be "productive", "formerly rare¨and to give "generous yields."

Vega Cristina does not register on Winesearcher but can be found at branches of Mercadona in Spain.