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The Winery at Liberty: 16 wines tasted  

Musician and wine merchant David Motion runs an independent wine shop (The Winery) with a difference: rather than purchase wines from agents, his list is almost exclusively made up of wines he has sourced himself and which aren’t otherwise represented in the UK. So most of the producers are small, and not ones you’ll have heard of before.

In October last year he opened a small-ish wine department in famous London store Liberty. This tasting was a chance to look at some 16 wines from his list and was designed to give customers a chance to try stuff before they buy – a laudable aim. The business end of the list concentrates in the £8–20 range, although there are cheaper and more expensive wines. Quality overall is high, with the individuality of some of the wines really shining through.

For those unfamiliar with liberty, it's just off Regent Street, a couple of hundred yards south of Oxford Circus tube station. The Winery is on the second floor. Contact details for David's shop are: The Winery, 4 Clifton Road, London W9 1SS (Warwick Avenue tube), tel 020 7286 6475.


Fontassa Gavi Ca’Adua 2003 Piedmont, Italy
Made by a guy with a big beard, apparently. This is full and savoury, with lovely dense herb-tinged fruit. Quite a rich style of white and very appealing. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£9.99)

Defrance Sauvignon de St-Bris 2002 Burgundy, France
Fantastic full nose is rich and aromatic. It’s not grassy, like many Sauvignons, but rich and rounded with a bit of herbiness. The savoury palate is herby and full – a distinctive wine. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£9.99)

Green & Red Sauvignon 2002 California
Rich, dense and herbal on the nose, this is quite distinctive, with a pronounced savoury streak. The palate is ripe and rich textured with a lovely richness to the plump fruit. There’s a touch of vanilla, too. This is a slightly bizarre expression of Sauvignon and will upset purists, but in its style it’s very nice. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£14.50)

Langwerth von Simmern Riesling Hattenheimer Nussbrunnen Spätlese Trocken 2003 Rheingau, Germany
Beautiful aromatic nose: sweet, rich melony fruit framed by notes of lime. The palate is fresh with good acidity and rich, sweet fruit. Off-dry, this has a lovely rich texture and a spicy finish. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£16.99)

Dr Crusius Riesling Norheimer Kirscheck Spätlese Trocken 2003 Nahe, Germany
Spicy, limey edge to the fresh melon and apple fruit nose. Rich but well defined limey fruit on the palate, which has a savoury, sherbetty edge and good acidity. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£17.99)


Lou Gressac 2001 Vin de Pays du Gard, France
Domaine du Gressac has been biodynamic for 30 years. The estate was purchased 4 years ago and now they’ve got what Motion describes as a ‘serious winemaker’. This entry level red is very fresh, rounded and fruity with a sweet edge to the slightly earthy, gamey, but bright fruit. A paradox: it’s like Beaujolais, but with a meaty, animal-like twist. Very good+ 87/100 (£5.99)

Lelia Garnacha/Cariñena 2003 Spain
Light colour. Perfumed open nose shows sweet, herby expressive fruit. Rounded open fruit on the palate with a spicy edge. A very nice cheapo. Very good+ 85/100 £4.99

Domaine de Gressac 2000 Vin de Pays du Gard, France
Spicy and quite savoury, this is light but delicious with notes of earth and game and a nice spiciness. Easy to drink and quite expressive. Very good+ 89/100 (£8.99)

Domaine de Gressac Grande Cuvée 2001 Vin de Pays du Gard, France
Syrah and Grenache with a bit of new oak. Dense, full nose is savoury and spicy, leading to a chewy, spicy palate. This is quite complex, earthy and spicy with good acidity. Very satisfying. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£17.50)

P Pernot Beaune ‘Les Reversées’ 2001 Burgundy, France
Pale colour. Fantastic open, expressive nose is fruity with a pleasantly stinky, rather animally edge. The palate is complex with earthy, slightly farmyardy flavours along with bright berry fruits. A wild wine that’s still quite elegant. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£21.99)

Château Sainte Marie Alios 2002 Premier Côtes de Bordeaux, France
Spicy, dense and chewy, this is savoury and full with good acidity. Quite chunky and almost rustic, this isn’t your typical Bordeaux style. Delicious. Very good+ 89/100 (£11.50)

Fontanassa Bricco San Carlo 2002 Piedmont, Italy
Sweet caramelly edge to the nose with some rounded, cured ham notes. The palate is displaying sweetly edged red fruits with good acidity. Old fashioned but interesting, although it’s not really my thing. Very good+ 86/100 (£14.99)

Alessandria Dolcetto d’Alba 2003 Piedmont, Italy
Lovely fine grained earthy, spicy edge to the nose, with warm, ripe red fruits and a hint of caramel. The palate shows savoury, rounded red fruits with smooth, fine tannins. Nice stuff Very good+ 88/100 (£10.99)

Alessandria Barbera d’Alba 2003 Piedmont, Italy
Very interesting ripe fruit nose with creamy, rich red fruits and a liqueur-like edge. Nice savoury bite to the dense, pure, sweet fruit on the palate with good acid freshness. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£11.99)

Alessandria Barolo 1999 Piedmont, Italy
Tight, dense, earthy spicy nose with an attractive tarriness. The palate is very tannic with expressive bright fruit and good acidity. Very spicy and expressive. Fantastic wine with a bright future. Very good/excellent 93/100 (£31.50)

Eldredge Sangiovese ‘Boundary’ 2000 Clare Valley, Australia
Distinctive menthol, medicinal edge to the  spicy nose. The palate is dense, spicy and rich with good acid and slightly tarry, earthy fruit. Very Australian with a strong oak imprint, but still quite nice. Very good+ 88/100 (£14.99)

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