Black olive is not a flavour many people would associate with wine.
Yet, in the plethora of possible aromas and tastes listed on a wine course I attended some time ago, black olive was there – along with tar, wet wool and tinned vegetables.
It sounds wrong but I'll give most things a try. It's just that I hadn't come across a 'black olive' wine...until now.
Among a case of excellent discounted wines from Morrisons, there it was on one of the labels – a wine which the makers described as having black olive aromas. Could it be true?
The Buckingham Estate Reserve Shiraz 2009 , from Western Australia, is as good as it is unusual. Reduced from £9.79 to £6.49 until June 16, the complex nose leaps out for its savoury aromas of sage stuffing and... black olives.
There's also a touch of smoke. Flavours include brambles, dark berries, allspice and a hint of cream. The idea of this wine may not appeal to some but it's fascinating and enjoyable and worth a try for anyone interested in exploring the world of wine – so why not pop the cork and taste the tapenade? It should also develop well if cellared for a couple of years.
At the other end of the unusual scale, but also very enjoyable, is the Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2011 , one of dozens of brands owned by US wine giant Gallo. Reduced to £7.49 until June 16, it's packed with black cherry aromas and flavours. There's also a sprinkling of dark chocolate and spice in this soft, easy-drinking red from a grape that originates in Italy, where it's called Primitivo, but that California's almost made its own. If you like your reds safe and bursting with fruit flavours this Zinfandel will definitely float your boat.
Chile's Montes oak-aged Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2010 , from the Colchagua Valley, has aromas and flavours of blackcurrant, cherry and mint with a touch of creamy oak. It's decent although warm spice and tannin produce a slightly harsh finish. Morrisons is selling it reduced to £5.99 until June 16.
Boschendal SMV 2010 is a South African mixture of red grapes shiraz and mourvedre plus some white viognier. Reduced by £2 to £5.99 until June 16, it's a blend more at home in France's southern Rhone but has excelled in the capable hands of this well-known Western Cape producer. Aromas of red fruit, plum, cocoa and leather lead to similar fruit flavours plus mineral and herbaceous notes and a mild spicy finish. This is an intense, inky wine with easy-drinking qualities that make it a high-quality bargain that's sure to have mass appeal.
Subject to the same offer, is Boschendal's Unwooded Chardonnay 2011 . Displaying a deep citrus nose with some yeasty complexity, the taste is a rich, ripe, fleshy mix of lime, citrus and mineral flavours with a touch of fennel and a crisp dry finish. It's good and another great bargain at the discounted price.
Dancing Bull's Sauvignon Blanc 2011 is a pleasurable easy-drinking version of this popular French grape variety. Intense aromas of lime, grapefruit, melon, pear and pineapple are backed up by similar flavours in a smooth, safe style that would be likely to please at a party or with a white meat or fish meal. Like their zinfandel, this is a well-crafted crowd-pleaser without any sharp edges. It is reduced to £7.49 until June 16.
The same grape but in a different style is Luis Felipe Edwards Estate Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2012 , from Chile's Leyda Valley. Also reduced at Morrisons to £7.49 until June 16, the basic aromas and flavours are similar to the Dancing Bull but in a more intense and zesty style. With floral and nettle aromas and mineral, gun flint flavours added to the mix, it is an enjoyable and powerful white.