It seemed a good idea at the time; red for winter, slightly sparkling – getting ready for Christmas and low alcohol – very on message. That’s how I chose to review Cienna 2009 from Brown Brothers.
For those of you who already baulking at the idea of sparkling red, I ask you to keep an open mind on this wine style. It’s something the Aussies can do really well – think Majella Shiraz for instance. I’ve even had a really good sparkling Cabernet Sauvignon – from the All Saints Winery in Rutherglen. Unfortunately, this Cienna won’t make it onto my top tips list.
The wine smells of blackcurrants. In fact, it smells like undiluted blackcurrant squash. We had some to hand and checked. This isn’t particularly surprising considering that one of the ‘parents’ of the Cienna grape is Cabernet Sauvignon. Cienna was first bred this century in a deliberate crossing of Cab. Sauv. with Sumoll – a drought resistant Catalonian grape.
The slight spritz of the wine is quite ‘fun’ and the flavour – blackcurrant and possibly crushed strawberries – is OK. However, I really didn’t get on with the sweetness. It seems extremely one-dimensionally sweet and sugary. “Blimey! It’s like concentrated, fizzy, squash,” said The Analyst, naming a well known brand which has those cheerful purple berries.
Generally, sweetness in a wine should be balanced by refreshing acidity to avoid any cloying, sickly mouthfeel. The acidity was pretty minimal with Cienna. There’s certainly no tannins either. The wine is very smooth.
The back label recommends chilling – I’d definitely agree with that. It says Cienna can be drunk with or without food. I think I’d need dessert with it – maybe a summer pudding? We tried it with a chunk of dark chocolate and to be fair that did make the wine more enjoyable.
The alcohol level is 5%.
Maybe young(er) folks go for this style of wine? Even if you like sparkling, sweet wines, I think you could find something more satisfying for not masses of money. Maybe Sainsburys Taste the Difference Moscato Rosé?
You can find Brown Brothers Cienna in Morrisons priced at £7.49. However, it’ll be on offer for £4.99 from November 19 through Christmas and New year. It’s also available via slurp.co.uk.
W.O.W. Factor 5