As is often remarked, variety is the spice of life. And that's exactly what we're offering you here. Six delicious, and very different wines. Maybe not what you would have chosen without our help, but each of them entirely deserving your attention.
1 bottle each of the following.
Champagne Ray Maurin – a light, zesty style of Champagne, the perfect aperitif.
Bourgogne Aligote, Lafarge 2015 – Aligote will always play second fiddle to Chardonnay in Burgundy and is frequently dismissed as being a bit thin and mean. In the right hands, that can be seen to be complete nonsense; don't get me wrong, Meursault this ain't but it's a gorgeous, slightly nutty, dry white with some real depth and richness.
Muscat Beaumes de Venise, Chapoutier 375ml –Intensely aromatic "vin doux naturel." Fortified with neutral grape spirit to arrest fermentation, the natural, residual sugars create the most beautifully balanced dessert wine, marrying seamlessly with grapey, muscat flavours.
Enira – Despite a large slug of Syrah in the blend, this owes more than a nod to vigneron, Count Stephan von Neippberg's background in Bordeaux (Canon la Gaffeliere and La Mondotte are amongst his properties.) Decidedly full flavoured with blackcurrant and spice peeking out from behind well-integrated, toasty oak.
Manzanos Crianza –Aromatic and intense, this is full of lovely aromas of wild red berries, blossom, nutmeg and hints of sandalwood. It is fresh, fruity and well balanced with sensations of raspberries, vanilla and cinnamon.
Lobethal Road Tempranillo/Graciano – And, for comparison, a Rioja blend from Adelaide Hills. A traditional blend of Tempranillo and Graciano delivering an elegant palate of luscious rich mulberry and raspberry fruits, underpinned by subtle savoury and earthy notes, with a touch of spice.
Six varied but equally enjoyable whites.
1 bottle each of the following.
Perdeberg Rossouw's Heritage White – Marmite offering from Paarl; a smorgasbord of grape varieties - Chenin, Roussanne, Viognier, Clairette and Sauvignon Blanc, all bundled up together and treated to some generous oak-ageing. It's full flavoured and smokey - I love it but I'm not gonna lie - it doesn't meet with universal acclaim.
Adobe Gewurztraminer – The nose has jasmine tea notes with white pepper held together by a fine sandy structure. On the palate there are bright floral and mineral nuances with a lingeringly spicy, ginger and exotic finish. This Adobe Organic Reserva example is a very appealing and accessible Gewürztraminer.
Original Sin, Sauvignon Blanc –Concentrated tropical melon and pear drop, with a hint of lemon grass character and a full mineral follow through on the palate.
Old Vine Savatiano, Domaine Papagiannakos – From vineyards just outside Athens, this traditional Greek variety delivers fresh fennel and floral aromas leading onto a broad peachy palate with lemon and herb characters.
Greco di Tufo "Loggia della Serra" –With the grapes harvested at the end of October the long ripening season ensures a brilliant, luminous, deep golden colour with flashes of gold and green. An outstanding, elegant and balanced wine with captivating fragrances of white flowers, minerals, citrus, white fruit, pear and apple overlaid by subtle honey. The fine acidity melds well in the richness of the body and in the long aftertaste of mineral and fruit.
Louisvale Chardonnay "Purple Label"– A powerful expression of Chardonnay, brimming with fruit flavour and elegance. A buttery toastiness from the oak rounds off the complex hazelnut and citrus flavours.
The Rioja Case
1 bottles each of:
Vina Marro, Zeledonio Rioja BlancoAn aromatic white Rioja packed with plenty of fruit.
Vina Marro Joven: A vibrant cherry colour, this joven (young, unoaked) wine shows pure varietal fruit character. The colour is an intense red cherry, with a purple rim. The red fruit character is duplicated on the palate, with a wonderful freshness and acidity that provide structure. There is also a nice length to the finish. Would pair very well with cured meats and poultry.
Vina Marro Seleccionada: Fresh red berries with delicate spice and vanilla aromas. accompanied by soft tannins on the palate.
Vega del Rayo Rioja Reserva: An intense wine, classically designed and crafted. Aromas of ripe red berries, a touch of oak, cinnamon and spice. The palate is silky and ample with layered complexity - berry fruit, spice and liquorice building to a complex finish.
Finca Manzanos Crianza: Aromatic and intense, lovely aromas of wild red berries, blossom, nutmeg and hints of sandalwood. Fresh, fruity and well balanced with sensations of raspberries, vanilla and cinnamon.
Senorio de Arana. Vina del Oja Crianza: Made from 100% Tempranillo and aged for 14months in new America oak.
£55.00 per case
The White Case
2 bottles each of:
Cuvee Jean Paul Sec, Cotes de Gascogne IGP, France
Castillo Ladera Airen/Sauvignon Blanc, Spain
Norte Chico Sauvignon Blanc, Chile
Les Roulants Dry White, Ugni Blanc/Colombard, France
Bellefontaine Chardonnay, Pays d'Oc IGP, France
Cuvee Jean Paul Demi-Sec, Cotes de Gascogne IGP, France
£66.00 per case
Price excludes delivery/p>
We're taking the road less travelled here with 6 highly unusual and truly interesting wines.
1 bottle each of the following.
Nando Rebula – 100% organic Rebula grapes that from a tiny 0.25ha plot. The wine spent 40 days on the skin and, then 18 months in 500l oak barrels and finally was allowed to mature in stainless steel vats for 24 months before bottling without fining or filtration.
Cheeky Pinot Gris – Pinot Gris is a dark skinned grape, not that one would know with most of the wines it makes being white. Coonawarra’s only plantings of the variety, the wine is given four days skin contact. Not so much an amber or orange wine (no oxidative handling), more a blush, it’s a style of texture and interest.
Blauburgunder, Castel Juval –Glorious Pinot Noir from a property acquired by Alpine legend, Rheinhold Messner back in 1988. Not sure what his ability to scale Everest without oxygen might have contributed but this is a beautifully balanced, delicate Pinot that is drinking beautifully now.
Maury Blanc – Fortified white from Rivesaltes in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Aromatic with scents of tropical fruits, orange blossom and star anise. A complex, perfumed palate with flavours of peach and apricot and a hint of brioche. Full and creamy with low acidity yet a fresh and herbacious finish.
Anarkia, Vinedo de los Vientos –
Totally unoaked, this proves that Tannat doesn't need wood to show at its best, a juicy, meaty, savoury number with plum and blackberry fruit and racy, mouth-watering acidity Value Red Wine of the Year - by Tim Atkin MW Uruguay report (2020)
Source Blanche, Chateau Ka – An intriguing blend of Sauvignon, Viognier and Muscat from Lebanon. Flora and citrussy with great depth of character.