Balma Cava NV, Penedès @ £13.95
Forget all your preconceptions of Cava occupying the ‘cheap seats’ at the supermarket this is one of world’s classic sparkling wines – made as a ‘zero dosage’ wine (no added sugar) and a 39 month maturation on the lees. Dried apricot and roasted almond nuances fill the palate lifted by a keen and refreshing lemon edge.
Camille-Savès Millésime Grand Cru 2004 @ £33.00
Quite simply an awesome Champagne – rich, gentle mousse, brioche, lemon – at a price that is still less than all those large production famous name Champagnes we all know and still insist on impressing our guests with. If you want flavour alone to make an impression this is the Champagne – 80% Pinot Noir/20% Chardonnay, 4 years bottle maturation.
Felix Cachazo Gran Cardiel Verdejo/Viura 2010, Rueda @ £7.95
At 700 metres above sea level the arid vineyards of Rueda lying northwest of Madrid have proved the perfect position for growing crisp aromatic white gapes such as Verdejo, Viura and Sauvignon Blanc. This is the perfect example of the region’s wines – crisp, citric, lifted peach fruit. Need a change from Chardonnay and Sauvignon? This bright little fellow is the perfect choice.
Jean-François Merieau Tirage Sauvignon Rose 2008. Loire @ £21.00
From ancient vineyards south of Vouvray Jean-Francois nurtures these old and fragile Sauvignon Gris vines (also referred to as ‘Sauvignon Rose’). With a little bit of extra bottle age we are proud to present a rare, rich, crisp and aromatic wine designed for the Loire aficionado. Very special, quite unique flavours – and the perfect match for Thai salmon, pork belly roasted in honey and mild but flavoursome dishes.
Jean-Francois Merieau Hexagonales Pinot Noir 2009, Loire @ £10.95
Adored by some customers, while puzzling others. This light Loire Pinot is best described as a posh picnic wine – or simply the perfect red for a cold meat salad lunch – drink as an alternative to Beaujolais-Villages. From the little known appellation of Saint-Pourçain in the Eastern Loire, where the chalky vineyards tilt gently south.
Gladstone Pinot Noir 2009, Wairapara, New Zealand @ £18.95
From the oldest Pinot Noir vineyards in the southeast corner of North Island – this is rich, vibrant and intense, full of raspberry, wild cherry and with hints of spice. The 30% mew French barrique ageing is barely detectable – such is the fine balance of this wine. Enjoy with lamb cutlets, ratatouille and rosti potatoes.
Pietro Beconcini Maurleo 2008, IGT Toscana @ £12.95
From the land of Chianti comes this ingenious Sangiovese/Malvasia Negra blend aged in 10 months in French oak followed by further bottle age. Utterly lovely! This really is the Sunday lunch roast lamb wine number. Gentle damson and prune fruit, nice bed of soft tannin – dry finish. Secretly a Bordeaux at this price tag will taste quite plain in comparison.
Ludovic Chanson Safran 2009, Montlouis, Loire @ £19.95
Oh the joy of this wine! Is it sweet? Is it dry? Neither really – lying somewhere between the two as only brilliant Chenin Blanc can be. With what shall I drink it? 1) On its own 2) Spicy Asian fish dish 3) Light apricot or pear tart – or 4) creamy blue cheese such as Gorgonzola or the more local Shropshire Blue alongside some quince jelly. This is a treasure that has to be seized and enjoyed.