Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV
Charles Heidsieck is one of the great names of Champagne and produces some of the finest of all champagnes. Founded in 1851 by Charles-Camille Heidsieck, the original 'Champagne Charlie', the foundation of its modern fame rests on the unrivalled quality of its wines, which receive countless awards and accolades year after year. The grapes for the Brut Réserve are sourced from 60 different ‘crus’ across the region; fermentation and ageing of the base wines takes place primarily in stainless steel to preserve freshness; it is a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Meunier, including at least 40% reserve wines, the average age of which is 10 years; and finally, the Brut Réserve is aged in bottle on its lees for at least three years prior to release.This really is one of the best NV wines coming out of Champagne! Beautiful.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape ‘Les Safres’, Le Clos du Caillou’
The much-lauded Le Clos du Caillou produces classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines that just keep getting better, year-on-year. The domaine is situated on the edge of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and is unique in that, in 1936, the owner (who was then away at a hunting retreat) refused to allow the experts who were drawing up the boundaries of the appellation to visit his domaine. Thus, it was not included in the delimited area and remains to this day an enclave within the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. The domaine practices biodynamic farming techniques and was certified "Agriculture Biologique" in 2010 and "Vin Biologique" in 2012. Their trademark style lies in full-bodied wines with rich red fruit flavours, velvety texture and fine tannins.Les Safres is 95% Grenache with the rest Mourvedre, Cinsault & Vaccarese. Not too heavy for a Chateauneuf but great intensity of pure spicy dark fruit. Really impressive.
Givry Rouge 1er Cru ‘Grande Vignes’, Domaine Parize
From the heart of this appellation in the southerly Cote Chalonnaise sub-region of Burgundy, this is a gorgeous wine with delicious primary aromas of spiced cherries, berries and rhubarb, notes of clove and cigarbox – lovely refinement and complexity. Burgundy can be frustrating and very expensive but this is a great example of finding quality and value from lesser-known villages. If this was slightly further north it would be considerably more expensive!A great wine for roast lamb or pork, or even chicken.
Chateau Larose Perganson
Lush and ripe, with aromas of blackberries, cassis, sweet spices and vanilla. Velvety tannins are balanced with excellent acidity. A delicious Bordeaux blend ready to drink now.
‘Carte Noire’ NV, Champagne Jean-Paul Deville
Jean-Paul Deville is situated in Verzy and produces great wines and provides excellent value. The blend is dominated by Grand Cru Pinot Noir grapes (75%); it is an elegant style but with some richness and depth.
Chateau Grand Pey Lescours, St. Emilion Grand Cru
Acquired in 1924 by the Escure family, the Château Grand-Pey-Lescours is located at the foot of the slopes of Saint-Emilion itself. They also own the renowned Chateau Bellegrave in Pomerol. The vineyards are planted with 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon – on gravelly and sandy soils and cover nearly 26 hectares.A classic example of St.Emilion; medium-bodied, wood-scented with notes of plum and the perfect accompaniment to roast lamb!
Chablis 1er Cru ‘Cote de Lechet’ 2018, Gerard Tremblay
Gerard Tremblay is one of Chablis' most admired winemakers and this 1er Cru shows just why. Much richer than his (already delicious) village level wine, this has real depth and complexity and the finish is much longer. Gerard's wines go into some of the World's top restaurants, and you can see why when you taste this; there is nothing showy or modern (oaky) here, just pure elegance and class. Perfect for shellfish dishes (I seem to remember first having one of Gerard's 1er Cru wines with Langoustines in a creamy sauce at La Gavroche mmmm) as well as making simple grilled fish into a special occasion.
‘Lo Vielh’ Old Vine Carignan, Clos de Gravillas
Clos de Gravillas is an organic estate based in the tiny hamlet of St Jean de Minervois, deepin the Languedoc countryside. Here, John and Nicole Bojanowski make some of the region's most interesting wines. The Carignan vines that make this wine are from a high gravelly vineyard and are over 100 years old. This gives the wine real character, as if the vines have soaked up the minerals of the earth and the flavours of the surrounding Garrigue. This is a dark, powerful wine that is a perfect match for slow roasted, herby meats. Unique and beautiful, this is Southern French wine at it's best.
Rose Frizant, Mas de Daumas Gassac, Languedoc
A deliciously drinkable pink from the Languedoc's most famous producer.This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Manseng (and others), is made in the same way as Prosecco. It's light and fruity but with a serious side that shows it's pedigree.Perfect aperitif on a sunny afternoon in the garden.
Cotes du Rhone ‘Bouquet des Garrigues’, Le Clos du Caillou
The much-lauded Le Clos du Caillou produces classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines that just keep getting better, year-on-year. The domaine is situated on the edge of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and is unique in that, in 1936, the owner (who was then away at a hunting retreat) refused to allow the experts who were drawing up the boundaries of the appellation to visit his domaine. Thus, it was not included in the delimited area and remains to this day an enclave within the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. The domaine practices biodynamic farming techniques and was certified "Agriculture Biologique" in 2010 and "Vin Biologique" in 2012. Their trademark style lies in full-bodied wines with rich red fruit flavours, velvety texture and fine tannins. The energetic winemaker Bruno Gaspard is a man who takes a seriously hands-on approach. Come the harvest, he prefers to choose when to pick based purely on tasting the grapes himself. This emphasis on flavour leads to wines of great concentration, lifted by the trademark elegance of this great domaine.The Côtes du-Rhône 'Bouquet des Garrigues' comes from vines grown on 30 hectares of pebbly soil (the Garrigues) within the Clos. This is a fantastic, rich wine, with sweet red fruit, liquorice and a silky texture, a Châteauneuf-du-Pape in all but name and in this context, a great bargain.A big wine for rich, meaty dishes. Roasts and chops!
Sancerre, Gerard Fiou
This small domaine was one of the first to modernise in the region of Sancerre. The vines are planted on the rocky silex soils and the resultant wine takes a little time to show its true colours. But when it does, it is impressively pure and expressive of the flint from which it was born. Give it time to open up in the glass.Very pungent elderflower and gooseberry fruit, but there’s an edge of ripe pear and pear-drop, with a little suggestion of a more tropical fruit character. Very crisp, clean and racy on the palate with a core of orchard fruits that is very pure and focused through the mid-palate, with melon and a tangy apple acidity on the finishA great example of Sancerre from a great organic producer. A perfect partner for British goat's cheese such as Sinodun Hill and Driftwood. Also great with light fish dishes and smoked salmon.
Saint-Veran ‘Tradition’, Domaine des Deux Roches
This domaine is based in the village of Davayé, in the Mâconnais, and is jointly owned by Jean-Luc Terrier and Christian Collovray. Their 50 hectares of vineyards largely lie between the twin escarpments of Solutré and Vergisson and showcase the diverse terroirs of this region. The wines of Deux Roches are known for their drinkability and offer great value for money; the domaine is particularly known for its excellent Saint-Véran.The cuvée Tradition emits a floral scent reminiscent of honeysuckle and acacia flowers. Pear, green apple, peach and apricot, are all well-integrated on the palate and reinforced by creamy notes, and a long floral finish.Versatile with food but particularly good with roast chicken.