Ataraxia Pinot Noir
Ataraxia was founded by Kevin and Hanli Grant in 2004 near the coastal village of Hermanus in the Hemel-en Arde region.Hemel-en-Aarde is Afrikaans for “heaven and earth” and the claim is justified. The estate sits on a particularly heavenly stretch of land beneath a lofty peak of the Babylon’s Tower mountain range. In addition to its unrelenting beauty, Ataraxia is home to some of the most spectacular terroirs South Africa has to offer.Almost two decades on, they are associated with crafting wines of incredible finesse, balance and depth; wines that proudly hold their own on the international wine stage.This Pinot Noir is my favourite discovery of the year! Perhaps my favourite wine in our range! The wine has the perfect balance of rich fruit and light structure alongside the most gorgeous perfume.A stunning wine, that pairs perfectly with soft, mould-ripened cheeses such as Baron Bigod.
‘Bucerchiale’ Chianti Rufina Riserva 2019, Selvapiana
Bucerchiale is the name of Selvapiana’s finest vineyard in the small Rufina zone of Chianti. Organically farmed by the Giuntini family since 1827. 100% Sangiovese but more powerful than the Cepparello; still balanced with great complexity and a fine match for the best steak (Bistecca alla Fiorentina…)
Saint Georges Pinot Noir, Birichino, Central Coast, California
Based in Santa Cruz, Birichino was founded in 2008 by friends Alex Krause and John Locke. Alex and John met whilst working at Randall Grahm's Bonny Doon Vineyard and share a passion for perfumed, elegant but slightly mischievous wines; in fact, Birichino is Italian for 'mischievous'!The Birichino style is very much in the vein of 'New Wave California'. The focus is on drinkability, fruit expression, elegance and lower alcohol levels. Oak is rarely seen, whole bunch is embraced, native yeasts are in and filtration is out.This old vine Pinot is beautifully balanced, with just the right savoury notes to mingle with the detailed red fruit flavours. Very delicious and represents great value for top Californian Pinot Noir.Perfect with Baron Bigod!
Family Vineyards Pinot Noir, Newton Johnson
This family farm was founded in the mid-1990s by Cape Wine Master, Dave Johnson and his wife, Felicity (Née Newton) and within the past twenty years has built a reputation for producing some of the Cape’s best Pinot Noir. Dave’s CWM thesis was on the variety. Add to that one of South Africa’s smartest Chardonnay’s and, more recently a pair of outstanding Rhône style wines. Right from the outset, Dave and Felicity’s offspring were involved and today it is very much Gordon, partnered by his wife, Nadia, who are responsible for the winemaking, with brother Bevan looking after the commercial side.This is always my favourite South African Pinot Noir, it just has beautiful purity of fruit and perfect balance; some richness but with bright and juicy acidity. It never fails to deliver. This will age and improve for up to 10 years but is delicious now. One of the New World's best and for a wine of this quality, the price is incredible (compare to Burgundy or California!) Great with roast lamb or pork, grilled chops, fillet steak, venison...any special meal!
Harrow & Hope Brut Reserve NV
From Marlow, Henry & Kate Laithwaite make some stunning sparkling wines. This Brut Reserve is a classic Champagne blend which has real elegance and balance. A seriously good fizz that is superior to most NV Grand Marques…and it’s from Buckinghamshire. We love this wine; the quality is amazing, the packaging is beautiful, it makes the perfect gift and is a local business doing a world class job!
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.
‘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.
Ataraxia Chardonnay, Hemel en Aarde
Kevin Grant is one of only a handful Chardonnay specialists in South Africa. Bright yellow straw in appearance. White flowers and vanilla cream on the nose, with neatly integrated toasty oak characters. This Chardonnay has been known to top the charts in many a South African Chardonnay tasting, and rightly so with its chiselled, focused style.It manages to be both subtle and intense, with hints of sun-warmed tropical fruits, gentle peach and vanilla. The wine has a fresh palate on entry with crisp acidity and subtle tropical notes.One of my all time favourite Chardonnays - it just hits the right spot every time!Perfect with lemon and herb roast chicken or roast pork with apples - yum..
Bodega Atamisque Malbec
Bodega Atamisque is one of Argentina's finest wineries, making wines of wonderful poise and balance.This Malbec, whilst full-bodied and impressive, is not just a typical Malbec fruitbomb; there is great depth of flavour here with layers of plum, blackberry and fig notes.A wine that's sure to impress friends and certainly fits the bill if you're looking for a great steak-wine!
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.
Chianti Classico, Isole e Olena
One of the best producers in Tuscany, Isole e Olena make a very elegant style of Chianti, with a heady perfume of spicy red-fruits and a long, lingering finish. No over-oaking or over-extraction here; pure class!