(2017) A very familiar Wine of the Week, a stalwart of Brown Bros' range and deservedly popular. It blends two grapes, Orange Muscat and Flora (related to Gewurztraminer) which are harvested late for extra ripeness, then the fermentation is stopped at 10.0% alcohol, leaving residual sugar behind. It is definitely sweet, but feather-light and not heavy or cloying: this is a wine to match with fruity desserts, not sticky toffee puddings, where the bright tropical fruit, vivacious acidity and elegant balance comes into its own. Delightful and stuff in half bottles, and widely available. Watch the video for more information and more food-matching ideas.
(2017) A beefy 14.5% abv for this Classico Riserva, so there is abundant ripeness though it refuses to cross over into excess. There's some bloodiness and tobacco to the deep-set fruit, enlived by a little cherry and nice sense of graphite, classy oak treatment too. In the mouth it certainly is sweet and mouth-filling, the rich, thick fruit always edged by that hint of gamy, cedary, iron oxide character and its excellent acid structure. Tannins are creamy and refined in a gorgeous, modern Chianti.
(2017) This Pinot Blanc from Friuli, north of Venice and close to the Slovenian border, is fermented in large Slavonian oak casks. It has a certain richness on the nose, cream, ripe, sweet apple and a light hint of spices. In the mouth it has texture and richness too, though the fruit is juicy and racy, a touch tropical, but finishing with apple acidity.
(2017) The Cave Cooperative at Ribeauville is first class, and this series of organic wines are among their best (there's a terrific Riesling in the same range). However the sometimes unexciting Pinot Blanc can sing in Alsace and it does here, soft floral and lightly waxy aromatics, a touch of almond and vanilla, but then pristine fruit on the palate. It is juicy, lemony, but textured with a rolling apple fruit sliced through by its acidity.
(2017) Sauvignon Blanc from Primorska in Slovenia, close to the border with Friuli, this is not nearly so pungently herbaceous or tropical as a Marlborough SB for example, just the faintest touch of green to the aromas, but mostly about dry apple and citrus, in a savoury style. There's a squeeze of orange or something a little exotic on the palate, but that's soon swept up in a raft of pithy lemony acidity into a dry but nicely long finish. ¬£10.80 for Daily Drinker club members.
(2017) Also quite delicate, this is a blend of Pinots Noir from 2008, 2009 and 2010, disgorged in June 2016 to just 2,333 bottles. There is a more earthy character in comparison to the BdeB, the sweetness of the fruit on the palate is generous and easy, although it tightens up crisply on the finish, a fairly dense character that suggests a couple of years in the cellar might benefit the wine.
(2017) This brand, colloquially known as 'Ace of Spades', attracts a lot of scepticism because of the bling packaging and the fact that it is owned by musician JayZ. But analytically this is a fine all-Chardonnay blend of the 2009, 2010 and 2012 vintages that is pretty and floral on the nose, with some rosy apple and a touch of creamy oatmeal. Lots of juicy, lemon and lime fruit and acidity, though there's a certain silkiness to the texture and mousse too.
(2017) Richard Geoffroy used the highest ever proportion of red Pinot Noir wine in this blend, 27%, making it a decidedly meaty, Burgundian Champagne, with truffle and forest floor, vinous with red berry fruit. That welterweight of flavour slightly butts up against the acidity at this stage for me, tannins too against grapefruit, suggesting perhaps that a few years in the cellar will do this no harm.
(2017) The fabulous toast and opulent depth that DP pulls out of the bag vintage after vintage - and after nine years of ageing of course - shines through, seductive coffee and chocolate notes underpin flashing bright fruit, a tinge of green herbs, then brioche on the palate, the thrilling blend of richness and layered texture with rapier-like, electrically-charged acidity.