(2018) A delightful and classic Sauternes, made for C&B by Château Giraud, a blue-blooded estate of the Sauternes aristocracy. A blend of Semillon with Sauvignon Blanc, it has the rich glycerine and honey aromatics of gentle Noble Rot, a touch of curry leaf and raisin, but plenty of apricotty fruit. Not too heavy on the palate, the juiciness of citrus cuts the richer, sweeter flavours and texture, to give this lovely presence, and clean, fresh finish. Price is for a 37.5cl half bottle. Watch the video for more information.
(2018) A new wine to C&B's own-label range as of autumn 2018, this is unoaked Chardonnay from the vineyards of the Mâconnaise, made for Corney & Barrow by Maison Auvigue. It is a beautifully pitched Chardonnay, creamy with almond and a hint of new-mown hay on the nose, and plenty of creamy and ripe orchard fruit. In the mouth it is expansive and richly textured, the nicely sweet mid-palate fruit swept up in very good acidity that give length and a dry but not austere finish. A lovely wine for fish or fowl. Watch the video for more information.
(2017) At first glance this is classy looking with its gold label and 'Blanc de Blancs' the biggest message on the label, but scrutiny doesn't reveal much more except it is made in France, with the traditional method and is Extra Dry - which means sweeter than Brut. The Corney & Barrow web site reveals it is sourced from Savoie, but confusingly describes it as Chenin Blanc in one place, and Ugni Blanc in another. This was not my favourite wine of this small range: don't get me wrong, it is well-made and more than acceptable fizz, apple-scented and flavoured with a bready background, but the sweetness doesn't sit entirely happily with the acidity and the whole picture is just a tad non-descript.
(2017) This organic-certified Chardonnay comes from the Mâconnais in southern Burgundy and is made for Corney & Barrow by the family domaine of Dominique Cornin. It has a correct, appealing nose, marrying lemon and peach, with the slightest undertow of almond or nougat. The palate has plenty of zip, a tropical almost mango-like juiciness moving through to the fresh squeezed lemon of the finish, medium bodied and of very fine quality.
(2017) Made for C&B by the illustrious J-P Moueix of Pomerol, intriguingly the suggestion is that this is the perfect match for Murgh Tikka Makhani - a choice that surprised me, though I can see the logic in a wine with power and a bit of real grip that might well take on curry. Mostly Merlot, pencil-shaving notes over plum fruit, before a firm palate, the dark-toned fruit has a bit of bittersweetness, and the acidity gives the cut rather than the tannins which are sandy but not dominant.
(2017) Made by Bodegas Zugober, not a name with which I am familiar, this is Tempranillo, with a little Graciano and Mazuelo, Crianza indicating it has had a little oak ageing. Smokiness on the nose, a touch of briar or underbrush, and a dark red plum fruit. There's a sour orange tang to the berry fruits on the palate, the cherry-skin of the acids also adding to that fine edge. This stays juicy and enjoyably sweet and sour into the finish.
(2017) Though classified as a Vin de France, the fruit for this wine comes from the Languedoc, a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Merlot. It is boldly cherry and raspberry scented, the palate soft in tannins, medium bodied, and very much the epitome of easy-drinking with modest but sweet fruit and a nice, fresh finish.
(2017) Lemony freshness and ultimate delicacy here, just dazzling and rather fabulous, hints of buttery brioche add roundness and a touch of pleasing softness, but it's the filigree acidity and freshness that drives this.
(2016) Very pure, dense, sweet black fruit, creamy, with very nice mouth-filling and coffee touched character, great tannins and fresh cherry acidity. Lovely balance. Long and composed, but with great fruit expression.
(2016) Oak showing quite obviously in this barrel sample, but a lovely rounded balsamic and sweet black fruit quality comes through, really good concentration and ripeness, pepper and spice and lovely tannin structure giving a firm, liquorice twist. Really promising, but score is provisional. Corney & Barrow are importers, but they list the 2012 at time of review.