(2020) In 2017 this is all Gimblet Gravels fruit, though still with 1% Viognier in the blend. This was a bottled, but pre-release tasting of this vintage. Lifted violet and florals, more than the 2013 in this very young wine, such an intense kirsch-like fruit. On the palate it still has that cherry and red plum succulence, but there is cocoa and smokiness and good balancing acid. Price quoted is for the 2015 vintage at time of review.
(2020) A lovely ashy note to this, dry with a lifted floral character and that lovely hint of volatility that sits so well. Sweet and so juicy on the palate, the rush of sweet cherry fruit and acidity, backed up by the more chocolate and earthy notes, long and spicy tobacco-like, the fruity extract persisting. An approximate bottle price is given: most retailers at time of review are offering this by the case.
(2019) From Lodovico Antinori’s estate in the Upper Maremma, only 40% of this blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot spent a short time in French oak barrels. What a beautifully perfumed wine this is, crushed raspberry and incense floating from the glass, a touch of darker blackberry and a hint of spice. On the palate it combines plush, sweet and dense, ripe fruit with great agility, a breezy freshness to the acidity and the oak adding just a sheen of nutty breadth to the crisp, fruity finish. Delightful. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(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.