(2017) Cabernet Franc from clay-sandy soils in the Loire Valley, and a sixth generation wine estate. Nicely translucent, deep cherry colour and a fruit-filled nose, brimming with raspberry and plum, a lovely hint of black leaf tea and gentle herbaceous character that is very appealing. In the mouth that refined, dry black fruit and herbal edge continues to delight, a dustiness to the tannins and juicy acids making this very easy to drink indeed.
(2017) Year after year in my 'Wines of the Year' feature here on wine-pages, this iconic Côtes de Provence rosé picks up plaudits. The blend is mainly Grenache, Rolle (Vermentino) and Cinsault, and it's a prime example of the pale, delicate, lacework style of Provence rosé. Abundantly fresh and zippy, there's a blush of softer peach and strawberry, but it's the shimmering core of mineral and light lemon acidity that drives this to a delicious, dry finish. Until end February 2017 this wine is available for £110 per case of 12 in-bond, for delivery in April. Duty and VAT will then be payable, bringing the total per bottle price to £13.49 - a saving of around £3.50 per bottle on the retail price once released. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2016) FromVineyardsDirect's co-owner, Esme Johnstone, has many connections in Bordeaux, being the ex-owner of Château de Sours, presumably helping him unearth this 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from organically-farmed vineyards close to St Emilion. It's an approachable and easy-drinking style of claret, plenty of buoyant fruit and a firm touch of graphite, there's a bit of sinewy grip that develops, but all smoothed by the gloss of the fruit and its quite creamy texture.
(2016) From one of the top Beaujolais Crus, this is an attractively spicy and black-fruited interpretation of Gamay, very focused, tight and mineral-flecked aromas that are firm. On the palate that's the story too, a chewy and firm core of tannins and acidity, underpinning savoury but extremely juicy black berry fruit, precise and shot through with energy. A lovely wine.
(2016) This estate was purchased by Alain Vauthier of Château Ausone in 2008. It feels youthful yet approachable, with touches of cedar and stemmy green Cabernet to solid black fruit (that some will like more than others), though the elegant framework of supple tannin, easy acidity, coffee and fruit concentration harmonious on the palate. Drink or hold for a few years.
(2016) Tasted just over a year ago, this wine really impressed: a Chablis Premier Cru with a touch of creamy oak to smooth the pristine Chablis apple and flint character. Now, the wine tastes just as sleek and refined, but that vivacious core of steely precision is even more evident, wrapped in a sheen of oatmeal but riveting in its freshness and vitality. A great price for a Premier Cru of this undoubted quality.
(2016) Regarded as the most powerful of the Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, this Cairanne weighs in with 15% alcohol and certainly packs plenty of oomph. The nose has lots of black fruit, but a meatiness too, some herb and pepper hints, but it immediately strikes a muscular pose. Indeed, muscularity runs through the wine in the mouth, with plenty of structural tannin and a grip of acidity underpinning the ripe, savoury but sweet fruit. A huge mouthful of wine, and a very good one. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2016) I love the peach and nectarine downy and delicate aromatics of this wine, glistening with dew=drop freshness. On the palate a little hint of something flinty, but also of the passionfruit exoticism and indeed, a touch of nettle, pressing all the Sauvignon buttons is a beautifully clear and dry, restrained yet welcoming style. Truly lovely stuff, but unfortunately out of stock with FVD at time of review, so I have included a wine-searcher link to find other stockists.
(2016) Under sixteen pounds is a great price for this, from an excellent Rioja vintage. If you like the traditional Gran Reserva opulence this will not disappoint, and yet it is a modern interpretation, tight and sinewy, with tension and structure replacing the oak vanilla and spice, but delicious concentration of dark, cocoa-touched fruit. Good length, a juicy cherry lift of acidity and gentle tannin structure suggests this will cellar well through 2020.
(2016) Made by Bordeaux white wine maestro Denis Dubourdieu, this is one of FVD's declassified mystery wines, though I have a hunch it's from his own vineyards at Clos Floridène. It's certainly classy enough, a refined white Graves with plenty of lemon moving into peach ripeness, and a subtle finish with the barrel ageing adding a touch of cream and oatmeal.