(2016) Montsant in the northeast of Spain, neighbouring the much more expensive Priorat, makes broadly similar wines at generally lower prices. This has a lot of forward charms, buxom and open, but I loved its meaty, dark and bloody tones set against the huge sweetess of ripe fruit on the mid-palate. Deliciously tangy and vibrant too, edged with a charcoal and chocolate bittersweetness. It's fab wine and great value for drinking with casseroles and stews, indeed any red meat or dark game.
(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.
(2016) The Chaillots of this vineyard are the 'Cailloux' of the Rhône: similar large, rounded pebbles that give good natural drainage. From the ripe 2014 vintage, Damian Gachot's garnet-hued Pinot is immediately fragrant and elegant, the cherry fruit character joined by plenty of briary, woodlandy Pinosity and a smoothing touch of cedar and smokiness, in an alluring and complex profile. Just delicious and delightful on the palate, the feather-light tannins and crisp and juicy acidity supporting creamy-ripe berry fruit, but always tempered and gentle, the stony, gravelly terroir showing through. Just a lovely Burgundy.
Sky’s the Limit
(2016) OK, a rather rare wine with only 120 cases produced and the UK's allocation being a fraction of that, but what a stunner. Very old vine Grenache is matured in 100% new French oak in this vintage, in a big (15.5% ABV) wine with massive chocolate depth and a welterweight of blue/black fruit. There's extraordinary plush juiciness to this, which is tight and hugely muscular, but it has great freshness, with real energy. Fabulous fruit, long, chewy, dense but superb definition of tannins and acidity against the huge ripeness and stunning concentration. The price quoted is per bottle, but available only as a pack of six. French merchant Voyageurs du Vin exports to the UK and at time of review also lists the 2012 vintage at 215 Euros per single bottle.