Over the next few weeks in the run-up to Christmas, red, white, sparkling and sweet wine selections for the festive season. Kicking off with three red wines:
(2021) Wine merchant Chris Piper is passionate about Beaujolais, with close ties to the Château de Grandmont. On sale since the third Thursday of November, as is traditional for Beaujolais 'Nouveau', two flags hint that this might be a worthwhile example: it is certified organic, and it comes from the superior Beaujolais-Villages appellation. It has a wonderfully vivid purple colour and classically lifted aromas of cherry and watercolour paintbox, but there's something a little herbaceous and gravelly too. On the palate that gravel and a dry nut-husk character gives the otherwise buoyant and juicy red fruits a nicely savoury aspect, along with good acidity to leave the finish fruity, gently spicy and crisp. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2021) This spent a years in predominantly French oak barrels, but now at five years old we have a delightfully mature Rioja Reserva at a very attractive price. There's a soulful melange of game, tobacco, vanilla and deep blackberry fruit on the nose, a touch of mahogany on the rim adding the impression of a developed, but still very much together wine. In the mouth delightfully ripe, plush and sweet fruit will delight lovers of classic Rioja, with all the velvetty and caressing depth you could hope for. There's plenty of cappuccino-like roast and creamy sweetness, offset by gentle but firm tannins and very good acidity. A cracking buy, watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2021) From the famous terroir of Pauillac, this estate is now owned by its illustrious near neighbour Château Pichon-Baron, and the wine made by the Pichon team. It's predominantly Merlot (68%) from a year when frost reduced the Cabernet Sauvignon yield in particular. It has a deep, saturated and youthful colour, and really quite a lovely nose, some fragrant Sandalwood and spice plays against cassis, with a cool, stony character beneath. In the mouth there is copious and sweet black fruit, lots and lots of mocha coffee barrel supporting (50% new barrels), the tannins truly silky and the acidity giving a nice, tart and savoury plum and cherry skin bite. Really, a young Bordeaux drinking very well, but with a decade of cellaring potential surely. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.