(2021) A lovely wine this, very elegant and refined, discrete and delicately floral aromas, a touch of icing sugar and meringue. The palate is pin sharp, not too much fruitiness means a more gastronomic, though still featherlight style. A very nice Prosecco this with purity and subtlety.
(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) Is this a unique wine in the whole wide world? My guess would be yes: it's a Tannat from Uruguay, fortified with brandy much like a Port or Madeira, and infused with aromatic herbs, flowers and spices. The label quotes "winter flowers, Madagascan vanilla bean and wild apple mint." It has a deep ruby colour tinged with tawny, and a fabulous nose: like a cup of hot chocolate to begin with, moving into spicy black fruits and all the time a slightly other-worldly set of estery aromas in the background. On the palate it is rich and thick-textured, with plenty of luscious black cherry sweetness, but again it's as tough some dark chocolate had been stirred in, some orange-like bite and acidity, and a long, warming finish. Unusual for sure, and very interesting. Price for 50cls. 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.
(2021) Noval's LBV is a serious wine, for drinking or extended cellaring, coming from a single vineyard. The fact that it is unfiltered means it will throw a sediment and may need decanting at some point, but that also increases its capacity to age. A sumptuous nose of liquidised blackcurrants and ripe black cherries shows plenty of chocolaty depth, and high quality spirit gives warmth without any alcoholic burn. In the mouth it is utterly delicious, with copious sweetness, a dry and firm tannin and acid framework that adds some rigour and length, and beautiful balance into a very long finish.
(2021) By sheer coincidence, I had spashed out on a bottle of 1er Cru Chassagne-Montrachet the evening before tasting this wine from further south in Burgundy. I could have bought nine of these for the pice paid, and whilst I am in no way claiming this is of Chassagne 1er Cru standards, I have to say there were genuine similarities and the wines were not as far apart as those prices would suggest. Balanced, elegant, typical Saint-Véran, the touches of oatmeal and crushed almond over pristine white fruits move on to a gently honeyed palate, the racy acidity sharpening the finish after some sweet and luscious mid-palate fruit. A touch of stony minerality also adds to the subtle complexity. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2021) The name is a pun on 'sept', the French word for seven, as all seven of Champagne's permitted grape varieties are used: it's a bend of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier, Pinot Gris, Arbanne and Pinot Meunier. Made in stainless steel, but with six months batonnage, it's one of those wines which you would swear had been barrel fermented and aged: the nose is creamy with buttery and almond tones, beneath citrus and golden apple, quite firm and not too showy. In the mouth the wine immediately tightens up, a flowing citrus zest character and more of that dry crab apple bite of acidity.
(2021) Half of the crop in this vintage was lost to frost. Pale crimson, a little more reductive at this stage, the fruit is a little more towards firm black cherry, but still there is elegance and raciness here. I really like the shape of this wine on the palate, firmness at the core, lots of juiciness - the most of these five vintages - and a great, lip-smacking thrust of citrus acidity to give superb sharpness. A weighty but decisive wine. No Uk stockists listed at time of review.
(2021) Made with 30% whole bunches, there are purple youthful tones to ruby, and this has the first real notes of minerality for me in the Les Suchots cuvée. Taut, with a little iron character, but savoury, dark cherry fruit, licked by vanilla and briar. So savoury, with fruit driving towards a long, beautifully balanced finish of great finesse.