The Guardian Life and Style 17/11/2013
My current favourite English fizz – and it's a sign of how far the native industry has come in the past few years that it's now a hotly contested category – Gusbourne's all-chardonnay cuvee from Appledore in Kent has that distinctive English chime of Cox's apple-like acidity providing the backdrop to the nutty pastry, riper golden apples and creamy mousse.
Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Champagne, France NV £45.00
The Guardian Life and Style 17/11/2013
Not just the best of the champagne brands with Heidsieck in their name, Charles is currently making some of the best non-vintage champagnes full stop. This is fabulously rich and biscuity but harmonious, its vanilla creamy intensity illuminated by the fine streak of acidity.
Soave Classico Vincentini Agostino £10.99 Gambero Rosso 2013
Wins the Best Value/Quality in its Class Award
CHRISTMAS CASE FOR 2013 £199.00
2009 Chateau Tour Marcillanet Haut-Medoc £17.20
A classic Medoc blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with a fair proportion of Merlot to add richness and softness. These 2009 s are
stunningly lovely for drinking now but what a pleasure they would be if you were to cellar a case and drink it over the next 10 years.
2012 Chateau De Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone £13.99
Sensational new vintage from the "Genius of Gigondas". In 1992, Louis Barruol's life changed when his father who had managed their family winery suffered a stroke. He was 23, and pursuing an MBA in Paris, the economy was in a slump, and prices for bulk wines like the ones St-Cosme produced had crashed. Louis left University save the family business from bankruptcy. He completely changed the way the wines were aged and started bottlingand selling them himself in Paris. Fast-forward to 2013 and he has transformed St.-Cosme from an anonymous bulk wine source to the top winery in Gigondas, and arguably into one of the best estates in the Southern Rhône. Barruol's wines alone are a gift to Gigondas, proof that this appellation, long in the shadow of nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape, is capable of greatness.
The Cotes du Rhone is a shining example of a "Pret a Porter" label from a "Couture House". Gigondas in all but name - he buys no grapes in make this humble one - rather declassifies grapes from his top vineyards. A mouth watering blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre (all co-fermented) and a touch of the white variety Clairette which has added the most beautiful perfume. A Rolls Royce of a Cotes Du Rhone! Earth, red and dark berry fruits, cured meats, the list goes on and everytime you take another sip another element will reveal itself. Lovely!
2008 Rioja Crianza Vina Izadi Rioja Alavesa
Founded in 1987 by Gonzalo Anton as a breakaway from the traditional style of vanillan Rioja by aging primarily in French not American
oak. Izadi Riojas are perfumed and elegant with fine-grained tannins and multiple layers of flavour, the 2008 is drinking beautifully.
2012 Bodegas El Porvenir Amauta Valle de Cafayate Salta Argentina £18.70
60% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah.
A newly renovated winery in downtown Cafayate, dating from1880 in Salta, run by two sisters. The vineyards planted on the slopes of the Andes at 3000 metres are some of the highest in the world. This may be one of the most remote of Argentina's regions, however high quality reds and whites are being produced here and it is one to watch.
2010 Chianti Classico Poggio Al Sole £16.99
Swiss-owned and run by Katrine Davaz and family who came to Tuscany in the mid 1980s. They have consistently produced wines at the highest level and we believe this is absoultely one of the best Chianti producers. Modern, refined and totally sophisticated, this has more in common with a fine Burgundy or Pinot Noir than most Chianti Classico.
2012 Some Young Punks Squid's Fist Sangiovese Shiraz £19.20
This blend is also used at the top Chianti producer Tenuta Fontodi so more and more winemakers these days are taking their inspiration as much from Italy as they are from France. Some Young Punks have some of the most fabulous artwork labels this one by Asaf Hanuka. The self-confessed punks are: Jen Gardner in charge of wild ferments, straight-A student with a Phd and a long line of published work; Col McBryde a self-confessed trouble maker fleeing wineries from the Americas, New Zealand and Australia after earning his Phd at Adelaide Uni and Nic Bourke, a “truly insidious miscreant” who will do whatever it takes to make great wine! This is artisanal winemaking at its most innovative and stylish.
2012 Donnhoff Riesling Nahe £16.99
Attractive bright pale straw in colour with almost cool mineral and stone aroma (from a mixture of slate and volcanic vineyards). The purity of the fruit combined with racy mouth-tingling acidity, makes this a classy aperitif and goes
superbly with Thai or Asian cuisine and seafood dishes.
2011 Chablis Sylvain & Didier Defaix £16.99
Helene Defaix has consistently refined the vineyards at their Domaine and the wines are now among the top 10 domaines in Chablis. Fifth generation from a family of vine-growers, Helene has been in charge since 1994 and in conversion to organic farming since 2009. Freshness and mineral intensity are characteristic of the Defaix Chablis. An excellent match for seafood and fish.
2012 Soave Il Casale Vincentini Agostino £16.99
The Vincentini's have done it again, the 2012 Il Casale has just won the "Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchiere" (Three Glasses award) award, Italy's top wine accolade. This places them amongst the top producers in the country, not bad for a small family run winery. We are the exclusive importers since discovering them about five vintages ago, and it has been one of our most successful white wines ever. Made from 100% Garganega grapes, it somehow manages to deliver a very attractive delicacy as well as a very pleasing deep tone. It's this sheer complexity that makes it so interesting, and such a versatile wine. You can serve it on its own as an aperitif, with fishy first courses and it will happily go with dishes such as poultry, fish and pork that require a substantial white wine
K5 Getariako Txakolina Karlos Arginano £16.99
100% Hondarribi Zuri Spain Pays Basque
Made by Michelin starred restauranteur turned TV chef, Karlos Arginano was voted Spain's second most recognisable face, after King Juan Carlos! Having established the Pay Basque country's gourmet school for professional chefs, Karlos decided to make a top version of the local Txakolina for his restaurant. So, along with a few friends he bought a mountain and planted a new vineyard on it. We served it with our Sunday night fast food special... mackeral fillets with chilli and ginger crisps served on a sourdough cherry toast (from Gails) with rocket and coriander. And I must say it went very well with that.
2011 Rogers & Petersen Chardonnay Palazzo Vineyard Yarra Valley £16.99
Just arrived from Mac Forbes winery in the Yarra. Made for us by the talented young winemaker Mac Forbes. This is a classic example of the new style Australian Chardonnays - crisp, Chablis-esque with a gentle hazelnut roundness. Great with all seafood dishes.
2012 Two Rivers Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough £14.99
David Clouston's Vineyard is south of Blenheim on the Wairau and Awatere Rivers. The Awatere has free-draining gravel soils which limit vigour and yield which gives the normally fruity Marlborough Sauvignon more intensity, minerality and attack. A number of Marlborough producers, Two Rivers included, use only natural yeasts to kickstart their ferments and then the wines are left on the 'lees' in the barrel - this adds texture, complexity and depth. An abundance of ripe, tropical fruit is overlaid with exotic gooseberry and attractive herbal pungency.