Ackerman Cremant de Loire

I visited the Loire Valley and stayed at  La Demeure de la Vignole just outside Saumur (https://www.demeure-vignole.com/). It’s a complex of ‘Troglodite’ caves, once home to a poor community of farmers, now home to a luxury hotel. The two sparkling wines I liked most were Bouvet-Ladubay in central Saumur and this one, towards Turquant where…

M&S Wave Break Pinot Grigio

  An unusual proposition and one I’ve never come across before; American Pinot Grigio. But containing French Colombard. And bottled in Germany. I thought it was good – if rather on the pricey side for Pinot Grigio. Tasting notes: Light, fruity, dry white. Flavours of fresh pear and lime. Wine Colour – White Price –…

Zuccardi Malamado Malbec (Fortified)

I’m a huge admirer of Zuccardi wines. Following my visit to Maipu in 2016, it was Zuccardi’s wines that most frequently impressed me. This Malbec is essentially an Argentinian ‘Port’. I receive a lot of port, which I generally give away. This was different – it didn’t seem especially potent and was ‘moreish’, which could…

M & S Gold Label Chardonnay

There’s been an incarnation of M&S ‘Gold Label’ Chardonnay in stores for as long as I can remember. It’s usually good, dependable wine, if rather unexciting. This was just that, however at £8.50 there are better wines in M&S… Tasting notes: Crisp, dry Chardonnay with notes of citrus, peach and some minerality. A little oak….

Cono Sur Reserva Especial Riesling

I’m a big fan of Riesling. To me it has a gentle, aromatic character. It is regarded as one of the three most important grapes, after Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, however its UK sales don’t reflect this. Demand for it (and planting) are both increasing. Chile is a minor player in Riesling production. Riesling is…

Chablis Vieilles Vignes Pierre de Prehy – Brocard

Chablis Vieilles Vignes Pierre de Prehy – Brocard is good wine from another well respected producer – not cheap, but for a few pounds more than many other Chablis you get more complexity & minerality – better wine for your money. Tasting notes: Crisp, elegant Chablis with flavours of citrus, white peach and some minerality….

Domaine Reverdy Ducroux Sancerre ‘Beau Roy’

Domaine Reverdy Ducroux Sancerre ‘Beau Roy’ is one of my favourite Loire Valley sauvignons; more supple and less pinched than most Pouilly Fumes… Tasting notes: Light and soft, with notes of apple and balanced acidity. Refreshing, fruity and ready to drink. Wine Colour – White Price – £13 – from Sainsburys Current Vintage – 2016…

Domaine les Marroniers Montmains Chablis Primier Cru

Domaine les Marroniers Montmains Chablis Primier Cru is another good looking bottle, and came in a wooden box. It was good, but rather pricey… Tasting notes: Initially detected some mineral notes. Hints of tropical fruits. Some creaminess on the palate. Good texture. Wine Colour – White Price – £14 Current Vintage – 2016 Producer –…

Signe Bourgogne Montagny

This Montagny is good, if not exceptional Chardonnay. Good value for money though, and in an attractive bottle, it makes a change from Chablis. Tasting notes: Notes of tropical fruits. Some minerality & creaminess on the palate. Elegant for the money. Good texture. Wine Colour – White Price – £9 Current Vintage – 2016 Producer…

Gramona ‘Vi de Glass’ Vino Dulce de Frio Riesling

This is unusual: a Spanish sweet wine – Gramona ‘Vi de Glass’ Vino Dulce de Frio Riesling from Uvinum in London. It’s an ‘ice wine’, but rather than letting the grapes freeze on the vine, they are harvested and frozen with liquid nitrogen. It comes in a remarkably tall, thin bottle – which certainly provides…

Williams Selyem Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley

The winner of my festive red wines was Williams Selyem Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley (2012). We based ourselves in Monte Rio for our tasting trip to this area and loved the Chardonnays, fizz and Pinot Noir. It’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean brings cooling fogs to the region. We had a quick nose…

Joseph Drouhin Rully

  The winner from my festive whites was Joseph Drouhin Rully Premier Cru. I love Rully – I had a strategy a few years ago of going for the lesser, more affordable Burgundy appellations and found Rully wines to be consistently very good. Joseph Drouhin is an excellent winemaker. He buys these Rully grapes as…