Earlier this month we held a wine fair at The Spectator, using the tents that next day sheltered the magazine’s summer party. It was great fun, and our six principal partners sold plenty of wine. The event is free; come next year! There were some terrific bottles, many discounted, such as the gorgeous Chilean Pionero Pinot Noir sold by The Wine Company of Colchester – an incredible £6.99 — luscious Château de Sours and Nyetimber from Private Cellar, stunning Menetou-Salon and Côte Rôtie from Yapp Bros, the glorious Maiden Flight, also from Chile, one of the few Gewurtztraminers that really works outside Alsace, and a host of gluggable summer wines from Corney & Barrow. With nearly 90 bottles to sample, some of our visitors may have felt they had more choice than they could cope with.
We also hosted FromVineyardsDirect, from whom this month’s splendid offer comes. I think all these wines stand out, and all are at prices far lower than you would expect. There are four whites and only two reds. This is because I hope by sympathetic magic to bring hot weather. Also because the whites are just amazing.
The first is a 2011 Laudun (1) made by Luc Pélaquié at his vineyards near Avignon. It is made from five different grapes, including Roussanne and Viognier, and it is as full and fat and delectable as you might imagine. Fine with food, or just perfect sipping on a long summer evening, all at a mere £11.65.
Equally stunning is Hugh Ryman’s 2010 Château de la Jaubertie Mirabelle (2). This is an incredible wine. ‘Plumptious’ does not do it justice. It’s made in Bergerac from the classic combination of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, with a dash of Muscadelle, and at just £11.95 it’s about half the price of a similarly delicious white Bordeaux. My wife and I opened a bottle the other night and were almost fighting each other for the last drops. You might be astonished that such nectar is made by a Brit.
Then there is the 2010 Chablis premier cru from La Motte Beauroy (3). Regular readers will know my suspicions about much Chablis, which can be very mediocre and is best avoided in the kind of restaurant which has wipe-clean menus. But this is a glorious drop: it’s got all the steely, flinty, oyster-shell background of a fine Chablis but with bags of fruit as well. Just £14.95 for what really is a bargain.
As is the next wine, in spades. You can easily pay £40 or £50 for a good Puligny-Montrachet, one of the great white Burgundies. FVD have made an opening offer of £23.95 for this 2010 Moillard-Grivot (4), a reduction of £36 a case. And it is wonderful. For those who adore an echt Burgundy but baulk at the usual prices. Nor is it an inferior PG; it is every bit as delicious and lip-smacking as many I’ve tried at £35 and above. Snap it up now. Indeed, drink it now, though it will be even more delicious in a few years.
Our reds kick off with a 2009 John X. Merriman (5), made at the impressive 17th-century Rustenberg estate in Stellenbosch. I’ve loved this for years now, and can’t get over how this winery makes a Bordeaux blend every bit as good as many clarets at twice the price. Which is a ridiculous £9.95.
Finally a real Bordeaux but at a very attractive price. This is a Graves, from -Pessac-Léognan (6), coming from the historic 2009 vintage. It is made at Château Olivier, one of the fastest-rising stars in the region. It’s overproduction, declassified but majestic. Deep, dark, earthy, rich, powerful — practically as good as the named wine and well able to keep improving over ten years or more.
Delivery, as ever, is free, and there is a sample case containing two of each wine.Prices include VAT and delivery on the British mainland. Payment should be made either by cheque with the order, payable to FromVineyardsDirect, or by debit or credit card, details of which may be telephoned or faxed. This offer, which is subject to availability, closes on 24 August 2012.