Simon Hoggart’s latest selection for the month of August
People sometimes ask me about those ads you see in magazines and the weekend papers. ‘Get £89.95 worth of wine for just £49.95! Our introductory offer brings you twelve superb wines for barely more than half price…’ How do they do it? Easy. The great majority of the wines are ‘exclusives’ which means that the company has bought up the entire production of a winery. They can then list the stuff at whatever notional price they like, and base the so-called saving on that. It’s as if I were to write to the editor of The Spectator and say: ‘Yes, get an article worth £350 for only £200! This special offer will allow you to discover the wonderful range of delicious articles by me…’ Meaningless.
Whereas when we at The Spectator offer amazing savings it’s usually because the merchant has genuinely over-ordered a particular wine which he or she thought terrific, but which failed to sell off the page. Or they need space for the next vintage. So it’s a particular pleasure to find wines of the right standard at breathtaking, never-to-be-repeated prices.
Such as these South American beauties from the estimable Playford Ros people in Yorkshire. They’re all delicious, and they’re all heavily discounted. They’re spot on for summer quaffing in quantity. The first three come from the Leyda Valley, a near-perfect wine-growing area in Chile, nine miles from the Pacific. Sea breezes cool the atmosphere. The Classic Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (1) has been reduced by 33 per cent to just £5.29, an amazing price. It’s crisp, herby, limey and juicy.
It’s a great summer drink, but now that Rosé is so popular, why not also stock up on the Pinot Noir Rosé 2006 (2) from the same valley? It’s like a delicious red Burgundy, cold, refreshing and packed with flavour. Will go with almost any summer food — salads, seafood, barbecue goodies. Reduced by 20 per cent to £7.62.
And their Merlot 2006 (3) is, for a mere £5.29 — another 33 per cent reduction — sensational. It’s heady, perfumed, packed with brambles and spices, lush and velvety.
Finally, at a terrific discount, the Kaiken Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (4) from Mendoza, Argentina, is rich, dark, complex and altogether gorgeous. ‘Ultra’ means one step up from ‘reserve’ and when you taste it you’ll see why. The price of £8.49 is a 38 per cent saving, a reduction of more than £60 a case — and a very genuine bargain. Delivery as usual is free and there is a sample case containing three of each wine. For all orders over five cases there is a further £5 discount.