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September Mini-bar

29 September 2012

5:38 PM

29 September 2012

5:38 PM

This is a splendid offer made by FromVineyardsDirect, always a favourite with Spectator readers. It’s a little more expensive than some recent offers, but each wine is such tremendous value that I have no hesitation in recommending them all, heartily. As we move into autumn and winter approaches I’ve picked three terrific reds and just one white.

But what a white! This has a simple label saying just ‘Graves Blanc 2011’ (1) which doesn’t even mention that it is made by one of the great white Bordeaux specialists, Denis Dubourdieu, whose estates include  the superlative Doisy-Daëne, for which you would pay a great deal. White Bordeaux still recalls thin and flaccid Entre-deux-Mers, which we drank unwillingly as students, but this could not be more different: the Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and fruity, the Semillon is rich and rounded, and the light touch of oak gives it extra depth. A very fine wine, at a mere £10.95.

Now a wine that was named a ‘Coup de Coeur’ in the 2012 edition of the magisterial Guide Hachette. It’s the Ch. Trillol, Corbières Cucugnan 2008 (2) and it is quite amazing. The south of France in a bottle. Three grapes go into it: Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, so it has a wonderful dark complexity. It gets even better when decanted an hour or so in advance, and I cannot think of anything nicer with a weekend roast, or a meaty casserole — or anything, really. It’s priced at £9.75, but if you buy two cases of it, they’ll knock off a further pound a bottle.

I think everyone knows that these days that the best value Pinot Noir comes from New Zealand and, for a little more money, Oregon. This Main Divide 2009 (3) from Canterbury, New Zealand, is wondrous – perfumed and powerful, yet with all the delicacy of this difficult grape. Just £14.95, and very well worth it.

Finally, one of those declassified wines that is such a speciality for FVD. This is over-production of a second-growth claret which under its own name sells for around £2,000 a case. This wine, sold just as St Julien 2010 (4), costs a mere £19.45 per bottle. It’s already luscious now, but it will improve steadily for five or more years. Think: you can have a whole case of this for less than the price of a bottle and a half of its parent wine. Yum.

Delivery, as always, is free and there is a sample case containing three 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 26 October 2012.

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