Welcome back to Berry Bros. & Rudd, the unfeasibly posh wine merchants in St James’s, London. They left The Spectator fold some years ago, but are now home again, which is why the other day I found myself pushing through the creaking front door, crossing the creaking floorboards, then climbing the creaking stairs, all in the company of creaking -servitors. (No, I made that bit up! In the company of enthusiastic, helpful young -persons!)
BB&R do not do cheapo. You would not pop in and ask for something to go with your chicken vindaloo, though if you did I am sure the staff would try to accommodate you. You are more likely to see, as I did a couple of Christmases ago, a well-dressed man buy two bottles of Château Palmer at £200 each. This is not Tesco. In their fine wine collection, I have spotted the priciest Burgundies at more than £7,000 a bottle.
Now they have come up with some massive deductions on their list prices, designed to tempt you into their creaking parlour. All these are heavily discounted, with savings that range from £30 to £60 per case.
There is almost £40 off the lovely 2010 Pinot Blanc sec (1) from Rolly-Gassmann, one of the leading names in Alsace. I adore these ripe, almost lubricious scented wines, which are perfect with spicy — say Chinese — food or as an aperitif. For such a stylish wine, the price of £9.94 a bottle is just silly.
There is a £55 case saving on the 2009 Rully Blanc (2) from Jean-Yves Devevey. Given the chaos caused in Burgundy by the weather this summer, there is bound to be a shortage, so if you’re a fan of Bourgogne Blanc, you should stock up on this. I took a bottle of this creamy, minerally beauty to an open-air concert with friends and it was polished off in no time. An incredibly reasonable £13.88.
Now an experiment. As I never tire of saying, much of the best value wine in France comes from the south, including the Coteaux du Languedoc. This is the 2012 Dme d’Aupilhac, Les Cocalières Blanc (3) and it’s a blockbuster, made from four southern grapes: Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Vermentino. The effect is full, fruity and beautifully textured. Chill it, open it, then keep it in a cooler, so it gets a chance of breathe, and you’ll enjoy all those lovely complex, blended flavours. The £60 case discount brings it down to £14.96.
Now the reds. The 2010 Ch. Cesseras (4) is also from the Languedoc (it’s a Minervois) and is also a subtle blend, in this case of mainly Syrah, with one fifth Mouvedre and one fifth Carignan, which can be a rather rough, peasanty grape, but used in small quantities adds character to a wine that might otherwise be a little bit too smooth. The £30 discount brings it down to £7.46 a bottle.
Beaujolais is making a comeback, long overdue, since the disaster of Beaujolais Nouveau, which could be drinkable, but could taste like something to clean your paint brushes. Bit by bit the market has crept back, and this 2011 Régnié made by Julien Sunier (5), from one of the principal villages in the appellation, is smooth and nicely textured, without any of that ‘glug this quickly before it gets worse’ rawness of much Nouveau. £51 off: £12.71 a bottle.
Finally, more Burgundy, from Sylvain Loichet’s 2010 Chorey-lès-Beaune (6). Chorey-lès-Beaune is one of the less famous appellations which means that it is better value than most. We drank this on a warm evening in the garden, and its scents mingled with the perfume of the flowers. Before we knew it, the bottle was empty. Again, if you are a Burgundy lover you need to buy now, especially at this amazing price: £14.96.
This offer is now closed. To see our current offers click here or call 0800 280 2440 .
All prices are correct at time of publication, but we may alter prices at any time for any reason.