Our latest Wine Vaults offer comes from the ever-dependable Yapp Bros, absolute masters at unearthing small, top-quality independent producers whose output is too small or too niche for the supermarkets.
And this week, bearing in mind that we’re all now back from our summer hols, Yapp have come up with four tried and tested French classics that will taste every bit as good here as they did over there. For, as Jason Yapp points out, it’s a sad fact that wines quaffed on holiday in France invariably lack that certain je ne sais quoi once back home in rainy Basingstoke.
Very generously, Jason has lopped a quid off every bottle, which, with free delivery, makes for a substantial saving.
The 2012 Domaine de la Mortaine, Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie (1) is about as perfect a Muscadet as you’ll find. It is bone dry, but with a tantalisingly elusive touch of fruit and an appetising savoury note on the finish. There’s weight to the wine as well, thanks to time spent maturing on the lees, making for a deeply satisfying glass. I love the jolly Quentin Blake label too. £8.95 down from £9.95.
The 2012 Domaine Christophe Camu Chablis (2) is similarly spot-on, and at under £15 is great value for this region. Made from crisp, clean unoaked Chardonnay, it is apple-fresh and citrussy with that inimitable Chablis purity. It really is a class act and in its absolute prime. £14.95 down from £15.95.
The 2011 Château d’Abzac, Bordeaux Supérieur (3) is a soft, smooth and juicy claret full of velvety Merlot with added splashes of Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon for character and backbone. I was completely disarmed by it and it was my ‘must have’ of the tasting. Jason reckons it has the stuffing to age well for another five or seven years and I’d look to save some for this Christmas or even next. Serve it in jug, carafe or decanter to let it show off. £10.75 down from £11.75.
Finally, the 2010 Vacqueyras Cuvée Spéciale (4) from the southern Rhône. A Syrah/Grenache/Mourvèdre/Cinsault blend, it’s fruity, spicy and surprisingly light in tannins and I love its silky darkness and flirtatious forwardness. It’s ready now, of course, but will keep, and would make a fine, well-priced alternative to Gigondas or Châteauneuf-du-Pape. £13.25 down from £14.25.
As ever, there’s a sample case with three of each bottle, and delivery to mainland Britain is free.
All prices are correct at time of publication, but we may alter prices at any time for any reason.
To view all other offers, visit new.spectator.co.uk/wine-club.