We’ve a selection of simple summer quaffing wines this week, full of bright flavours, courtesy of our old chums Tanners of Shrewsbury. I am confident that you will find the wines as amenable and easy to get on with as I did and that you will find them very keenly priced.
Indeed, there must have been something of a heatwave in Shropshire because Tanners’ private sales director, Robert Boutflower, has clearly had too much sun. With barely any recourse to thumbscrews or water-boarding, he offered generous discounts on the already remarkably modest RRPs, ensuring that every wine is well under eight quid. This means that the mixed case comes in at paltry £89, delivered. A bargain!
The 2014 La Cabane Reserve Marsanne/Viognier (1) from the Languedoc is right up my street and, I hope, up yours too. A blend of gently pressed Marsanne and Viognier, it’s crisp and refreshing with hints of peach, pear and apricot leading to a rounded, supple and satisfyingly savoury finish. It’s perfect summer fare and ideal for those who are bored with Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay and still seek wines of character. The point is that it’s extremely well made thanks to an expert winemaking team headed by Xavier Roger, son of the celebrated Jean-Max Roger of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé fame. £5.99 down from £6.99.
The 2014 Gandarada Dão Branco (2) will also please those seeking a temporary alternative to Savvy Blanc and Chard. A blend of Encruzado, Cerceal Branco (yep, both completely new to me too) and Malvasia Fina from the mountainous DOC region of Dão in central Portugal, it’s deliciously lemony and crisp with an underlying mineral character.
And, since you ask, the wine gains its name from the fact that winemaker Nuno Cancela de Abreu’s great grandfather — José Ferreira Tavares — fought alongside General ‘Black Bob’ Craufurd in the Peninsular War, becoming great friends with him and treating his wounds sustained at the Battle of Bussaco at Gandarada House. £7.55 down from £7.95.
According to Robert Boutflower, the Tanners French Rosé (3), first launched in 2010, climbs higher up the Tanners best-seller lists as each year passes. A toothsome blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and the world’s only palindromic grape variety (oh go on, have a guess, the answer’s at the end) from Montréal-du-Gers in Gascony, the 2014 is beautifully hued and absurdly drinkable. I was seduced by its flowery, wild strawberry and raspberry freshness and its long dry finish. £6.50 down from £7.50.
The Pinot Noir Loron NV (4) might only be a humble non-vintage ‘Vin de France’ but it’s a great example of this difficult grape variety, sourced from the Auvergne. Xavier Barbet of Loron is an excellent négociant and vineyard owner and finds some cracking wines. And look, this isn’t pretending to be a grand vin (how could it at £7.55 down from £7.95?) but it’s great everyday drinking with all the hallmarks of decent Pinot — the smoky, brambly fruit and touch of spice — and great value. Delicious lightly chilled, it was even better the next day.
The 2013 U San Muletto Irrésistible Rouge (5) from the east coast of Corsica is a soft, juicy, fruity, fresh and lively blend of Nielluccio and Merlot. It’s both aromatic and earthy and, thanks no doubt to le maquis — the island’s colourful, herb-scented scrub — there’s a pronounced note of perfumed pepper and spice to it too. £7.55 down from £7.95.
Finally, the gold-medal-winning 2013 Arbouse, Massif d’Uchaux Côtes du Rhône-Villages (6), from the longstanding cooperative of La Cave Les Coteaux du Rhône in Sérignan-du-Comtat. This is quintessential Rhône, a full-flavoured blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carginan – deep red with mouth-filling black and red fruit, vanilla and spice and a keen acidity. It’s one for the barbecue, beautifully priced at £7.45 down from £8.70.
Delivery is free, there’s a sample case with two bottles of each wine — oh, and that palindromic grape is Tannat.
To view all other offers, visit new.spectator.co.uk/wine-club.