A tasty selection this week courtesy of FromVineyardsDirect.com, the masters at snuffling out tucked-away treasures for bargain prices. FVD’s founders, Esme Johnstone and David Campbell, have impeccable contacts and seem to know everyone who matters in the regions that matter. As a result, they nab tiny parcels of this and that from both well-established and up-and-coming producers and we, dear reader, are the-beneficiaries.
First, the 2015 Esterházy Estoras Grüner Veltliner (1) from Burgenland in Austria. I once spent a lot of time in Austria and have always loved its signature grape. When in the right hands, as here, GV somehow manages to combine the lusciousness of Pinot Gris, the bouquet of Riesling and the acidity of Sauvignon Blanc. This example, made for the Esterházy princes by Josef Pusch, one of Austria’s most gifted winemakers, also has a spicy minerality and a tasty, peppery nuttiness to it, as well as a long dry finish. Spot-on as an aperitif, fine Grüner Veltliner is famously adaptable and food-friendly and goes as well with meat dishes as it does with fish. £10.45 down from £10.95.
The 2014 Clotilde Davenne Bourgogne Blanc (2) is too. Fresh, crisp, zingy, bone dry and with great purity of unblended, unoaked Chardonnay fruit, it’s a Chablis in all but name from the-village of Prehy in the Chablis appellation. Clotilde Davenne make great wines at great-prices — but I fear subsequent-vintages will be more expensive, because a shockingly savage frost has wiped out this year’s harvest. Snap this up while you can. £10.95 down from £11.45.
The 2015 Mas de Cadenet Sainte Victoire Rosé (3) is one of the most popular wines we’ve offered, so there’s absolutely no apology for giving you another chance to get your mitts on it before summer’s out. A wonderful salmon/onion-skin pink, it’s a typical Provençal blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah with wild strawberries and peppery spice on nose and palate. It’s certainly one of the best pinks I’ve had, and one I’ve spotted on some pretty serious wine lists recently. £10.45 down from £10.95.
The 2015 Zensa Nero d’Avola (4), with its striking retro label, comes from-Trapani in the west of Sicily and is, as that label declares proudly and loudly, organic. Rich, ripe, hand-picked, unblended, old-vine Nero d’Avola grapes are vinified and then aged in American oak to give us a wine crammed with blackberries, cherries, damsons, plums, pepper, spice and vanilla. There might even be a hint of black coffee and dark chocolate. Either way, it’s big, butch and delicious. £9.45 down from £9.95.
The 2015 Pont de Gassac Rouge (5) is a beauty from Mas de Daumas Gassac, the stellar estate in the Languedoc often referred to as the region’s ‘Château Lafite’. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache and Syrah, it’s made in the same manner and with the same dedication as the estate’s ‘grand cru’ wines. And happily it’s a heck of a lot cheaper. The vineyards are high in the cool of the Gassac valley, thanks to which the rich ripe fruit has an underlying freshness to it. There are also touches of herbs and spice among the fragrant plums and blackcurrants. £11.45 down from £11.95.
Finally, the 2010 Château Marjosse (6), a mature Bordeaux Supérieur of real breeding from Pierre Lurton, who, as general manager of both Château Cheval Blanc and Château d’Yquem, can be relied upon to know what he’s talking about. A classic blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with a dash of Malbec, it’s ripe and jammy, full of black fruit and gentle tannins. A claret of some style, this, that’s absolutely ready to go but will keep for a year or so yet if need be. £14.95 down from £15.95.
The mixed case has two bottles of each wine and delivery, as ever, is free.