James Franklin of Corney & Barrow presented a very strong selection for this offer, any bottle of which I would have been happy to recommend. We did finally narrow it down to four wines, though, and a tip-top quartet it is too.
Readers will be delighted to hear that all prices are discounted, and the celebrated Brett-Smith Indulgence (£6 off per case) will apply to purchases of one or more cases. For ease, the cheaper prices shown below include both the discount and the BSI.
The 2014 Moscato d’Asti Fratelli Antonio e Raimondo (1) is charm incarnate; if you know of a better mid-morning reviver, lead me to it. It’s honeyed, grapey (don’t laugh, Muscat/Moscato is the only grape whose fermented juice actually smells of grapes) and wonderfully fresh and frothy. It’s also ridiculously light in alcohol. £8.95, down from £9.95.
The 2011 L’Empreinte de Saint Mont (2) is a gem of a white from Producteurs Plaimont in Gascony. A part oak-fermented, part tank-fermented blend of the local Gros and Petit Manseng and Petit Courbu that spends six months on the lees, it bursts with Gascon character. It’s rounded and slightly oily in the mouth with grapefruit and melon flavours. £11.80, down from £12.95.
If you can’t bear to be torn away from Chardonnay then the 2013 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne ‘Les Sétilles’ (3) is for you. James Franklin reckons it’s one of the best value whites on Corney & Barrow’s list. Blended from top quality parcels, it boasts the creamy richness of Meursault and the austere steeliness of Puligny. It’s a class act in every way and so full of oomph that James F suggests serving it with sirloin steak. £14.65, down from £15.95.
Finally, the 2013 Domaine de Saissac (4), one of Corney & Barrow’s longest-standing wines and a great favourite of Simon Hoggart, who called the 2011 version a ‘knock-it-back-and-stick-your-glass-out-for-more’ wine. A vibrant Cabernet Sauvignon from a small estate on the banks of the Canal du Midi in the Languedoc, it’s rich and concentrated but fresh and exhilarating too. £7.53, down from £8.45.
There’s a sample case with three of each wine, and delivery as ever is free.