Jonathan Ray

February Wine Vaults - Private Cellar

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We’re planning to go seriously upmarket with our briefer offers this year, with each merchant tasked to rootle out exceptional wines that you cannot find elsewhere. This first offer is a cracker. The 2005 Bordeaux vintage was a remarkable one — so sought-after that much has vanished from the market. But Private Cellar has kept two special parcels for our readers. These wines aren’t available anywhere else, even on Private Cellar’s list. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

The first is (1) 2005 Ch. Tour Baladoz, a St Emilion Grand Cru and neighbour to the fabled châteaux of Troplong-Mondot and Le Tertre Roteboeuf. It’s disarmingly approachable and utterly sublime with masses of soft Merlot fruit, a sturdy backbone and hints of classic cigar box. A steal at £26.60 a bottle (down from £29).

The 2005 Ch. Capbern Gasqueton (2) is equally stylish, albeit more deep-down-and-dirty and robust as befits St Estèphe. The viticultural and winemaking teams of sister property Ch. Calon Ségur, produced it and there is something of Calon’s élan here. A bargain at £18.20 (10 per cent off).

From Burgundy, we grabbed some biodynamic, old vine 2009 Gevrey Chambertin, Domaine Rossignol-Trapet (3). It’s forward and inviting with enticing aromas of black cherries, blackberries and roses behind which lies an unmistakeable whiff of the farmyard. Soft and silky with real depth, it’s classic Gevrey from a tip-top vintage and just £30 a bottle, available in cases of six.

Our two whites are also Burgundian and both are exclusives. The 2010 Rully, Clos du Moulin à Vent, Domaine Rois-Mages (4) is soft, succulent and buttery, with great concentration of fruit and fine acidity. It’s gratifyingly elegant and proof, I reckon, of how great the wines of the Côte Chalonnaise can be. £16.15 a bottle (a discount of £17.40 a case).

Finally, the 2011 Montagny 1er Cru Les Bassets, Domaine Laurent Cognard (5) is big stuff indeed, with warm buttered white peaches and vanilla to the fore, behind which lies a steely core. The domaine used to supply the local co-operative, but Laurent Cognard took control, reduced yields, farms organically and hasn’t looked back. £18 a bottle (down from £19.85).

All the wines are available by the unmixed case or in a mixed dozen of three bottles of each (excluding the Gevrey).

Delivery as ever is free, there is a sample case containing two each of the non-house bottles.

Prices include VAT and delivery on the British mainland. Payment should be made either by cheque with the order, payable to the wine merchant, or by debit or credit card, details of which may be telephoned or faxed.

View all the wine offers here, or call 01353 721 608

All prices are correct at time of publication, but we may alter prices at any time for any reason.
Written byJonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray is the Spectator's wine editor.

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