We’re looking back so as to look forward this week. It has been such a rotten 18 months that in order to greet our longed-for freedom in appropriate bottle-draining style, we’re revisiting highlights of past FromVineyardsDirect offers. Previous vintages of all the bottles below have been huge hits with readers and I have every confidence these new incarnations will hit the bull’s-eye too when the shackles finally come off on 19 July. It’s a sort of vinous These You Have Loved.
The 2020 Rive Droite, Rive Gauche (1) from vineyards on both banks of the Rhône is as tasty a Côtes du Rhône Blanc as you will find. A blend of Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc and Viognier, it’s dry but creamy with delicate hints of apricot. £9.95 down from £10.95.
The 2018 Domaine du Bicheron, Mâcon-Péronne (2), FromVineyardsDirect’s best-selling white, is corking value old vine white burgundy brimming with fresh apple and quince notes and just a tease of citrus and honey. £11.95 down from £12.95.
The 2020 Mas de Cadenet Rosé (3) has all that you ask from an organic Grenache/Cinsault/Syrah Côtes de Provence rosé, with its crisp, fresh wild strawberry fruit, hint of herbs and long, dry, sophisticated finish. £12.75 down from £13.95.
The 2019 Esterházy Estoras Pinot Noir (4), from Austria’s Burgenland, is a little gem and brilliantly priced considering its quality. Soft, smooth and silky with barely any tannin to speak of, it’s crammed with fresh/sour cherry notes, a swirl of smokiness and a long, meaty finish. £12.75 down from £13.95.
I was convinced that the 2003 Pergolaia (5) — second wine of Super Tuscan Caiarossa — would be over the hill. Its reddish brown hue and slightly dumb nose suggested as much but, gosh, one sip and I was smitten. The Sangiovese/Cabernet Franc/Merlot fruit has more than held up and it’s gloriously, defiantly rich, soft and mellow with concentrated cherry/strawberry flavours, leather, vanilla and spice. £16.45 down from £17.95.
The 2010 Ch. Saint-Nicolas (6) from Fronsac, north-east of Bordeaux, flew out the door when we offered this very vintage in November and it’s still in cracking form. With soft, juicy Merlot fruit, leavened with a pinch of Cabernet Franc, it’s supple and succulent with just enough backbone-giving tannin. £16.95 down from £18.95.
Now fret not, our plan to fill your post-Covid wine racks doesn’t stop there. Nothing sticks two fingers up at lockdown better than a magnum or two. Happily, FVD’s Esme Johnstone agrees. Hurrah, then, for this superb selection of bin-end magnums that EJ has rustled up for us. But once gone, they’re gone, so drink long and drink deep!
The Champagne Arlaux, 1er Cru Brut Grande Cuvée NV (7) is one of the best champagnes I’ve had in yonks and readers lapped it up when we offered it in bottle form. With the finest of mousses, lively fruit and hints of honey, toast and freshly-baked pastry, it’s absolutely spot on. £75.00.
The 2019 Mas de Cadenet Rosé (8), previous vintage to the pinkers above, needs no further introduction save to say that it looks especially enticing en magnum. £27.95.
The 2011 Ch. Moulin Eyquem (9) is a fully mature, Merlot-driven blend from Bordeaux’s Côtes de Bourg that’s showing beautifully and is great value at just £26.95. The Grenache-based 2013 Domaine Durieu ‘Cuvée Lucile Avril’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape (10) is also à point and ideal barbecue fare with its intense, concentrated, bold dark fruit and spice. £65.00.
The mixed case has two bottles each of wine 1-6 and magnums are available to anyone buying a dozen bottles of something else or a minimum of six magnums which can be mixed. Delivery, as ever, is free.