Next month we launch the new all-singing, all-dancing, bells and whistles super-duper Spectator wine club, which will be much the same as the old Spectator wine club, but bigger. And even better.
Meanwhile, as you wait with bated breath (not ‘baited’ breath; you do not have a piece of cheese or a worm on your tongue), I heartily recommend these wines from Swig, one of our popular and successful merchants. They buy up smallish parcels of superb wines that you simply will not find elsewhere. There is a degree of risk for Swig, because most people haven’t heard of these wines. Sometimes they fail to sell briskly enough from the list, which is why there are generous discounts here.
The Iona Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (1) is lovely, packed with subtle grassy, apple flavours, rich yet very dry. It is from the cool and breezy Elgin region, and it’s proof that South Africa can match the best of New Zealand. This won a trophy at the IWC, and they don’t give those away with cornflake packets. Reduced by £1 to £9.50.
Les Hauts du Monteillet, from the Monteillet estates, 2006 (2) is a Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes, or a white Côtes-du-Rhône to the rest of us. It’s a blend of four grapes: Marsanne, Clairette, Roussanne and Viognier, and it really is a sumptuous wine — full, fat, perfumed and altogether gorgeous. The same team also make a Condrieu from Viognier, which costs around three times as much. Reduced by £1 to £11.50, it is fantastic value.
The Aussies seem to be catching up with Pinot Noir, the great red wine grape of Burgundy, and I think you’ll love the 2006 from Dromana estate (3) on the Mornington Peninsula, near Melbourne. It’s light, zesty and very stylish, and the £24 per case reduction makes it just £10 a bottle.
There’s an even bigger discount of £36 a case on the luscious Durius 2003 (4), an unusual blend of Tempranillo, the best-known Spanish grape, and the soft Merlot — the grape which makes the famous and inaccessibly priced Château Petrus. This wine knocked the socks off everyone I offered it to. It’s full, rounded, dark with mixed, swirling flavours, and extremely classy. You could not imagine a Bordeaux of remotely similar quality for the £11.50 Swig are asking. Buy it. Buy lots.
Delivery as ever is free, and there is a mixed sample case containing three of each wine.