Mark Pardoe MW, Buying Director of Berry Bros. & Rudd, was in charitable mood last week. Not only did he put up a particularly mouth--watering selection of wines, he also agreed to lop a full 15 per cent off the list price.
That Mark was positively glowing with bonhomie is thanks to the fact that Berrys’ had just been crowned 2014 Wine Merchant of the Year at the International Wine Challenge, praised for its ‘sensational list’. Well done guys!
The 2013 Constantia Glen Two (1) is a classy blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Constantia, near Stellenbosch, boasts just eight producers of which Constantia Glen is the newest. Soft, creamy, aromatic and stylish in a dry white Bordeaux kind of way, it’s perfect with garlic and tarragon roast chicken. £14.41, down from £16.95.
I’ve long admired the 2010 Le Soula Blanc (2). From cool, low-yielding organic vineyards high in the Côtes de Catalanes in Roussillon, it’s a blend of several varieties including old-vine Macabeo, Grenache Blanc and Vermentino with drops of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. It’s so grown up, with honey, peaches, nuts and — don’t laugh — hints of Marmite on nose and palate. There’s an underlying creamy freshness too, and while it’s probably too big for an aperitif, it’s great with a veal chop and broad bean risotto. £20.33, down from £23.95.
The 2009 Luigi Oddero Langhe Nebbiolo (3) is from one of the great names of Barolo, Luigi Oddero having partnered his brother Giacomo for many decades in the family concern. A few years ago, Luigi set up on his own with 32 hectares of top La Morra vineyard, now overseen by his widow, Lena. With plenty of ripe red fruit in the glass, and violets, prunes, spice and tobacco too, it has a long, lingering finish and is delicious with Sunday roast pork. £14.41, down from £16.95.
Finally, from Eden Valley, Australia, the 2012 Torzi Matthews Frost Dodger Shiraz (4). It’s big-boned and brooding but a gentle giant for all that. Using semi-dried grapes, it has a complex make-up with mint, eucalyptus, chocolate, nutmeg to the fore, and a backdrop of exuberant black-currant. It’s big, blockbusting stuff, but wonderfully fresh, and needs something flavoursome alongside, so crank up the barbecue and bung on the bangers. £21.21, down from £24.95.
There’s a sample case containing three of each bottle, and delivery to mainland UK is, as ever, free.