Jonathan Ray

Wine Club 11 November

Wine Club 11 November
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It’s the turn of FromVineyardsDirect this week and, just to keep things simple, FVD’s Esme Johnstone and I decided simply to offer readers FVD’s six best-selling wines. FVD’s customers love them, I love them and I trust you’ll love them, too. I even persuaded the normally unpersuadable Esme to knock off 50p here and £1 there just for goodwill’s sake.

Anyone looking for a top-quality, champagne-method fizz of real style at a ridiculously cheap price should look no further than the 2013 Cave de Lugny Crémant de Bourgogne Millésime (1). I cannot praise it enough. Produced by the excellent Cave de Lugny co-operative in the heart of the Mâconnais, it’s a creamy, toasty Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend that’s part oak-aged, then matured for 18 months before release. We served it alongside seriously fine (and seriously pricey) champagnes and other fizzes at the launch of my book Drink More Fizz! last week and for many it was the standout wine. £14.95 down from £15.95.

The 2016 Château Bauduc (2) is also a corker. Made from 100 per cent Sauvignon Blanc by Gavin and Angela Quinney at their 200-acre estate in the Entre-Deux-Mers, it’s FVD’s best-selling white wine by a country mile, and has been the house wine for both Gordon Ramsay and Rick Stein for more than 15 years. It’s crisp, clean and refreshing, but deliciously rounded and creamy, too. I love it. £10.45 down from £10.95.

The 2015 Clotilde Davenne Bourgogne Blanc (2) is a Chablis in all but name, grown on the same chalky soil. Produced by the celebrated Clotilde Davenne (‘Burgundy’s daughter’) in the village of Préhy, it’s made from 100 per cent Chardonnay that sees not so much as a whisper of oak. The wine is gloriously unbuggered-about and is tinglingly fresh, crisp and pure. It’s got character too and the vibrant fruit is really allowed to shine. £12.45 down from £13.45.

The 2010 Château de l’Abbaye de Saint-Ferme (4) was a thumping success with readers when we offered it in the summer. Please let me bang on about it again, though, because it’s an absolute steal and, with Christmas just round the corner, you should be stockpiling it while you can. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s wondrously soft and mellow, but with plenty of luscious ripe bramble and cherry fruit, a hint of spice and a long classy finish. Bung it in a decanter and your guests will imagine it’s twice if not thrice the price. As Esme points out, the lesser wines of great vintages are always excellent value. £10.45 down from £10.95.

The 2009 Château Les Moines (5) is also from a 10/10 vintage. It’s gone up a bit in price since we offered it a couple of years ago but it remains a copper-bottomed bargain. A Cru Bourgeois from the Médoc, it’s blended from 70 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 30 per cent Merlot and if the price has gone up, so the tannin levels have fallen, leaving us an elegant and beautifully mature claret. There’s plenty of rich, ripe fruit of course, but there are also appetising savoury notes and a hint of herbal spices. These all combine to make a cracking bottle of wine. £15.95 down from £16.95.

Finally, the 2015 Bindi Sergardi ‘La Ghirlanda’ Chianti Classico (6) from a family who’ve been making wine near Siena in Tuscany since 1349. When I tasted it my first thought was why the heck don’t I drink more Chianti? Made almost entirely from Sangiovese, it’s right up my street, full of ripe and sour cherry flavours, blackberries, liquorice and something akin to tobacco.It’s got great refreshing acidity, too, and soft tannins and is bang on the money. £13.95 down from £14.95.

The mixed case has two bottles of each wine and delivery, as ever, is free.

Jonathan Ray’s Drink More Fizz! is available from FromVineyardsDirect for £14.99 (including P&P).

Written byJonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray is the Spectator's wine editor.

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