Jonathan Ray Jonathan Ray

Wine Club 14 May

I reckon Robert Boutflower of Tanners has the measure of The Spectator. He knows exactly what tickles our fancy. He put up a dozen wines for our tasting, any one of which I’d be delighted to recommend to readers. Price was ultimately the deciding factor, though, and — hooray! — we nailed the mixed case for a cheering, knockdown £108.

Yes, yes, I know there’s no longer an R in the month and we’re not to eat oysters until September, but I’m still jolly well going to recommend the 2014 Domaine Fief de la Brie Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie (1). Its classic partner is, of course, that fabulous bivalve mollusc, but the crisp, clean fruit and pure minerality also make it an excellent springtime aperitif or partner to grilled prawns now that the barbecues are being dusted off. And, unlike most Muscadets, it has plenty of oomph and zing, thanks to six months ageing on the lees and the fact that it comes — unusually for so humble an appellation — from a single vineyard, the Fief de la Brie. A snip at £6.99, down from £7.99.

And talking of bivalve molluscs, the 2014 Jackson Estate ‘Green Lip’ Sauvignon Blanc (2) is another perfect white for summer. Coming from Marlborough, New Zealand — home to the green-lip mussel — it has all the fresh citrus, gooseberry and tropical fruit aromas and flavours one expects, as well as being beautifully textured. I love Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, especially at this time of year, and this is as fine an example as I’ve had in yonks. £11.00 down from £13.50.

The 2014 Journey’s End ‘Haystack’ Chardonnay (3) is an old friend I’ve long enjoyed. In fact, the 2013 was a huge hit with readers when we offered it a little over a year ago.

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