Jonathan Ray Jonathan Ray

Wine Club 19 March

This is being written before the budget and goodness knows what the Chancellor has in store for wine lovers. Yet another bashing, no doubt, hard on the heels of the chief medical officer’s doleful pronouncement in which she slashed the recommended number of units of alcohol per week we should all be consuming.

Happily, Esme Johnstone of FromVineyardsDirect has promised that should duty go up, he’ll keep his prices firmly as they are for the duration of this offer. Not only that, even though FVD is celebrated for its cut-to-the-bone pricing, Esme has generously lopped a bit off the RRPs just for us.

The 2014 Domaine de la Chesnaie, a simple, undemanding but deliciously satisfying Sauvignon Blanc from Bernard Chereau in the Loire Valley. Chereau is best known for his first rate Muscadets, which, unusually for that appellation, bristle with character, and here he’s cannily combined freshness, fruit, complexity and balance in a wine of very modest price. Add to it the fact that the alcohol level is barely 12 per cent and you have an excellent wine for carefree, everyday drinking. £8.05 down from £8.45.

The 2015 Château Bauduc is FVD’s bestselling white wine by far and we’ve previously offered two previous vintages in these pages very successfully. Made from 100 per cent Sauvignon Blanc by Gavin and Angela Quinney at their 200-acre estate in the Entre Deux Mers, some 15 miles south-east of Bordeaux, it’s an old favourite of mine. Oz Clarke and Jancis Robinson have written of it glowingly and both Gordon Ramsay and Rick Stein like it enough to have it as their house wine. I reckon the 2015 is their best vintage yet. £9.65 down from £9.95.

We have offered the glorious, salmon- pink-hued Mas de Cadenet Sainte Victoire Rosé here before too.

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