Jonathan Ray Jonathan Ray

Wine Club 2 April

It’s April at last, my favourite time of the year. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and, if you squint slightly, the sea here in Brighton could almost pass for blue. We’ll be mowing the lawn before you know it.

And we’ve some lovely April-appropriate wines, courtesy of Corney & Barrow — well-priced too. In fact, if one takes advantage of the fabled Brett-Smith Indulgence (£6 off a case when buying two dozen bottles or more), there’s a double discount on offer. Hooray!

No apology for including the 2014 Corney & Barrow Blanc. It might be overstating it slightly to say that irate readers picket our offices when we don’t include Corney & Barrow’s house wines in these offers, but we certainly get some pithy emails. And I can understand why, because these house wines are exemplary: cannily sourced, keenly priced, beautifully packaged and utterly delicious.

Just to remind you, the house white is a blend of Colombard and Ugni Blanc made by Producteurs Plaimont in Gascony in cahoots with Corney & Barrow’s buyers. It’s light, fresh, fruity, floral and zesty and ideal for carefree springtime drinking — easy on the pocket, too, at just £6.63 a bottle with the Brett-Smith Indulgence, £7.13 without, down from a list price of £7.50.

The 2014 Château La Fleur des Graves Blanc fair leapt out at me at the tasting. A blend of 80 per cent Sauvignon Blanc (giving backbone and aroma) and 20 per cent Sémillon (fleshy, rounded fruit), it’s steel-fermented and oak-aged for 12 months. It has weight, character, balance and style and is a reminder of what great value can be found among the dry whites of Bordeaux. £10.43 with the B-SI, £10.93 without, down from £11.50.

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