Jonathan Ray Jonathan Ray

Wine Club 28 May

The following wines from Private Cellar are all about summer, chosen with long lunches on the lawn, picnics by the river and crafty evening drinks in mind. I reckon they hit just the right note. And because I’m so wretchedly indecisive I’ve snuck a seventh wine in too.

First, the 2015 Finca Salazar Sauvignon Blanc (1) from the family-owned Bodegas Pinuaga in Castilla La Mancha, Spain. Aged over the lees for several months, it’s fresh, vibrant and juicy with tropical melon, papaya and citrus. And it’s organic to boot. Only 1,600 cases were produced and Private Cellar snapped up as much as they could with The Spectator especially in mind. Indeed, these pages are currently the only place in the UK where you can buy it (and its sister red below). £7.95 down from a list price of £8.95.

We offered a previous vintage of the 2015 Les Rafelières Sauvignon Blanc, from Sauvion (2), last year and it went down a treat. It’s Private Cellar’s bestselling wine by miles, comes from the Val de Loire (in a reassuringly weighty bottle that belies its modest price) and is as close to a Sancerre as it can be without actually being one. Full of cut grass, nettles and grapefruit, it’s classic Sauvignon Blanc and a steal at £7.95 down from £8.20.

If Chardonnay is your thing, though, we’ve a cracker: the 2012 Bourgogne Blanc, Domaine Matrot (3). And just as the previous wine is a Sancerre in all but name, so this is as near as dammit a mighty Meursault. Hand-picked fruit grown just metres outside that treasured appellation is oak-fermented with indigenous yeasts. Eleven months on the lees, bâtonnage and malolactic fermentation have left it richly flavoured with biscuity, buttery notes and a keen citrus acidity.

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