Jonathan Ray Jonathan Ray

Wine Club 3 February

Good grief, I’m glad that’s over. Dry January, that is. The worst thing was that for most of it I slept terribly and invariably woke with what can only be described as a hangover: throbbing head, aching eyes and dreadful feelings of remorse for having drunk too much the night before (not to mention for having behaved appallingly and for owing a large number of folk some pretty hearty apologies). It would slowly dawn on me, though, that I had drunk nothing but Badoit and that I hadn’t, after all, been at the Presidents Club bash and that I needn’t reproach myself.

I’m now happy as a lark having jumped off the wagon straight into the warm embrace of Messrs Corney & Barrow. I drank deep last night, slept like a baby and woke with a definite spring in my step. I hope these wines do the same for you! Oh, and don’t forget the Brett-Smith Indulgence, whereby C&B’s MD, Adam Brett-Smith, lops six quid off a case for anyone buying two dozen bottles or more.

The 2016 Terre de Lumière Viognier (1) comes from the heart of the Languedoc and leading local co-operative, Celliers Jean d’Alibert. It’s 100 per cent Viognier, fresh ’n’ zesty and with all the notes of apricot, peach and honeysuckle that you might expect from this delightful grape. £7.58 with the Brett-Smith Indulgence, £8.08 without, down from £8.50.

The 2017 Nelson Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc (2) from Paarl, in South Africa’s Western Cape is perfect for those who find Loire Sauvignons too lean and Kiwi Sauvignons too exuberant. It’s slow-fermented at low temperature and left on the lees for six weeks. The result is a scrumptiously fresh, easy-drinking wine with fresh-cut herbs, spice — even pepper — on nose and palate and a lusciously creamy finish.

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