Jonathan Ray

Wine Club 30 September

Wine Club 30 September
Text settings

I love Picpoul de Pinet; I mean we all do, right? It’s the quintessence of easy, affable drinking and I’ve not met a Picpoul more easy or affable than the 2016 Racine Picpoul de Pinet (1), produced by Bruno Lafon and François Chamboissier, the Burgundian/Bordelais pair behind Diva Sud, a collection of great-value wines from the Rhône, Languedoc and Provence. Their Picpoul is spot on: fresh, lively and light--bodied with excellent acidity, fine concentration of fruit and — hooray! — an easy-access screwcap. Don’t overanalyse it, just bask in its tasty simplicity. £9.75 down from £11.50.

The 2015 Domaine Mourchon ‘La Source’ Côtes du Rhône Blanc (2) is an old favourite of mine. I love white Rhônes; they’re really rather rare and are ideal for members of the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) gang. This scrumptious example is a blend of Bourboulenc, Clairette, Roussanne and Viognier — not that you would know it thanks to the characteristically French lack of info on the back label. What am I talking about? It doesn’t even have a back label. Typical. Anyway, gripes apart, it’s a cracking wine with delicate hints of baked apple, peaches, apricots and a long creamy finish and, with £2.50 knocked off the RRP, it’s a cracking price. £12.75 down from £15.25.

The 2015 Montagny 1er Cru Chaniots, Les Vignerons de Buxy (3) is a gratifyingly grown-up white burgundy made by the Vignerons de Buxy, a tip-top co-operative that makes wines of legendary quality. I reckon you’d be hard pressed to find a better Montagny for the price (especially since our hosts for this offer, Mr. Wheeler, have snipped a full £3.25 off the RRP). It’s soft, smooth, supple and creamily textured, with peaches and pears and a touch of vanilla on the palate. I loved it. £14.25 down from £17.50.

The 2015 Mas Collet (4) is a fascinating red blend of Garnacha (aka Grenache), Samsó (Carignan), Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo from Celler de Capçanes, a first-rate co-operative based high in the Priorat hills (also the Denominación de Origen of Montsant) 20 miles inland from Tarragona in north-east Spain. The wine is uncomplicatedly fresh, ripe and juicy with the heady scent of herbs and violets on the nose and plenty of sweet blueberries, plums and damsons. It’s perfect warming autumn fare. £10.75 down from £14.

The 2015 Quinta Nova ‘Pomares’ Tinto (5) is from a blessed spot slap-dab on the precipitous hills above the Douro River in Portugal. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo (to give it its full name) and fell in love with it and its wines. There’s a restaurant with rooms here as well as a winery, and the views across the Douro Valley are astounding.

The wines are darn good too and this entry-level red is an absolute peach. It blends the typical port varieties of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz. If they’d lobbed some brandy in to stop its fermentation it would be port; as it is, it’s a ridiculously rich and tasty red wine with buckets of ripe, dark fruit. £11.75 down from £14.

Finally, from close to Montpelier in the heart of the Languedoc, the glorious 2014 Domaine de la Jasse ‘Black Label’ Tête de Cuvée (6). Its previous vintages have been among our very bestselling wines. Made by Bruno le Breton and Patrick Léon (formerly of Château Mouton-Rothschild) from 100 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon aged for a year in barrique, it’s incredibly concentrated and intense with all manner of cassis, liquorice, spice, herbs and vanilla entwining on the palate. It will age for years yet and I reckon is worth almost double the £12.75 (down from £15) that Mr. Wheeler is asking.

The mixed case has two bottles of each wine and delivery, as ever, is free.

Written byJonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray is the Spectator's wine editor.

Topics in this articleSociety