Jonathan Ray

Wine Club 6 July

Wine Club 6 July
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Our offer from Corney & Barrow is absolutely jam-packed this week so I trust you’ll forgive me if I get straight to the nitty-gritty. Regular readers will recall the fabled Brett-Smith Indulgence, whereby C&B’s MD, Adam Brett-Smith, knocks a few extra quid off a case for anyone buying two dozen bottles or more (on top of the existing Speccie discount). Well, we’ve decided to streamline things and apply said discount to just the one case. How’s that for good news? The following prices are therefore as tasty as the wines they apply to.

2018 La Muse de Cabestany Chardonnay/Viognier (1) is an undemanding light and fruity white from the excellent Celliers Jean d’Alibert co-operative in Languedoc. It’s made expressly for C&B and is new to their list, making it an ideal summer wine. £8.50 down from £9.50.

Furmint is famed for the fabulous sweet wines of Tokaj but is now prized for its dry wines too and the 2018 Egy Kis Dry Furmint (2) is a wonderful example. I’ve been many times to the village of Mád and can vouch for the fact that this tastes just as fine here as it does there, being full of apple ’n’ pear notes backed by a mineral finish. £13.70 down from £14.95.

The 2016 Elephant Hill Sauvignon Blanc (3) from NZ has become a minor classic. From Hawkes Bay, it’s all about refined elegance and restraint rather than tropical gooseberries and flamboyance. Indeed, I’d say it was more Loire Valley than Land of the Long White Cloud. £15.15 down from £16.50.

The 2018 Inocente Carménère (4) is a mouth-fillingly juicy red from Carménère’s spiritual home of Chile. Produced by Frenchman Damien Laurent in the cool, foggy vineyards of the Maipo Valley, it’s meticulously put together and — seeing no oak — is fresh, luscious and rich, with a fine, savoury finish. £10.85 down from £11.95.

If classic claret is your thing, you’ll love the 2014 Ch. La Grave de Bertin ‘Sensation’ (5), a 100 per cent Merlot from the Entre-Deux-Mers. 2014 was an excellent vintage and this is in cracking form, being soft, smooth and mellow with a hint of spice and a pleasantly earthy, almost autumnal finish. It will last, but why wait when it’s as toothsome as this now? £11.50 down from £12.75.

The 2015 Chak Cabernet Sauvignon (6) is another charmer from Chile, in this instance from the Colchagua Valley, one of the sweetest of spots for Cabernet Sauvignon. There’s a touch of oak and the deep ruby red wine has retained its freshness and elegance along with its ripe cassis notes and silky tannins. £13.70 down from £14.95.

Finally, two absolutely corking English fizzes, both of which I have eulogised extensively elsewhere and both of which I knock back with abandon at home.

The Ambriel Classic Cuvée Brut NV (8) is grown on the green sand of West Sussex and is produced by barrister-turned-winemaker Wendy Outhwaite QC, the star of many a Spectator Winemaker’s Lunch. A typical Champenois blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, it’s crisp and citrusy with the finest of fine mousses and it knocks the socks off all but the grandest champagnes. £25.99 down from £28.95.

The Breaky Bottom Cuvée Reynolds Stone Brut 2010 (7) hails from the free-draining chalk loam of East Sussex and is produced by Peter Hall who first planted vines in this exquisite fold in the South Downs in 1974. This, too, is a blend of the holy trinity and is delectably creamy and sophisticated. BB is my local winery and I do my best to drink it dry. You’ll understand why. £29.99 down from £32.95.

The mixed case has two bottles of each still wine and the fizzes are offered by the unmixed half dozen. Delivery, as ever, is free.

Written byJonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray is the Spectator's wine editor.

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