Jonathan Ray

Wine Club: six seriously tasty wines with 20% off

Wine Club: six seriously tasty wines with 20% off
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I have quite the spring in my step as I write and no, clever clogs, not just because of my regular mid-morning sharpener,

satisfying and restorative though it was. What do you take me for? No, it’s because I have nothing but good news to impart this week and I’m confident that your happiness is secure.

We have six very tasty, exceedingly easy-going wines on offer this week; we have an extremely generous 20 per cent discount on all bottles and — yippee! — our celebrated Spectator Winemaker Lunches are back with a bang, kicking off on Friday 17 September with many more to follow.

Our last such vinous knees-up in the boardroom before plague and pestilence struck was in March 2020 with the ever-urbane Philip Addis of Domaine du Grand Mayne, the very estate whose wines we’re delighted to offer this week.

Grand Mayne is in the Côtes de Duras near Bordeaux, roughly halfway between Saint-Émilion and Bergerac. Once run-down and barely functioning, the property was restored in the 1980s and, thanks to two incredibly successful crowd-funding campaigns in the past few years, it’s now going great guns, owned by some 900 canny wine lovers and producing seriously flavoursome wines at extremely modest prices.

The 2020 Domaine du Grand Mayne Sauvignon Blanc (1) is fresh, lively and concentrated with plenty of citrus and hints of nettles and cut grass. Well-judged lees contact adds weight to the wine and a tiny splash of Sémillon adds creaminess. Winemaker Mathieu Crosnier has worked in both the Loire and New Zealand so knows Sauvignon Blanc inside out and this is a beautifully-constructed, modestly-priced gem. £8.77 down from £10.96.

Thanks to eight months in oak barrel, both the 2017 Domaine du Grand Mayne Réserve Sauvignon/Sémillon (2) and the 2018 Domaine du Grand Mayne Réserve Sauvignon/Sémillon (3) are weightier and fuller than the entry level Sauvignon above. They have mouth-watering lemon/grapefruit notes, restrained ripe gooseberry fruit and a delectable smoothness in the mouth. We’re offering both vintages because the subtle differences are fascinating, with the 2017 slightly broader than the 2018 and the latter boasting a slightly more saline finish. Both are succulent and satisfying and both are £12.77 down from £15.96.

The 2020 Domaine du Grand Mayne Rosé (4) is a pale, pale pink blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot and Cab Franc. It’s fresh and inviting with decent body — unlike so many rosés — and some seductive malolactic creaminess and whispers of wild strawberries. I really rate this and found all I wanted was another glass. £8.77 down from £10.96.

The 2018 Domaine du Grand Mayne Merlot/Cabernet (5) is a complete joy, all succulence and spice and crammed with vibrantly fresh red and dark berries. Mathieu Crosnier reckons it’s the best expression of this blend that they’ve made at the estate and it’s deliciously drinkable, especially when very lightly chilled. £8.77 down from £10.96.

Finally, the 2018 Domaine du Grand Mayne Réserve Cabernet/Merlot (6), a more complex and powerful version of the above, aged in a selection of differently sized and differently toasted oak barrels. It’s a remarkably sophisticated drop for the price and if it came from a better-known appellation than the Côtes de Duras, you could expect to add at least another fiver to the price. £12.77 down from £15.96.

These wines are all such good value and perfect for summer gatherings and we all but sold out when we offered previous vintages last year. Grab them while you can and take advantage of Philip’s very generous 20 per cent off. The mixed case has two bottles each of wine and delivery, as ever, is free.

Order today and enter the code SPEC20 at the checkout.

For details about the return of our Spectator Winemaker Lunches, the Spectator Wine School and forthcoming online tastings, go to www.spectator.co.uk/tastings

Written byJonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray is the Spectator's wine editor.

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