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Past Offers

Domaine Desvignes, Givry 1er Cru, Clos Charle 2017

Domaine Desvignes, Givry 1er Cru, Clos Charle 2017

The Desvignes family have been making wine on this 11 hectare estate for five generations. Gautier joined his father Eric there in 2016 and has pushed the estate to new heights, insisting on hand harvesting in small bins, a more organic approach to viticulture and building a new cellar for a gentler élévage.

The resulting wines have been receiving superb reviews, with this particular cuvée garnering an impressive 92 points on robertparker.com.

The wine is drinking beautifully already but will improve through to 2030 if you can tuck it away. As it stands, it is full, fresh and beautifully balanced with bright cherry fruit, floral notes and a rich juiciness that keeps you coming back for more.

Offered: October 2019.

Alcohol: 12%.

Drinking window: 2020 – 2030. Ideally, towards the end of that window if you can hang on.

Food matching: Roast chicken or game, mushroom risotto.

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Fresne Ducret 'Les Nouveaux Explorateurs' Premier Cru Champagne NV

Fresne Ducret 'Les Nouveaux Explorateurs' Premier Cru Champagne NV

'Grower' Champagnes offer some of the highest quality and best value drinking in the region, but are still something of a well kept secret in the UK.

Made from grapes grown by the producers themselves (not bulk bought like the big brand equivalents), these are hand-crafted, single estate wines that would sell for a lot more if they could match the marketing power of the big Champagne houses.

The Fresne Ducret 'Les Nouveaux Explorateurs' Premier Cru NV is an outstandingly good example, with that perfect balance of ripe fruit, rich, brioche-like yeastiness and crisp (but not too crisp!) acidity.

The Fresne family have been growing grapes in Champagne for 7 generations. Their vines are in the 1er Cru village of Villedommange, near Reims, and today it is Pierre Fresne who oversees the whole operation - from vineyard management through to the dosage, riddling and final corking.

The resulting Champagnes are a testament to the family's meticulous production methods and the quality of the domaine's Premier Cru terroir.

Offered: October 2019.

Alcohol: 12%.

Drinking window: 2019 – 2024.

Food matching: Excellent as an aperitif but even better with smoked salmon or potted shrimp.

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Domaine Gerard Brisson, Beaujolais-Villages, France 2018

Domaine Gerard Brisson, Beaujolais-Villages, France 2018

Domaine Gérard Brisson was established by Gérard's grandfather and is today run by Gérard, his wife and his son. The average age of the vines is 50 years old, so yields are low but the quality is very high. Gérard is considered one of the best winemakers in Beaujolais by his peers but to date little of his wine has made it over the Channel.

The Beaujolais Villages actually comes from vines in Régnié, one of the named Crus in Beaujolais, but the family choose to market it as Beaujolais-Villages. It is a beautifully balanced, delicate, fresh and aromatic red which goes down particularly well with a slight chill on the bottle. This is benchmark Beaujolais-Villages from the rolling hills of northern Beaujolais and an easy drinking bargain at £13.95.

Offered: September 2019.

Alcohol: 12.5% abv.

Vintage report: An excellent vintage in quality and quantity. As a rule turning out structured, concentrated and silky wines with fine tannins.

Drinking window: Drink now through to 2020.

Food matching: Delicious as an aperitif or with charcuterie, pâtés, and white rinded cheeses such as Brie de Meaux.

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Domaine Gerard Brisson, Morgon 'Les Charmes', La Louve, Beaujolais, France 2018

Domaine Gerard Brisson, Morgon 'Les Charmes', La Louve, Beaujolais, France 2018

Domaine Gérard Brisson was established by Gérard's grandfather and is today run by Gérard, his wife and his son. The average age of the vines is 50 years old, so yields are low but the quality is very high. Gérard is considered one of the best winemakers in Beaujolais by his peers but to date little of his wine has made it over the Channel.

Morgon is one of the 10 named Crus in Beaujolais which cover the rolling hills in the north of the region. These Crus produce the finest Beaujolais wines. Each Cru has its own style and the wines of Morgon tend to be relatively rich and full. Les Charmes, the vineyard where this wine comes from, is one of the most prestigious 'liet-dit' in the Morgon appellation.

Gérard's Morgon 2018 has received glowing reviews from the wine press with a 95 point score in Decanter magazine and 93 points from James Suckling.
The wine is juicy, fresh, rich and complex with more oomph than the estate's Beaujolais Villages.

Offered: September 2019.

Alcohol: 12.5% abv.

Vintage report: An excellent vintage in quality and quantity. As a rule turning out structured, concentrated and silky wines with fine tannins.

Drinking window: Drink now through to 2022.

Food matching: Roast chicken, sausage and mash and steak frites to name a few.

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Domaine de l'Amauve, 'Laurances', Cotes du Rhone Villages Seguret, France 2017

Domaine de l'Amauve, 'Laurances', Cotes du Rhone Villages Seguret, France 2017

The tiny Domaine de l'Amauve is run along organic lines (certification coming later this year) with minimal spraying and a real focus on biodiversity in order to create the healthiest, richest possible environment for the vines.

The vines are old and low yielding, and thanks to the altitude of the vineyards and their western facing aspect, the resulting wines are ripe but with real freshness too.
These natural advantages, combined with Christian's exacting work in the vineyard and experienced hand in the cellar, are fast making the domaine one of the most exciting prospects in the appellation.

This particular cuvée, the Laurances 2017, is unoaked, unfiltered and because bottling conditions are so tightly controlled, low in sulphur. It is a fresh, fruity and aromatic DELIGHT, with excellent balance, medium to full body and silky, fine grained tannins.

Offered: June 2019.

Alcohol: 14.5% abv.

Vintage report: Excellent quality but low quantities due to drought and coulure problems.

Drinking window: Drink now through to 2022.

Food matching: Drink with hard cheeses and barbecued steaks.

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Chateau Rives-Blanques, Le Limoux, Languedoc, France 2015

Chateau Rives-Blanques, Le Limoux, Languedoc, France 2015

Finding mature whites of this calibre at this price hardly ever happens. Jan and Caryl have managed to pull off that rarest of tricks – produce an age-worthy, fresh and characterful white which is light on it’s feet (just 12.5%) and remarkably good value.

I absolutely love it, so do the critics, and if you like good White Burgundy or particularly, mature Loire Chenin Blanc, you will too.

Fresh, orangey and minerally with a discrete richness from the oak barrel ageing (15% new) and a wonderful complexity thanks to the bottle ageing. At this price, you'd be hard pushed to find a more delicious, crisp and characterful white for drinking this spring.

Offered: April 2019.

Alcohol: 12.5%

Vintage report: Caryl Panman: "A heat wave in June-July followed by 30ml of rain in early August changed a text book vintage into the earliest most unusual harvest we have ever had. Quick reaction coupled with the luck of good weather during harvest gave us wines full of personality balanced with excellent freshness."

Drinking window: 2019 – 2020.

Food matching: Very versatile, works as an aperitif but would also go well with chicken and leek pie, smoked salmon pasta or pork chops to name a few.

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Chateau Rives-Blanques, Blanquette de Limoux, Languedoc, France 2016

Chateau Rives-Blanques, Blanquette de Limoux, Languedoc, France 2016

Back in the 19th Century Blanquette de Limoux graced the tables of the Czars of Russia and the President of the USA alike. Today, you don't see an awful lot of it around but it is well worth seeking out as a summery alternative to Champagne.

The Panman's is a glorious example and excellent value. (Jancis Robinson reckons that the Limoux region "makes some of France’s best value sparkling wines" and consistently picks out this Blanquette de Limoux as one of her favourite fizzes).

Made from the Mauzac grape (known as Blanquette locally), the Château Rives-Blanques 2016 is crisp, delicate and appley with a subtle toasty, bready aroma from the one year ageing on the lees.

It will make for excellent summer refreshment.

Offered: April 2019.

Alcohol: 12.5%

Vintage report: Caryl Panman: “Impeccably healthy grapes. An unseasonably warm winter, a cool spring, the latest veraison in our history and a summer so hot it was reminiscent of 2003, were the characteristics of this unusual year. These conditions appeared not to worry our vines, which showed no sign of water stress. They also favoured outstandingly healthy grapes, and gave us a surprisingly good yield – and exceptionally so for the chenin blanc.”

Drinking window: 2018 – 2022.

Food matching: Drink as an aperitif or with shellfish.

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Domaine des Poncetys, 'Les Creches', Saint-Veran, France 2015

Domaine des Poncetys, 'Les Creches', Saint-Veran, France 2015

Domaine des Poncétys was created at the beginning of the 17th Century and has 15 hectares of immaculately tended, organic vines in the heart of Saint-Véran.

This particular white cuvée comes from a little 'lieu-dit' (a named patch of land) called Les Crêches - the gently sloping parcel of limestone terroir just outside the village of Davayé.

It is exactly the sort of ripe but tense, delicately oaked white Burgundy that I love and has all the bang of a good Meursault, without the hefty price tag.

Offered: March 2019.

Alcohol: 14.5%.

Vintage report: A warm dry vintage in the Maconnais, ideal for those who like their white Burgundy at the richer, riper end of the scale. Where acidity matches concentration, as in this case, the wines are fantastic.

Drinking window: 2018 – 2022.

Food matching: Delicious with roast chicken or soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert.

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Castello di Montespertoli, Chianti Riserva, Italy 2015

Castello di Montespertoli, Chianti Riserva, Italy 2015

A beautifully balanced, highly more-ish Chianti Riserva, from the Chianti Montepertoli DOCG - the smallest of the Chianti sub-zones. Made from 80% Sangiovese, with a little bit of Merlot to round off the edges and some Cabernet Sauvignon for added structure, this is a rich, fresh, cherry fruit scented red with spicy, savoury notes from the oak barrel ageing and an all round soft and easy drinking character.

It is drinking beautifully already, even better after a good few hours breathing.

Offered: November 2018.

Alcohol: 14%.

Drinking window: 2018 – 2022.

Food matching: Will go down particularly well with roast lamb, hard, strong cheeses, or Tuscan-style sausage and bean casseroles.

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Domaine de l'Edre, Cotes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel, France 2016

Domaine de l'Edre, Cotes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel, France 2016

Domaine de l’Edre operates along the lines of the ‘garagiste’ producers in Bordeaux in that they have a few hectares of old vines with exceptional terroir, and a small cellar in town where they produce tiny quantities of sensationally good wine.

The crucial difference though is that this is Roussillon, not Bordeaux, so the value for money is fantastic.

The Edre 2016 is an unoaked blend of 60% Syrah, 25% Grenache and 15% Carignan. It is inky purple in colour and full bodied with pure raspberry and cassis fruit. 12 months in French oak has added cedary notes and complexity but the use of once used barriques means that the wood influence is in balance with the fruit. The wine is deliciously ripe but is still graceful and light on its feet. All in all, this is seriously impressive stuff, and in terms of fine wines, a great bargain when compared to wines from almost any other part of France at the same price point.

Offered: October 2018.

Alcohol: 15%.

Drinking window: 2018 – 2028.

Food matching: Drink with grilled red meat and game, lamb chops and hard cheeses.

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