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Melon Blanc Vendange Nocturne Vin de France Pierre-Henri Gadais 2019£9.95
Thanks to being almost completely surrounded by the Sèvre river, this 9 hectare estate benefits from a unique micro-climate and Pierre-Henri is able to select the best plot for each style of wine. To create a wine which best accentuates the vibrancy of Melon de Bourgogne (Melon Blanc) he chose ‘La Cantire’, a fully organic, north-facing plot with schist soil. Grapes were harvested in the cool of the night (again for maximum freshness) and cool macerated on their skins for 12 hours. Once pressed, fermentation was carried out using yeasts naturally present on the grape skins. Unlike the richer style of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie (which is bottled in the Spring after harvest), Vendange Nocturne is bottled in early December with no lees ageing and is naturally lower in alcohol (11%). Pierre-Henri’s decision to name the variety – Melon Blanc – on the label means the wine can only be classified as a Vin de France, even though it originates from one of the best sites in Muscadet Sèvre et Maine.
Already quite modern in style, the ripe 2018 vintage has allowed the fruit character to really shine whilst remaining deliciously fresh and bright with a more typical touch of salinity and spritz on the finish.
Hailing from the western Loire, this medium bodied, fresh white wine pairs well with shellfish and seafood.
Domaine du Pre Semele Sancerre 2018£18.00
Julien and Clément manage 20 hectares of vines across 60 different parcels, three quarters of which are Sauvignon Blanc and one quarter Pinot Noir. Soils are primarily the classic ‘terres blanches’ clay-chalk, a heavier soil which gives the wines a ripe fruit character, and some ‘caillottes’, a form of limestone. A very modern, well-equipped, stainless steel cellar allows them to control the temperature of the wines during fermentation and later storage in tank prior to bottling to retain the freshness of the fruit characters.
A classic Sancerre with ripe gooseberry fruit and zesty acidity. The style is full and round yet fresh and well-balanced.
Veuve Deloynes Champagne Brut NV£22.50
S.A Les Roches Blanches was founded in 1994 by Nicolas Gueusquin, a young and dynamic entrepreneur. The négociant is based in Dizy, just outside Epernay. Today, the négociant operates in a newly built, modern winery with thermo-regulated stainless steel vats, underground chalk cellars and 40 gyropalettes.
Les Roches Blanches uses the traditional Champagne method and the wines are matured for two years in chalk cellars in Dizy.
Clean, fresh floral bouquet with a hint of hazelnut leading to a delicate yet refreshing citrus palate and a long balanced and rounded finish.
Ideal food match: canapes and smoked salmon starters.
Les Maitres Vignerons de la Presqu’ile de Saint-Tropez ” Caprice” Rose 2018£11.95
The Maîtres Vignerons use their extensive experience to carefully select their PGIs so that the wine profiles match consumer expectations perfectly: Light, fresh,
fruity and easy to drink. To obtain wines of the highest quality, the Maîtres Vignerons have developed close relations with partner wine cellars.
Caprice results from the selection of quality wines for immediate pleasure.
The colour of this wine is a showstopper – such a delicate, shimmering, pale pink that it’s hard to believe there could be any weight or flavor at all. But then rich and powerful in the mouth with notes of strawberry, cranberry, fresh herb and anise all clean and crisp and creamy
An explosion of red fruit on the nose, this is brightly fruity and crisp while showing some good dense flavors. Red fruits push through the citrus and grapefruit acidity to give a creamy, ripe wine, the palate is soft and complex.
Terre d’Ardeche Chataignier Chatus 2016£17.50
Its aromas are complex, including notes of over-ripened quince jelly, figs, and prunes in alcohol, coffee and tobacco, with a touch of vanilla and cinnamon.
Strong and well-structured on the palate, including rich tannins, this wine is true to type. It is best to open this wine a couple of hours beforehand. It goes marvellously well with strong red meat, grilled or served with gravy, as well as goats’ and sheep’s cheese. It is surprising with dark chocolate!
Domaine de Grangeneuve Monbazillac 2011£10.95
The vineyard of Domaine de Grange Neuve is close to the town of Pomport near Bergerac in the heart of Périgord. The vineyards are on the slopes of the valley of the Dordogne at an altitude of between 50 and 180 metres. Belonging to the Pichon and Castaing family – the winery has grown from a small farm with just 4 hectares of vines in 1898 to a vineyard of 70 hectares today.
A fabulous dessert wine, sweet and luscious with a great backbone of fine acidity for a clean finish. The nose is fresh with classic botrytis marmalade and ripe nectarine and melon, flavours on the palate are richer, honey and toffee finishing with a twist of bitter orange zest. Served best as an aperitif but it is also good with paté or blue cheeses such as Roquefort.
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Côtes du Rhône: Pascal Frères ‘Cuvée Personnelle’ 2016£12.50
A négociant wine that has graced these pages for decades coming from Yves Chéron’s ‘Pascal Frères’ stable. Their ‘Cuvée Personnelle’, from a Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre blend, has deservedly garnered a loyal following. It drinks very well with 3-5 years bottle-age.
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Ardèche par Nature Cuvée Red 2017£14.00
The Ardèche par Nature Cuvée red is a blend of Merlot and Syrah. This wine is a bright red garnet colour with a bluish glow. Its nose exhales aromas of red berries, liquorice with a mineral touch. It is fruity and fresh on the palate but stands apart from other wines thanks to its expressiveness. It is light with distinct tannins although soft. It will perfectly pair with a goat cheese salad, local ham and grilled meat.
Ardèche par Nature Cuvée Rosé 2017£13.50
The Ardèche Par Nature Cuvée Rosé has a pale peach colour and a nose that is filled with aromas of fresh strawberries and redcurrants. On the palate we found a nice nervousness and the freshness is supported by a nice acidity. With a very refreshing finish! Ideal as an aperitif and will suit perfectly with a Carpaccio of tomatoes or fruit salads.
Château de la Roulerie, Le P’tit Chenin, Anjou Blanc, Loire, France 2016
Chateau de la Roulerie estate is one of the jewels of the Loire.
A pleasure at any time, with its solid structure, fine balance and ripe apple fruit decorated by a hint of pear and a drip of honey.
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Chateau Charron, Cotes de Blaye, Rouge, 2013£11.95
Château Charron was rebuilt in 1731. This property is managed by Sébastien Cazaux and Valerie Germain from the start of 2011.
Located on the right bank of the Gironde, the 26-hectare castle Charron faces the Medoc.
This wine is soft and elegant by the majority Merlot blend and is friendly and approachable with or without food.
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Louis Roederer Cristal, 2009 (with gift box)£170.00
In 1876, Tsar Alexander II – already a great lover of Louis Roederer wines – asked Louis Roederer to 'take the exercise still further' and create a cuvée for his personal use which was unique, in terms of both its style and the bottle. So Louis Roederer offered him an exceptional crystal bottle, holding the fruit of vines selected from the seven great crus on his estate. This cuvée would be offered
only in the truly 'great' years in which the ripeness of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes could provide the subtle, precise balance that has now become synonymous with the leading prestige cuvée of Champagne.
Cristal 2006 is made with 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% wines matured in wood (oak barrels) with no malolactic fermentation. Cristal is a blend of grand crus from the Reims mountain, the Marne Valley and Côte des Blancs. The wine is matured for six to seven years in cellars and rests for eight
months after disgorging. Dosage varies between eight and 10 g/l depending on the vintage.
Glistening color with light amber highlights, indicating a year of very fine ripeness. Soft, almost timid bubbles, in a slow and steady flow. There is a rich bouquet with confit fruit (lemon, orange), white flowers (lilies) and lightly roasted nuts (hazelnuts and almonds). On airing, the dominant fruitiness becomes intense: a sabayon of peaches,apricots, melon and mango. The mouth features a rounded, complex ballet of fruit. The texture is concentrated, giving the impression of biting into a ripe, fleshy fruit. The palate is enveloped by this depth of juicy, creamy, silky fruit, which soon makes way for a pure, sharp, graceful freshness.A transition follows from ripe fruit transforming the ripe fruit into a slightly sharp citrus flavor; the warmer notes make way for flowers, citrus zests and nuts. After this rapid succession of flavors, there is a lasting impression of harmony: the aromas,
flavors, slight bitterness and freshness come in just the right proportions, intermingling to form a perfectly integrated yet complex whole. A few hints of apple tart tartin and Danish pastries add a final touch to the already complex range of aromas.
Drink now but will mature and improve until 2020.