Charles Lea's Wine List
Wines I Like - AutumnDeeper, rounder whites like good white Burgundy, Rhone and some Spanish wines are more what one is looking for in the cooler weather. The Pouilly Fuissé 'Alliance' from Daniel Barraud alongside the 'Domaine Emilian Gillet' Viré-Clessé from Gautier Thévenet, and both are sensational in their ways - the Thévenet wine is full, unoaked, very ripe, with hints of floral honey, and a magnificent supple juicy length. The Pouilly is classic barrel-aged Mâconnais Chardonnay, a little firmer, structural, intense - a perfect foil for food.
In much the same way, the lighter Blanc de Blancs Champagnes which are so brilliantly elegant in the summer can, depending on your mood a bit too, seem a bit brittle in the winter. If you feel like this, do try Champagnes in different styles, like new discovery Gonet-Médeville, especially their 'Tradition' and 'Blanc de Noirs', as well as Barnaut Blanc de Noirs and other big, Pinot Noir-dominated blends like Bollinger, Krug, and, yes, Nyetimber Rosé. The secret is partly the grape content - Pinot Noir gives fuller flavour, but also fact that many of these are made from wines made in barrel.
For Reds too, juiciness needs to give way to denser, perhaps earthier and spicer flavours. Winter food takes a slug of tannin better too. What about a Crozes Hermitage or even a Cote Rotie, or some of the great Sicilian reds which have made their way onto our list in the last year - not to mention Chateauneuf... and I haven't even mentioned Claret yet, but if you haven't got a stash in storage with us, there is always a great selection in the shops of mature wines at all levels.
Just recently I've been absolutely loving the new Riojas from Roberto Olivan of Tentenublo, as well as the other new wave Riojas we have stocked for a year of two (Sierra de Toloño and Artuke). Try Roberto's 'Xérico' for an introduction, and, although it is still young, his amazing Escondite del Ardacho 'Veriquete' to really show what he can do. NB these are not yellow-edged brown old over-oaked wines in the style of some Riojas or yore, but the cutting edge of the new terroir-driven growers. Read about Roberto here.
Weekend treat: Hidalgo's 'Wellington' Palo Cortado
2017 TENTENUBLO Rioja Tinto
Alavesa Rioja Spain Red
Garnacha, Viura, Tempranillo.
Roberto Olifan is crafting wondrous wines on the high ground of Alavesa. Working organically with some gorgeous old bush vines. His wines have a purity and impeccable structure that makes you marvel. This is just one of his range – but gives real pleasure and is a shining example of the ex...(read more)L&S
2015 TERRAZZE CHIANTI CLASSICO Riserva Castagnoli
Chianti Tuscany Italy 14.5% Red
Sangiovese. Bio-dynamic, Organic
Grown in very hard-to-manage narrow terraces on a precipitous slope, with each vine on a pole, so everything has to be done by hand. Undoubtedly hideously hard work but the result is one of the most complete and refined wines in Chianti, with a fullness and supple richness combined with a...(read more)L&S
2015 VIRÉ-CLESSÉ Sélection EJ Thévenet Domaine de la Bon Gran
Mâconnais Burgundy France 14.5% White
Tropical fruits on the nose, banana and marzipan, burnt butter, condensed milk. Concentrated and bold style, creamy yet back by bright acid on the palate. Yellow plum, quince, ripe citrus, with hints of butter, toffee, fior di latte ice cream. Complete, rich and yet beautifully balanced. W...(read more)L&S
2016 TOSCANA ROSSO IGT Podere Giodo di Carlo Ferrini
Tuscany Italy 13.5% Red
Nicely scented cherry, mint, earth, damson and touch of tobacco. Lovely glossy mouthfeel, really fine rich tannins, great acid backbone, lots of red fruits, then mocha, tobacco and earth.L&S
2016 CÔTE RÔTIE La Chana Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux
Northern Rhône Rhône France 13% Red
Lifted fruits on the nose, redcurrant, blackcurrant, touch of violet too, very supple tannin in the mouth, cherry and plum also present really super impressive and elegant, a lovely refined style here, long elegant finish, very good.L&S
2012 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO Riserva Fuligni
Montalcino Tuscany Italy 14.5% Red
Smoky, balsamic, liquorice, spice and coffee, perfumed and profound. Richly textured, sleek and layered with rich fine tannic depth. Smoky, cherry and plum fruit, liqourice, leather and balsamic once more, with great acid lift on the long finish.L&S
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