The Wine Gang February Report – Lea & Sandeman

by Patrick Sandeman

The Wine Gang will undoubtedly be familiar to many of our customers, but for those who are not the ‘Gang’ is made up of five of the UK’s foremost wine writers and tasters: Tom Cannavan, Jane Parkinson, Anthony Rose, Joanna Simon, and David Williams.

Each of them writes independently for leading publications, and collectively they roam the wine regions of the world and the UK merchants’ tastings, publishing their findings on The Wine Gang website.

In the just released February report Lea & Sandeman is included among the merchant reports, and the Gang say some rather nice things about us which we are very happy to share:

‘The Lea & Sandeman tastings are among the highlights of the year, and what with their portfolio, Italian and en primeur tastings, they keep us on our toes as much as we imagine they keep their customers on theirs. Highlights remain in the classics of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône, Champagne and Tuscany, while there’s much to enjoy from Austria and Spain too. This report coincides with their mouthwatering 2010 Burgundy en primeur offer, which is well worth an in-depth look.’

(NOTE that more wines have now been added to our 2010 Burgundy offer)

All prices quoted are for single bottles. Order any mix of twelve bottles or more and you will be charged the DISCOUNTED case prices on every bottle.

DELIVERY is FREE on all orders of £100 value and more.


Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot Puligny-Montrachet Noyers Brets 2008 13.5%abv £30.95
Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot Puligny-Montrachet Noyers Brets 2008This lovely white Burgundy displays a complex, nutty, intense aromatic quality with richly concentrated, nutty, green olive Chardonnay fruitiness underscored by a very full-flavoured ripe peach and pear fruit richness. Yet it finishes bone dry with a lick of salty, mineral acidity. 93 points.

I Clivi Malvasia 2009 13% abv £19.95
Made from old, low-yielding Malvasia Istriana, the distinctive fresh ripe apple and peach-like fruit is so juicy it’s almost bouncy in its lively textural, concentrated old vine fruit quality. Fine balance and complexing lees-derived character, and a mouthwateringly bone dry, mineral finish. 92 points.

Salomon-Undhof Grüner Veltliner Von Stein Reserve 2009 14% abv £23.50
Delicately aromatic dry Austrian white made from low yielding Grüner Veltliner producing a concentrated rich fruit quality, and great purity, with its opulent stonefruit richness moderated by a fine blade of natural acidity and an appetising mineral dry finish. 91 points.

Domaine Vincent Delaporte Sancerre Cuvée Maxime Vieilles Vignes 2009 13% abv £21.95
Made from old vine Sauvignon Blanc grown on limestone, this is delicately smoky in aroma with excellent fruit concentration, delicately spicy oak overtones and exotically rich full stonefruits and gooseberry flavours, finishing with a flinty dry acidity. Very much a food Sancerre rather than a patio sipper. 91 points.

I Clivi Ribolla Gialla 2010 11.3% abv £16.75
Like a cross between a Chablis and Vinho Verde, this surprisingly light in alcohol dry Italian white is an instant refresher on nose and palate, a highly aromatic wine of bone dry, refreshingly savoury, almost salty fruit from Ferdinando Zanusso. 90 points.

Domaine de l’Aujardiere Fié Gris 2010 12.5% £15.50
Made from the unusual Sauvignon Gris grape, whose pungent green pea and asparagus aromas are reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc, as is the ripe, juicy fresh green herbal fruits character and sharp blade of acidity, but this Loire Valley meets New Zealand style from Eric Chevalier is at the same time exotically, spicily, different. 90 points.

Domaine Jean-Marc Boillot Montagny 2009 13% abv £18.50
Attractively fresh, intense and distinctively nutty in aroma, there’s plenty of complex and juicy, leesy fruit intensity. Lovely, with lively, peachy Chardonnay fruitiness allied to the mineral stamp of its location in southern Burgundy. 89 points.

Salomon-Undhof Grüner Veltliner Messwein-Celebritas 2010 12% abv £12.50
Highly aromatic and fresh, with the light spiciness and juicy pear quality of Kremstal Grüner Veltliner, supposedly in keeping with the traditional ‘Messwein’ used for religious celebrations, and so finishing dry and mineral with the instant appeal of delicately spiced drinkability. 89 points.


Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino 2006 14% abv £38.95
Just starting to evolve into a drinking window of 10 years plus, this is an immensely seductive Tuscan red made from pure Sangiovese (as Montalcino requires for Brunello) displaying delicately smoky, herby aromas that combine with the lightest touch of spicy oak. On the palate there’s suave-textured, complex dark red berry fruits and the suggestion of a gamy, mouthwateringly savoury future to come. 94 points.

Poggio Bonelli Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 14% abv £22.50
Made from pure Sangiovese, spanning traditional and modern, this is an intensely aromatic Tuscan red with fine depth of fruit behind a polished veneer of spicy oak. The fruit style is concentrated, rich and dark cherryish with a typically lively bite of fresh Tuscan acidity. 89 points.

Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso 2009 14% abv £17.75
From the Bordeaux-orientated part of Tuscany, i.e. Bolgheri on the Adriatic coast, this is a blend of Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc showing aromatic, delicately herbal notes and bright, dark cherry fruitiness polished by a delicate touch of oak, very much in the modern Italian vein; a powerful, opulent red with a Bordelais accent, yet distinctively Italian. 89 points.

Château Perron 2007 13% abv £17.50
We’re on familiar Lea & Sandeman turf with this stylish Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend from Lalande de Pomerol whose attractive aromas of polished cedary spice envelope a fine black cherry and cassis-like underlying fruitiness in modern vein with succulent tannins and a lively, bite of refreshing astringency; well-made, good value Right Bank claret. 89 points.

Andrea Oberto Nebbiolo 2009 14% abv £16.75
If you love Barolo but want something similar in style that’s earlier drinking, Oberto’s Nebbiolo shows typical Nebbiolo aromas with delicately juicy mulberry and raspberry sweet fruit, a hint of tobacco spice thanks to a light touch of oak, and some, but not a huge amount, of Nebbiolo’s nicely grippy tannins. 89 points.

Sottimano Langhe Nebbiolo 2009 14.5% abv £16.75
Made from young Barbaresco vines and therefore lighter in style than the estate’s Barbaresco itself, this is fresh, delicate Nebbiolo for earlier drinking, showing lively ripe raspberry and plum fruit quality, tinged with spice. Mouthwateringly fresh juiciness and typical Nebbiolo tannins on the finish. 89 points.

Bodegas Ruconia Tubal, Rioja Crianza 2007 14%  abv £16.50
Fine aromatic blend of blend of Mazuelo, Graciano and Tempranillo with classic smoky vanillin and coconut oak undertones, a voluptuously fruited red with juicy cassis-like fruitiness substantially framed by oak and rounded out by supple tannins, finishing balanced and fresh, a serious modern Rioja with good concentration of fruit that’s just starting to drink now, but with a good three to five years of age on it. 89 points.

Collemattoni Rosso di Montalcino 2009 14.5% abv £15.95
This is a mini-Brunello in all but name, a Tuscan rosso made from pure Sangiovese, or Prugnolo as the locals call it in this neck of the Tuscan woods, its bright fruit showing a cherryish fruit quality with a lively fresh bite and supple textured tannins and a rather deliciously seductive veneer of subtle oak. 89 points.

Domaine Laurent Martray Brouilly Vieilles Vignes 2010 12.5% abv £13.95
An antidote to the ubiquitous, hefty oaky red, this medium-bodied Gamay is delightfully bright and vivid with cherry aromas and vibrantly nubile, ripe strawberry and cherryish fruitiness nicely rounded by supple tannins and typically juicy balancing acidity. 88 points.


Champagne Egly-Ouriet Tradition Brut 12.5% abv. £42.50
From one of the most exceptional growers in the region, this is a Champagne that’s full of character and flavour, intense on the nose with undertones of toffee apple and a lovely creamy richness of texture and flavour underscored by sourdough and bruised apple. It finishes nutty, mineral and refreshingly dry. 92 points.

Champagne Larmandier-Bernier Terre de Vertus 1er Cru 12.5% abv. £36.95
Made from pure Chardonnay from Premier Crus vineyards, this is a consistently, elegant blanc de blancs Champagne showing invitingly aromatic notes, a mouthwatering biscuity character and creamy apple and pear mousse with a tantalisingly mineral, bone dry aftertaste. 91 points.